What is it?
Acu-taping is also known as Neuro-muscular or kinesio-taping.
We use the brightly coloured tape being worn by the athletes at events. (The Olympics was a prime example).
The tape is applied in two different ways, dependent on what we are trying to achieve.
One is known as compressive and is used to support a joint/tendon immediately after it has been injured or strained. The tape is stretched quite tightly over or bedside the affected area, to reduce the load on the body’s own tendons/ligaments or joints and support the injured joint.
Where muscles have been damaged or strained it can also be used in this way to restrict the muscle’s movement to allow internal damage to start healing.
The second way it is used, which is very useful later in the recovery process, is in a de-compressive way.
In this application the tape is used to create space between the skin / fascia and underlying muscles, which improves lymph flow and speeds up the recovery. Applied in this way the tape often looks slightly corrugated, as it is lifting the skin away from the underlying tissue.
Often, immediately after injury, such as a joint injury an athlete will have tape applied in a compressive way, to support the damaged tissue and restrict movement (which could create more damage).
Once the immediate period is over, the tape will be re-applied in a de-compressive way, to help clear lymph and waste from the area and allow blood to get to the area, which are both essential for the body to recover from the damage.
What is the tape?
The tape, which originated in Korea, is a remarkably clever design, as:
- It’s stretchiness mimics that of human skin.
- It can stretch to double its static length.
- By using different amounts of stretch we can ensure it supports a damaged area by the right amount.
- The adhesive is in wavy bands, not across the whole surface, which allows sweat underneath to escape and prevents the tape from peeling off easily.
It has been widely adopted by acupuncturists, physiotherapists and other specialist body workers worldwide as it is so useful and easy to use.
Excellent examples of it’s wide range of uses can be seen at feellikeus.net
I often use this for shoulder, knee and elbow problems, as a “taping to go” after an acupuncture treatment on a particular injured area. I also use it when muscle has been pulled/strained.
It can also assist in helping certain internal conditions, due to the reflex nature of certain parts of the body.