Scars hold the memories we can’t process

scar on his stomach after surgery

A lot of us have scars on our body, big and small.  Some we know exactly how we got them, some we have no idea.  Some through planned surgery or intervention, others through accidental damage to our bodies.

Either way a scar is an injury that the body hasn’t asked for.  Whether accidental or surgical it creates a shock to the body, therefore goes into implicit memory.

Implicit memories are the memories hidden from the conscious mind, not fully processed, put into context or integrated enough to be stored in the Hippocampus where identifiable memories live.

With presence and consciousness, we can bring them into explicit memory, and be brought into awareness attaching symbolism and language to the emotional reactions and sensations which are stored inside the unconscious memories which create reactions to certain situations.  The stimulus is a current experience but the reactions is based on the previous experience sometimes yet to be worked through, therefore the reaction can seem out of proportion.

(As well as physical scars we can also see this in emotional wounding, where we are reacting to our current partner from the place of a hurt from a past relationship.)

Implicit memory is a memory that the body is storing from trauma or surgery.  Memory which is hidden from the mind.

 The memory is unsequenced, not placed in time and place, so floating around awaiting for a similar trigger to occur for which we can project the previous unlabelled emotion onto the new trigger.

By supporting people to find the symbols and language to give to the hidden memory and attached sensation, can put the memory into context.

When we make these memories visible we can start to work with them, to unpack the emotion and / or trauma attached.

The scar owner can re-engage with the point of injury and bring ownership to it and reframe the situation, allowing us to find ways of dealing with similar experiences and hurts moving forward.


Scarring through any surgery causes a shock to the system, and on a physical level the body repairs itself as best it can, but the repair collagen isn’t as organised as the original tissue structure and can cause blocks and tension to the area having a knock on effect to blood flow, circulation and lymphatic drainage, as well a nerve endings being affected which can cause both pain or numbness.

Scarring from Cancer surgery can hold the unprocessed memories of the emotion, overwhelm and confusion at the time of intervention. And the scar can go much deeper through the fascia in the body affecting other organs and areas internally that isn’t obvious from the external scar.


Scarring on the genital and pelvis are also an important area to be brought back into sensation.  

Whether its scarring caused by childbirth, assault, hernia, circumcision, anal tearing, erectile dysfunction surgery, gender reassignment etc, these scars can all have an affect on arousal and sexual function.

We may not even recognise the numbness or block we hold around our scars.  Using Sexological Bodywork techniques and Scar Remediation we work on the scar to bring back the sensation to the site using conscious touch, massage and tuning into that area of the body and giving it a voice to express anything which is yet unfelt.

Those interested in exploring their scars and how to release any held emotions or unprocessed events can get in touch to discuss how a Scar Remediation session could help them to better understand their body and their experiences.


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