15 July 2019
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A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury and a scar is the result of the healing process of wound repair in the skin, organs and tissues of the body. So scarring is a natural part of the healing process and every wound following accidents, disease or surgery, results in some degree of scarring.


There are many types of physical, and thus visible, scars and they include:

  • hypertrophic scars – red, raised scars that form along a wound or incision in the skin
  • keloid scars – caused by an excess of scar tissue produced at the site of the wound where the scar grows beyond the boundaries of the original wound even after the wound has healed
  • atrophic scars (also known as pitted or 'ice-pick') evident by a sunken appearance in the skin such as in the case of acne or stretch marks
  • contracture scars – caused by the skin shrinking and tightening, usually after a burn, which can result in restricted movement of the burnt part of the body.

 Screen Shot 2019 07 16 at 3.58.12 pm Keloid scar

 Screen Shot 2019 07 16 at 2.58.34 pm Contracture scar       

Scar 2 Hypertrophic scar


All of the above-mentioned scars present unpleasant and uncomfortable repercussions such as restrictions in the fascia, reduction in blood and lymph flow, numbness, tingling, or hypersensitivity, muscle weakness, restricted range of motion and reduced energy flow. 


But not every scar is visible. I’m referring to the emotional scars that may not be obvious from the external appearance of a person but can cause even more pain, grief and suffering than a physical scar. An emotional scar signifies a traumatic life-changing experience that may never be reversed and needs to be addressed through empathic types of treatments which combines gentle bodywork and holistic counselling.


Physical scars, although often unsightly, are sometimes easier to accept and deal with, especially when associated with life-saving surgery, than emotional scars. The physical wound will heal eventually and, although it may take a long time, the skin will eventually close, leaving a trace of a reminder of the scar.


Emotional scars are much more complex and the healing process may take even longer than the physical scars to heal. Why? Because the emotional scar that is linked to the physical scar is a constant reminder of the undergone distressing experience. 


Alistair McLoughlin, the creator of this new technique has this to say “Every scar represents some kind of trauma to the body - and the event that created it”. 


Whilst there are many examples of traumatic experiences, it not possible to list them all in a short article, but what comes to mind through my work at our holistic wellness clinic, are cases of caesarian sections, particularly the unplanned ones, which are not only evident of disfiguring scars in the lower abdominal area but are also a reminder to the woman concerned that her life and that of the unborn child may have been at risk. To compound the matter, the scar can create a tug and pull effect months after surgery has taken place. Another example of emotional scarring may be the result of lymphadenectomy as part of cancer management surgery involving the removal of one or more groups of lymph nodes followed by cascading effects of pain, bruising, swelling, numbness and, in many cases, cording and tightness in the area concerned. Then there are the internal investigative types of surgery such as laparoscopies, which although mostly involve keyhole incisions, still leave the imprint of a scar. On a deeper level, any type of surgery will have some impact on the internal tissues, causing some degree of damage as well as internal adhesions. 


At the emotional level, the repercussions may be even more difficult to endure and cope with and its effects can lead to debilitating conditions. Here we are dealing with low self-esteem, anger and fear, anxiety and depression, PTSD, self-image issues, sleep disturbance, loss of libido and physical and psychological disconnection from oneself.


MSTR® is an innovative, effective and gentle technique that helps soften external and internal scars and while the scar may never disappear completely, this new technique will soften the appearance of the scar and its parameters by the improvement of circulation and range of movement. 


Moreover, the therapeutic benefits MSTR® will contribute to both the physical and mental wellbeing by not only helping release tension and tightness in the scar but also by helping release the emotions that are trapped in the scar itself.


MSTR® work is suitable for both old or new post-surgical scars. The technique can be applied any time after 8 weeks of surgery providing no infection is present. MSTR® can be applied as a stand-alone modality or can be combined with other types of massages. 


If you are interested to learn more book in for a free 15-minute appointment with our Melbourne practitioner to see whether this technique may be of benefit to you.

This article was written by Mafalda Bojanic, Specialised Massage Therapist at Vital Chi Wellness.