Magic Tape That is the name my clients have given to kinesiology tape and I have to agree with them. It has helped them recover quicker than usual from torn hamstrings and abdominal muscles, sprained ankles, tennis elbow, rotator cuff problems, knee pain and huge bruises from hitting the dirt. As a practitioner, the beautiful thing about this tape is that it just continues to evolve in its usefulness.
Where did kinesiology tape come from? In 1973, Japanese born chiropractor, Kenso Kase developed and trademarked Kinesiotape and the Kinesio-Taping Method. It didn’t make it to the United States until around 1995. However, most Americans were unfamiliar with it until the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When many of us watched, beach volleyball player, Kerri Walsh win gold for the United States with a new kind of tape all over her shoulder. In the 2001 Tour de France, the US Postal Team road with ‘pink’ tape and Lance went on to win his third of seven yellow jerseys. Today there are over 50+ brands available, and kinesiology tape can be spotted everyone and on anyone.
What makes kinesiology tape special (maybe even magic)? Kinesiology taping is based on the body’s own natural healing process. Unlike conventional athletic tape, kinesiology tape has elastic properties and does not restrict movement. The amount of stretch in this tape correlates with the elastic qualities of our skin and its special properties aid our proprioceptors and lymphatic system. Applied correctly, kinesiology tape provides support for weakened muscles, as well as over-active muscles, decreases pain and swelling, and aids a joint in improved alignment. It can also be applied to assist an area where you have tight fascia.
Who should apply it? The success of this tape is dependent on proper examination and application. Different techniques are used for each unique objective. Are you trying to relax a tight muscle, assist a weak muscle, get rid of pain or swelling, or support a joint? To be truly effective, a practitioner needs to know exactly why they are applying the tape. This determines the position the tissue or joint needs to be placed in for taping, as well as what direction and tension are placed on the tape. It’s important to understand what should happen in the next 3-5 days as the tape does its job. Apply the tape correctly, and yes, it works just like magic.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”~ Arthur C. Clarke