Kinesio Taping was invented in Japan in the 1970s. Today Kinesio tapes are used by Physios, medical practitioners and athletes all over the world. The method of Kinesio taping relies just as much on the technique of its application as it does on the properties of the tape itself. You can not use any old tape! Kinesio tape comes in different colours (but the colours are only for looks - the tape is the same no matter what colour!). Kinesio Taping is greatly effective in therapy since it has the ability to relax overused and overextended muscles, as well as rehabilitating muscular injuries both on and off the pitch or gym. It can also be used to reduce bruising, assist in the reduction of haematomas and the inflammation or the swelling in tissues after injury by not blocking or hindering circulation, hence reducing pain. Our therapists also use Kinesio taping to assist in joint movement, reduce pain during movement and increase muscle activation around a joint if the muscle is weak or inhibited.
How does it work?
The tape is not rigid like strapping tape, it's flexible, comfortable and functional, allowing and encouraging full range of movement. The wave pattern found on the tape's adhesive has a lifting effect on the skin which can reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptors.
The Therapist uses the tape over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over-contraction. It is applied with a stretch to the tape or to the target area in order to create space under the skin and achieve the desired effect on the musculature. This effect causes changes in deeper layers of fascia by manipulating the skin and muscle, creating space underneath the skin to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage. By utilizing a number of corrective techniques, the therapist can promote correct muscle and joint function, as well as pain relief by targeting the pain and the source of the pain. Applications of the tape involve utilising single I strips or modifications in the shape of an X or Y or other specialised shapes.
The tape is used in sport and rehabilitation for muscle relaxation or muscle facilitation. For muscle relaxation the tape is applied from the end of the muscle to the beginning (Insertion to Origin). This allows the muscle to reduce its tension (relaxation). For muscle facilitation, the tape is applied from the beginning of the muscle to the end (Origin to Insertion). This stimulates tired or underused muscles and it is mostly used in rehabilitation.
Is it for me?
It's for everyone (not just sports people!). Kinesio tape is hypoallergenic, latex free and the adhesive compound is designed for sensitive skin. The tape works well on all ages from children to the elderly. Whether the injury is related to sport, work or poor posture, Kinesio Tape is an ideal treatment option to get clients back to exercise, training, sport and general day-to-day activities faster and more effectively. Application of the tape comes with a full assessment of your posture and biomechanics to see the source of the problem, then applying the tape for instant effect and incorporating specific exercises for maximum rehabilitation results.