KINESIO: THE ORIGINAL KINESIOLOGY TAPE
by: Grant Hudson, R.KIN
Browsing online or looking through a physiotherapy supply store you may see as many as five-ten different options for elastic therapeutic tape -commonly known as kinesiology tape- and around the world there are 100+ different brands out there right now. So how can you differentiate them, finding the best fit for you? The best place to start is with the original brand that created the craze we know today: KINESIO.
In the 1970s, a chiropractor by the name of Dr. Kenzo Kase found the elderly osteoarthritic patients he was seeing would have acute benefits from his treatments, but would go back to poor habits and painful positioning once they returned home. He attempted to tape their joints in the correct position, but the tape he had access to was too rigid and used cheap adhesive. While helping in some ways, it also caused skin irritation and range of motion issues. That’s when he decided he needed something different, something that could support movement. After a long development process, in 1979 he introduced the first version of the elastic therapeutic tape we all know today.
Paired with the Kinesio Taping Method Dr. Kase created, Kinesio tape can be used for not only medical purposes, but also for athletic performance and everyday life! Sumo wrestlers were the first athletes to introduce Kinesio tape for performance purposes. This started a spread around the world, becoming popularized in North America from use by the USA women’s beach volleyball team. Now used by athletes in all sports, these benefits have been passed on to people in their everyday lives. Whether it be people with labour intensive jobs or people with day-to-day pains, Kinesio has its place for everyone.
Kinesio stands out amongst the sea of copy-cat products with superior quality and performance, but what does Kinesio tape really do, and what versions are there to consider for your needs?
TYPES OF KINESIO TAPE
Kinesio Tex Classic is the latest version of the original elastic therapeutic tape that Dr. Kase invented over 30 years ago. Kinesio tape will not only support joints and help promote proper positioning, but it is also meant to mimic the human skin. The elastic nature allows for support without limiting range of motion, and on a microscopic level it actually lifts the skin below to facilitate lymphatic drainage which helps reduce inflammation. Kinesio Tex Classic is for everyone; from athletes to weekend warriors, it’s for people who move.
Made of a latex-free cotton fiber, the tape is water resistance, breathable, and hypoallergenic. The medical grade acrylic adhesive allows for multiple day wear time without irritating the skin. Tension can be applied to the tape which can facilitate different responses from the targeted area, such as muscle stimulation or relaxation, increased skin lift, etc.
The time and effort put into the design and production processes is what makes Kinesio tape so reliable and high performing, especially compared to other options which will sacrifice quality in an attempt to reduce production costs. Dr. Kase has spoken on the fact that he refuses to change the manufacturing process and materials to reduce production costs, because there will always be a decrease in quality.
Kinesio Tex Gold FP has all of the same features as the Classic, but with a few design changes developed for medical professionals who know the Kinesio Taping Method. Starting with a new high-grade cotton, breathability is improved even more for extended comfort. The big difference in makeup is in the fact that the updated wave pattern of Kinesio Tex Gold has a patented Fingerprint (FP) technology with Nano Touch stimulation. This takes the proprioceptive benefits of Kinesio tape up a notch, mimicking a gentle touch which medical professionals may use to promote awareness to a certain area during movement. The Micro-Grip adhesive unique to the Gold FP tape will also provide improved grip with less adhesive surface area required
Kinesio Tex Gold Light Touch+
Kinesio Tex Gold Light Touch+ is another evolution in the Kinesio lineup and was developed to encompass all skin types. Even with the best materials, there is still a group of people that previously were not candidates for elastic therapeutic tape. People with a tendency to sensitive skin, from pediatric to geriatric, now have an option for Kinesio tape and its benefits. Pairing the new high grade cotton from Kinesio Tex Gold with Micro Air Pocket Technology, a more gentle adhesion is provided to the targeted tissues. This creates a multidirectional soft motion, providing the same benefits as other Kinesio tape options with a lighter stimulation.
Even for the population with sensitive skin, Light Touch+ is wearable for up to 24 hours with easy application and removal. Even for people without irritable skin, this is the perfect tool for the neck and face. For professionals who require the use of PPE throughout the day, Light Touch+ is gentle enough to apply on the face and behind the ears to be used as a protective barrier. This prevents wear down of the skin and maintains comfortable contact without feeling restrictive. Looking into the future, Kinesio and Dr. Kase also believe Light Touch+ will become the perfect tool for aesthetic functions as well, because it is so gentle on the face and neck.
The Kinesio Taping Method is the taping system created by Dr. Kase in order to optimize the benefits of Kinesio tape. Kinesio holds courses around the world teaching this method, which not only provides support, but also assists in dysfunction and injury rehab by facilitating the body’s natural healing response, becoming an extension of the therapy a clinician performs. You can also find the Kinesio Taping Method in the form of books, and online courses covering specific topics made by Kinesio Here!
If you need more information about anything Kinesio, Remington Medical will be happy to help you at anytime! Contact us today!