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Birth Blossoms on the Treasure Coast of Florida

scar tissue massage
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I highly, highly recommend scar massage.  I had a very good friend of mine work on me 10 days post-surgery and have continued working on myself regularly.  After the first session the pulling I had when standing after sitting was totally gone, and the tissue lined up better with the scar.  Prior to it I'd had a road bump of tissue above my scar, after the road bump was much smaller and directly under the scar.

 
 
Using a little lotion (lotion tends to get absorbed a little too quickly and needs to be reapplied more frequently) or oil (almond, olive), enough to give you a little glide but not enough to make the skin super slick while lying on your back gently rub your belly from side to side, to warm up the tissues a bit (you might even want to bend your knees to take more stretch off the abdomen).  Include your scar as you massage your belly, making gentle passes over it.  You can also do a horseshoe shape movement, traveling up the right side of your abdomen, passing across the top - under the ribs, and then down the left side - that follows the movement of the colon.  As the tissues warm up you can work a little more deeply, pressing into your belly and moving the underlying tissues.
 
To work on the scar - do some gentle pulling up on the scar from one side to the other - giving it an easy stretch, then do the same pulling down (fingers are under the scar stretching the skin towards your pubes),  Then work your way left to right along the line of the scar stretching the scar to the left, and then work your way right to left stretching the scar to the right.  If it feels tight with any of these motions, meet the tissue where it is and hang out with it a bit - you'll feel some softening and almost a melting sensation as you hang out.  That's the fascia releasing.  Please be respectful of your tissues and don't force it, it might be a bit tender, but shouldn't be painful.  You'll notice changes over time as you continue to do the work.
 
I like to finish by placing my hands over my scar and taking some breaths into the area under my hands.  I send the tissues and my uterus appreciation.  You could play with colors - asking your scar/uterus if any color feels best to it and visualizing sending the color to those tissues.  Go with whatever first comes to mind.  I use this time to thank my body for all that it does to take care of me.  If that doesn't feel right to you, do what does.  I found/find it very helpful with connecting me to my abdomen and helping me to honor the experience that my tissues went through and the amazing healing that they're doing. 
 
I am constantly amazed at how grateful tissues/bodies are to be aknowledged and appreciated without woulda coulda shouldas being present.  Everybody likes to be liked for how they are, even if they are in the process of change, why would our bodies be any different?  Even if we wish they were a different size and shape, take time to aknowledge your vessel, it works so hard, it tries so hard and it is so, so grateful for appreciation.  It is such an untapped source of strength and wisdom.  Start to connect to it.
 
There is also work known as "scar release therapy" that is taught in some methods of lymphatic drainage and with myofascial release.  You might ask a local bodyworker if they are familiar with this or knows someone who does.
 
As you do the work, respect and listen to your body.  Feel what it's ready to do and when it needs more time.  Abdominal work during your menstrual cycle can make your flow heavier, and may be asking too much of your body at that time of the month.  There is also debate about abdominal massage increasing the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester.  I'm not sure if this has ever been studied, or is more a fear, but proceed with caution or wait.  If you choose not to do massage - placing your hands over your scar and breathing into it is a nice alternative.  Also know that I am offering the above as my personal experience, not medical advice.
 

by Lisa Gillispie BSW, LMT, CST

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