Looking for a safe, effective scar massage?
When looking for a good scar massage therapist, it's important to find one who understands and respects the feelings of vulnerability that often come with scars. The independent therapists who perform scar massage with City Sports Massage understand this well, and they provide the utmost care and consideration.
What is scar massage?
Scar massage is a post operative treatment that aims to reduce the feeling of restriction, or stuckness created by surgery or trauma, and minimise the visibility of post surgery scars.
Sensations of tightness, restriction or pain can be caused by 'adhesions', which are different from visible scars. Adhesions are underneath the skin and are the body's way of repairing itself (sticking itself back together) after trauma such as surgery. Sometimes these adhesions just end up in the wrong place - and cause discomfort! Scar massage performed on adhesions aims to create more room, movement and lightness in the body.
Whilst visible (on the surface of the skin) scars are best treated within 18-24 months, adhesions can be effectively treated even many years after surgery.
Is scar massage different from scar tissue massage?
In a word no – both are working to dismantle collagen fibres. However working directly on post surgery, or trauma sites (which we do) is not offered by many massage therapists.
Many massage therapists cite 'scar tissue massage' as one of their modalities, but they are usually referring to the more simple and obvious muscular 'knots', rather than the sometimes complex adhesions under the skin, within the viscera (internal organs), or visible scarring after an operation.
How does scar massage work?
Fascia (the connective tissue which coats our muscles and internal organs and forms an interconnected, 3D web throughout our entire body) can be severely disrupted during the surgery process. Scar massage can separate adhesions and allow internal tissues to move with less hindrance or restriction.
This serves to increase range-of-movement, can reduce pain, and is extremely beneficial for general well-being.
In some cases reduce or minimise the formation of thick formations, especially if done early enough.
Can I perform scar massage myself on visible scars?
For visible scars - yes – absolutely! Scar massage for visible scars is recommended by hospitals and surgeons worldwide – including the NHS. Yet this information does not always seem to reach patients.
Visible scars benefit most from simple regular, daily, short periods of self massage, especially in the first 18-24 months post surgery. However, if the scar has formed significant adhesions underneath the skin, as is sometimes the case, then these adhesions are best treated by a therapist specialising in Scar Massage.
It is necessary to wait until your stitches are out and the skin has completely healed before working directly on visible scars.
Scar massage can be incredibly beneficial for both physical and emotional healing, and reclaiming, and restoring one's body after surgery, but please ensure you have permission from your Doctor before booking your appointment. Once you have obtained permission from your Doctor, your therapist can either show you techniques on a different area of skin, or gently and sensitively carry out the work directly on the scar itself - it's up to you.
What about sensitive areas, such as post mastectomy, or C- section scars/adhesions?
Post-mastectomy clients sometimes experience tightness in the upper body area after surgery, and scar massage can help to ease and free these restrictions and adhesions. In addition, Caesarean Sections (C-Sections) can also create adhesions, which sometimes result in pain in the abdominal/pelvic area.
It is important that if you are experiencing any pain or restriction post surgery to first discuss this with your Doctor, or Surgeon before booking your appointment.
Once you have obtained permission from your Doctor, your therapist will be happy to carry out this work gently and sensitively.
In terms of visible scars (as opposed to adhesions) visible scars benefit most from simple regular, daily, short periods of self massage, especially in the first 18-24 months post surgery. Once you have obtained permission from your Doctor, your therapist can either show you techniques on a different area of skin, or gently and sensitively carry out the work directly on the scar itself - it's up to you.
What other benefits of scar massage are there?
Scars are a sign of experience of life, and with every new experience comes new knowledge, and the potential for new growth. We often try to push away painful events and forget about them. However, reestablishing a relationship with a hurt part, in a safe context, can be emotionally and psychologically healing. Such healing can be empowering, enriching and lead to a feeling of a restored 'wholeness'.
Will you incorporate scar massage into a wider treatment?
Yes – it is usual to carry out other massage and bodywork before working directly on the area with the presenting issue – it is important to warm up, relax, and prepare the rest of the body for remedial work.
What do I wear for a scar massage?
Generally you should wear as little as possible during your treatment — it is usually easier for your therapist if you wear nothing at all, especially when working on glutes (buttocks) or hips. During the session you will be covered with a towel to retain your modesty, which is removed only to allow access to the area of the body that is being worked on. Many clients wear just light, stretchy underwear on the lower body, which is also fine. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable during your massage—whether you remain fully clothed, or decide on wearing your birthday suit.
Will my scar massage be painful?
Your therapist will want to find the right balance for you - Your massage is all about you and what is right for you — so please don't ever feel like you have to put up with pressure that is too heavy, or too light!. Please remember that although your therapist is experienced at what they do, you are always in charge, so if you're uncomfortable in any way please say - and they'll try a different approach!
Depending on whether you've asked for a deep treatment, you might feel a little mild, post massage soreness for a day or two after a deep tissue massage. This is normal and shows that useful work was done – and that the body is healing!
I'm not sure what the right amount of pressure is for a scar massage?
Don't worry, you're in experienced hands and we will quickly get a feel of what is 'right', whilst communicating with you throughout.
How soon can I come in for a scar massage after surgery?
If you have had stitches you will need to wait until they are out and you had the 'all clear' from your Doctor.
If you have had a Caesarean, or C-Section, and you want to come in before you have had the six-week 'all clear', please also ask permission from your Midwife / Doctor.
Do I need to get permission from my Doctor before attending my appointment?
Please get permission from your Doctor in the following circumstances:
If you are NOT in remission.
If you have had any complications post surgery – or if the area is not fully healed.
If you require work on implants.
In case of doubt, it is always advisable to check with your Doctor first, as the additional peace of mind will only help you relax and enjoy your treatment more!
What oil do you use for scar massage?
Fractionated coconut oil is used. It is an odourless, colourless, light, non-staining oil that washes easily out of fabric. It soaks into the skin and will not leave you feeling greasy; rather it has a pleasant moisturising effect, leaving skin feeling silky smooth and refreshed.
Which therapists carry out scar massage?
To find out which therapists carry out scar massage please check out the profiles on the team page.
Each of the Therapists offer a bespoke service
Our therapists are categorised according to their experience. There are two levels to choose from:
Each therapist can use a variety of massage techniques to provide you with the massage that you want. And if you're not sure what you want? Don't worry, you're in experienced hands that will quickly get a sense of what is 'right'. Your massage is all about you and what is right for you - so please don't ever feel like you have to put up with pressure that is too heavy, or too light!
Know who you want to book with?
To book an appointment with a specific therapist please click here and choose your therapist.
If you have purchased a monthly massage or block of 6 package...
You need to call us to book your appointment. You can still use our online booking to find your preferred appointment time, please just call us to book it!
We often try to push away painful events and forget about them. However, re-establishing a relationship with a hurt part, in a safe context, can be emotionally and psychologically healing. Such healing can be empowering, enriching and lead to a feeling of a restored ‘wholeness’.
Jon Gee City Sports Massage Founder
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