resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Resilience is the New Longevity
Sometimes we must enter a room through one door and not another, even though they both lead into the same space. I am talking now of the recent cachet with the concept of "resilience" regarding health, chronic pain and longevity.
Green Tea Catechins Lower PSA, Other Biomarkers in Men With Localized Prostate Cancer
A 2006 study (Cancer Research) was the first human investigation to show that green tea catechins (GTC) are highly effective in reversing premalignant prostate lesions (high-grade prostate intra-epithelial neoplasia), an established precursor to prostate cancer.
Get That Shoulder to Move: Restoring Internal Rotation
How many times have you mobilized, performed ART, Graston, FAKTR and PIR, and stripped a patient's posterior capsule, yet on re-exam, discovered it was still blocked?
Why DCs Need to Understand the Principles of "Inclusive Design"
In the past few columns, I've written about the negative effects of prolonged sitting at work. I've attempted to make the point that prolonged sitting (or prolonged standing) takes a toll on workers. Now let's discuss a related issue: the concept of "inclusive design."
AAAOM – The Beginning of the End (Part II)
In 2012, the AAAOM board members met in Chicago for their annual meeting. The goal was to come to a consensus on a long list of issues the AAAOM needed to work on including a functional board and budget.
Successful Strategies in Integrating Acupuncture and Shiatsu in a Hospital Oncology Program
Colleagues from the Network of Researchers in Public Health in CAM recently published an article of interest to our Traditional Asian Medicine community.
AAAOM – Making Promises They Can't Keep
When the AAAOM first formed in 2007, their mission was clear: to support the profession through education, resources and legislative advocacy. The first years of the organization were filled with promise and hope.
What is a Discipline in Medicine?
In my now prolonged dialogue with physicians, one question emerges with enough regularity to deserve mention and naming: what is a discipline?
Are You Guilty of Paternalism in Your Approach to Patient Care?
Einstein is purported to have said, "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity." In some way, everything is relative to one's point of view.
Collaboration for a Cause
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act strongly encourages the formation of multidisciplinary practitioner teams called Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
The Healing Properties of Light: An Interview With Researcher Anna Cocliovo
This interview is with Anna Cocliovo, a light researcher and Acupuncturist in Arizona. During my own research in light, I came across the article she published for the American Journal of Acupuncture and sought her out as a result.
Creating Child-Friendly Clinics with ABT
The Zurich Dojo was scattered with toy ducks, dolls, trains, exercise balls and teddy bears during my recent pediatric workshop.
Epigenetics: The Western Science Supporting Essence
Since the days of Darwin, western medicine has touted that our genes were set in stone, that our genetics were our destiny. We were told that the diseases that ran in our family were likely coming to us as well.
One and Done: Keeping Patients From Vanishing After Just One Appointment
What happened to my 3:30 p.m. ROF? They may have rescheduled, but there are two common answers no one wants to hear: 1) "She called to cancel. I tried to get her to reschedule, but she refused." 2) "She no-showed.
Chiropractic Prevents ADHD? Research Shows...
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you what the latest study actually states. As you may have noticed, research over the past few years has begun to reveal that acetaminophen (the primary ingredient in Tylenol) is not as safe as once thought.
Risk Factors for Heel Problems
Heel pain and gait disability are common occurrences in adults, often the result of thinning heel pads and a lifetime of exposure to heel-strike shock. One condition experienced by many people is plantar fasciitis.
Flexion-Intolerant Lower Back Pain (Pt. 3): Mobilization & Soft-Tissue Treatment
What is the biggest challenge to the chiropractor in treating discogenic pain? You have to completely reframe the purpose of your manipulation. It is rarely about unlocking a stuck segment at the disc involvement level; it is not about putting a joint back in alignment.
Steven Rosenblatt: Birthing A Cross-Cultural Acupuncture Profession
The existence of a cross-cultural acupuncture profession in the United States, one that is legalized, licensed, supported by formalized, academic training and inclusive of non-Asian practitioners, is an important part of the medical landscape in this country and is responsible for improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Monoculture of the Mind: Part II
Cases are built within boundaries. Such bounds may be a program, event, activity or individuals. In this instance, a medical case has boundaries that include clinical interactions that are comprised of history, signs, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment plans and treatments.
Stress in the Modern Age: Impact on Homeostasis and What You Can Do (Part 1)
In 1926, Hans Selye first used the word stress in a biological context, referring to the nonspecific response of the body to any demand placed upon it.
Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Donna Liewer
For the past 31 years, Donna Liewer has been on a personal mission "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." In her role as executive director of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, Liewer has accomplished that and much, much more.
June, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 06
The Importance of Scar Tissue Release Therapy
By Marjorie Brook, LMT, CIMI
Scar tissue therapy is generally overlooked by health professionals because the extent of physiological effects scars can have on the body have never really been acknowledged. As massage therapists, we know that the slightest restriction in the elaborate matrix of fascia can have major repercussions from one end of the body to the other.A simple scar from a childhood accident to major surgery can have a lifelong effect both physically and mentally for your client. Scar tissue has the potential to spread in any direction including internally throughout the body. It can also restrict movement or function anywhere in the body from a joint to an organ.
Scar tissue release therapy is extraordinarily simple to learn, easy to apply and yields powerful results that can prevent a lifetime of compensation, complications and pain. I have been a licensed massage therapist for more than 12 years and in all that time, a reoccurring theme seems to have prevailed. The presence of scar tissue can have a lifelong physiological effect on the body -- a fact that seems to have eluded traditional health care professionals. This realization combined with my clinical experience, education, teaching and research, has led to developing methods that improve upon existing fascial techniques for scar tissue release.
During the course of my career I've treated many patients whose problems could be traced back to a scar they had forgotten they even had. Almost everyone has a scar. While not every scar presents a problem, often they can. This is due to the fact that the body is one large, three-dimensional piece of fascia that envelops us like an intricate spider web. Any kink, pull or restriction in one area affects the whole matrix.
Scar Tissue & Adhesions
Scar tissue and adhesions are the result of our body's natural healing process and it occurs both internally and externally. The process, if working correctly, is supposed to eliminate the scars and adhesions once the wound is healed. In some cases, a person's body does not breakdown the scar tissue. The adhered tissue continues to spread which can trigger a cascading effect of compensations throughout the body.
Scars are areas of fibrous tissue that have replaced normal skin, or other tissue, after injury. A scar results from the biologic process of wound repair (protective, useful barrier) in the skin and other tissues of the body. Scar tissue is never as functional as the original tissue it has replaced. With the exception of very minor lesions, every wound (both internal and external) results in some degree of scarring.
Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that anchor and support the wound. It binds together all tissue it comes into contact with. Adhesions may be thought of as internal scar tissue. Although adhesions can occur anywhere, the most common locations are within the stomach, pelvis and heart. (For a comprehensive list of specific types of scar tissue and adhesions go to www.brookseminars.com/resources.)
Cases of Scar Tissue Treatment
Scar tissue release therapy is extraordinarily simple to learn, easy to apply and yields powerful results that can prevent a lifetime of compensation, complications and pain. The therapy is a series of fascial techniques that release and realign the restrictive tissue from the starting point (visible scar) to the end point (where the line of frozen fascia stops). This release system differs from traditional methods because it approaches the multi-faceted matrix of fascia three dimensionally.
I have used this therapy with success for clients who range in age (from children to seniors) and who have experienced a broad scope of problems. In many cases, the results have been achieved within one to three sessions. Below are the stories of three clients who have experienced dramatic results (client names have been changed to protect their identities):
Another client for general relaxation massage referred "Laura" to me. Prior to starting our first session she forewarned me (out of being embarrassed) that her leg was "scary" looking due to vein removal surgery she'd had several years prior. I've seen and helped many clients with scar tissue resulting from vein removal surgery but was stunned at hers. Starting about two inches above her knee all the way down to the middle of the foreleg was a scar every inch and a half - with skin puffing up in between. It looked as though she had been bitten by a shark. In addition to the physical scarring, she experienced pain in her knee and down her leg (which made it difficult to keep up with her four boys). As you would imagine these scars not only affected her physically, but emotionally as well. She was very self-conscious of their appearance, so uneasy that she had not worn shorts since the surgery. She was frustrated that she couldn't keep up with her mother's walking pace while out shopping. And she was angry because her doctor told her nothing could be done, "it just healed that way." But after just one scar treatment session Laura experienced relief physically. By the end of three sessions the swelling was gone, the scars were reduced and Laura was thrilled. Laura's scars have faded by 85 percent. She now wears shorts and was able to actually go skiing with the boys for the first time in four years!
"Debbie," 35, came to me several years ago for help with what she thought was carpal tunnel syndrome. After observing a large scar on Debbie's wrist I inquired as to its origin. When she was nine years old she had put her hand through a window chasing her brother. After working on her hand for two sessions, scars from the glass cuts were reduced visibly by about 80 percent, she obtained range of motion back in her hand/wrist and the numbness was gone.
Another regular massage client one day inquired about my services for his 10-year-old son "Bobby." Bobby, who is very active in sports, was born with a clubfoot and was experiencing a lot of pain in the Achilles tendon of his good leg. After three surgeries his foot was locked in an inverted position causing him to walk on the outside edge of the foot. He was also scheduled for a fourth in a series of seven surgeries. After a thorough evaluation it was clear that it was not the deformity of Bobby's club foot that was holding his foot in this position - but the scar tissue and adhesions from the past surgeries which was wrapped around the ankle into the arch of the foot and up the back of the Achilles tendon. Due to the inversion of the foot, Bobby was using his hip flexors to move his leg forward. After working on Bobby's good leg, I asked his parents if it would be all right if I worked on the other foot. Much to the parent's shock after the first session of treatment, Bobby's foot released about 90 degrees. Upon seeing her son stand with his foot almost flat on the ground Bobby's mom said half in shock and half in anger, "Why didn't the doctors tell us to work on the scars? We would have done it everyday!" I continued to work with Bobby for almost two years. Along with continued work on removing the extensive scar tissue, he needed stretching and strengthening sessions to retrain the muscles in the atrophied leg and throughout his hip. While his foot will always be stunted from his deformity he never did have that fourth surgery.
It is my hope that with modern science starting to recognize the importance of fascia and the effects of scar tissue on the body that scar tissue release will be brought to the forefront of therapy. Massage therapists can make significant and long-lasting changes in the health and well-being of their clients by incorporating scar tissue release therapy into their treatments. It is my experience that this therapy can play a major supportive and therapeutic role in helping anyone living with the physical, emotional and mental effects of scar tissue and adhesion restrictions.
Marjorie Brook has been a nationally certified, New York State LMT since 1997. She is an advanced AIS practitioner/instructor who teaches nationwide, as well as in Canada and Europe. Marjorie offers continuing education courses in Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening, Scar Tissue Release, and Body Mechanics through her company at www.brookseminars.com.
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