Lyphoedema tape moves lymphatic fluid from congested to non-congested areas of the body. It gently lifts the surface layer of the skin thus encouraging lymph and blood to move.
I use either the original Kinesio tape, or a newer product called Punch tape. The latter has holes punched at regular intervals, that seems to make it more effective, and it elimates the cutting of tape into thin strips.
The original Kinesio Tex Tape and the Kinesio Taping Method were
developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese Chiropractor who trained in the
United States. In the early 1970 he developed a specialized tape that
could aid the body in healing itself. Originally Kinesio Taping was used only as a elastic
sports tape, but later applications for lymphoedema emerged.
You might have seen Kinesio taping at sports events, particularly at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, where 50,000 rolls of tape were donated to the Olympic athletes. Amongst them was Kerri Walsh, who used the tape during the games following surgery on her rotator cuff. Serena Williams has also used Kinesio tape during competitions.
Taping can affect the lymphatic system in several ways:
The motion of the tape and its action on sensory receptors in the skin can improve muscle contraction. This enhances the function of the deeper lymph vessels nearby.
Tape can be placed to stabilize joints that have been
affected by lymphoedema.
As the tape affects the muscles and skin it also improves the ability of blood to flow in and out of the treated area. This improved circulation aids in healing.
Swelling can place pressure on sensory receptors in the skin thus causing pain, numbness or reduced sensitivity. When excess fluid is removed the pressure is reduced and the ability of these receptors to communicate with the brain is improved.
Thus taping can be very helpful as an adjunct to lymphoedema
treatment. It is particularly useful in the reduction of truncal, head,
lymphoedemas or areas where compression is difficult or not
Taping is one of the treatment options. I use it in conjunction with Deep Oscillation, Manual Lymph Drainage, and occasionally, with massage. I found it particularly helpful in situations where deep massage is contra-indicated (not helpful), for example when a client has lymphoedema of the arm (where deep massage is not helpful due to possibility of bruising) and a tennis elbow. I found it very effective for oedema of the hand and fingers.
I have only recently started to use it again, after I came across a scientific article comparing bandaging with taping - and taping was no worse. I do think this has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but taping is good for lymphoedema where compression is difficult.
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List of treatments
- Myofascial Release (MFR) - Saving Hands massage -
- Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® - ATMAT -
- Seated Acupressure - Indian Head Massage - Pulsing - Reiki -
- Reflexology - Tsuboki Foot Massage - Hopi Ear Candles -
- Hot and Cold Stone Massage - Myofascial dry cupping -
- Aromatherapy Massage - Aromatherapy Lymphatic Massage (ALM) -
- Fertility Massage - Pregnancy Massage - Post-natal Massage -
- Dorn Method - Breuss Massage -
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - Deep Oscillation -
- Holistic Facial - Face Vitality - Total Detox -
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