by Irvin Eisenberg
MONTPELIER — What do scars have to do with balance, alignment and posture? It comes down to connective tissue. Pervasive and versatile, connective tissue is one of the four general classes of animal tissue. This abundant tissue functions to support, connect, and separate all of our organs,. It also plays a crucial roll in movement. Muscles don’t act alone. It is muscle pulling on connective tissue (fascia, and tendons) that allows us to move around. The web of connective tissue holds us in the shape we are in.
When we are injured or stressed, our body responds by contracting. This pulls on the fascial fabric, requiring it to shift, thicken, and glue itself to surrounding structures, forming adhesions.
Like fascial adhesions, scar tissue affects ease in movement. Adhesions, be them scar tissue or stuck fascia, are like pins holding the fabric of connective tissue in place preventing full expression of movement.
ScarWork is unique in that rather than treating scars as bad tissue and aiming to break up or remove the scar, it helps integrate the scar into a functional and fluid structure. “I don’t think of scar tissue as stuff to break up or material to get rid of,” Wheeler writes on her website. “I think scars are made up of the valuable stuff you want to liberate to become vital tissue again.”
Using light but profound techniques for reclaiming scars, ScarWork realigns the dense connective tissue of scars integrating them into the smooth resilient tissue of the surrounding areas. Useful on new and old scars, ScarWork essentially removes the pins from the fabric, allowing it to move more freely. In some cases ScarWork will even help sensation return to the injured tissue.
Irvin Eisenberg is owner of Montpelier Structural Integration and a practitioner of ScarWork. Visit him at MontpelierSI.com.