Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork
Light touch to assist with emotional and physical scars
ScarWork is the brainchild of Sharon Wheeler from Seattle, U.S. Originally trained by Dr Ida Rolf, Sharon has been training and teaching for over 40 years, during which time she developed an approach which has only been available in the UK since 2014.
Sharon taught my tutor, Jan Trewartha in 2015, and I completed Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork course over an intensive 4 days in March 2020.
How it works
ScarWork is a series of techniques to assist with reconfiguring the soft tissue, normally reducing the adhesions left by scarring and improving the scar’s appearance. These techniques stimulate the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems to encourage renewed healing and promote tissue health.
It is not yet fully understood how ScarWork works. Research is ongoing into the power of this light touch approach but evidence demonstrates its effectiveness.
When fascia* is damaged (by injury / operation / burn) the pulling effect can go body wide. The body adapts which can lead to misalignment / imbalance, internal tissue torsion and distortion and internal forces pulling against each other instead of an integrated flow and connection.
*Fascia is a type of connective tissues made up of protein, elastin and ground substance (consistency of mucus) and has high water content. It is strong and covers muscle fibres, muscles, nerves, organs, bones …. every structure in the body.
What it does
ScarWork therapy, with its light touch moves, aims to soften and knit tissue back together. The therapy is rarely painful – even for new scars, and is non-invasive and gentle. No oils or creams are used and the emphasis is on a listening touch and connecting quality.
It can improve the feel and functionality of old and new scars, reducing pain, numbness, and improving mobility of the scar.
I work with you and your body asking for feedback during the whole process. Everyone is different as every body is different.
How ScarWork may help you
Lots of people are not friends with their scars (understandably) as their scars may evoke many different emotions. ScarWork may assist with all kinds of scars, both old and new (once discharged). Some examples include:
- knee replacement
- hip replacement
- skin grafts
- facial scarring (from surgery or injury)
- foot surgery
- abdominal surgery, including appendectomies, gall bladder removals, hysterectomy etc
- C-section• mastectomies (full and partial)
- spinal surgery including discectomy
- Achilles and patellar tendon surgery
- Injuries caused by car accidents
- Porta Cath and tube/drain sites
- Tummy tucks and other cosmetic surgeries such as breast reduction/enlargement
- burns or scalds
Keloid scars tend to take longer and can be less responsive to the treatment, but this depends on the individual and the number of sessions undertaken.For most scars, results are visible within a short time, but some scars take longer to respond
- You must have been signed off by your surgeon (at least 6-8 weeks)
- No inserted mesh
- Mesh used in breast reconstruction does not have the problems of abdominal/pelvic mesh and is safe to work
- Within five (5) years of remission, or with metastatic, stage 4 or terminal cancer, it is recommended that written permission from the consultant is obtained before treatment starts
- No work on pregnant women
- The scar should not be open, infected, inflamed, weeping or very painful. Tenderness is acceptable
- There should not be redness or swelling around the scar due to radiation therapy