Suzanne Fitzsimmons (formerly Malcom)
Many cancer patients are often left with post-surgical scars following cancer treatment, as Suzanne Fitzsimons (formerly Malcom), CNHC registrant, is very familiar with. One technique that can support the scar healing process is called ScarWork. Suzanne has been involved with bodywork therapy since 1994 and qualified as a ScarWork therapist in 2015.
ScarWork is a hands-on therapeutic intervention which involves very light, non-invasive techniques including but not limited to, a combination of stroking, multi-directional skin stretches and digital or palm pressure applied to the scar site and immediate surrounding tissue. Care, consideration and sensitivity is paramount with those patients who feel vulnerable. This technique aims to guide the wound to return as close to pre-surgery architecture as possible.
In 2016, Suzanne approached Northern Ireland’s largest cancer charity, Action Cancer, to see if they would be interested in providing ScarWork treatment for patients who have required surgery following a cancer diagnosis. Action Cancer was set up in 1973 and provides support to anyone affected by cancer, including patients, family members and carers. After several months of planning, a clinic was set up at Action Cancer House in Belfast – and the response has been overwhelming! The objective results have been extremely positive from patients, and have included:
- improvement in movement of the joint/area that was previously restricted
- improvement in tissue quality and texture
- improved sensation at the scar site or surrounding area
- improvement in the appearance of the scar/surrounding area
- reduction in pain
In addition to the positive physical changes patients have experienced, they have also reported improvements to their mental, psychological and emotional wellbeing. The clinic at Action Cancer has grown extensively over the past 18 months due to the improvements experienced by patients. There is a high demand for this service and Suzanne is delighted to be a part of it.
For more information on Action Cancer, visit: www.actioncancer.org.