Kinesio-taping (K-tape for short) is a means of gently and continually opening the fascia for a few days. K-tape is used for extending the efficacy of a cupping treatment or as an add-on service after a therapeutic massage session – this therapy is derived from the practice of Kinesiology. K-tape is a waterproof adhesive bandage that maintains tension on the skin’s surface to manipulate the fascia. K-tape is gentle, benefiting the recipient over time.
There are many brands of Kinesio tape available, but the science is the same behind every strip.
K-tape should be very stretchy with flexible but firm adhesive. When applied intentionally, K-tape provides a gentle stretch to the fascia of the attached tissues. By gripping the skin via adhesive bond, K-tape gradually supports and pulls the fascia as the wearer goes about their daily tasks. It is meant to be kept on for as long as possible – up to a week if the adhesive holds.
Benefits of K-tape
K-tape can be used strategically depending on the recipient's therapeutic goals. K-tape is light and continuous myofascial therapy best used for injured regions, such as around disk herniations, over bruises, bony landmarks, lipomas, sprains, and strains.
K-tape can improve commonly tight areas like the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, and elbows. Those who can benefit the most tend to have very tight skin and muscles – to the point of pain. People who struggle with mobility daily are good candidates for K-tape. Benefits of K-tape include:
- Improved circulation K-tape opens the muscles and fascia to enable more comfortable movement, circulation, and tissue hydration of the problem area and surrounding muscles.
- Detox and boosting immunity K-tape draws blood to the surface lymphatics enabling the body to detox from stagnant muscular waste. When used as a lymphatic drainage tool, it is safe to use K-tape every day.
- Warming cold parts K-taping can transfer heat to colder areas of the body by mobilizing the blood and lifting the tissues.
K-tape when other therapeutic modalities are not recommended
When inflammation, soreness, restricted range of movement, joint pain, unexplained tenderness to touch, or bruising make it difficult to receive massage, chiropractic care, or physical therapy, K-tape is still a viable option for relief. K-tape may also help with lymphatic flow, reducing inflammation and potentially expediting the recovery process of an injury such as a bruise, sprain, or strain.
Using K-tape to help open and stretch the fascia from the superficial layers to deeper layers helps restore optimal adaptable function to the body and provides the wiggle room for the lymphatic ducts, blood vessels, and nerves to move and twist without becoming constricted by the tightness of our skin.
Using K-tape correctly
When applying K-tape, it is best to use it above and around areas of concern. Avoid placing tape directly over the site if there are any skin wounds like scrapes or cuts. Make sure wounds are closed and scabbed at the very least before applying tape around. You will not want to tug open wounds with your K-tape application.
The best way to experience the benefits of K-tape, however, is by having it professionally applied. At True Potential Chiropractic, our massage therapists and Stretchologists can work with you to identify if K-tape would be a beneficial addition to your bodywork plan.
Let your massage or stretch therapist know if you have questions about K-tape and its benefits, applications, contraindications, and if you have sensitivity to adhesive material.