Acupuncture For Scar Tissues: Does It Work?

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People get wounds from surgeries, accidents, and other types of injuries. These wounds hurt and they also reduce the flow of blood throughout the affected area. Traditionally, people would go for scar removal surgery or pain medication, but lately, they have been making their way towards Acupuncture.

What Is Scar Tissue?

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Whenever you suffer an injury, your body creates scar tissue in response. This is formed while your body works to heal the injury, overused joint, or the incision. It is also substituted for the normal skin tissue that used to be there.

The human skin is divided into three layers. These layers are:

  • Epidermis
  • Dermis
  • Subcutaneous layer

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It protects the body. Consider it as a protective wrapping paper all around your body.

The layer directly underneath the Epidermis is the Dermis. This is the layer that contains all the blood vessels that supply blood to your entire skin. It also has all the nerve endings that help you feel.

The last one is the Subcutaneous layer. This is the layer that attaches your skin to your muscles and bones.

How Is Scar Tissue Formed?

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According to AICA, when your skin is injured, by a motorcycle accident injury, surgery, or any other reason, the body immediately responds by making your blood clot in that specific area. This successfully closes the wound and eliminates blood loss. Once the blood clots, fibroblasts are sent by the body to the affected area. Fibroblasts are used by the body to synthesize extracellular matrix and collagen. They create a framework for tissue. As far as tissue repair and rebuilding is concerned, fibroblasts play a crucial role. They are the main connective tissue cells and the first line of defense for the body regarding any open wounds and blisters.

Types Of Scars

You might think that there is just one type. There are different types of them based on their shapes and sizes. The most common are these five types:

Atrophic scars

These ones look like deep, sunken wounds. They could be seen after the removal of acne or after an injury.

Hypertrophic scars

Just like atrophic type looked sunken into the surface of the skin, hypertrophic ones are raised and puffy. They are reddish or purple in color. Usually, given time, they go down.

Keloid scars

These are dark in color. When an injury happens, the skin produces extraordinary amounts of collagen to counter the effects of the injury. This production of collagen results in Keloid scars.

Stretch marks

When the skin is stretched to its limit in a very short interval, stretch marks appear. These are the results of pregnancy or rapid weight gain.

Contracture scars

These kinds of blisters are usually the result of burns. They make the skin look puckered as they pull the skin towards the site of the burn.

What Does Acupuncture Have To Do With Scar Tissue?

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Although it has only been introduced worldwide a few years ago, acupuncture has been a well-known practice in China for a long time. They have been using acupuncture for centuries to heal all kinds of physical as well as psychological conditions.

Acupuncturists use very thin needles that they insert into the body to stimulate specific points. Almost every possible disease, injury, or ailment has some specific points that can be used to get rid of it or cure it.

Usually, when people get scar tissues, they look for pain relief medication or under surgery to remove the buildup of it. Doctors are now suggesting that they try acupuncture first. It can easily substitute blister removal surgery in many cases. Not only is it cost-effective, but also non-invasive and non-toxic. It is also a great substitute for pain medication as that can lead to addiction.

Acupuncture practitioners work on energy. This energy is called “qi” and is pronounced “chee”. This is the energy that moves everything in your body. It is responsible for the flow of blood throughout the body. According to Chinese medicine, there are 12 meridians that traverse the length of your body. You Qi moves through your body using these 12 meridians. For the blood to flow without any hindrance, these meridians have to be kept clean and clear. Scar tissues can result in the blockage of one or more of the meridians which result in the loss of blood flow through the body. Acupuncture helps restore that flow.

Recently, a lot of academic research is being done on acupuncture and its effects on scar tissues. In 2014, a study was conducted on a 48-year-old female who was suffering from severe pain that emanated from the scar tissue. This study was then published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. The patient was treated with an acupuncture technique called “Wei Ci” or “Surrounding the Dragon”. It involves inserting needles around the scar tissue and letting them break up the stagnation in the tissue. The woman reported that her pain went from a 7 to a 1 or 2 on the pain index.

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Another acupuncture technique that is used to deal with scar tissues is “Moxibustion”. This term is a combination of two Japanese words “mogusa” meaning herbs and “bustion” means burning. The herb used in this technique is called mugwort. Simply put, the acupuncture practitioner lights up the herb and then holds it close to the injured part of the body to promote blood flow. Another way this technique is used is to first insert needles into or around the scar tissue, and then burn the herb on top of one of the needles. Both ways have demonstrated to be very effective in the removal of scar tissue, relief from pain, and increasing blood flow.

Scar tissues can be the cause of a lot of problems due to their appearance, pain, or the lack of movement that the patient suffers from. In considering acupuncture as the treatment of scar tissue, you will get a cost-effective, non-invasive, non-toxic, and non-addictive method to deal with it accordingly. Do consider it before going for surgery or any other invasive treatment.