The ability of the human body to heal itself is truly amazing. When we get a cut, for example, the body immediately goes to work to repair the area, efficiently knitting itself closed while fighting off infection. I am always astonished – when a scab comes free, or when I peel away a bandage a few days after my latest kitchen chopping debacle – to see the beautiful new skin that is revealed. Whether the healed area looks as good as new, or a small scar is left behind, this healing process works again and again, without our conscious effort, throughout our lives.
Sometimes, however, this process can occur in excess. After a surgery, for example, where multiple layers of skin, muscle and organ are cut through, new tissues intended to heal the area can overgrow. This “scar tissue,” which can be visualized as a spider’s web, can cause organs, ducts and vessels to stick to one another, or to the structures around them. Additionally, when organs and deep tissues are exposed to air during a surgery, they can become dry or tacky, making them more likely to stick to each other. These stuck places, often referred to as “adhesions,” can result in excessive tension or pressure on the tissues and organs, interfering in their normal functions and causing pain.
This was exactly the problem a recent patient had. A woman in her early 70s, she had been living with pelvic, bladder, and urinary tract pain for over 30 years. In the early 1960’s, she underwent a cesarian delivery of her first child, with a vertical incision that ran from her navel, straight down to her pubic bone. Over time, she began to experience intense lower pelvic pain, for which she could find no relief. After years of taking prescription pain medication almost every day, and seeing multiple specialists who ultimately could not offer any solutions, she was at her witts end. Frustrated and depressed, she decided to try Craniosacral therapy.
She found her way to a talented colleague of mine, Tatiana Martushev, who noted many places in the patient’s lower abdomen and pelvis where scar tissue had caused the tissues and organs to stick to each other. Since I often work with women who have pelvic pain, my colleague invited me to join her on this case. Together we found that the scar tissue had managed to wrap itself around her urethra, the tube that leads from the bladder out of the body. The scar tissue was in fact compressing the urethra, interfering in her ability to urinate, and causing pain. We had 6 treatments with this patient – sometimes individually, sometimes as a team – using myofascial and Craniosacral techniques to break the restrictions caused by the scar tissue, and remove the pressure and tension on the urethra. After 30 years of suffering, the patient has had months of pain relief. She is overjoyed, and we are thrilled to have been part of her healing journey.