Scar Tissue Release Therapy

Has surgery or physical trauma left you with a scar, which feels “foreign”, not well-integrated with the tissues around it? Have you experienced only minimal results with scar massage you performed on yourself? Do you still feel a pulling sensation in the area? Is the optimal engagement of the damaged/severed muscles now compromised because of scar tissue buildup?

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Does your scar restrict movement or causes an uncomfortable pulling? Do you feel tingling, pressure or other strange neurological sensations? Scar Tissue Release Therapy can liberate nerves trapped within scar adhesions.

Want to learn more?

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Irina Shadricheva is a registered massage therapist located in Etobicoke, who specializes in ScarWork, a Scar Tissue Release Therapy developed by Sharon Wheeler. Some refer to it as scar tissue massage, but it’s not a massage at all. It is very specific, at times broad, at times precise and narrowly aimed, mostly gentle manipulations of the scar and the area surrounding it. Scar Release Therapy helps loosen adhesions which you may feel as pulling, unevenness or hardening of the scar.  

By liberating the nerves trapped within scar adhesions, Scar Tissue Release Therapy may also relieve numbness, pressure or pain, and other “strange” neurological sensations, such as the feeling of crawling or “pins and needles”. It also helps with the appearance of the scar, smoothing out depressed or elevated edges, integrating it with the surrounding tissue. 

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Can C-Section Scar Tissue Release Therapy Help?

 C-section scar release. Why even do this? A Cesarean scar is neatly hidden under your underwear and pubic hair, it is faint and barely visible. Yet something important is overlooked:  a c-section scar is a major scar that often creates a lot of adhesions. It may compromise the symmetry of your abdominal muscles and skew their proper firing patterns during your workouts and your everyday activities. It pulls, it feels like a blob. It might feel numb. You don’t see it, but you feel it. You know it is there. Scar RELEASE Therapy will do what it says – it will release it, so you can focus on something else, like your kids and enjoying movement!


Can Scar Tissue Release Therapy be effective on old scars?

Scar Tissue Release Therapy can be just as effective many years after scar formation as it is within a few months. If you are wondering if it’s too late for you to receive treatment for your scar, here are a few examples to illustrate what Scar Tissue Release Therapy can do.

A client who had had three caesarean surgeries complained about pulling sensations and uneven muscle engagement when she exercised. Even though her last caesarian had been 11 years ago, after several sessions of ScarWork with Irina and movement geared to awaken her deep core muscles, she was able to regain control over her core and feel integrated and strong again.

Another client had been left with mastectomy scars after her surgeries. More than 20 years later, she sought treatment with Irina, wondering if one of the scars affected the range of motion in her arm. To her amazement, after four treatments of ScarWork she was able to lift her arm fully without feeling any pulling sensation. 

A man who had an emergency open abdominal surgery was left with a scar that pulled every time he took a deep breath. After several ScarWork sessions with Irina to address this issue, 13 years after his surgery, he found he had less tightness in his chest and it was much easier to breathe. 

Who can benefit from Scar Release Therapy?

Almost anyone who has a scar can benefit from Scar Release Therapy to varying degrees. It includes people who have had Open Surgeries, Laparoscopic Surgeries and people with Traumatic Scars. Below is a list of types of scars which can be effectively treated with Scar Release Therapy.

This is not a complete list, but it should give you a sense of the types of scars that can be treated:  

  • Scars from Physical Trauma or Injury 
  • C-Section scars
  • Hysterectomy scars
  • Gastric Bypass Scars
  • Appendectomy Scars 
  • Splenectomy Scars
  • Hernia repairs Scars
  • Mastectomy/Lumpectomy scars 
  • Thyroid surgery scars
  • Scars for facial surgeries
  • Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy) scars

Please contact me by phone (647)283-6024 or by email with any specific questions you may have. Each case is unique and should be discussed on a case by case basis. 

What to expect during Scar Release Therapy

The first step is to discuss your expectations regarding ScarWork therapy over the phone. Irina will ask you questions about your scar and your health in general. Next, you will come to her clinical space for a 30-minute consultation.  During this consultation, Irina will assess your scar, feel it to get a sense of it, but not work on it. The course of action will be determined during this initial consultation. 

Two to three-week intervals are the recommended time frame between treatments.

One treatment usually takes from 45 to 75 minutes. Bigger and deeper scars will take more time, and smaller scars will take less time. This will be established during your initial consultation.

ScarWork usually takes between 4 to 6 sessions, but it also depends on the size, the depth, how the edges “meet”, and the amount of adhesions in the scar. After the full course of treatments, the results are lifelong. You don’t need to come for “maintenance”.

“I used the scar tissue release therapy services offered by Irina at Cordova RMT. It was magical. My abdominal surgical operation scars become soft and blended with my skin around. I was able to stretch and feel expanded after a few sessions. I highly recommend Irina for scar release therapy.”


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Scar Formation: How it Happens? What are adhesions? 

When a surgical incision is made or in a case of significant traumatic injury, the cut goes through the skin, fat, and muscle, and often through the visceral organs or glands, but it also always affects the facia.

Fascia is a whitish web of layered connective tissue, wrapping around most cells in the body: muscles, bones, organ cells, and so on. It envelops not only our cells, but our organs themselves, suspending and supporting them and creating a fabric of connections from “gross” structures to cellular level structures. 

Fascia mostly consists of collagen and elastin fibers, and “ground substance”, its hydrating medium. Optimal levels of hydration in ground substance allow for optimal tissue glide. Fascia links different internal organs and structures into one efficient organization called the Human Body. It builds a web-like structure for nerves to run along, and it houses numerous pain receptors. Its ground substance also enables nutrients to be delivered to cells. 

Collagen and Elastin fibers are produced by cells called Fibroblasts in response to forces imposed on them, be it traumatic tissue damage, like surgery or injury, or increased mechanical load. The body reacts to surgical incisions or open injury from a trauma as an emergency situation and attempts to quickly seal the injured site. New collagen is rapidly generated and arranged in dense, somewhat haphazard ways. Consequently, collagen and elastin fibers then get stuck, adhesions are formed, and entrapments are created. By utilizing Scar Tissue Release Therapy, Irina frees those adhesions, thus restoring tissue integrity and improving limited range of motion. Oftentimes, the neurological sensations, such as numbness, crawling, pins and needles, accompanying the adhesions subside or disappear completely after ScarWork.

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