Kinesio Taping Method (KTM) Acu-tape technique is based on three important concepts: Space, Movement and Cooling.
Painful and/or inflamed muscles lack space.
When KTM technique is applied to create space, it is helpful in and of itself, but also leads to the opportunity for improved movement and circulation. This space and movement then allows for cooling of the affected muscles, often combined with cryotherapy/cyrosauna for rapid healing and remediation. see note:
What is Acu-Taping?
This is a relatively new treatment method particularly~~ but not exclusively ~~ used for the treatment of pain. Developed and described by two German doctors, Hans-Ulrich Hecker and Kay Liebchen.
The method has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, but also in osteopathy.
Acu-taping differs from Kinseo-taping in that any “western” symptom can be translated into a Chinese clinical picture and then managed with this therapy. Thus, more symptoms can be managed and treated using Acu-taping, including internal problems such as bowel disorders, menstrual difficulties, and many others.
The expected effects of Acu-taping can be summarized as follows:
* Reduction in Pain and muscle spasm, * Improved blood circulation, muscles tone and immune state * Anti-inflammatory actions and * Decongestion
Acu-taping is particularly useful in the realm of sports medicine. (And you now routinely see many professional tennis players and other high performance athletes using it.) The tapes are made of specially designed stretchable fabric with a set of subtle micro-ridges that work with the skin (to lift the epidermis) and a light acrylic adhesive. The tapes contain no other chemicals or medications. They rely on an understanding of pain called Gate Control Theory. Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall introduced this first physiological explanation for the previously reported effect of psychology on pain perception in the 1965 Science article “Pain Mechanisms: A New Theory”. They were the proposed that thin (pain) and large diameter (touch, pressure, vibration) nerve fibers carry information from the site of injury to two destinations in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord: the “inhibitory” cells and the “transmission” cells. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gate_theory#Gate_control .
New research examining Phantom Limb pain remediation using Mirroring Technique and Float Therapy also aligns with Gate Control Theory:
HOW DOES ACU-TAPING ACTUALLY WORK?
Basically, with the tapes in place, lots of nerve endings are signalling, ‘I’m feeling something at the surface’, and those signals overlay pain signals from underneath.
By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, the KTM alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.
The KTM starts with two basic muscle taping techniques.
These are used to balance muscles and bring them up to functional level. The first is applied for overuse and acute injuries and for rehabilitation.
In these instances the tape is applied insertion to origin.
The second is applied for increased muscle function and to redress chronic conditions: origin to insertion taping is used here.
In addition to these basic techniques, there are many correctional procedures that deal with positioning as well as other specific purposes such as pain relief. All the correctional procedures are specific, including treatments for cerebral palsy, pediatric needs, lymphoedema and a host of other specific conditions.
The following areas are addressed by correctional procedures:
- Mechanical Correction
- Fascia (Fascial) Correction
- Space Correction
- Ligament/Tendon Correction
- Functional Correction
- Circulatory/Lymphatic Correction
A key focus of KTM training and practice is the process of assessment. Assessing the patient’s condition, looking at both the symptoms and the likely cause of each individual patient’s condition, is the only way to successful treatment.
Evaluation and assessment dictate the treatment of any clinical condition. In order to get the desired results from a Kinesio Taping Method application or any other treatment, a full assessment of the patient is necessary. In some cases, the treatment of a condition may also require that other underlying conditions be addressed. Assessment should include the Kinesio screening test: manual muscle testing, range of motion testing, gait assessment, and any other orthopedic special tests that the practitioner may deem necessary.
The findings of the clinical evaluation or assessment dictate the specifics of the KTM application and other possible treatments or modalities. Delicate adaptations are necessary, whether utilizing single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X”, “Y” or other specialized shapes, or calibrating the direction and amount of stretch placed on the tape at time of application.
The KTM is applied in a myriad of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, provide support, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing.
All these work toward the goal of balance, of returning the body to homeostasis.
The information gained from proper diagnostics allows for the most effective treatment protocol to be laid out. This method has been shown to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
It can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other treatments and modalities, and is effective during the acute, chronic and rehabilitative phases of injury as well as for preventative measures.