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)

Tim:

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.

Marjorie: 

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.

“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.

RESOURCES

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

Scar Tissue 101

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Scars – to some people they are trophies, war wounds to be proud of, reminders of traumas that they wish to forget, and to many, just something they have already forgotten. The truth of the matter is 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.

Why More People Don’t Know About the Impact of Scar Tissue

Historically scar tissue has been ignored or been viewed as having no consequence by the medical world.  With all of the current ongoing research and information compiling on the importance of fascia the medical world is starting to recognize the significance of scar tissue in the body.  As with most new fields of interest there have been many new versions of therapy popping up, which for the most part is a very good thing.  Unfortunately, the negative side of new frontiers is that many therapies are being administered without proper understanding of the subject matter.

I have been a massage therapist specializing in scar tissue release for over 20 years. In this time I have seen Scar tissue work go from being dismissed by doctors and a general population completely in the dark as to what is really causing their issues, to consideration by the medical profession that it may be a problem to some extent.

Still there are many doctors ignoring the affects, while some have taking to using it as an excuse:  “I know I told you it would take 6 months for recovery but you have developed scar tissue.” Trust me on this – I get at least one phone call a week with that one.

surgical knee scar therapy

Misinformation About Scar Tissue

The internet is now flooded with inaccurate information about scar tissue and ways to cure it.  Therapies 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. Honestly, it is terrifying to me.

So I thought we could take a moment to clear up some of the misinformation:

1)     Scar tissue cannot be broken down nor can it be removed. – Anyone who claims to breakdown scar tissue does not understand what scar tissue is.  Scar tissue replaces normal tissue that is damaged.  If you break it down you are essentially saying that you are causing a new wound. The only person who can remove scar tissue is a surgeon who is literally cutting it out – only for new scar tissue to form.

scar tissue release therapyThe goal of working with scar tissue is to release the adhered layers, attempting to re-establishing homeostasis, releasing and correcting the compensations from fascial restrictions all the while being acutely aware of possible emotional release.

2)     Scar tissue is dead fibrous tissue. This could not be further from the truth.  Scar tissue composition and structure are different than that of the normal tissue it replaces. Because of changes in the relative amounts, type and structure of collagen, it is inferior in function.

  • Scar tissue has less elasticity.
  • Scar tissue is not as strong as normal tissue.
  • Scar tissue does not oxygenate well, creating a low (acidic) PH:
  • Scar tissue is different neurologically.
  • Scar tissue does not contract.
  • Scars are less resistant to ultraviolet radiation.
  • Scar tissue does not contain sweat glands and hair follicles.
  • Scar tissue is prone to injury.

3)     Scars are only an esthetic issue.  Most people are only concerned with how the scars alter their appearance and have no idea how their scars and adhesions are affecting their bodies on so many different levels, or that scars are can be a major trigger for PTSD.

4)     Anyone can treat a scar.  Acknowledging that scar tissue may at the root of the problem is the first step in any therapy. After that simply massaging the affected area will bring about change.  However, that being said I want to caution therapists.  You need to thoroughly understand the event which caused the scar i.e. surgery, accident etc., and all the goes with it.  This includes emotions, all of the physical ramifications for the body, what type of rehab will be need once the massage is done.

I am not saying that one should never massage a scar I am saying that as with all diseases, disorders and dysfunctions (yes scar tissue is a cause of dysfunction), you need to understand what you are working with before you lay hands on.

5)     Physical scars cannot and do not show how much pain or suffering a person has experienced. Every scar has an emotional history surrounding it.

  • Shock
  • Guilt
  • Failure
  • Loss
  • Detachment
  • Trauma
  • Anger & Resentment
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Fear
  • Hopelessness/ Depression
  • Disgust when seeing or touching the scar
  • Sadness about the limits the scar places on everyday life
  • Humor – yes there can be funny stories behind accidents

The emotions surrounding the physical scars can and do have a direct emotional and psychological effect. It can bring about significant self-image issues and lower self-confidence.  Research on the aftercare of burn survivors or those with severe facial scarring has proven this. In the cases of patients with severe scarring suffering from depression (between 13-23% of cases) or post-traumatic stress disorder (between 13-45% of cases) have been documented.

6) Tools: There are many instruments and tools out there that are effective on scars but they are not the end all be all.  Rather they should be considered part of the therapy.

An example would be cupping. When a cup is placed on the scar tissue and its surrounding areas, the vacuum lifts the scar tissues above and below the skin, essentially pulling them apart so that fresh blood and lymph can circulate freely through them. This improved circulation in turn makes movement easier and as a result, healing of the scars is induced.

It is a great tool but again you should not just cup over a scar without a full understanding of what you could be opening up (both emotionally and physically) and how altering that scar will affect the person in the long run.

7) Scars and adhesions are the same things.  Not true as you can have adhesions without scars but you cannot have scars without adhesions.  Both need to be recognized and treated.

8) All scars need to be released. A very dangerous statement indeed.  What if the only thing holding that knee replacement together is the adhesions formed around it?  Something to consider before pulling out that cup or edge tool.

9) All scars are a problem.  Not necessarily, but all scars have the potential to be one and should be considered and examined.

10) Scars only affect the tissue. Again not true, but even if it is was, this is still causing them to treat them.  Scar tissue can affect every system of the body:

  • integumentary
  • muscular-skeletal
  • nervous
  • circulatory
  • lymphatic
  • respiratory
  • endocrine
  • urinary/excretory
  • reproductive
  • digestive

Unraveling Scar Pain & Frustration

Understanding how each of these systems can be affected by scar tissue can lead you to unravel the mysteries of the pain and frustration your client/patient has been suffering, in some cases for years.

If your chosen area of therapy is to give relaxation massage then more power to you.  Not every massage needs to be a medical one and everyone needs to take time to release and relax.

marjorie brook STRAIT method seminar stretching demonstrationBut if you are administering a medically oriented therapy then it is imperative that as a therapist you know who the person is, what they went through, and how they came to be on your table before putting your hands on them.

Once you are informed of the specific surgery the client/patient has had your next step should be to watch videos of that type of surgery to see the extent of the damage done. You need to consider all of the possible emotional, psychological trauma you are tapping into before working on the scar. Most importantly you need to be prepared for the possible reactions and how to handle them for the protection of your client/patient and yourself.

Final Thoughts.

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.

Words can cut like a knife – leaving deep wounds and scars….

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At this past weekend’s Scar Tissue Release, class we were fortunate to have a Registered Nurse volunteer as the demonstration client. She was incredibly generous with her feedback on what she was experiencing during the treatment and answered questions for the students. Two of her scars were from 18 & 20 year old C-sections, respectively. As she told us the stories of the surgeries, the conversation turned to the trauma, both physical and emotional that the events caused.

Apparently, as the surgeons were preparing to cut her open, they were busy discussing their golf game. The surgerical nurse stopped the banter and gave them a what for. Just think how you would feel at that moment, laying on a cold operating table, about to have your abdomen sliced open in order to bring your child into the world, being denied the experience of natural birth. As she told her story, you could see that even after 18 years, she was still very emotional about it.

Since she is a cardiac recovery nurse, I took the opportunity to emphasize a few points I had made during the class lecture. Specifically how “donor” sites, areas where skin or veins are removed in order to repair another injured area of the body, are ignored once they have healed. When I asked her opinion on this matter, she agreed whole heartedly that no further thought is given to these areas; however, she referred to these areas as the “harvest” site.

Everyone in the room took a breath. I knew what they were all thinking as I looked at each of them. The Nurse looked around puzzled, and I explained to her that I refer to the area as a “donor” site. She thought about it for a minute and shook her head. “I never even thought of that, but you are totally right…how horrible.”

How we–doctors, therapists, trainers, family and friends–refer to someone, something, or situation sets the intent. This, in turn, dictates how we regard, and therefore treat or not treat. Most often when we think of harvesting an organ, we think of cadavers. So of course an area that was used for “harvest” does not need further care or concern.

The next day, one of my current clients was among the volunteers for the student practice session. He had burns over 2/3rds of his body from a car fire. He is one of the most balanced and centered people I know. He shared two very important points with the group. First, that he never even considered that there was any kind of restriction, much less a need for therapy, on the areas where they took skin for grafts and that he was blown away by the resulting treatment’s effects all of the areas, grafted and donor. Second, while still recovering in the hospital, a representative of a burn group came by to help him understand and deal with how his life was about to change. “How everyone was going to stare at him and treat him differently…” You can imagine the rest of the conversation. He could not believe this person was there to help him and fortunately he choose not to listen to her doom-and-gloom speech.

I had another client, a massage therapist, who, while filling out her intake form, said to me in regard to the question asking her to list all surgeries, “Well, I did have a C-Section, but I do not really consider that a surgery.” Unbelievably, she was not the first woman to make this statement to me either.

As health care providers we must take care of how we phrase our words, and just as or more importantly, we need pay attention to and assist in altering how our clients refer to themselves. The first step on the road to healing is understanding and awareness.

Do’s & Don’ts of Healing Scar Tissue -Tip #2

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What are some of the best practices when it comes to healing scar tissue?

Scars often occur due to improper treating/handling of cuts, scrapes, and open wounds. And these scars and adhesions that build up in the body can result in negative consequences for the body. This is why it is important to make sure you do everything you can to heal scar tissue properly. Here are a few tips to help avoid any unnecessary scarring and infections while caring for the wound.

DO: COLLOIDAL SILVER

images (22)Colloidal Silver – has been around for almost a hundred years since it was first used by physicians and medical experts as a form of antibiotic, capable of fighting a great number of bacteria that thrive in the human body. It was proven potent for killing such infectious organisms, safe without the unfavorable side effects associated with other types of antibiotics.

Colloidal silver is not only a powerful bacteria-fighting agent. Several studies have revealed that colloidal silver is also a great antiseptic that works to heal cuts, abrasions, and wounds. It helps the skin develop its healthiest form without destroying tissue cells. Colloidal silver has wonderful healing properties and helps damaged tissue to regenerate. Major hospital burn units use colloidal silver bandages and ointments.

How it works:
Studies have shown that colloidal silver works to treat scars and stretch marks by simply immobilizing the enzyme that the fungi, bacteria, and viruses use for them to survive. The silver interacts and blends with the blood once applied to the scars and stretch marks and then enters the cells to look for the infectious organisms that need to be destroyed. It destroys the bacteria quickly by suffocating them in less than six minutes. The suffocation takes place right after the initial contact of the silver with the organisms. If the task is successfully done, the colloidal silver is not just capable of restoring the scars and stretch marks, but it also helps to make the immune system more active and strong.

How to apply:
Apply a few drops of the solution placed directly into the affected skin. You can use a cotton bud for the application, and you can also use a band-aid for disinfection purposes.

Precautions:
It is important to note that the colloidal silver should not be overly used for overdosage of this solution can cause certain complications. You might feel something itchy or sluggish after a few days of application, but this is simply typical for colloidal silver. You can eliminate these symptoms by taking enough amount of water.

Another problem individuals must deal with involves mixing colloidal silver with other drugs you may take on a daily basis. This could be anything from something as small as something to relieve head and body aches to more potent pharmaceuticals that help with osteoporosis and various other disorders and diseases.
colloidal silver blue skin
The most talked about side effect is Colloidal argyria. This occurs when you have taken excessive amounts of colloidal silver and it begins to look as though it is staining the skin. If you overdo it you take the risk of turning your skin blue.

History:

images (1)Silver has been known for its medicinal and antimicrobial properties for thousands of years. Hippocrates,“Father of Medicine,” used silver for tissue repair & wound healing. The ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome used silver to control bodily infection & prevent food spoilage. The King of Persia used silver containers to carry water to prevent contamination. Throughout the ages, the ‘Metal of the Moon’ as it was known to some of the ancients has been used effectively for numerous medicinal purposes.

Prior to 1938 colloidal silver was the principal antibiotic treatment in the United States, prescribed by thousands of medical doctors. At that time colloidal silver was considered to be very high-tech. In the last several decades, major colloidal silver technology advancements have been made enhancing safety and efficacy

Don’t: HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

images (2)Hydrogen peroxide has been touted as the miracle chemical of the century. Its uses include water purification, bleaching of commercial products, and use as a cleaning agent. However, when it comes to its medicinal uses, it has a long history of being abused and misused.

When you pour hydrogen peroxide onto wounded tissue, the wound immediately starts to bubble, a process imagesthat is followed by intense pain. People used to think that this meant the antiseptic properties of hydrogen peroxide were kicking in. Scientists now know that this is actually an indication that healthy tissue is dying. This slows down the healing process and gives scars a greater chance of forming. Multiple randomized, controlled trials show that hydrogen peroxide does not prevent or treat infections in wounds.

When hydrogen peroxide is applied to the wound, it combines with a natural chemical in human tissue. This combination generates oxygen and water. The concentrated amount of oxygen that is generated can kill off any bacteria that may be contaminating the wound, but it also kills healthy tissue in the body at the same time. The type of killing that is done by the concentrated oxygen is toxic to the human body. It kills anything alive indiscriminately, whether it’s bacteria or healthy human cells. When the body is trying to repair the wound by sending in a microscopic repair crew, these cells can fall victim to the random killing by hydrogen peroxide.

To prevent wound infection, there are many more precise ways to kill the bacteria without hurting the healthy tissues in the body.

History:
Along with its role in infection prevention, hydrogen peroxide has historically been used to get rid of dead tissue in a bad open wound. This has also been proven ineffective, and the majority of medical professionals have halted this practice.

Instead of using hydrogen peroxide, most doctors use sterile salt water to clean the wound. This saltwater is often drawn into a syringe and squirted into the wound to clean out any debris trapped inside the wound.

In a pinch:

Minor accidents, abrasions, and bruises will occur at the most inconvenient of times. It may be useful to know how you can help prevent infection if you don’t have a medical disinfectant like rubbing alcohol handy. Here’s a simple solution you can assemble from household ingredients if you’re in a pinch.
Ingredients:
• Bottled water
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vinegar (alternatively, fresh lemon juice)

Steps

  1. Add bottled water into a glass cup until it is a little more than three-quarters full, making sure that the glass was clean beforehand
  2. Add salt into the water. Salt can be iodized. The salt used for regular cooking will be ideal. Salt is known to contain many bactericidal properties.3
  3. Mix well until all the salt dissolves in water.
  4. Add vinegar and mix well. Any kind of vinegar (processed or natural), will do the trick. Vinegar contains a mild acetic acid, which can cleanse and disinfect wounds. If vinegar is unavailable, fresh lemon juice will also suffice.
  5. Soak into cotton wool and apply to fresh cuts and abrasions on the skin. It’s preferable to open a sealed pack of cotton wool.
  6. After use, dispose of this liquid. It’s not suitable for storage either at room temperature or by refrigeration. Make a fresh preparation each time this procedure needs to be repeated.

Other Natural remedies

download (3)Cayenne pepper: For internal bleeding take one tablespoon of cayenne in a cup of water to stop the bleeding. Cayenne can also be placed directly on an external cut to stop bleeding. You may completely pack the wound if you have enough pepper. Black pepper may be used instead if cayenne is not available. This remedy does not sting as you might imagine and is very important for emergencies.

Plastic Wrap Applying plastic wrap to the skin for three to seven minutes will help to clot and won’t take off the scab when it is removed.

download (2)Sugar: Sugar is an excellent disinfectant. For open wounds or skin ulcerations, sprinkle on granulated sugar to help kill bacteria and speed healing. Smear a ring of petroleum jelly around the edges of the wound to hold the sugar in place, then put a little sugar directly on the wound. Cover the wound with a bandage; change the bandage once or twice a day.

images (4)

Tea: Apply a moistened tea bag to the cut to soothe and stop the bleeding.

images (3)Tea tree oil: Derived from the leaves of the native Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, tea tree oil contains antiseptic compounds that make it a powerful disinfectant. Use a 10% solution (about 1½ tablespoons to a cup of warm water) to rinse and cleanse wounds.

No matter how you choose to treat an open wound. Always err on the side of caution and if it is a very deep wound or shows any signs of infection contact your doctor immediately.

If you like this article, be sure to check out the Do’s and Don’t’s of Healing Scar Tissue – Tip #1.

》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.

Do’s & Don’ts of Healing Scar Tissue-Tip #1

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Essential Oils or Vitamin E for Healing Scar Tissue

Whether it’s acne pockmarks, or the legacy of a burn, wound, or surgery, few of us like scars on our skin. And there’s no shortage of remedies that claim to make scars smaller, thinner, less noticeable and heal faster. From natural at-home remedies to mass-produced and mass-marketed products, we are flooded with options that claim to help with scars. In this series of blogs, I will shed some light on natural and medical scar treatments.

What Should You Do to Heal Scar Tissue?

Do:

download (5)Use Lavender essential oil to treat scars especially burns. Lavender is one of the best all-round essential oil, according to Shirley Price in her book “Aromatherapy for Women.” Lavender oil is gentle, inexpensive, and effective. Lavender essential oil can be used to treat acne, scars, and most skin conditions; it can be applied directly to the skin, in small quantities.

Lavender essential oil is a very effective antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial that reduces pain, itching and promotes rapid healing. In addition, lavender reduces scarring. When lavender oil is applied to a burn from the onset, the burn may heal with no scarring at all. (For larger burns, put lavender oil onto a gauze or cloth and apply to the burn every few hours.)

How to use it?
• Apply several drops (2-4) on location several times a day
• Directly inhale, diffuse, or
• May be used as a dietary supplement

Safety Considerations With Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil can sting a little when a wound is still fresh, but once it’s scabbed over and has started healing, lavender essential oil, applied topically, can help minimize scarring while it heals.

Lavender has a relaxation property, often used to fragrance products for bedtime, like lotions and satchels for bedrooms. WebMD warns that lavender essential oil can depress the central nervous system and cause drowsiness and sleepiness (especially good when used properly to treat insomnia and induce relaxation but dangerous when used for other properties and healing in which sleepiness is not the desired effect). You shouldn’t drive or do other dangerous things until you know how lavender will work for you.

rene-maurice-gattefosse
History fact: A French scientist, René Gattefossé, was severely burned in a laboratory accident and immersed his hand in a vat of Lavender for two weeks. Gattefossé found that Lavender oil promoted tissue regeneration quickly and healed the wound with no scarring!

Don’t:

One of the most popular treatments for scarring is vitamin E.
But will vitamin E really help to improve your scar?

can_vitamin_e_h_photoVitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It’s found in capsule or liquid form at drugstores, grocery stores, health food stores, and online. The so called effective remedy consists of opening vitamin E capsules and applying the content on the scar. But this topical use of vitamin E does not result in scar healing.

Vitamin E has been shown to penetrate layers of the skin and reduce the formation of free radicals which can interfere with healing. Vitamin E also influences the production of collagen, a structural protein partially responsible for the strength and elasticity of the skin. Although many people apply vitamin E oil to their skin to minimize scars and it’s sometimes recommended by physicians after skin surgery, there’s very little evidence that shows it helps.

Vitamin E Research :
Current research does not support vitamin E oil to reduce scar formation.

A study on the effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars at the University of Miami that there is no benefit to the cosmetic outcome of scars by applying vitamin E after skin surgery and that the application of topical vitamin E may actually be detrimental to the cosmetic appearance of a scar. In 90% of the cases in this study, topical vitamin E either had no effect on or actually worsened, the cosmetic appearance of scars. Of the patients studied, 33% developed contact dermatitis to the vitamin E. Therefore it was concluded that the use of topical vitamin E on surgical wounds should be discouraged.

Research by K.C. Wan and J.H. Evans at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, published in 1999 issue of “Free Radical Biology & Medicine,” found higher amounts of free radicals in hypertrophic scars, which become thicker, redder, and more elevated than regular scars. Another study by T.L. Khoo at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, published in a 2010 issue of the “Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery,” concluded that tocotrienols, a vitamin E subfamily, made no significant improvement in scar parameters. Also, a study conducted by Morganroth, Wilmot, and Miller in Philadelphia for a 2009 issue of the “Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology” determined that scar products containing vitamin E oil did not support usage for the reduction of postoperative scar formation.

Be on the lookout:

For specific ingredients found in commercial wound ointments and dressings.

Listed below are just a few ingredients present in store-bought wound products. Most of these products produce skin irritation, sensitization, and are linked to allergies, cancer, and/or immune suppression.

Here they are:
• Petrolatum
• Mineral Oil
• Propylene Glycol
• Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)images (19)
• Benzalkonium Chloride
• Yellow #5; FD&C Blue #1
• DMDM Hydantoin

Even many of the natural ointments contain some of these ingredients. Make sure to read the labels and please, test the area for allergic reactions before applying anything to your skin!

Hope this helps with your scar healing.

Check out the second post of the series: Do’s and Don’t’s of Healing Scar Tissue – Tip #2

》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.