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Medical Taping Concept

The basis for the Medical Taping Concept was laid in Japan and Korea in the seventies. At the time methods of taping were being developed starting from the idea that movement and muscle activity are essential in maintaining and recovering health. The idea behind this was that muscles are not only attributed to the movements of the body but also control for instance blood and lymph circulation and body temperature. If the muscles do not function properly, it can cause a range of symptoms and complaints.

Pursuing this idea several kinds of elastic tape were being developed which could support the muscles in their function without restricting their movement. By treating the affected muscles in this way, the body’s own healing process is activated. During the development of this method it soon appeared that the possibilities of application were more versatile than only treating muscles.

The tape used has about the same elasticity and thickness as the human skin. The elasticity of the tape in relation to the elasticity of the skin is used to create a lifting effect on the epidermis. Thus more space is created in the area of the subcutis, where all kinds of receptors, blood and lymph vessels are located. By using different taping techniques several effects can be achieved.

After tissue trauma the tissue reacts with inflammation. A local swelling occurs which increases the pressure on the surrounding tissue. This increase in pressure hinders the blood circulation and reduces the lymphatic drainage, so that the pressure on the pain receptors increases.

The lifting effect of the tape gives immediate pressure relief, through which the blood circulation and lymphatic drainage are restored.

The pressure on the pain receptors decreases and the pain experienced diminishes immediately. Automatically this makes a more physiological pattern of movement possible.
Conventional sport tape is designed to restrict the possibilities of movement.

On applying sport tape a considerable pressure increase occurs, which reduces the blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. This slows down recovery. Moreover, prolonged partial or total immobilisation of muscles or joints causes contractures, so that subsequent rehabilitation is necessary for recovery. Therefore the time of immobilisation should be kept as short as possible. Better still prevent it altogether.
In the Medical Taping Concept the elasticity of the tape used makes it possible to support the tissues in their function, while full range of motion is maintained. The disadvantages of conventional immobilisation are thus prevented.

Physiological movement is supported, through which the body’s own healing process is activated. In other words, the tape supports exactly that which ideally the body would do itself. The lifting effect of the tape on the skin improves the subcutaneous blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Through the decrease of pressure the initial lymph vessels can open more widely. This exactly meets the objective of manual lymphatic drainage. As the effects of the tape correspond with the objective of manual lymphatic drainage, the tape is an excellent addition and support when treating lymph oedema.
The hypoallergenic, porous, skin friendly properties of the tape make it possible to wear the tape for multiple days. Thus a 24 hour a day treatment is possible, which speeds up recovery after tissue trauma.

Summarizing the effects can be listed as follows:
1. Improve muscle function by regulating muscle tone.
2. Remove congestion to blood circulation and lymphatic drainage
3. Alleviating pain
4. Supporting the function of the joints by:
- stimulating proprioception
- correcting the direction of movement
- increasing stability
5. Neuro-reflexive manipulation

The range of application is very wide: Follow-up treatment of injuries, reducing inflammations or accumulations of fluid (oedema, but also haematoma), corrections of posture, treatment of symptoms caused by overuse (such as RSI, tennis or golf elbow). Neuro-reflexive manipulation, e.g. with headache, is also possible, as is prophylactic taping.

At the end of 1998 the Dutch company Fysio Tape BV managed to get one of the founders of the Japanese taping method (kinesio taping) to come to Europe to train Dutch and German physiotherapists. From 1999 the number of physicians and physiotherapists who have learned the Japanese method has increased very fast. As a consequence of this more and more possibilities have been discovered. New techniques and additions came one after the other. Thus new methods of treatment came into being, such as ‘Medical Taping’, ‘Lymphatic Taping’, ‘Meridian Taping’ and ‘Cross Taping’. Subsequently all these methods have been included in the Medical Taping Concept.