A month ago I attended a 4 day course on Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork ®
My reasoning for attending this course was to deepen the brief training we had on the Sexological Bodywork course in Scar Remediation. My particular focus is to be able to offer ScarWork to any client who would benefit. In particular I am thinking about trans clients who have scarring from surgeries. My plan is to integrate ScarWork with Sexological Bodywork, or use it as a stand-alone therapy.
Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork model is gentle, non-invasive and painless. Sharon developed the approach from a Rolfing ® and Structural Integration ® background in the US. Several UK ScarWork based practitioners are now accredited to train practitioners in the UK.
It was an intense course – day 1 and 2 we worked on each other’s scars after learning the theory and the many different massage strokes and techniques. Day 3 and 4 members of the public came in with a vast array of different scars and stories of illness, childbirth, surgery, trauma and gender confirmation and transition.
I soon discovered that a camera is an absolute must with this work! A camera captures the most surprising changes in the outward appearance of a scar in minutes or a session, and often the surrounding area of the body. I am steadily building a bank of Before/After photos.
More importantly though is what’s going on under the surface of a scar; we learnt about how surgical techniques and the mechanics of different injuries affect the underlying structure of the fascia, and how adhesions can form and spread throughout the body. Clients reported softening, releasing, increased mobility, reduction in pain and regaining of lost sensation.
And also sometimes there were tears or other emotional release; how the body holds onto the pain, trauma and associated emotions is an important element of the work and when working on a scar, we are holding space for the whole person. Clients report how healing it is to have a nurturing, caring experience with the scar, rather than the medicalised and traumatic treatment they have previously endured.
Because there is little information focussing on trans-related surgery and scars and I am keen to both put my learning into practice and see how the model might benefit trans clients, I am currently offering free ScarWork sessions to trans people. I am honoured to have already worked on chest reconstructions for trans-masculine people, with some promising results, and a forearm phalloplasty (construction of a penis) graft, and also have clients with metoidioplasty (another method of creating a small penis) related scars and trans women who have had gender-affirming lower surgery due to come to me for this work. I am also welcoming to self-harm scars.
If you would like to book a confidential, reduced cost ScarWork session, or free session/s if you have trans-related scars, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or use the enquiry form on this website.
Thanks for reading,