Dermal needling is a minimally invasive procedure that uses small needles that go just beneath the skin. In the case of scar therapy, dermal needling can be used to improve the appearance of the scar. But, did you know scars can also be at the root of other physical ailments?
Oriental medicine has long held that scars have a widespread physical influence on the body. Consequently, there is a long history in Chinese medicine of using needles to treat scars in order to treat related illness. Early adoption of acupuncture in Europe, particularly in Germany and Italy, led to a western tradition of using “scar therapy” to treat adverse health conditions. But as modern medicine has become more “high tech” the use of scar therapy declined until its current status of only being used to reduce the cosmetic appearance of scars. However, modern doctors trained in Oriental medicine concepts recognize the dual purpose of scar therapy and pay attention to identifying scars that may benefit from needling.
Since most of us in the West have never heard of this idea it may seem “foreign”. Often ideas that are not well understood by bio-medicine are disregarded and slotted into the “folklore” category. However, there is some real physiological basis for this concept of treating scars. Scarring is a tissue malformation that occurs in rapid skin repair. Unlike the stretchy web-like appearance of normal skin, scar tissue has a parallel structure that gives scars their characteristic look. The skin and nerves associated with the skin normally carry electrical signals across wide areas of the body that regulate function in ways not clearly understood at this time. Because of its damaged structure, scar tissue does not have the ability to conduct these signals normally. This results in a disruption of these important electrical communications. The structure of scar tissue also gives it properties like an electrical “capacitor”. In modern electronics capacitors store small electrical signals and discharge them once the total charge has built up to a high level. That may work great in your radio or computer but it wreaks havoc on your body. These large electrical discharges can stress delicate organs, causing them to malfunction, and send signals to the brain that get interpreted as pain.
Dermal needling works by causing micro-damage to the tissue that the brain interprets as a significant. This “trauma” initiates the healing process known as the “wound healing cascade.” An important part of this process is the breakdown of old collagen in scar tissue, a process which must be accomplished before healthy tissue can be constructed. Subsequently, the body creates new collagen structures that replaces scar tissue with normal tissue.
Interestingly, what we call “aging” skin is really a process of slow degradation of the collagen structure of the skin. This results in distortions very similar to those that occur in the scarring process. And just as dermal needling can help our body breakdown scar tissue and replace it with healthy tissue, it can also help breakdown and replace misaligned collagen that gives our skin lines and other characteristics of aging. Dermal needling can also increase the absorption of products applied to the skin, which can help further accelerate the generation of new, healthy tissue. This is particularly effective on areas like the face and neck.
Given the complexity of scar therapy, consulting the right practitioner is important to the optimal success of your scar therapy. Here at Integrative Health Partners we can help you to identify and restore scar tissue that affects your appearance and overall health! Call today to learn more about how dermal needling can benefit you!
Integrative Health Partners