Lymphoedema Taping

“removes lymphatic fluid congestion.”

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.

Kinesio taping for the arm

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.

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.

Kinesio taping of the back

Occassionally I use it as an adjuct to massage therapy, for example with back pain. It seems to be strangely comforting and supporting.

The tape itself is included in the price of the session. Tape for application at home can be purchased.

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.



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.





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 -
-
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 -


Subscribe to
my Free
Newsletter
Massage Message

Don't worry, your e-mail address is  secure. I promise to use it only to send you the
Massage Message.



Recent Articles

  1. Research on touch, massage and other interesting topics

    May 08, 18 06:41 AM

    New research on touch, massage and other interesting topics

    Read More

  2. Touching Well Privacy Policy

    May 07, 18 05:48 AM

    Touching Well is committed to protecting the privacy of visitors on our site.

    Read More

  3. Attention to my feet

    Apr 15, 18 01:17 PM

    I arrived thinking that I was fine and was looking forward to a general massage. Regina started on my feet and we never got any further. The result was

    Read More