The Spiritual Meaning Behind Our Stretch Marks

spiritual meaning behind stretch marks
 

This blog post is a little different than what I’ve posted in the past, but it’s a perspective I’ve wanted to share on the Internet for a while.

Early in my career, I naturally did a lot of research in educating myself about stretch marks. I wanted to know why they formed, if they could be avoided, and what kinds of creams or procedures would help to remove them.

Like many people, I was surprised to find that there were a lot more opinions, theories and myths than actual facts about stretch marks on the web. Medical sites explained that stretch marks came from genetics, growth spurts, rapid weight gain and weight loss, pregnancy, puberty, or even high levels of cortisone, yet there weren’t a lot of studies to prove these findings. Come to find out, the reason why there’s not a lot of medical studies done on stretch marks is because acquiring medical funding for something that’s essentially harmless to our health is challenging.

When I searched through online support forums, there were thousands of women struggling with their stretch marks and seeking advice. It didn’t matter if you were a teenager, or a soon to be Mom – women everywhere, from all ages and backgrounds were looking for answers on how to minimize their stretch marks, prevent getting them, or searching for the perfect cream to use.

Rarely did I ever see anything pop up that was geared on how to accept and embrace them.

And that’s what led me to Rona Recker, a Vibrational Alignment Practitioner at The Center for Intuitive Education here in Arizona.

Rona has been a friend and mentor of mine for over 5 years. She’s brilliant, uplifting, compassionate and extremely talented in what she does. I asked her to sit down with me for this interview to not only share her unique perspective on stretch marks, but also add another voice in this arena because there are so many men and women who have stretch marks (and won’t be able to remove them), so the question I’d like to pose in this blog is “how do we begin to learn to accept and live with the scars we carry?”

Rona Recker in Arizona.png

Hi Rona, thank you for taking the time time to connect. Can you share what being a Vibrational Alignment Practitioner means? And what you offer at The Center for Intuitive Education?

In a nutshell, what I do is help people get back into balance so that they can move forward with their lives with hope, empowerment and confidence. I do this by helping people clear their physical, emotional and spiritual pain. 

An example of how I do this is if a symphony is playing a piece of music and there are hundreds of performers, I can hear if something is just a little ‘off’. I then tune in and am able to pinpoint where the dissonance or disturbance is and how to bring it back into pitch with the rest of the performers so everything can work together and produce a beautiful result. I’m able to sense vibrations and patterns of what causes pain, struggle and fear in people’s lives and help them get back into a balanced vibrational alignment.

Someone may come to me to help relieve their chronic shoulder pain, so with their permission, I’ll do what I call a ‘body scan’ and I notice what vibrations and areas of their lives, their thoughts and beliefs are not resonating with the goal they want to achieve. Intuitively, I can see what caused the shoulder pain and help them clear those patterns so that their body can heal itself and they can completely clear that issue.

You will definitely feel differently after having a session with me!

At the Center for Intuitive Education, I work with the owner, Lynn M. Bunch. We work as a team and do combo sessions to help get a person back into alignment in the areas of their lives that are unbalanced. She uses her intuition to make a game plan or blueprint for them, and if there is any residual patterns they hold in their body, I help to remove them. So, the person receives a complete Spirit, Mind, Body experience.

Where do I sign up? 🙂 I loved the symphony analogy of how you help people on a much deeper level. Speaking of energy, I’m not sure if a lot of my readers are familiar with Louise Hay, but you and I know that she was famous for writing Heal Your Body, which is a reference guide of physical ailments and their probable emotional and mental causes. Can you help further explain what that means and how you use it to work on your clients?

The philosophy I have is that there is a higher purpose to everything. There is a purpose on why we are here on Earth. There is a purpose why we’re all here together. And there is a purpose why our bodies work as they do. 

I believe that our inner spirits are closely connected to our minds and our bodies and if we can’t quite hear what our inner spirit is trying to tell us, our bodies will ‘talk to us’ to help guide us.

You mentioned Louise Hay and she did a wonderful job of noticing the general patterns of what our bodies try and tell us. We all have seen them. You may have noticed someone who worries a lot might have digestion issues, or someone who holds in their anger all the time may get a lot of headaches. These are general examples of how our bodies communicate to us; but because we are all very different, there are many nuances that come into play as well.

What would you say causes stretch marks in the realm of vibrational energy and spirituality?

When I work with people, I tune into them specifically and can give them more details, but here are some general causes:

Note: Perspective is going to be important here.

First, if you have stretch marks, try and look at it like your body is talking to you and not as a punishment. As long as you see it as a punishment, your negative thoughts about yourself are going to be greater than the help and assistance that can help to alleviate them.

Just like someone who experiences a lot of headaches…the pain is severe and it feels impossible to work through, but when you discover what your body is trying to tell you about the pain – YOU CAN HEAL IT.

Can  you just ‘magically’ heal something without having to process it through? Of course. But our minds often like to understand the underlying reasons that we feel, which helps us to hold the healed results. For instance, can someone’s headaches just magically go away? Sure. But if that person keeps bringing that pattern into play…they might need to understand ‘why’ before they fully let it go. 

So, let’s say that ‘she’ is having a lot of headaches and is pushing herself too hard…overdoing it…adjusting to everyone else’s timelines and what they want, rather than creating what works best for her. And every time she gets overwhelmed, she gets a headache. 

So, if she realizes this pattern, then she can create different solutions for herself and offer timelines that work for her to succeed. She then puts that into practice and realizes that her entire way of collaborating and contributing to projects has accelerated and made her a more confident person and that her headaches go away!

Her body was simply just trying to tell her that she was fighting against a process that wasn’t authentic for her…and once she created a solution, it worked for everyone else, too!

So, she could either look at headaches as debilitating, or see it as an opportunity to change how she works that fits better for her and others.

So, if you have stretch marks…

See if you can expand your thinking for a little bit here.

Stretch marks are not harmful. Your body still works. 

I know we can look at our bodies and find it difficult to accept what we see. 

If we lived in a culture where stretch marks indicated you were a strong and virile human being, you would want to show them off. But our culture puts a lot of peer pressure on us to look perfect. Hence, It takes a lot for us to love ourselves more than a social standard, and we unconsciously forget how to value ourselves. Our culture doesn’t teach us that. 

Questions to ponder…who made the rules of beauty? Who got to decide that? Who gets to decide that?

Hopefully, you can keep that in mind and grab YOUR POWER back – the power to decide.

Some Common Meanings for Stretch Marks (this is not a comprehensive list, but hopefully it will get you thinking).

Stretch marks represent something you did not want to see when the event was happening.

For example:

  • Pregnancy – did you enjoy your pregnancy?

    • If you loved it and have stretch marks, then these are reminders of a wonderful time for you.

    • If you did not love it, what would you go back and change so that it felt better and healthier? Is that something you can do for yourself now? (If you can change that, then you will feel good about yourself; if you don’t change or accept it, you will always fight against it and not feel good about yourself).

    • Did you feel connected with your partner?

      • If you did not, what pattern did you fall into? Did you not speak up authentically? Did you consistently overreact? Were you frustrated at their level of participation? Did you have doubts about your commitment? Are these patterns still present? The stretch marks are trying to get your attention and point you in the direction of healing something for yourself.

    • Did you feel connected to your child?

      • Do you feel bad or have guilt about the process? If you think of a stretch mark as a path…you get to change your path in life and make good decisions for yourself, one step at a time.

  • Growth spurts – both men and women experience stretch marks. These can be on the back, torso, buttocks, calves, thighs, etc. Even the location is an indicator that is trying to tell you something:

    • Back – You usually carry a lot for your family; they rely on you a lot

    • Torso – Did you desperately want your body to change? Well, it did. How can you look at yourself and not regret your decisions and ‘who you were’?

    • Buttocks – How do you feel about intimacy? Can you easily connect with your partner? Can they easily connect with you? Did you have any trauma occur

    • Calves – Did you want the ‘world’ to see you differently than how you actually felt about yourself? Did you try to be something for somebody because you thought that is what they wanted? Did you really know who you are or were you still learning about yourself?

    • Thighs – Do you want to be the hero? Fix things for people? Look good to people? Do you tend to overdo it because of that?

    • Breasts – Were you encouraged in your ‘coming of age’? Was there too much attention or not enough attention placed on this? Did you accept yourself during this time or were you embarrassed? These marks are indicators to embrace ‘that’ part of you. It is not bad or evil to become a sensuous, beautiful woman. How can you become that authentically for yourself now?

  •  Weight gain/loss

    • Did you have difficulty accepting yourself and your weight? Did you have negative thoughts about yourself? Stretch marks are going to be there as a reminder to learn how to love yourself…NO MATTER WHAT. If you saw a small child with a deformity, would you be able to love them unconditionally because you understand the value of their soul is greater than their human body? (If you feel sorry for them…the answer is ‘no’). Can you lift yourself and others up because you understand that beauty is the essence of who we are. Can you see people’s essence and beauty?

If you can overcome the human challenge of stretch marks and love yourself no matter what…THAT is the underlying lesson of stretch marks.

If you can feel attractive…because we ALL have beauty, then you can make wise decisions for yourself and love the results. You can get a tattoo or a cover-up tattoo, or whatever you want to do and honor what it means for you at the same time.

love_your_lines.jpg
 

That was so insightful Rona. Thank you! Is there really anything that you can do to avoid getting stretch marks?

Not everyone has stretch marks. You can of course do the physical things (rubbing creams, working out to tone, etc.). But everyone’s skin is different, as well as their skin elasticity. It’s kind of like saying, “is there anything you can do to avoid being in a car accident?” You can be responsible in what you know to do and if an accident occurs, will you allow it to teach you something valuable?

Let’s say, you do have stretch marks and you’re struggling with accepting them, where do you even begin?

First step, is knowing that there’s a lot of support out there with people who have stretch marks, and who will completely understand what you’re going through. You are NOT ALONE. Look into finding support from others who care.

But also…your best option, is to discover what the beautiful lesson is for YOU

If you can see this as an opportunity to learn how to be your best self…then you can use your own experience to have compassion and understanding for others, and be able to see beauty in people and situations you weren’t able to see the beauty in before.

For someone who’s pregnant right now and obsessively researching the best stretch mark creams in fear of getting them, what could help them feel more aligned? What do they have control over, if any?

Well, first of all, when you fight against something…you actually attract it. And saying that certainly doesn’t help a person feel more serene, does it? I would say to do your best to be informed and take care of yourself as best you can. Think…what is going to make me feel good tomorrow…and the next day? And make decisions from that space.

But also, fear of getting stretch marks is indicating your fear of being a parent. Are you going to be a good parent? What are you afraid of? I would recommend confronting those fears because when you do…then having the child becomes ‘worth it’ to you, and your attention won’t be on the stretch marks so much. 

Also, I would recommend for you to look at what and where you think your beauty is. Do you use it as power or as a gift? Is it where you get your value from? Having only external value for yourself can be a slippery slope. So, I would work on discovering your internal value and realizing how great you are and what you really value and love about yourself.

I love that. Last question, what do you personally find beautiful about stretch marks?

It’s funny you ask that because I was just thinking about my own scars and stretch marks. I was thinking how I have scars from injuries and I’m actually very proud of them. It makes me feel strong. 

But I also have stretch marks on my breasts that I got during puberty. I definitely did not want the attention back then and I didn’t accept who I was becoming. As an adult, I had to work through that and accept myself and my sensuality so that now, I don’t even notice my stretch marks anymore; but if I do…I now smile and am thankful for being well endowed. 😉

The beautiful thing about stretch marks is that we are all in this together. It shows how we go through things together. And that we are not alone.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, love and attention. If someone is interested in following you, asking more questions, or even booking a session with you to dive into this further, where can they find you?

Thank you so much, Jayd! I am so happy to get to collaborate with you. I am truly thankful for all of your gifts, and anyone who gets to work with you is very lucky!

If anyone is interested in working with me, I offer combo sessions and there is a curriculum of courses for anyone who is stressed or struggling. The curriculum helps you clear the areas of your life that aren’t working for you. You get to discover the ‘why’ and learn how to create your life from a very powerful place…from your intuition.

You can find me at Intuitivedevelopment.org or call The Center directly at 602-621-4027 to book a session!

Check out the video interview I did with Rona below 🙂

Did you find this insightful? Interesting? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! – Jayd

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What is SMP?

Scalp Micro Pigmentation (SMP) was developed as both a cosmetic procedure for men and women suffering with all types of hair loss, and as a medical procedure to help conceal scars, burns, birthmarks, as well as the full spectrum of alopecia. During the SMP procedure, a blend of unique pigments specifically formulated for the client are deposited into the dermal layer of the skin on the scalp. These deposits create an extremely realistic illusion that replicates hair follicles. SMP is a viable alternative to traditional hair transplant surgery, hair systems, pills, and fibers.. Around the world, thousands of clients live their lives free from hair loss without lengthly maintenance routines, unwelcome side effects or signifiant ongoing financial outlay.

Does scalp micropigmentation look real?

A typical scalp hair from a Caucasian woman is about 77 micrometers in diameters (67 Um in those of Asian descent, and 120 Um in those African descent). Typically, SMP dots placed in the dermis layer are 90-140 micrometers in diameter.

While this might seem a bit larger than a real human hair, this slight difference is virtually indistinguishable from real hair follicles. Often, when viewed 1 foot away, close friends and family will not be able to tell where real hair ends and the SMP begins.

What causes hair loss?

As hair on the scalp goes through it’s normal cycle of growing and shedding, DHT makes the follicles miniaturize. That means they get thinner and shorter because the growing cycle doesn’t last as long. The growing cycle becomes so brief that new hairs can’t grow through the skin. For women, hair loss can be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones, pregnancy, disease and certain medications.

How long will SMP last for?

With proper care and treatment, including using high sunscreen when outside, SMP will commonly last for many years. For a healthy client with a normal immune system, we expect that the color will last with original vibrance for about 4-6 years, with gradual fading of the pigment to last up to 8 years.

Fortunately, if a touch up is needed, a fee is charged which is generally cheaper per session than the original treatment fee. It’s important to note that each individual is different so an estimated range of longevity will be provided at our consultation meeting.

Will SMP fade, smear, or turn blue as the years pass?

Any pigment applied to the dermal layer of the skin will eventually fade, but we expect SMP to last several years or more, before even minimal fading is noticed. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun often breaks apart some tattoo inks for easier absorption by the body, resulting in increased fade rates and slight smearing. As the inks are degraded, their chromophores are often altered resulting in changed color. If this occurs, we can easily offer touch up sessions, or revise the ink color by adding additives to mute, neutralize, or warm up the tone again.

Is SMP reversible? Is receiving SMP treatment painful?

Yes, SMP pigmentation can be removed with an electro-optic Q switched laser, which is used to heat and break-up the SMP pigmentation for easier absorption by phagocytes in the dermis. SMP is fairly easy to remove in most cases because the pigment is not deposited as deeply as normal tattoo ink. The electro-optic laser, however is expensive and therefore, many clinics which advertise laser removal do not actually own one.

As for pain, it depends on the individual. In some cases, clients have fallen asleep while I have completed treatment. In other cases, clients experience pain across the temples or above the ears during treatment. Most clients rate their pain on a scale of 1-10, as 3-5 during treatment.

How long will it take for my final SMP appearance to form?

A normal client depending on hair loss extent, will take two to four treatments to achieve their final appearance. Most treatments are 2-3 hours long with small breaks as needed. The first treatment often places a very light application on the scalp to assess fading and density levels. The normal reaction from many clients is to assume that the SMP is too light. However, this is a normal part of the treatment and allows me to better treat the scalp in later sessions. The second treatment is 10-14 days later, and adds the majority of the density to your new look. Treatments three or later are usually for completing the look, addressing darkness matching or to even the density across the scalp.

What will my scalp look like immediately after treatment?

The area of the scalp that has been treated will have some redness for 24 hours after treatment, though this tends to be less visible on darker skin tones. In addition, the pigmentation will be darker for up to 7 days after treatment, again, depending on your skin tone. Thereafter, the pigmentation will appear to become lighter and softer as the pigment filled scabs begin to flake away. These scabs flake away in the first 3 to 10 days. As this happens, it appears to the observer that the SMP dots are shrinking. When the healing process is complete, the final dots are often 90 to 170 Um in diameter and blend seamlessly into any natural hair. By about one month, after any treatment, the pigments will begin to “set” and thereafter, fading will be almost zero.

How do I choose a hairline? If I have hair left, can I leave it long?

If you are unsure of what style or type of hairline will work or you, I will be there to help. With an artistic eye and experience on how to fit a hairline to head shape and age, I can help recommend what’s best. Over the course of our sessions, we can tweak and adjust the hairline for the perfect, natural result.

Depending upon the pattern and extent of your current hair, some clients are able to maintain a longer length. Scalp micropigmentation can help thicken areas so that less of the scalp is seen showing through. However, if there is a strong pattern of hair loss or just not a lot of hair density left, the client is recommended to crop it shorter.

Can Studio Conceal camouflage my transplant scar?

Yes, absolutely! By replicating tiny hair follicles inside the scarring and blending the color around the scarring area, transplant and surgical scars can see massive improvement in concealment.

DOES THIS TREATMENT REMOVE STRETCH MARKS?

Other than a tummy tuck, or the literal removal of skin, there is no proven way to remove stretch marks. The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo only helps to conceal and diminish the appearance of stretch marks so that they are less perceptible to the naked eye. Think of it as having a permanent filter, taking away the white contrast of your scars.

IS THE TREATMENT SUITABLE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES?

Generally, yes! However, there are a small number of people who the treatment would not be suitable for. Your stretch marks and scars need to be at least two years old, lighter than your skin tone and completely healed. Booking a virtual consultation can help determine if you’re a candidate for this procedure and is required for all clients.

CAN I GET TATTOOED IF MY SKIN IS ALREADY TANNED?

We prefer to match only your natural skin tone, and require that our clients postpone their session until their tan has faded. This ensures that we are able to custom blend an ink color that will look most natural whether you’re tanned or not.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TAN?

Your camouflaged stretch marks and scars will not change color. If you tan, your skin’s overtone will darken, but your stretch marks will remain the same color as your natural skin-toned ink tattoo. Overall, your stretch marks will still be camouflaged because the “white” is no longer there. In short, there’s less of an obvious contrast. Here’s a great video explaining what happens to your stretch mark tattoos when you tan.

WILL IT HURT? DO YOU NUMB YOUR CLIENTS?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin procedure so a small amount of discomfort will be experienced. Usually on a scale 1-10 (10 being most painful), the average consensus is a 6 or 7. We do not numb our clients to avoid any interference to the purity and insertion of pigment into the scar. In addition, your pain receptors will be heightened if you’re on your monthly cycle, and so we suggest you book your session/touch ups accordingly.

CAN I GET THE TREATMENT WHILE PREGNANT OR BREAST-FEEDING?

Congratulations on your pregnancy, but unfortunately, we are unable to treat women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. We look forward to treating you once your little one is weaned and your scars have been fully healed (usually within two years).

HOW WILL I LOOK IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS?

There’s little to no downtime. Most Clients can resume work the same day, or even fly home after their session. It’s normal to experience redness and swelling immediately after the procedure for 1-3 days. For the first 3 days, you’ll be given strict instructions on how to minimize inflammation, speed up the wound healing phase, and how to “ice” the area and keep it clean. Over the next few weeks, the redness will dissipate and go through a variety of shades (from dark to light) until your skin heals. We’ll be in contact with you every step of the way.

HOW QUICKLY WILL I SEE RESULTS?

Everyone’s skin is different. Variables include age, diet, hormones, general health, overtones, sun exposure, etc and so it’s impossible to give an exact number of days it will take you to heal. On average, it takes 45-60 days, but if you’re prone to hyper-pigmentation (you naturally scar dark), it will most likely take longer to heal. During your consultation, we can discuss and assess your skin’s estimated timeline and variables.
*Here’s a recent case study of our fastest healing client to help you speed along your recovery!

HOW LONG WILL THE RESULTS OF THE PROCEDURE LAST?

The Stretch Mark Camouflage Tattoo is a penetrative skin treatment that’s only been around for 6-7 years. According to our industry, it’ll last 5 years, or more provided that the correct after-care procedures are adhered to. You may or may not need a touch up after 5-6 years. Remember, a stretch mark is a scar and so the skin is trickier to penetrate. In addition, as we age, all tattoos transition and change on our skin because there’s less elasticity and melanin production. This can effect your stretch mark camouflage tattoo, as well.

WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROCEDURE?

The total cost of the procedure varies greatly per technician and is dependent on the location and severity of the stretch marks or scar requiring treatment. Studio Conceal charges anywhere between $500-$2,000/ per area. We require an initial consultation (in-person or virtual) free of charge with zero pressure, during which the final cost can be determined by a formal quote.

DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes we do! We’ve partnered with United Medical Credit to offer easy, reliable financing for all camouflage services and training. It’s really easy to apply and only takes 3 minutes to get approved. They’ll do a soft credit check to determine your options and will be in contact with you in 24 hours. Apply for financing of tattoo treatment or training here, hassle free.

STRETCH MARK CAMOUFLAGE TATTOO VS. LASER TREATMENTS?

While Laser Treatments do work on stretch marks by damaging the skin’s outer layer and forcing it to heal itself, they do not put color back into the skin. So almost all clients who get Laser Treatments for their stretch marks still have noticeable stretch marks. In fact, many of our clients have had many Laser Treatment procedures prior to walking into our studio. Another huge difference is the cost of that treatments. Laser Treatments could run $1,000 to $3,000 per session, and can easily end up costing the client over $10,000 overall.
*Here’s a short video going over the differences of microneedling vs. laser vs. the stretch mark camouflage tattoo