What is McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release (MSTR)?

As a Bowen Therapy practitioner, I occasionally come across cases where treatment provides only temporary or minor relief in pain and/or restrictions. In many cases it was later discovered that scar tissue (due to surgery or trauma, for example) had contributed to the pain and/or restriction and any effort to try and remedy the situation was thwarted by the impact of the underlying scar tissue. Through fellow practitioners, I discovered the McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release Technique (MSTR®). I wanted to expand my knowledge and skills in this area, so I undertook further studies in this amazing technique in order to provide better outcomes for my clients.


MSTR® is an innovative, gentle and effective technique producing lasting changes in scar tissue.  It can be used to treat all types of scars no matter how old the scar.   MSTR® can be considered for the following:

* Post-surgical scars - including laparoscopic keyhole surgery, appendectomies, spinal surgery, hysterectomy and C-sections.

* Injury or trauma scars - sports injuries, accidents, plantar fasciitis and micro fascia tears.

* Burn scars

* Stretch marks

* Cultural scarification

* Tattoo scars, including removal of tattoos

* Skin grafts

The look and feel of scars may be unpleasant, and they may even have emotions attached to them due to the traumatic events that created them.  MSTR® can also be used to treat cellular memory scars, such as the trauma and reminder of the incident surrounding a scar.


Scar tissue may contribute to what seems to be unrelated problems, such as:

* restrictions in range of motion

* muscle weakness

* low self esteem

* tingling or numbness

* reduced lymph and blood flow

* restrictions in the fascia

* reduced chi or energy flow (in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory)

According to research conducted by K. Lewit and S. Olsanka (Clinical Importance of Active Scars: Abnormal Scars as a Cause of Myofascial Pain - 2004), if a scar is left untreated it may be the cause of therapeutic failure and recurrence.  What this means, no matter what physical therapy intervention is used (i.e. Bowen Therapy, Physiotherapy, Remedial Massage Therapy, etc.), untreated scars may thwart any efforts to remedy related pain and restrictions in mobility.


What does an MSTR® treatment involve?

MSTR® involves applying gentle pressure using the fingertip on the affected area.  A methodical approach in combination with the gentle pressure helps to free restrictions in the scar.  There is no force involved and any work performed on a scar is always applied within the client's tolerance.  

Treatment times and outcomes can vary, depending on the size and complexity of the scar tissue being treated.  In most cases, a single treatment session is all that is required to free the restrictions and even result in visible changes in the scar tissue.  A follow-up will be conducted approximately one week after the first MSTR® treatment to determine whether an additional treatment is required.

For very large and complex scars, it may require multiple treatments due to the size and complexity.  In such cases the scar will need to be treated in sections of up to one hour treatments at a time.

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