Treating Scar tissue - releasing the adhesions.

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Surgical operations create scar tissue in the form of adhesions. My Rolfing teacher, Peter Melchior, told our class in structural integration 31years ago that "we can see the scar from the operation on the surface of the body but "we cannot see what is below the surface. Imagine that scars are like the roots of a tree growing into the earth. The adhesions spread from the incision at the surface.  Every tree is different. You cannot predict how the scar will grow into the body from the incision on the surface.

The function of the scar tissue is to reinforce our structure to be better to hold everything in place after the surgical onslaught. The body does not know - perhaps future events will be traumatise the body at the same exact place with a similar attack. The connective tissue is getting ready to defend the body and it will hold onto these unnecessary, restricting defenses for the rest of the person's life unless a trained therapist intervenes to do something about it.

As part of a healing process in the formation of scar tissue the individual myofascial units of the body can "glue" together" as as well as "grow fibrous connections to each other". As a result, the structures do not slide as freely as they should.

Adhesions occur when adjacent myofascial structures "glue together." The molecular structure of the of the ground substance of healthy connective tissue changes from a more fluid form called sol into to a less fluid, more viscose form called gel.

In addition scar tissue produces extra connective tissue fibers that bind one myofascial layer to another. In order to bridge any open wound, in the process of healing, some of the normal connective tissue cells called fibroblasts evolve into myofibroblasts. These start as  fibroblasts but also have acton molecules - the same kinds of fibers found in muscle cells. When these acton fibers contract, like a mini-muslce, they pull the edges of the wound together.

The production of extra fibers, the myofibroblasts and the gluing from the ground substance gets the myofascial structures to bind together. The cost of this reinforcement is that myofascial units no longer slide as freely in relationship to each other. This is evident in a lack of movement between the skin and the superficial fascia, between the superficial fascia and the rectus abdominis, the rectus and the external obliques, the external obliques and the internal obliques, the internal obliques and the peritoneum and peretoneum and and the visceraal organs. All of this results in a diminished range of movement and of the entire body and a reduced flow of blood.

With the proper approach, the changes in scar tissue can be largely reversed and the tissue can become more supple, more plastic and more elastic.

 

 

I have experience learning by treating myself over a few decades. I have had three operations for inguinal hernia including one where they put in net. As much progress as I have made, it will continue this occasionally as a life long project. I have never put my hands into my scar tissue without getting major improvement in my own structure, breathing and digestion. Nerves get compromised in scar tissue. 
I would love to go to another Rolfer who would differentiate my muscles so that they could slide more freely in relationship to each other eventually looking like they are drawn in my anatomy books. 

Getting structures to slide - find the depth of the layer with your finger tips. You will adhere to the lay of tissue like valcroze without work. You stick to the layer when the client breaths out. You do not need pressure. Move the tissue (usually 1/8 inch is enough) in the direction of greatest resistance to the sliding. Hold and wait for a release (a sigh or a swallow) in the nervous system. Do not go deep into the body, but rather slide the layer to which you have connected parallel to