The benefits of Scar Therapy following a breast cancer operation

As you may already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A month dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer as well as the treatments and support available.

Scar therapy treatment seeks to help the function and feeling of scars and can make a huge difference to people post-surgery. It is a gentle, yet effective treatment, of light touch, massaged based techniques, by trained professionals in their field.

Fascia, what is it and how does it relate to scar therapy?

Fascia covers our whole body, it is a moveable web that covers our muscles, bones and is in our skin. It is the framework of our human structure and without it, we would fall apart.

As scars form, the scar tissue tries to mimic the skin and/or muscle that was there previously. Of course, due to the nature of scar tissue it can’t do this, and as the scar develops, it intertwines with the fascia through and underneath the skin. These fascial connections underneath the scar can often make them feel tight and restrict movement.

Scar therapy, aims to ‘release’ scars, which can pull against fascial connections. With a series of recognised techniques, the therapist is able to gently work on and around the scar in order to help soften the scar.

A holistic approach

Scar therapists are taught to look at the whole person and treat accordingly. Sometimes clients can have an instant response and have improved feeling and movement after the first treatment. For larger, more traumatic scars, the client may need a few sessions before feeling and seeing a difference.

Following the sessions, the therapist will give after care advice and may teach the client perform scar-therapy massage techniques on themselves, so they can continue the treatment at home. This not only helps the initial scar recovery phase but it can also bring many psychological benefits too.

I have had the privilege of treating many women with breast cancer scars, who report that they have increased movement in their shoulder, feel less pain and feel ‘more like themselves’ again. Hearing feedback like this, is such a joy and a privilege.

Hannah Poulton is a senior physiotherapist, scar therapist, acupuncturist and advanced rock tape practitioner. Hannah runs HLP Therapy, based in Narborough in Leicester.

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