The Good and The Bad of Scar Tissue with Marjorie Brook

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Marjorie Featured on Original Strength Bodcast -The Good and The Bad of Scar Tissue

Tim Anderson speaks with Marjorie, creator of the S.T.R.A.I.T Method™ or Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies, about scar tissue release. From mastectomies and c-sections to understanding the impact of past injuries to how to look at the whole picture of medical care.

(excerpts from podcast)


Marjorie travels all over the world teaching her techniques to bodyworkers, massage therapists, and physical therapists. She’s an expert in scar tissue and today we’re talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of scar tissue.

Marjorie you travel all over the world teaching about scar tissue release and the stretching the body and you developed the S.T.R.A.I.T Method™ so this is probably a ridiculous question to you but I thought scars were a healing process.


They are. They’re a major healing process and that’s part of the problem. People really do not understand about scars. First off, other than a minor injury or lesion, every wound heals with scar tissue. It’s part of the healing process. We’re supposed to scar. But what people don’t realize about scar tissue is that it replaces the normal tissue that’s injured.

We have to scar. It’s there so the first thing I want to say about scar tissue is that anybody who says that they need to break up scar tissue or get rid of scar tissue doesn’t understand what scar tissue is. 

We’re supposed to scar. It replaces the tissue that has been damaged. It’s only 70-80% as strong or as effective as normal tissue if it’s at its best state.

The problem that we have is because of this misunderstanding about scar tissue or just ignoring of scar tissue to just let the body heal, they don’t realize all the things that scar tissue can do.

Scar tissue affects every single system in our body. You know every system – not just your skin. It affects your nervous system, it can affect the organs, it can affect your circulation, it affects the lymphatic system, and the polarity. This last one is a big one.

What you want to do is let the body heal. In most places across the world, they tend to jump in and try to prevent and break-up scar tissue. Your typical rehab for a knee replacement or knee surgery is to put the patient on their belly and try to take that knee and shove it within 6 weeks or less towards the glutes. They try to force mobility. All that’s going to do is cause more tension and separate the scar and healing area because it’s over that bending surface which is going to cause it to scar more and create more scar tissue. If there’s something wrong metabolically or we do too much or too little or we do something inappropriate towards the wounded area, the scar tissue wound can reopen and then it’s got to reheal. And this builds more scar tissue. Other times the scar tissue isn’t given chance to properly heal and it’s creating more of a wound in a different direction from the tension which is then causing scar tissue to “spread”. It’s not just where you see the visible scar. It’s not where you see the visible scar or adhesions which are two separate things.

Most people consider scar and adhesions the same thing but they’re similar but they’re not the same thing. So the problem is that you’re supposed to let the body heal for the first 3 months when a scar is immature – when the body’s healing (and mind you the body produces scar tissue for up to 18 months past the original wound but after 3 months you can do more manipulation).

In the first 3 months, you can do myofascial release, lymphatic gentle range of motion, gentle stretching. The myofascial release is very, very important because you want to re-guide. It’s not just your muscles and the tissues that are being cut, the nerves are being cut. The lymphatic vessels are being cut and while the lymphatic vessels will regrow and heal in 2 weeks, where they are growing they’re getting entangled in the scar tissue unless you do the lymphatic and myofascial release to encourage it to go towards the nodes or the proper flow of what it needs and where it needs to go.

After those 3 months, as you’re gently doing range of motion and myofascial release and lymphatic, is to be a little more aggressive. That’s a relative term meaning more aggressive than lymphatic – not meaning go in and tear apart. Then you want to start working the tissue and separating the tissues where it’s getting stuck. Getting it to release and increase proper flow. Give it more range of motion and work with the body. You have to understand what the injury is doing, where the tension pulls, what the person’s metabolism is like, how their skin color impacts the keloid and scar.

There’s just so much involved that people don’t understand and they don’t understand how much scar tissue is affecting the rest of their body. 

Listen to the podcast or watch the video above for the rest of Marjorie’s advice on scar tissue.

original strength bodcast featuring marjorie brook lmt

》A B O U T   M A R J O R I E   B R O O K

marjorie brook lmt author headshotMarjorie Brook, LMT is a massage therapist, author and international educator. For over 21 years, she has specialized in scar tissue release and massage therapy. She works from the fundamental belief that your body is intuitively aligned with the thoughts you think, the emotions that you feel and the things that you do. She founded Brooks Seminars in 2007 after working as a decade as a nationally recognized massage therapist with a private practice on Long Island. She is the creator of the Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies (S.T.R.A.I.T Method™) and offers continuing education courses on this method all over the world. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Massage Today, American Fitness and Massage World. She’s approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the Massage Therapy Association of Alberta and the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

The Wholistic Toolbox Newsletter

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Fall Greetings!

This is my favorite time of year!  I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.  Since re-opening my private practice back in June, I have been keeping very busy working with many new scar tissue cases.  I am truly enjoying working with my patients and on the formation of my non-profit organization, The Scar Healing Project-TSHP (see below for more information). Due to the amount of time and work needed to get TSHP off the ground and Corona virus restrictions I have decided that I will be on sabbatical from teaching until April 2021.

Until the world gets a decent handle on COVID all future live courses will be offered here in New York.  Seminars will have limited attendance (great for one-on one attention!) and all attending must provide appropriate medical clearance.  The first few courses will be the Integrated Therapeutic Stretching Series.  These courses are prerequisites for the advanced scar courses and an integral part of the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™.  The Scar courses will depend on whether or not we have made advances with COVID.  Many of the volunteers for these courses are immune compromised and I will not put anyone at risk.

In my last newsletter I mentioned that I was contemplating offering on-line courses.  After much consideration I have decided to listen to my inner voice and will not be creating any on- line courses.  I have spent two decades creating and building the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™. I do not believe it should be taught nor can it be learned properly via video.  I will continue to offer a few free webinars over the next few months.  If there is a specific question or area of therapy you would like covered just message me with the request.

If webinars are not your thing and you would like some personal instruction, I do offer one-on-one coaching sessions to those who have attended any of my seminars from Scar Release to Integrated Therapeutic Stretching.  In case anyone has questions or wishes to review the course material/application of the techniques etc. I am also available for those looking for an introduction to the work. As well as for any professionals using manual therapy in their practice who might be looking for some tips and troubleshooting.  The sessions will run from 30-60 minutes in length and take place via multiple formats (Zoom, Join me, FB, Skype etc.). Simply message or call to set up a session.

Until we can once more gather together safely, be well and take care.

Health & Happiness,


“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   Leo Buscaglia

The Scar Healing Project:

When the shutdown occurred I, like many others, went from a million miles a minute to a dead stop. While certainly a stressful situation there was a silver lining, I suddenly had the time to sit back and really think about my career. To ask the age-old question, what truly makes me happy?

It was a no-brainer, I have always said I am a Therapist first, Instructor second. I am at my happiest in my treatment room aiding those on their healing journey.  The only frustration there was all those who were not able, for various reason, to come for therapy. While I never turn a child in need away there is only so much pro-bono work I can offer.

I also thought long and hard about the direction I wanted to take my work.  I started done the teaching path with the hope of brining the need for/understanding of Scar Tissue Release and the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™ to world.  To be a resource for and help those on their journey on becoming the best therapists they could be. I have been very blessed that this dream blossomed and has taken me all over this beautiful planet, forging lasting friendships and granting incredible experiences.

The problem is that while I love teaching, the business side of the Continuing Ed world has been depleting the joy of teaching and left me exhausted.  I am not ready to give up on teaching, but I definitely need a change.

This line of thought opened the door to an idea that has been brewing in my heart for the last few years. One that allows me to help those in need, continue to teach my work, and shed light on the issues of scar tissue. You know the one that answers the other age-old question, What would you do if money was not an issue?

With a bright and happy heart The Scar Healing Project was born.

A non-profit organization that provides free clinics for those who would benefit most from the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™ but could not afford the therapy. I would be able to provide free training for a dedicated staff and conduct the research everyone has been asking for.  It is a win-win-win situation.  The Scar Healing Project  mission is to eliminate pain and dysfunction experienced by people with active, excessive scarring through innovated therapy, research and education.

TSHP will be offering a series of clinics for a group in need (ie Veterans, Breast Cancer survivors, Burn Survivors, Specific surgeries ie C-section, open heart etc).  A staff of qualified therapists/nurses/doctors will be trained (free internship) in the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™, needs of the specific focus group and conducting research.

The goal is to offer the first series of clinics in New York.  Once completed, the hope is to continue the program in New York and then either offer the same program in other states with the current focus group or repeated the program with a new focus group.

I have spent the last 6 months taking the necessary steps needed to form the organization.  While well under way there is still much to do.  It has and will continue to be a learning process as most of what needs to be done is completely new to me (I can definitely say I have been pushed way out of my comfort zone). The hope is that once the group is fully formed, the grants needed to move forward will be procured in 2021 and the first of many programs will commence in 2022.


TSHP Internship:

I am still working out the kinks but this is the general outline for the Internship.  The goal is to have the details ironed out and applications available by January 2021.

10 Healthcare Providers (Massage Therapists/ Nurses/PTs/OTs) will be selected to participate in The Scar Healing Project.

The participates will receive:

  • Extensive training in The S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™
  • Training in how to conduct research
  • Training in how to work with specified focus group
  • Continuing Education Credit for course and clinic hours
  • Payment for service in clinics
  • Extensive hands on experience applying the S.T.R.A.I.T. Method™.


10 days of training will be conducted over a two week period.

8 days of scar release & Integrated Therapeutic Stretching (ITS) training

1 day on specifics of working with selected focus group

1 day on conducting research


Following the training the participants are required to attend six – 2 day clinics (one a month for six months)

These days will consist of three- two hour shifts where 8 practitioners will treat for 90 mins and spend 30 mins conducting surveys (15 pre/15 post treatment) the remaining 2 Practitioners will be available to assist the other 8. Practitioners will rotate who is treating/assisting each shift.

The practitioners will pay up front for the training. The tuition ($2,500) will be held in escrow and upon completion of all SIX clinics will have their tuition refunded.  If a practitioner fails to complete all six clinics the tuition will be remitted to TSHP for their training.

The practitioners will be paid $300.00 per weekend for participation in the clinics for a total of $1,800

The practitioners will receive 70 CE credits for the training and 90 CE credits for the clinics.

The goal is to have the funding to keep the clinics going after the initial 6 giving the participants a possibility of continuing with the selected focus group i.e. Veterans and eventually other clinics focusing on other scars such as Mastectomies, C-sections and Burns.


As I mentioned there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

If you are interested in helping out in any way it would be greatly appreciated.

We are in need of a graphic artist willing to donate their time and talent to create the TSHP logo.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.  Feel free to message me at


Webinar Sharing Moment:

Scar Tissue 101

Free webinar on Scar tissue and the myths that surround it.  Scars, and the restrictions they cause, can affect every system in the body.   Recognizing them can be the key to unlocking mysterious pain and other issues that have been interfering with the body’s ability to function and balance. However, treating them without full understand is dangerous. Curios as to why?

In the Line of Tension

This is the presentation I made back in September for the Polish Fascia Conference.


For more info just message or call me



Seminar Update: 

2021 Limited Schedule –

All Courses will be held in Wantagh, New York


4/9-4/11  Integrated Therapeutic Stretching Lower Body


4/30-5/2  Integrated Therapeutic Stretching Upper Body


6/4-6/6 Integrated Therapeutic Stretching g Extremities


7/10    Your Left- No Your Other Left! – Proprioception course

7/11       Integrated Therapeutic Stretching Review


8/6-8/8    Scar Tissue Release – Foundations


9/11-9/12     Scar Tissue Release Abdominal/Pelvic Region (Pre-rec ITS LB)


10/12-10/3   Scar Tissue Release Thoracic region          (Pre-rec ITS UB)


11/6-/117   Scar Tissue Release Burns

(Pre-rec ITS LB & UB)

Courses are subject to change


For more information visit our calendar and events page.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch?  This should not even be a question

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The first step in healing, exercise, and life is awareness.  People tend to be disconnected from their bodies. They know they are in pain, tired, or just not “as young as they used to be”.

There is that feeling of something is not right or “off” with their body and they see the choice is either doctor visits and pills, or worse acceptance and coping.  The truth is that these feelings are calls for help from the body and that is not getting through.  For healing to begin the connection between mind and body needs to be reestablished.

What is Integrated Therapeutic Stretching & Why It’s Important for Healing

Integrated Therapeutic Stretching™ (or ITS) is an extremely effective stretching therapy that works with the body to figure out and correct what’s gone awry. The objective of ITS™ is to aid and empower the client with the tools to re-educate and maintain a balanced physiological and emotional system.

Whether you are rehabbing, training or just going through daily routines of life the body needs balance, it needs to be both flexible and strong. Unfortunately, in both rehab and life flexibility tends to be an afterthought, or it is the last step when it should be the first. One should never strength train a joint that does not have full ROM (range of motion). If a muscle and surrounding fascia are restricted strength training can cause more of a restriction and possible damage to occur.

On the flip side, one should never open up a restricted/adhered joint/muscle without understanding the reasons why it is tight. Is it compensating? If so why? Is there an injury? A disorder? Simply releasing a tightly restricted area without this knowledge can lead to the body’s stability being compromised.

Integrated Therapeutic Stretching™ is a system designed to help an individual achieve and maintain balance and well-being. It’s not strain/counter-strain, PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), or any of the other popular system claiming increased flexibility and function by simply exhausting muscle fibers into laxity.  Integrated Therapeutic Stretching™ teaches the individual how to stretch each muscle and the surrounding fascia distinctly (in non-loading positions), releasing the connective tissue while re-training each muscle to perform correctly, individually, and cohesively within its muscle group.

the importance of stretching

How Stretching Helps with Body Imbalances

Let’s face it; we all have times when our daily actions are less than beneficial for our health and wellbeing, whether due to trauma, exhaustion, improper training, or boredom.  When that imbalance exists, our muscles learn to function incorrectly or to compensate.  Without corrective stimulus, the compensation cycle continues to force the muscles into working inaccurately and inefficiently.  We all need a simple and effective practice that helps our body to return to maximum performance, efficiency and wellness.

Another hindrance to balance and recovery is that what a person perceives as normal posture and movement is usually a skewed perception. When in pain or injured the body compensates in order to function. If these compensations are not corrected then the compensation pattern is eventually perceived as the normal state of being by the brain.  Since the body needs to continue to function, a person’s perception of straight is altered to believe the chronic restriction/misalignment is the norm and the norm is incorrect.

Misperceptions About the Body

How many times have you straightened out a client who is laying crooked on your table only to have them say “Well now I feel crooked”?  If we do not make our clients aware of how they are improperly moving then we will never truly be able to restore them to balance. The average person has no idea how to get out of bed, up out of a chair, or how to bend over and pick up their keys. When you combine this with the body’s predilection for compensation the end result is pain and injury. I am not impressed by the perfect kettlebell swing if that same person cannot stand up straight and walk across the room without strain.

Therapists are just as guilty of these misperceptions. They tend to use muscle when they work instead of proper body mechanics which allows them to move with less effort, more efficiency.  To become an extension of their clients rather than working on them.

When I teach the ITS™, I literally find myself wrapping around the practitioner in order to retrain them how to move. They have no clue that they are moving in cross forces from the client causing the client’s body to react, fighting against, instead of releasing with them.  If the practitioner is unaware of what proper body mechanics are and that they themselves are incorrectly using their bodies, then how can they properly assist their clients on their journey back to health?  For this reason alone, I decided to make the Integrated Therapeutic Stretching™ courses a pre-requisite for the advanced S.T.R.A.I.T Method™ Scar courses. Not only does it open the practitioner’s eyes to the importance of proprioception and body mechanics for themselves, but it also gives them the tools to educate and rehab their clients once the tension of the scar tissue is released.

Once the connection between mind and body is reestablished through awareness the next step is empowerment.

Re-Educating the Body on How to Move

Through specific focused active stretching and strengthening, ITS™ helps re-educate the body how to move the way it was designed, leading to increased joint range of motion (ROM), lymphatic and venous circulation.  The emphasis is placed on building and maintaining muscular flexibility, strength, and endurance throughout the body. Since it is an active modality the client is given the power to aid in their own recovery. For some, it gives them back control over their bodies.

Massage/Physical therapists are expected to alleviate stress, help with relaxation, and relieve pain caused by injuries, repetitive use, and physical limitations. A therapist’s success in doing so often leads clients to view their therapist as a “cure-all.” Sooner or later, however, a therapist might be faced with questions from their clients such as: “Why does the pain keep coming back?” or “I feel better, but I am afraid to do anything that might start the pain again.”

If you would like to empower your clients to take an active part in their own health, consider incorporating Integrated Therapeutic Stretching™ into your practice.

How ITS™ Works

There are two primary principles that provide the basis for how ITS™ works. The first is the mechanism of reciprocal inhibition and innervations working together. If you want to lift your arm, your nervous system has to shut off the muscles that bring your arm down (inhibition) while turning on the ones that lift it up (innervations). ITS™ works with your nervous system and in the process, re-educates the muscles on how to function properly and how to utilize and maintain full ROM.

The second principle is to hold the stretch for 2 seconds. Holding a stretch for longer than 2.5 to 3 seconds triggers a protective stretch reflex in the muscle fibers, and the muscle you are trying to stretch contracts. By not tripping the stretch reflex, you are able to get a gentle stretch without having the bodywork against itself. The stretch is repeated multiple times in a set(s). The repeated “pumping” action of the muscle allows for increased circulation to the area. By targeting very specific angles of the muscle and promoting full ROM of the joint, the results are a highly efficient and effective stretch, affecting the muscles from origin to insertion. It reaches areas a therapist’s fingers and hands cannot go. With ITS™, you can address injuries such as sprained ankles and pulled muscles as well as physical issues/disorders such as sciatica, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, scoliosis, and paralysis. Most importantly, you give your clients the ability to fend off the multitude of physiological and psychological effects their disease or reoccurring injury is causing.

Client Success Stories

I have used ITS™ with success for clients ranging from children to seniors and presenting a broad range of problems. Below are the stories of two clients who experienced dramatic results with ITS™.

Client Story 1: Tom,” 49, suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). When physical therapy and pain management no longer yielded results, his insurance company stopped coverage, leaving him house-bound without any means of therapy or aid. As a former college athlete, Tom was utterly frustrated at his loss of control over his own body.

When I met Tom, he was 60lbs overweight, wheelchair-bound and depressed. I explained how ITS™ works and that I needed his help if the therapy was going to be successful. He looked doubtful but said he would do whatever he could. Since Tom was starting to experience drop foot and his ankles were very swollen, I started there. After showing Tom how to use the stretching strap to assist himself, I asked him to concentrate on lifting up his foot and giving a light pull on the strap at the end of the move. While we worked together, his edema went down, and Tom started to get excited. The motor functionality in his feet started to improve, and Tom’s enthusiasm increased. As we progressed on to other areas of his body, I explained how he could perform the stretch on his own, and I also showed his wife how she could assist him. After two sessions, Tom insisted on coming to my office instead of having house calls. After six visits, Tom amazed and thrilled me by coming up the walkway to my office using his walker. His wife informed me with a big smile that he had been doing his exercises every day and his whole attitude had changed. Today, Tom has lost 40lbs, goes out with friends again and seems to have a new lease on life. He still has bad days and setbacks because of the MS, but with the help of ITS™, he has the ability to slow down its progression and take some control back over his life.

Client Story 2: Brad,” 13, has pectus excavatum (also known as sunken or funnel chest). Brad’s mother is a scar tissue release therapy client who sought relief from her c-section restriction and lower back pain.  She asked if I thought I could do something for her son’s fingers, which had been broken two years prior and had not healed properly. As soon as I met Brad, I knew that his fingers were the least of his problems. Despite standing slouched forward, typical of many 13-year-old boys, I could clearly see that his right shoulder was internally rotated and basically stuck to his chest. The left side was rounded forward in compensation with the right. His arms were rotated outward, giving him the appearance of normal function. His head also jutted forward. As far as his fingers were concerned, the phalanges of the two middle fingers were truly sticking out. The fingers had never received any rehabilitation. After a few stretches, I showed Brad specific ITS™ stretching exercises and gave him a hand-exercise ball to take home.

Once his fingers were taken care of, I asked his mother to explain what was going on with his shoulder. Apparently, Brad had broken his collarbone coming through the birth canal. He was put in a sling and that was it. Over the years, she had asked the doctors if there was a problem with the way Brad’s shoulder was developing and the reply was always the same: “No that is just the way he is growing.” With her and Brad’s permission, I started to work on his shoulder. I gently went through the protocols for the shoulder and neck while explaining to him what I was doing and why. I made sure that he was actively involved in every aspect of the session. Within 20 minutes, Brad’s shoulder was no longer pressed against his chest and was already gravitating to its proper functional position. I gave him a homework assignment of stretch and strength exercises and went to work on his mom. While I was working on her, I could see Brad moving his shoulders around. When I asked him how they felt, he replied: “Weird, but in a good way.”

On Brad’s second visit, he told me that baseball practice was awkward at first because he kept overthrowing the ball until he got used to the way his shoulder was moving. On his third visit, he told me that his endurance was better. I asked him if he was able to take deeper breaths and get more oxygen into his lungs, and he said yes. His mother was happy that she no longer had to tell Brad to stand up straight. On his fourth visit, his mother told me with tears in her eyes how Brad was doing so well in basketball now that the other night he and his father would not come in out of the rain; they just kept shooting basket after basket. Brad continues to come once a week for stretching and strength training. All of his atrophied/undeveloped muscles are coming back to life, and he is learning how to use his body more effectively. Recently, he asked if we could start stretching his legs since soccer season was starting up.

Incorporating ITS™ in Your Practice

It is always a challenge to introduce any new technique to your clients. People usually prefer the security of your established routine and are wary of anything new. It is slightly more so with ITS™ since it requires the patient to be an active participant. If a client is hesitant, you can start by introducing small sets of stretching at the beginning of the session before you start to massage. The cervical and wrist stretches can be performed with the client already undressed and on the table. You can also offer to stretch an area of injury or discomfort, like sciatica, before the client gets undressed as a free demonstration. Eventually, you can offer a half-and-half session where the client can be stretched first and then receive a massage. Once your clients experience the results of the stretching, they will be more inclined to book whole stretching sessions.

ITS™ is a simple and effective technique that helps to enhance performance, decrease the likelihood of injury and reduce muscle soreness. It helps to increase blood supply and lymphatic flow and the delivery of nutrients on a cellular level. ITS™ improves ROM of the joints and aids in neuromuscular re-education. Used therapeutically, ITS™ works with the body, not against it, and empowers clients to take an active role in their own well-being. Furthermore, it works hand-in-hand with scar tissue release, massage and other bodywork techniques. Inspiring your clients to be active participants in their own healing process and maintaining their health is the most powerful effect of all.

》A B O U T   M A R J O R I E   B R O O K

marjorie brook lmt author headshotMarjorie Brook, LMT is a massage therapist, author, and international educator. For over 21 years, she has specialized in scar tissue release and massage therapy. She works from the fundamental belief that your body is intuitively aligned with the thoughts you think, the emotions that you feel, and the things that you do. She founded Brooks Seminars in 2007 after working as a decade as a nationally recognized massage therapist with a private practice on Long Island. She is the creator of the Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies (S.T.R.A.I.T Method™) and offers continuing education courses on this method all over the world. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Massage Today, American Fitness and Massage World. She’s approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the Massage Therapy Association of Alberta and the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

Lymphatics vs. Scar Tissue Release

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The Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies method —S.T.R.A.I.T™ Method,  for short — is a three-dimensional, fascial-release system that works to minimize scar-tissue development and the subsequent physiological restrictions. Utilizing multiple manual techniques Adhered tissues are released and then realigned from their starting point, which is the visible scar, to their endpoint — where the line of frozen fascia stops. Once the scar is released the rehab phase where ROM Stretching/strengthens and body mechanics exercises are applied in order to reset the body.

How does this differ from Lymphatic massage treatment or scar tissue?

When surgery is performed the initial lymphatic vessels are cut, these initial lymphatic vessels are located just under the skin the fluid is then transported to the pre-collectors, then to the collector channels which are located deep in the body running parallel to the arteries and veins. Over time the initial lymph vessels will reform to continue working but as scar tissue forms they can be inhibited in their function to reduce swelling.

Scars and adhesions disrupt the network of lymph capillaries that lie just under the skin. … When performing manual lymph drainage or simplified lymphatic drainage, scars can interrupt the lymph flow. When there is a scar in the stroke pathway, it is recommended that you stroke around the scar and not through it. This is recommended because lymph vessels within the scar tissue have been disrupted the transfer of fluid across a scar is usually ineffective … Lymphedema Caregiver’s Guide by M. K. Kearse, PT, CLT-LANA, E. McMahon Ph.D., and A. Ehrlich, MA. Lymph Notes 2009, page 91.

HUTZSCHENREUTER has demonstrated in a study that MLD improves wound healing and optimizes the scarring process. Damaged lymph drainage routes can be restored in existing scars. If post-surgical scars interrupt the lymphatic pathways and local edemas form, they can be drained away, while MLD scar treatment reconnects the interrupted drainage routes. MLD also has a salutary effect on large scars, such as those caused by burns. Hyperkeratotic scars cease their itching, the deep reddening of the scar area pales and the scar tissue softens. However, with lymphatic drainage, much time must be spent on scar therapy.

The S.T.R.A.I.T™ Method opens the tissue quickly allowing for a more effective and flowing lymphatic treatment.

“Lymphatics isn’t for scar, different systems. At best, lymphatic drainage would decrease tension on a scar. I’d have it another way round, scar work for lymphatics, both are important and often related, but different i.e writing vs mathematics-great tools but different languages.” Jocelyn Kope, Capetown, South Africa

scar tissue release therapyTherapies are being applied with a total lack of understanding of the physiology of scar tissue. There is little or worse no knowledge behind the events that caused the scars i.e. surgeries, accidents, and what the corrective procedures actually did to the body. No attention is paid to the psychological & emotional trauma surrounding the event. Few look for the possible compensations the body may have complied in response to restrictions and what releasing those restrictions without proper rehab would do.

“The S.T.R.A.I.T™ Method includes the psychology of the body and incorporates a full spectrum whole body experience vs just tackling the scar tissue as taught by other modalities.” Jen Adams, Alabama, USA

There are so many wonderful forms of therapy available today to help people on their journey to balance health and wellness.  No one is better than the other, rather we have to find the right one, or combination thereof, that works for each individual.  That being said, there is nothing more important than recognizing the effect scars are having on a person. In order for any therapy to be fully effective, you have to clear and release any and all scars that are impeding the body’s function. In other words, scar tissue release is the first step then you may proceed with any and all therapies that resonate with the patient.

》A B O U T   M A R J O R I E   B R O O K

marjorie brook lmt author headshotMarjorie Brook, LMT is a massage therapist, author and international educator. For over 21 years, she has specialized in scar tissue release and massage therapy. She works from the fundamental belief that your body is intuitively aligned with the thoughts you think, the emotions that you feel and the things that you do. She founded Brooks Seminars in 2007 after working as a decade as a nationally recognized massage therapist with a private practice on Long Island. She is the creator of the Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies (S.T.R.A.I.T Method™) and offers continuing education courses on this method all over the world. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Massage Today, American Fitness and Massage World. She’s approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the Massage Therapy Association of Alberta and the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.

“Oh Baby – Now That’s a Scar!” Scar Release & C-Sections

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According to the World Health Organization, cesarean (c-section), rates continue to rise around the world. The rate in Australia is 33% and in the United States of America, it is 32.2%, which works out to 1-in-3 women.

But no matter how well-trained the surgeon may be, there will be scar tissue formation after a C- Section.

c-section scar tissue

What You Need to Know About C-Sections, Scar Tissue & Your Health

Scar tissue needs to form to help the wound heal, but there is a tiny problem: adhesions Adhesions occur internally when the body undergoes severe trauma such as surgery, inflammation, or infection. Unfortunately, most doctors either fail to disclose or show concern in regard to adhesion formation, and a protocol to minimize it and the issues that can arise from them has never been established.

The most common incision for a C- Section is made horizontally (often called a bikini cut), which is just above the pubic bone. The incision is cut through the lower abdomen at the top of the pubic hair just over the hairline. The muscles of the stomach are not to be cut but they have pulled apart so that the doctor can gain access to the uterus. In an emergency cesarean the incision will most likely be a vertical incision (from the navel to the pubic area) which will allow faster delivery. The surgeon also pulls the bladder down to protect it during surgery. Scarring from the incision builds up underneath the incision as well as in the uterus. As the c-section scar starts to heal and the uterus reduces back adhesions form.

Scar tissue after a C Section is not preventable. Scar tissue is a fibrous tissue that replaces normal tissue after an injury. While it contains the same materials as normal tissue, the quality of the scar tissue is inferior to that of the tissue it replaces. It is very important to understand that the scar that you can see is actually only the tip of the iceberg. All surgeries involve multiple layers of sutures and go much deeper than just the visible scar on the surface.

Another significant factor to be considered is the effect of adhesion formation on the internal organs.  The organs are supposed to slip and slide around each other. Organs need this movement in order to function properly. When adhesions are present, the sliding surfaces stick to each other and drag across one another causing tensional pulls. The resulting restrictions can cause a limited range of motion and pain in other areas of the body.

It can take up to two years after surgery or trauma to fully heal.  Pain and issues may not even surface until well after the Mom has “recovered” from the surgery. Years can pass and by then, the symptoms may not be associated with the scar.

Common Complaints & Issues Following a C-Section

Common complaints after a c-section can include the sensitivity of the scar itself and nerves being caught up in the scar tissue causing itching, hyper, or hyposensitivity.  This will make pants irritating or leaving the Mom unable to feel anything from the scar to the pubic bone.  Leaning over to pick up a baby can be painful. The tension pull from the scar may cause postural changes, that along with a decrease in the support of the back from the abdominal muscles could result in back pain. The scarring can cause the adjacent muscles to develop trigger points that refer pain to areas like the clitoris or urethra.

There can be issues with lower digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation and bloating.  Adhesions around the uterus, bladder, and fallopian tubes can lead to painful intercourse, frequent urination, and fertility challenges.

Let’s not forget the emotional issues that can arise as a direct result of the scar.  There is the selfconsciousness about the appearance of the scar. Some women will not touch the scar and surrounding area.  A simple pull or pressure on the scar can cause a continual minor or a sudden major PTSD reaction.  Lack of sleep and mental stress from chronic pain that doctors do not acknowledge and family members do not understand can be detrimental.

“I was fortunate enough to have a massage with Marjorie in Sydney, Australia on her recent visit. I was astonished by the immediate results and by Marjorie’s open, giving attitude. Post massage benefits included greater energy, improved posture, a huge sense of release, and opening to my abdomen which had felt frozen after surgery. It was such a relief. Emotionally I felt noticeably stronger after the treatment.”  Deborah S, Australia

C-Section Scar Tissue Impacts on Your Health

Scar tissue can have an adverse effect on every one of the body’s systems.  They are interconnected and encased by the fascia and the smallest of restrictions can cause problems.  The good news is that there is much that can be done to minimize and correct the issues.

C-section scarring can be improved or corrected altogether by releasing the scar tissue and proper therapeutic rehab (every expecting mother needs to be trained in pelvic floor exercises for both pre & post pregnancy).  As the scar tissue is released layer by layer, and fibers encouraged to lay down in the proper alignment, the softer it becomes and function can be restored to the tissue surrounding the area. This reduces tensional pulls and reduces the adhesions. The tissue needs to be released in all directions, proper circulation (lymph included), range of motion restored and body mechanics re-established.

I found Marjorie after doing a search for a solution to my c- section scar and pain. She is a miracle worker. After just one session my scars have flattened significantly and the color has improved. She has helped with my back pain and sleeping problems. She is also very personable, caring, and easy to talk to. I highly recommend her to anyone that has scars, surgery, or any kind of pain.”

Jennifer G, USA

What to do About C-Section Scars

The body needs time to heal, so for the best results, light therapy such as myofascial release and lymphatic massage can start right after the surgery.  Gentle range of motion stretching and proper body mechanics (how to feed, pick up and carry the baby etc) should be done in accordance with the mother’s ability and healing.

After 12 weeks the tissue can be released via the S.T.R.A.I.T Method™ or Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies a three-dimensional, fascial-release system that works to minimize scar-tissue development and the subsequent physiological restrictions. As tissue is forever remodeling there is no time limit to working on scars.  A difference can be made and balance restored no matter how old the scar is.

Learn more about how scar tissue release massage therapy can help with your c-section scar tissue.

》A B O U T   M A R J O R I E   B R O O K

marjorie brook lmt author headshotMarjorie Brook, LMT is a massage therapist, author and international educator. For over 21 years, she has specialized in scar tissue release and massage therapy. She works from the fundamental belief that your body is intuitively aligned with the thoughts you think, the emotions that you feel and the things that you do. She founded Brooks Seminars in 2007 after working as a decade as a nationally recognized massage therapist with a private practice on Long Island. She is the creator of the Scar Tissue Release and Integrated Therapies (S.T.R.A.I.T Method™) and offers continuing education courses on this method all over the world. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as Massage Today, American Fitness and Massage World. She’s approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the Massage Therapy Association of Alberta and the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia.


  1. Williams Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 25.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. World Health Organization 

How’s the Pressure Podcast

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This week I discuss scar tissue with Marjorie Brook. I get to ask some basic questions that I have always wondered about, like can you actually break up scar tissue? But the conversation goes much deeper than that, as we talk about the emotional and psychological considerations that therapists need to have in mind when addressing this type of work. There are extensive notes from this conversation, so instead of putting them here, you can find them at, under a newly created tab called “resources”. I have placed a PDF of some of Marjorie’s information and answers there