Lymphoedema Taping

“removes lymphatic fluid congestion.”

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Opening times: Monday to Thursday daytime

 I hope to see you soon. With warm regards, Regina

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.

It can be a good self-help tool and is easy to apply (obviously by another person in this application).

The tape must only be applied on intact, healthy skin. If there is an allergic reaction (itching) the tape should be removed immediately. Sometimes switching to a different brand helps as they all use slightly different glues.

This is a particularly good application for lymphoedema of the hand and fingers. The back of the hand is very difficult compress with a gauntlet or glove, this is a good alternative (or addition, depending on the oedema).

I have found taping really useful for client with an abdominal hernia (she cannot be treated with surgery).

It can also be help for people with back issues, it provides a stimulus of "support".

Another potentially useful application is s are for people where the nerves are "very sensitive". I see it as providing a different stimulus so that the nerves have "something to talk about" rather than pain and irritation.

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.

How does taping affect the lymphatic system?

Taping can affect the lymphatic system in several ways:

Kinesio taping of the arm

On the skin it causes a massage-like movement that directs lymph away from an affected area. When placed over areas of fibrosis, the lifting and massage action, as well as the increased movement of skin also assists in softening these tissues.

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, and neck lymphoedemas or areas where compression is difficult or not appropriate.

The tape

  • is made from very thin, porous cotton, in approximately the same thickness as the epidermis (outer layer) of the skin. This is important in lymphoedema treatment to stimulate the flow of lymph.
  • has a medical grade heat sensitive acrylic adhesive on the back on the tape in a wavelike pattern.
  • is latex free and can be used safely by those with a latex allergy.
  • is very light and comfortable when placed properly. After about 20 minutes you don't  notice it, it has a comforting effect.
  • even with showering and swimming, the tape remains effective for 3-5 days before it needs to be replaced.
  • if applied correctly, it is safe. 
  • just in case, need to watch out for allergic reaction.

How is the tape used at Touching Well?

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.

Taping for support

Samar is currently undergoing a series of lipoedema surgeries. Unfortunately she had a fall damaging her left knee, damaging it quite badly. She found taping really helpful, she can exercise and walk up stairs without pain. This helps her to build up her muscles to support her joints.

Here you can see "work in progress" with the lipoedema not yet treated and the empty skin.

Such a long and hard journey.

P.S. You can also visit "Your Massage Questions" to ask any questions or read other people's questions.

P.P.S. And if you have a story you'd like to share why not visit "Your Massage Stories". You'll also find other people's stories to enjoy.

P.P.P.S. To find out interesting massage related "bits and bobs" please subscribe to the Massage Message in the top of the right column.

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Myofascial Release (MFR) - Saving Hands massage -
Therapeutic massage -
Maya Abdominal Therapy -
- Seated Acupressure - Indian Head Massage - Pulsing - Reiki -
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- Fertility Massage - Pregnancy Massage - Post-natal Massage -
- Dorn Method - Breuss Massage -
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - Deep Oscillation -
 - Treatment for lymphoedema - Treatment after cosmetic surgery -
Holistic Facial - Face Vitality - Total Detox -
 - Virtual sessions - Supervision

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