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Massage after Surgery

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself. Surgical trauma may present itself as pain or discomfort on or around the surgical site as well as scar tissue formation and negative compensation patterns throughout the body. With clearance from your surgeon, massage therapy can help manage a variety of issues related to post-surgical scarring and overall well being.

Scars form when the thick layers of the skin are damaged. This process is often divided into four stages: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodeling. Inflammation holds an important role in the wound healing process by removing damaged cells, pathogens, and bacteria which is a natural part of the healing process. Proliferation translates to growing and increasing. During proliferation cells are multiplying and spreading rebuilding with tissues made up of collagen and extracellular matrix. The remodeling or maturation stage is the final and longest stage beginning at 21 days after injury and can continue for up to 1 year or longer.

The thick collagen fibers regenerated during the healing process may become restricted resulting in pain and limited range of motion on or around the incision site in addition to muscle guarding in other areas of the body. Massage can break down scar tissue and improve elasticity and flexibility. As blood flow is increased, oxygen is delivered, nourishing the tissues and promoting cellular and tissue repair. Lymphatic drainage massage is a gentle yet powerful massage technique especially effective by clearing fluid that causes swelling.

Anxiety and stress can be unfortunate byproducts of any surgical procedure. Therapeutic touch lowers levels of stress hormones while boosting positive neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. The benefits of physical touch go beyond social bonding and can manifest positively in your physical body. The increased levels of dopamine and serotonin released can help regulate mood and relieve feelings of stress.

Massage is yet another powerful resource available after surgical procedures to aid in the physical and emotional healing process. It is important to note, massage is not a cure-all and should not take the place of other therapies prescribed by your doctor, but may be a wonderful way to weave complementary and alternative medicines into your treatment plan.

Stephanie McCutchin is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Sakom Massage and Wellness. The word Sakom is inspired by the Menominee language and translates to extending peace to yourself and others. Creating a peaceful space for clients to relax, recharge, and recuperate is the main focus at Sakom. Stephanie’s practice is located in the historic Willow Tree Wellness center in the heart of Lodi, Wisconsin. The center is solely dedicated to professional healers who offer a variety of services. To learn more about massage and to book your appointment today call, 608-564-5330 or click here.

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