Scar Therapy – Beyond Skin DeepJul 29, 2013 04:11PM ● By Alyssa Millman
When surgery is chosen as part of breast cancer treatment, scarring is going to be part of the process. Scars can range in size depending on the type of surgery. Preparing a woman for how to care for herself physically and emotionally is key. Each woman reacts differently to surgery depending on a myriad of factors: the space she is in, the support that she has, the connections she has to the cancer itself. Feelings of true personal loss may be experienced as a result of breast surgery. Using massage techniques to help reduce pain and tightness not only helps the scars to fade, but facilitates emotional healing as well.
Scar tissue is formed after a wound in the skin repairs itself. It is different because the collagen and protein fibers heal in one direction rather than in a cross-weave formation. Scar tissue can cause restrictions and has the potential to spread in any direction including internally throughout the body. It can constrain movement or function anywhere in the body from a joint to an organ. When scar tissue holds everything down, tightening around muscles and restricting tissue, then the fascia and connective tissue are not free and muscles cannot slide over one another. Other conditions resulting from breast surgery may include pain, achiness in arm, neck, shoulder, back and breast, and loss of feeling or numbness due to nerve injury.
A massage therapist trained in Oncology massage and scar therapy can help ease the patient's scar tissue into a healthier healing pattern. A range of techniques from simple touch to myofascial release can help break down scar tissue and alter it to be more flexible, pliable, and help relieve pain and feelings of constriction. Scar therapy can stimulate new tissue growth and help rebuild collagen, increase circulation in the area, and help the scar to fade. A trained therapist can help relieve post-operative pain and discomfort, assist in the healing process, educate, listen to concerns, and teach self-care. Most importantly, the therapist can provide a safe nurturing space to help a woman reconnect with her body. Learning self-breast massage can be an important step in taking charge of one’s own health. The empowerment of self-care can be a catalyst for emotional healing and is where the magic happens.
Alyssa Millman is a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in breast surgery support, scar therapy, and Oncology care. She is compassionately committed to helping women on their healing path through supportive and tailored sessions. For more information on treatments and learning self-care call 973-752-4980. MA#71363