I’ve started doing massage again and it has me thinking a lot about the body and its incredible powers to heal itself. I remember in the first couple months of massage school we learned about scar tissue and how it’s formed. I just happened to have completely knocked my knee out of place on a party bus. A story for another time! It was so fascinating to me because without directing it, my body goes into action and protects me. Such a beautiful thing.
However, scar tissue, as you probably know very well, is not pretty. Scar tissue on the outside where you can see it or on the inside where you don’t, can cause future issues if not addressed. The very thing that naturally and beautifully protects us can cause us harm. How can this be?
In massage therapy, we learn how the emergency of the injury alerts the body to start the healing process and basically sends in all the tissue cells necessary to bind up the area. But it doesn’t do it in a slow or organized way. It’s not in there for decoration. It’s in there getting to work. So we end up with a chaotic collection of tissue. Secure but messy. This is great because without it we would have all kinds of problems. With it, we have survival. Wonderful.
So what’s the harm? Where are the problems? With a ton of unaddressed, un-massaged scar tissue, you can have limited range of motion, stiffness, chronic pain, and even further injury to other body parts due to compensation for the injury. You’ve had this happen right? You sprain an ankle and while limping around babying it you then start to get a sore back? Our bodies are designed to balance themselves out so if we’re off, they go to work to make it right.
Why is all of this so interesting to me? Well, now that I’ve been studying our brains so much I see a correlation between our physical scar tissue and our animal instincts to protect and survive, and how in order to evolve beyond basic survival we have to move through that pain to get to the other side. To not only survive, but to thrive.
Listen, massaging old scar tissue is some of the worst pain. It is hard work to try to align old, sticky tissue that is bound up in a ball. It takes hours of massage over a period of time. But when you finally break it all up and let your body realize it doesn’t need it anymore, the freedom from the pain is amazing.
That’s how moving through your mental scar tissue can be. It’s not very pretty and it’s certainly painful. But oh man is it worth it!
The very mechanisms that your brains have in place to protect you, fear, anxiety, desires, etc. can cause a lot of harm if untamed. Fear from a tiger chasing you in the wild is beautiful protection when we were living in caves and evolving to where we are now. That fear now comes out when we have to turn in a paper for school and we’re afraid of getting a bad grade. Totally irrational. But there are kids out there committing suicide from the stressors at school. The desire to eat food and have sex to keep our human race going is wonderful but overused and abused we have obesity and porn addictions.
And when we decide to make changes in our modern lives, the inspection of all of the drama, pain, anxiety, or disease that we have created ourselves can be such a painful process, we would rather just quit and keep living a life of low-grade despair because at least we know it’s secure and familiar, like that old ball of scar tissue in our shoulder.
I vote for evolving beyond that. I want a life that I wake up excited about every day. I’m done with limping around physically and emotionally. It’s too heavy of a burden.
Are you carrying around old scar tissue you no longer need? Let’s try letting it go. Let’s work it out and see how freedom really feels.
Thanks for reading!!! I love to hear back from readers. What do you think about this topic? Have you had similar experiences? What helped you the most? Please comment below!
*I do not make any money off of this blog. I don’t get any kickbacks from products or books I write about. Just sharing the love!