This week I attended a kinesiology taping master class run by John Gibbons as part of his Body Master training courses. I was really keen to learn more about the benefits of kinesiology taping application and how I could use it to help my clients with their injuries.
During the day we learnt about the history of kinesiology taping, how it works and how to use and apply it. Most of the day was given to watching demonstrations and practicing application. Kinesiology taping has become popular with athletes (first evident in the 2012 Olympics) but its benefits can equally help those not involved in sport. We learnt and practiced application of kinesiology tape to help relieve ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, hamstring strains, piriformis pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, illiotibial band syndrome and a whole host of other painful conditions. I am quite exciting to be adding this to the toolbox of treatments I can offer my clients. Below are the answers to some of the questions you may have.
How does Kinesiology tape work?
Kinesiology tape has been clinically shown to help with the body’s response to inflammation. It decompresses the space between the skin and muscle so there is less pressure on the nerve endings so pain is reduced or stopped. In decompressing this space it also promotes lymphatic drainage and reduces swelling, which in turn will lead to less pain. Kinesiology tape may also stimulate receptors in the skin which play a part in proprioception (our movement awareness). While the cause of your injury will still need to be investigated, kinesiology taping can help dramatically with the symptoms and promote healing.
How is it applied?
Kinesiology tape is applied in standard ‘I’ strips of various lengths or ‘Y’, ‘X’ or ‘fan’ strips. The amount of stretch applied will vary from 10-100% depending on the condition being treated and whether the muscle is pre-stretched prior to application. It can stay on for several days once applied.
There are some contraindications and precautions to applying tape which can be discussed prior to treatment.