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Scar Tissue - The Benefits of Massage and Release

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A few years ago, I injured the pinky toe on my left foot. The area swelled, turned red, then black and blue. For weeks, I elevated my foot, kept off of it and iced it until it healed. By all accounts, things looked normal but something felt different when I walked or touched the area. The toe area didn't moved the way it used to and it even looked a little off compared to my right foot.

This struck me so I read up on scar tissue and how old injuries can essentially stiffen the body. At any given moment, our bodies have a collection of scars and old injuries that offer a visual and physical reminder of past traumas. Most of us have experienced the pain and healing of cuts, sprains, childhood scrapes. The tears may be gone but what's left is scar tissue.

Scar tissue can be minor or it can go deep under our skin and right to our joints. I found fascinating articles about how old injuries float around the body long after an accident. Left unaddressed, the scar tissue can envelop the injured area making it hard to perform everyday tasks. An old twisted ankle or sprained knee could still affect the way we walk, sit and sleep many years later. The forming of scar tissue is a bodily response designed to protect injuries. After time, many of us simply accept the scar tissue but there are different therapies to help it dissipate. Some may have concerns and avoid dealing with it as scar tissue can bring unpleasant feelings of discomfort (emotional and physical). 

Given how important to flow of chi is to our health, releasing scar tissue is worth considering. When we're in balance, our chi flows through the body. It's no surprise when we feel unwell, the entire body can feel out of whack. This poses the question of whether our bodies can experience a blockage in energy flow when we carry scar tissue that brings us pain or prevents natural, fluid movement in our bodies. 

A healthy body like many things in nature has give. Working scar tissue out and softening the parts of yourself that have been hurt can bring a certain relief. This applies to more than just superficial injuries but also internal ones. Massaging and releasing scar tissue can be a metaphor for life. Dealing with the hurt can help prevent us from carrying a pain that's hardened inside of us. 

And I did just that. After reading as much as I could and formulating a game plan, I gently massaged my left baby toe for weeks. I started with a couple of minutes daily and worked my way up gradually from there. I felt the blood flowing to the area every time post-massage. It's not 100% as it was before I injured my foot but I now have greater flexibility and mobility in the little left toe. 

I recommend doing a deep dive and learning more information about working out old scars. There are certified massage therapists who specialize in this area or you can take a class to learn more about doing this on your own. Should you decide to do so, be sure to check in with your doctor and always follow their given advice. Avoid massaging new injuries as this can negatively affect healing. Be sure to listen to your body, go slow and be gentle. What's your experience with scar tissue? 

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