Guest: Marjorie Brook
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Marjorie Brook is an internationally-recognized bodyworker and pioneer in the field of Scar Tissue Release. She travels globally offering seminars and lectures on the S.T.R.A.I.T. (Scar Tissue Release And Integrated Therapies) Method, an innovative and ground breaking therapy that works with the body, not against it. Her mission is to bring awareness to the public about the damaging effect of scar tissue and adhesions.
Segment overview: In this segment, Marjorie Brook, internationally-recognized bodyworker and pioneer in the field of Scar Tissue Release, discusses the S.T.R.A.I.T. (Scar Tissue Release And Integrated Therapies) Method, an innovative and ground breaking therapy.
Health Professional Radio – STRAIT Method
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program. I’m your host Neal Howard, thank you for joining here on this Health Supplier Segment. Our guest in studio has developed a very effective way of dealing with scar tissue. Our guest today is Marjorie Brook, she’s an internationally known body worker and she’s here today to talk with us about her method of dealing with scar tissue known as the ‘STRAIT Method’. Welcome in the Health Professional Radio Marjorie.
Marjorie Brook: Thank you very much Neal. It’s a pleasure to be here.
N: I have had a surgery myself an appendectomy, I’ve got a scar. There’s some sports injuries that have left a couple of scars too they’ve never got away. I never paid any attention to them but you’re passionate about scar tissue and the effects that it has on the body overall. How did scar tissue become a passion of yours?
M: Actually I started with my very first client in student clinic when I was in school. He had been coming to the clinic for over 10 years for this current student massage and I was reading his back history of his medical notes, every single one had the same complaint: lower back pain, lower back pain, and lower back pain. And I said “that’s odd,” is becoming for so long and no one’s help them. And then, when I went into the room to start the session, his entire stomach was covered with scars. One that actually occurred when he was 18 days old from a surgery, the appendectomy when he was 13, and then we he was 44, a huge scar of the center of his abdomen because he had small intestine blockage which actually was caused by the scar tissue which spread from the other two surgeries and blocked up his intestines. Now, they didn’t think anybody to ever remove the scar tissue, they just want in and remove the whole bunch of his intestines and gave him what? Another huge scar. And it was all of those scars that were pulling together from the front that was causing the lower back pain. It’s like a huge culprit, like you’ll see that with your woman with C-sections as well, a lot of their lower back pain has to do with the C-section scar.
N: I never thought of a scar being anything more than just the body healing itself and I always thought scarring was natural and beneficial. What exactly is scar tissue?
M: Well scar tissue is part of the natural healing process and it’s necessary because it replaces, if we’re talking from surgery, it’s replacing normal tissue that’s been damaged. If we’re talking from an accident say, all older kids doing the extreme sports and they get a rolled crash because they fell and scrape and did all the abrasions. Scar tissue does in fact replace normal tissue. But it doesn’t kind of end there. Not every scar is an issue, but the majority of them have a problem because scar tissue is actually only 70% as functional as normal tissue to start with. The restrictions and the poles that it causes on the rest of your body, your connective tissue actually can lead later to different issues that in fact most of my clients and adults, 60% of them, you can probably trace back their issues to a fall or an accident or something that happened when they were younger.
N: You said that some scars do certain things while others affect the body in different ways. I know that the appearance of scars differ, but are there different types of scars that differ other than just appearance?
M: Yes. Well in appearance right away, every scar is different. You can have a hypertrophic, a keloid scar, you can have an atrophic which is a depressed scar, hypertrophic is raised, keloid as most people know, they are actually the misnomer they’ll understand about keloids, they think their scars they’re actually, their scar tissue around them but the keloids are actually not malignant tumors that continue to grow. When you think about scars which you really have to think about for the majority of them is that, big famous picture of an iceberg where you see the tip of the iceberg at the top but then when you look below, which looks enormous, but then when you look below the waterline, how huge the iceberg really is and how it’s spread out. That’s a very good analogy for scar tissue. Like I said, it does affect, I mean something is simple as a tattooing. Like the people who get the full body art, like the full sleeves, and the full legs, and all of that. Tattooing is much as I’m not against tattooing, I’m all for it, but only as it forms because tattooing is actually scarring your body. It causes the tissue to restrict and the thing is the reason you don’t realize a lot of your scars are bothering you Neal, is that it’s your norm now. You’ve grown with that, you’ve gotten used to them, you actually don’t really realize how is affecting you because this has become your norm and you don’t know whether or not, you’re actually compensating because of the alter tension and the pull from the scar tissue and the fact that it’s interfering with your circulation and of all types, from lymphatic to the arterial and the vascular. It’s basically these all different kinds of ways that the scar tissue can affect you, I can talk for hours obviously, but we won’t be doing that today (laughs). It just the big goal for me is just to get people to start looking and paying attention because a lot of the issues that scar people have, they don’t even realize they are at the root is their scars and on top of that, a lot of this is preventable.
N: Let’s discuss say a deep puncture wound. The tissue’s damaged to a certain degree and all the way down, say to the bone, or whatever, or past. And then, you’ve got say a burn. Why is it do you think that with such an invasive scar that we’re not told that when your leg begins to heal after the surgery, if surgery is necessary, that there’s going to be all this pulling going on. It seems that we’re just left to experience that and wonder what’s going on until someone such as yourself, gives us some understanding. You’re the first person that I’ve ever spoken with whose knowledge and interest in scar tissue goes even a fraction as deep as it does?
M: Well the reason is, in all honesty is that because basically the medical profession does not really pay attention to scars. It’s different with burns, they do pay attention with bu0rns. But with something like the puncture wound or a surgery scar and once you healed and you don’t show a sign of infection and they didn’t leave anything inside of you, then they’re like they did their job and go ahead. In fact, a lot of people, they’ll have symptoms and problems and they’ll be going to the doctors for years trying to figure out what’s wrong with them, ‘Why is my shoulder bothering’? ‘Why do I have problems with digestion?’ All of this different things and the doctors treat them like they’re crazy and after a while, their family members and their friends like stop complaining, ‘You’re crazy, there’s nothing wrong with you. They can’t find anything.’ And it really their root of their problem is the scar tissue. The reason that it’s being made more aware today, I’ve been working with scar tissue in my whole career, I’m a therapist for 20 years. But the reason it’s getting more of acknowledgment now is because people are now paying attention to connective tissue and to fascia. It’s like it’s one of the big buzz words now, fascia, fascia, fascia. Because of that, more research is being done and because people are now aware of how important our connective tissue is. Scars are now starting literally no puns intended, rising to the surface (laugh) people’s awareness.
N: Now you’ve developed a very effective way of dealing with scar tissue as you mentioned your first patient that kind of the light went on about scar tissue therapy. Talk about this new method that you’ve developed called the ‘STRAIT Method’.
M: Well the STRAIT Method stands for Scar Tissue Release And Integrated Therapies. Over the years, I’ve combined all my knowledge with body work and body mechanics and dealing with center integration and emotions, the body-mind connection, and I’ve just come together with a whole bunch of different modalities. For the physical, we have hands-on and we have a hands-on technique that I put together, combined with other modalities such as cupping and therapeutic stretching and strengthening. Because one of the big things about scar tissue is that once you’ve released it or made a difference, you can’t just say, ‘Okay, I’ve released your scars go on your mere way’. You’ve altered the body, the way the body functions because you’ve released a lot of detention under which the body works. So then you have to go through the rehab a brief basically resetting the body to function the way it was designed, not the way it’s compensated over 5, 10, 15, 20 years. We’ve had massive results from the beginning and the other big side of the STRAIT method is also dealing with the emotional effects of scarring. Because a scar is a very much related to PTSD and basically all the emotions wrapped around the event, not just the actual occurrence of the event but things that we’re going all around the event that cause the scarring is pretty much can be triggered the memories and the emotions by pressure or pulling on the scar tissue or simply by seeing the scar can do that.
N: You’ve mentioned that scar tissue is only 70% as functional as the surrounding tissue. Once you’ve employed your STRAIT method, is there any additional degree of functionality in the scar tissue? Is that affected as well?
M: Well the functionality as far as it being more like normal tissue, that aspect no but where it does do is release all of the stock adhered tissue, it improves and increases circulation both for the blood and for the lymphatics. It increases range of motion and relieves all of the tensions, so the body’s homeostasis can go back to normal. The key about the scar, is that scar tissue acts like a dam and it blocks the normal functioning of the body. Once we opened it up and get the adhered part of it gone, then the body can start to reset itself and function much more normally and pulls and pains, some other areas, and within that area, we have things like after C-section very often. Women will find from the C-section scar down that they’re numb or hypersensitive. A lot of people with other scars, they’re hypersensitive to the scar tissue conducts pain a thousand times more efficiently. They’ll be hypersensitive to the touch like they can’t wear their clothes correctly or somebody leans against the scar it freaks them out. We can reduce and get rid of all that, we can get rid of the numbness, and bring the tissue back to feeling like live normal tissue again. So there’s a lot of functioning that we store to the body, not necessarily so as it sounds like I’m making something up. Scar tissue will always be 70% less functional than normal tissue. But everything else that it blocks and bothers, and offsets, we can correct.
N: Okay. Say you’ve had your surgery, your injuries have been repaired, and I guess a normal period of time goes by where you’re experiencing some pain due to healing. When would you say is it time to stand up and take notice because something is happening that it shouldn’t be hurting like this long after the scar tissue has developed? In your experience, when should someone start to take notice and seek some therapy from you?
M: Well, before me, before anything, before the surgery, therapy starts. In other words, before anybody has any type of surgery, if it all possible, they should have at least two lymphatic massages within 48 –72 hours before the surgery to clear out and bolster their immune system. Immediately, out of surgery and for the first 3 months which is the healing area, a time period of the first phase, the immature phase of the healing of the wound, you want to get lymphatic massage, very light mild fascia massage, you want to start you can come to for very light therapeutic range of motion, stretching to re-establish the body to keep it from setting it to compensation. Then after 3 months, if there’s still poles and pain and things not right, any time after 3 months up to 80 years and then some, you can come to a STRAIT Meta practitioner and get work done.
N: You’re also a conductor of seminars, where can our listeners go and get more information about your seminars and about the STRAIT method that you’ve developed to deal with scar tissue?
M: Well they can visit my website which is very easy, it’s marjoriebrookseminars.com. It’s only one of me, B R O O K, there is no extra S in there. It’s marjoriebrookseminars.com or they can look it up Marjorie Brook or Brook Seminars on Facebook. I have a lot of stuff on there as well. We also give a call right here up to New York, 516 4091 240 and contact me, you can email me. I’m always around for consultations or if just people have the question and see if what they’re experiencing is actually a problem.
N: Well it’s been a pleasure Marjorie.
M: And for me too as well Neal. Thank you.
N: Thank you. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. In studio with Marjorie Brook, internationally recognized bodyworker and pioneer in the field of scar tissue release. She’s developed the STRAIT Method, Scar Tissue Release And Integrated Therapies which works with the body as opposed to against it when dealing with scar tissue. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Listen in and download on SoundCloud.