Holistic Wellness in Austin, TX

Scar Removal, Part II: Two Reasons To Remove Your Scar And Two Good Reasons To Keep It

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Scars are a natural expression of the healing process.  Injuries that produce them develop in three steps at wound site: inflammation, then proliferation, and then remodeling.  Sometimes this works out nicely and other times, depending on circumstances, the scar can be debilitating or genuinely unsightly.  What, then, to do about your scar tissue?

I wrote about blog post about what traditional Chinese medicine can do for your scars.  Primarily, the approach we take it to either treat with acupuncture or by lightly scraping the area with a jade instrument in a technique known as gua sha.  (To read that post, go here).  What I didn’t cover were reasons to remove the scar and reasons to keep them.

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What to do about scar tissue is somewhat of a personal issue.  If the injury is severe enough, you may have to wait up to a year to get surgery or laser treatment.  Depending on the presentation, you can ask your acupuncturist for help with the healing process and, ultimately, with scar revision or removal.  There are reasons to remove a scar and reasons to keep a scar and each situation is unique.  It’s always smart to get a couple opinions before you embark on scar removal.

~~~Why Remove a Scar?~~~

One reason to get rid of a scar is cosmetic.  You feel that the scar is unsightly or maybe it reminds you of a trauma that you’d rather not revisit every time you see your own body. This is a personal decision that belongs only to you; nobody should ever make you feel like your scar is ugly or that you aren’t fine just the way you are with your unique dermatological mementos.

A more important reason to remove a scar is that it impinges on or impedes movement of nearby structures.  It may be painful or it may cause you to compensate, movement-wise, in ways that cause other problems.  I once treated a large scar on a person’s upper body, for example.  This person had gotten cosmetic laser treatment at a spa and the technician overdid things and burned the patient’s skin.  The scar not only was unsightly and not only did it revive bad memories on sight. It impeded movement and was painful, too.  I’ve had other post-surgery scars on people that interfered with tasks of daily life.  Doing something about the scar was not just cosmetic.  It also improved their basic functional fitness and allowed them to attend to their routine tasks without discomfort and further inflammation of the area.  Scars like that really do need to go, either via traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or with the help of a surgeon or a laser specialist.

~~~Why Keep a Scar?~~~

The easy answer is that sometimes, the scar isn’t going to go anywhere and that there’s no sense in fighting a losing battle.  Scars, especially if they are deep, can take up to a year to heal so now might not be the time, but later would do if you so choose.  Everyone’s skin is different.  You may have collagen issues (as in the case of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) that affect the capacity for healing.  A lot of factors are involved.  Your healthcare practitioner, be they an MD or a licensed acupuncturist, should be able to speak with you honestly about the prospects.  Some scars just need to be left alone.

And what about the value of that scar, and how you earned it?

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You are beautiful just the way you are

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The spiritual answer to the question of why you might keep a scar is simple on the surface but complicated underneath.  Maybe you decide that your scar is a badge of honor.  Maybe you came through a lot and you earned that scar.  Maybe you see your scars as badges of honor for an ordinary life, one with wounds and aftereffects that belong to you and that are, thus, treasures to be cherished.  Maybe your scars are marks of history and hold tales that go well beyond your individual body.  Maybe there is nothing wrong with having your story writ large upon your person.

In my estimation, the human skeleton is beautiful.  Muscles and bones are gorgeous to my eyes.  I love treating skin issues.  If there is a scar, it only troubles me on your behalf if it impedes your healthy flow of movement.  Otherwise, it’s just skin, the largest organ of your body, and a real joy to treat with acupuncture and other forms of TCM.  That’s all.  No judgement, no criticism.  It just is.  But if you’re not happy, or you’re not comfortable and at your best level of wellness, then there are things we can do for you in Chinese medicine, be it acupuncture, gua sha, or even herbal treatments.  I love fixing scars…just as much as I’m glad to leave them alone.  It’s up to you.

What do you think?

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BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

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Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine.  If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog and/or my Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for health coaching services.  If you are interested in acupuncture, herbs, and/or Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.

Acupuncture is great for you but if you’re nervous about needles there are certainly other options.  Have you ever thought to try traditional Chinese bodywork? In addition to acupuncture, I offer tui na (similar to massage) and other ancient Chinese therapies, including cupping, gua sha, moxa, and more.  If you are looking for a holistic wellness consultant and coach, my services can entail short or longer term programs.  You are your own best investment, and when you take charge of your wellbeing you invest in yourself now and for the benefit of your future.

Note: Material on this web site is not intended to replace your treatment or care provided by an MD. It is for educational/entertainment purposes only. A TCM practitioner in Texas identifies syndrome patterns but does not diagnose illness.  Always consult your primary care doctor for health concerns.

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