Karen: “Massage Magazine” webinar for massage therapists. I’m Karen Menehan, Editor and Chief of “Massage Magazine.” And today’s webinar, FMT Basic Kinesiology Taping Practitioner Certification is sponsored by RockTape. This webinar is being recorded and we’ll archive it on our website at massagemag.com for a year. And our presenter today is Stacey Thomas. When her presentation is complete, we’ll open up the webinar to your questions and you can submit questions throughout the presentation by clicking on the icon on the right side of your screen. So we’ll do our best to get to all your questions, but if we run out of time, we’ll get answers to them from Stacey, notify you via email, and post the answers to massagemag.com. Today’s presenter, Stacey Thomas, has been a movement specialist since 1997 and is licensed as a sports massage therapist since 2005. She is also an educator for RockTape, an education and product company dedicated to improving movement and performance.

RockTape offers education and the functional movement therapy as well as products that include tape, cups, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization tools. So Stacey has many articles on taping for various client conditions on the RockTape guide to kinesiology taping and LMT tools resource center on massagemag.com/kinesiologytape. Kinesiology tape has been shown to reduce pain, positively affect fluid mechanics, improve posture and muscle function, speed recovery, and improve sporting performance. Stacey is here today to explain the science behind benefits like these, how you can incorporate tape into your massage practice, and next steps to take to further your kinesiology taping education. Welcome, Stacey.

Stacey: Thanks, Karen, so much. I really appreciate being here and thanks for everybody that’s tuning in. As Karen said, I’ve been involved in the movement world for a long time, since 1997. Still learning every single day, alphabet soup behind my name, but that simply means that like you, I am very passionate about continuing my education, learning from others, as well as sharing what I’ve learned over the last 20 some odd years. So, get right into the presentation, what we’re gonna talk about today. Yes, I’m an instructor for RockTape. I do wanna tell you that just so that I am transparent, but that does not mean that this presentation is going to, by any means, be limited to any type of RockTape products. What we’re gonna talk about today is a framework for kinesiology taping and that taping can be done with any type of tape you would like to use.

That being said, we are going to go over a lot of different concepts and theories regarding the application, when we use the tape, when we don’t use it, and what actually happens from both a mechanical aspect, a neurological aspect, and even getting into the biopsychosocial aspect. I’m getting some messages, Karen, that say, “There are no visuals.” Is that…

Karen: So I can see your visuals on my screen and we have our IT people here who are ready to jump in on this. I’m seeing other people saying that they can see everything just fine and they see the visuals. So, I believe that your visuals are working just fine. Thanks, Stacey

Stacey: My goodness. It must be a Monday. All right, so let’s talk about what exactly we’re going to look at today. Yes, we’re a company that produces tape and there might be some of you in here that are very well versed, already using kinesiology tape. Some of the ways that we primarily differ is that we’re not just a taping company. We are very much a movement company. What we mean by that is the fact that we… Sorry, slides weren’t advancing there. We operate from a model that looks at how can we influence movement, how can we influence our clients’ experience of movement, or pain management, or even performance, again, from both a neurological aspect as well as mechanical, and then talking again about how has our understanding of the combination of pain from a touch and efferent reception standpoint as well as the neurological aspect.

The basis of our education stems from this movement pyramid that we’ve created. We assume that everyone in the room has some method of screening their clients when they walk in, whether that be from a very simple method of an intake where maybe you’re doing a posture screen, maybe you are doing a posture screen and a movement screen. You’re then gonna assimilate that with your assessment and then you’re going to come up with a treatment plan, and that could involve a number of things depending on what is in your toolbox as a practitioner. When it comes to taping, we’re gonna look at taping, not only from improving movement from a pain management standpoint, but also a motor control standpoint. And that’s really the neurological piece that we’re gonna get into.

Can we advance to the next? Thank you. So the stuff that we’re gonna talk about today… Now, mind you, the slide presentation is really an excerpt from our full-day class. So there will be a lot of 50,000-foot view conversation in this particular presentation that once you come to a certification class and come to RockTape uptake certification class, we go into much, much greater depth. Today, we’re gonna look at the effects. We’re gonna look at the pain effect, the decompression, and the neurosensory. We’re not gonna get into the nitty-gritty of if you have this walk into your office such as a high hamstring polar plantar fasciitis, I want you to take like this. Those are frameworks that we would discuss in class, but even in that, you’ll start to understand as we move through this presentation that it’s really, we’re not going to teach you to tape specific muscles, we’re going to teach you how to tape for movement and the overall outcome that your client and you are anticipating.

All right, let’s look at the taping history really quickly. So, for most of you, the idea of taping is probably not brand new. Kenzo Kase… Go ahead, Kristen [SP], next slide, please… Started the whole taping as an adjunct to therapy over 40 years ago, when it comes to elastic taping. Rigid taping has been around for quite a while. Any of you that have maybe been involved in sports yourself have probably experienced some type of fixation taping as seen in this particular slide. Go ahead, next slide, Kristen. But when it comes to the elastic therapeutic tape that’s on the market today, in the droves, many different brands, that was really started 40 years ago. Next slide… By Kenzo Kase. And his theory was that kinesiology taping can assist our body’s own healing mechanisms. Next slide.

So the popularity started to grow. You can move through these fairly quickly, Kristen. And that had a lot to do with those 2008 Olympics. As soon as we started to see the tape…we’ll stop there…on the prevalent athletes in the Olympics, then the questions started to really make their way into mainstream media but also into clinical space, like, what is this tape? Because clients were asking, “What is that tape? Could it help me?” And, of course, 40 years is a long time to develop not only the research behind it, but applications to really explore what can we assist our clients with, with this elastic type of tape as an adjunct to our treatment? We’re gonna look at all these things as far as how they compliment therapy. Let’s go the other way. Other way. There you go. But the biggest question in the room is, obviously, does it really work?

Well, let’s look at the plane of application, and that’s gonna be the skin, right? The largest organ of our body. And when we talk about that, I mean, that’s common knowledge, but let’s take a little different perspective at this conversation when it comes to the skin being the largest organ on the body. Yes, tape being applied to the skin is certainly gonna have a biomechanical lifting effect that we’re gonna look out a little bit later, but how does it act as a form of communication? And one of the things that I often say in the classes that I teach is the minute you touch the skin, you’re touching the brain. Whether you’re using the original tool, which are your two hands, whether you’re using tape, whether you’re using cups, whatever your method of intervention, the minute you touch someone’s skin, you are communicating a language to that client’s nervous system. And the nervous system is the gateway to change.

And as we progress through these slides, we’re gonna see that when we speak the right language to the nervous system, we have an ability to change the client’s perception of pain, especially when we start talking about how pain lives in the brain, not in the tissues. Now, there’s 45 miles of peripheral nerve in our body, that’s a lot of highway to be communicating on. And there’s many different methods. Now, my guess is that the majority of the people in the room right now are massage therapists. We are used to that communication coming from a variety of massage techniques that we learned as we went through our schooling, everything from effleurage and what that produces, and “deep tissue work,” or ranges of motion, PNF stretching, etc. But as we progress as a medical community and as a research community, we’re starting to understand how exactly does the brain perceive our interventions and is it actually our manual manipulations that are creating change or is it the input that we’re giving that person’s nervous system to create change?

And we’re starting to realize that it’s more the latter. We certainly have humongous influence on that, but when we learn that less is more and giving that nervous system the right kind of information, nervous system being the client we’re treating, we find that our treatment interventions need not necessarily be so complex and also not so labor-intensive for you, the practitioner. So this critical human homunculus model. If any of you are interested in diving into this concept, I highly recommend a book called, “The Mind Has a Brain of Its Own.” I will make sure that the author and the book is included in the notes when you guys get this presentation. It really dives into this whole concept of this imagery here, where you seeing large aspects of the body being represented, has a lot to do with how the body perceives itself.

So when we’re talking about pain, pain is always gonna be the loudest mouth in the room. So when you have somebody coming into your to your office, especially in chronic pain, but we try to mitigate that pain in methods and ways that really are putting that nervous system in a position to feel greater risk, or greater threat, or not speaking the right language to the tissue. We’re seeing those clients return on a repeated basis because we’re still not addressing, giving them back the ability to correctly map their own body, and that’s what the cortical homunculus really talks about, giving the client’s nervous system the ability to map their body and create prioreception. And we’re gonna see how that correlates to being the door through which the client can step through to create new movement patterns.

Let’s take a look at the effects and benefits. These are the three primary benefits that we go over in class and we’re gonna touch on this in this presentation as well. Let’s first look at pain. Pain is the big one. And this is a quote from another one of my peers within RockTape, Dr. Perry Nichelston, of “Stop Chasing Pain.” And this is an extremely valuable statement to consider. Pain is a request for change. So, pain has a very important function, especially when it comes to chronic. It’s the body’s way of letting us know, “Okay, something needs to be altered here because the way you are moving through space is just perpetuating an issue.” But the way we as a community are understanding pain is changing. It’s not void of context. In fact, it’s context-dependent. Now, this is the way we typically learn about pain when we’re in school. We learn about the efferent pathways and that the nociceptors share the same pathways as movement or proprioception.

One of the examples I like to use in class is what’s the first thing you do when you bump your knee or your elbow? You immediately rub it. And that’s sort of an inherent reaction of creating a distractive mechanism of outdoing the nociception and interrupting or closing that pain pathway. So when it comes to using tape as an intervention for pain, we’re gonna see how it can actually be a credible way to interrupt that pain gate, which then allows us to help the client reestablish proprioceptive awareness to that area. The brain smudging that happens in an area of chronic pain is something that will do exactly this. It will change the way we move. If the brain has had an experience of low back pain for a chronic period of time, soon, it creates these new movement pathways to move around it. And that’s where we see the compensatory movement patterns. And oftentimes, we try to change those patterns either simultaneously with trying to relieve pain for the client. But really when we understand, we need to remove the risk or the perception of pain first, then we can actually make advances in them changing movement patterns. But not before. This is where we start to get into the new science of pain. Pain is an opinion of the brain. So what we mean by that is… I sort of touched on it briefly. Pain is not just one stimulus. We often look at it as such, you touch a hot stove, well, it’s the stove’s fault or maybe yours for putting your hand on it. But we fail to recognize all of the other environmental factors, psychological factors, emotional factors, even historical factors within that person’s experience of how the brain is then going to form an opinion of that experience.

Now, another reference that I highly recommend you write down, if you’re not familiar with Lorimer Moseley and David Butler’s work in a book called “Explain Pain,” I highly recommend that as well. It’s also something we talk quite heavily about in class where this understanding of reducing the credible evidence or the perceived risk of pain is where we need to start in gaining access to changing the pathways through which that client’s nervous system starts to initiate and create movement or even initiate a reduction in pain. This input of cognitive emotion and sensory then becomes an output of perceived pain, perceived motor change, or the stress response, And then, of course, the emotions attached to that.

And this neuromatrix model, really is a framework from which medical professionals across a variety of practices are starting to change the way we approach all of our interventions, if you will. And that biopsychosocial model is something that really opens a lot of doors for us as therapists. It’s not another model of thinking to pile on top, it’s actually a model of thinking that really simplifies things when we take into consideration. Well, here’s an easy way to do it. Take yourself out of the role of clinician, put yourself in the role of you’re an athlete that was just hurt. You’re a massage therapist in the room right now that is in pain because of what you do all day massaging clients. Maybe as an athlete, you’ve been injured and you can’t participate in your sport anymore. Is it just merely the pain that is influencing things or is it also the psychological aspect of the pain? It’s probably affecting quite a bit of the emotional arena that you maintain throughout the day. It even impacts the social aspects.

Now, when we’re talking about this, we’re certainly not suggesting that as a therapist or clinician, wherever you fall on the spectrum there, you’re not going to become someone’s therapist. But what it does give you is a new window to look at how pain is perceived multifactorially. It’s a matrix. It’s not a singular event that ends and begins. It perpetuates. Now, how does tape play a role in this? If you have somebody walk in with say, a severe injury, a bulged disc, say, for example, are we suggesting that, “Oh, put tape on it. The bulge just is gonna be fine.” Absolutely not, but there are certain aspects of applying tape that we’ve already touched on that we can see how the tape can provide an additional intervention from a pain management standpoint, from a swelling standpoint, from a proprioceptive standpoint, from even removing that perceived anticipation of pain, which is… This is the education part. This is where you as a clinician starts to educate your client in understanding what exactly is pain and how can we manage it in ways that maybe aren’t so aggressive. I guarantee you, if I could see everybody raise their hands in the room right now, if I said, how many of your clients believe that you’ve got to hurt them in order to help them? “You’ve got to go deep in order to make me feel better, Stacey. I really need you to stick your elbow three inches deep into my hip because that’s what’s gonna make me feel better.”

I guarantee, probably all of you who are raising your hand, that you’ve experienced that at some point. And maybe, maybe some of you think that that’s true. And I’m not sure to tell you that, “Oh, my gosh, you’re totally wrong,” I’m here to say there’s a different way to look at this and this is not my opinion, this is scientific research that’s been done to understand how do we influence pain? Is it the manual manipulation that we’re applying or is it the manual communication that we are supplying to the client’s nervous system to have them help facilitate their own healing mechanisms? This education is where… Oops, wrong way. This education of understanding pain and communicating that with your client and helping them understand how removing pain in less aggressive ways can then help them move better and differently because we’ve reduced risk. We’ve given them the stabilization or the…well, the actual tangible reduction of pain. We’ve helped improve ranges of motion. There’s actually a slide coming up a little later here where you’re going to see… It’s one of my favorite slides. Where we’re gonna see a drastic change in a frozen shoulder case. And I’m gonna talk about how tape played a role in that and how it didn’t as well.

Understanding that your client is going to have their own opinion of tape and influencing the opinion of that tape is also where we play a role as practitioners to make sure we’re communicating what the tape does correctly. But ultimately, in order to get someone to move better, to move well, to move, “correctly,” we’ve got to first educate them, remove the risk, reduce the pain to get that megaphone to shut up so that their brain can then hear the new instructions. And, of course, we wanna maintain that. And this is where I get a lot of questions in class, and we’re gonna talk about this probably later on. You know, “How long should the tape stay on? How do I know where to tape? And does the tape need to be on after the injury heals?” And we’ll get into that. But really, these three pyramids, it’s a very simple way to just start understanding how you incorporate the education of taping to your client to ultimately relieve the very issues they’re there to see you for.

And again, these are not opinions. This is research done by various number of medical communities and medical journals. This is not just RockTape science at all. I’m gonna move somewhat quickly through these slides just because it’s very, very heavy on the research. We do go over this quite a bit in class, but for the sake of this webinar and time, I wanna make sure we get to the bulk of the things that you guys are here for. Basically, this is, again, something I’ve touched on. We move around pain, you move around pain. Again, try to put yourself in the role of a client while you’re listening to this webinar in some instances. If you sprain your ankle, you’re gonna limp. You’re gonna move around that pain. Clients that come in with chronic pain, maybe they are not experienced in acute injury like a sprained ankle or they’re not in a cast, etc., but that chronic pain has created new patterns that they’re still moving around long after the injury is gone.

Understanding that helps us take another side of the fence approach to understanding how can we reestablish the proprioception to the area that they’ve been avoiding for however long the condition has been present. Research in this particular area is just simply stating that in a small case study, applying tape provided superior pain relief in comparison to not supplying any tape at all. And it just sort of emphasizes that taping as an adjunct for treatment is showing really good results in a number of settings. The treat it, tape it, train it model is something we go over in class quite a bit, especially once we start our breakouts where we break into case studies and say we have someone that is experiencing chronic low back pain, which is pretty common. Some of you in the room might even have chronic low back pain where the smudging has really…the smudging of the proprioception of the low back has taken over and instead of being able to go through a normal, say, hip hinge position, you’re folding too high on the thoracic, etc. Once we apply the tape after maybe whatever your treatment intervention is, now we’ve provided you with a way to reestablish awareness to the area and that enables us to train the proper movement, a pattern, if that’s in your wheelhouse. Again, decrease pain, you’re certainly going to increase range of motion. It’s sort of common sense, right? After that ankle sprain, the pain starts to diminish. You’re going to start bearing more weight, you’re going to start moving through dorsiflexion, plantar flexion a little bit more. And, of course, using tape as an intervention to expedite that scenario is certainly applicable. Patients with whiplash, definitely supported evidence here that this is a worthy intervention in these cases.

All right. What about decompression? So decompression is the primary mechanical aspect of the tape. Now, the pain mitigation, of course, has some decompressive effects as we’re gonna see in the next slides. We’re gonna look at how the tape provides a lifting effect, affecting all of the parts and pieces in the fascia, underneath the skin, the ligaments, etc., and how we can actually see what happens via ultrasound. Instead of just hearing me yak about it, you guys are actually gonna see some real visual here. So we’ve labeled this so you get an idea. Now, if you look at the image on the left, the WO stands for without tape, and I want you to look at the large white band. Now, if we move over to the side with tape, that same white band, look at the spacing in between those two white lines. We can see that the tape is providing quite a bit of mechanical lift. Now, that mechanical lift is basically implying that we’ve created some sheer within the tissue just because of the tape on the skin and that sheer is going to help influence more space within the fascial system for more blood and lymph flow. And, of course, that has a cascading effect of why is more blood and lymph flow and vascularity to the area important, and that boils down to our basic understanding of physiological process of healing, right?

In this particular case, we’re looking at an ITB band study and we can see clearly labeled here, if you look all the way to the left, we’ve got an untreated ITB band. In the middle, this was where someone had used a foam roller to see what kind of space could be created and then, of course, the fascial decompression via tape alone on the far right. And that’s simply with placing the tape on top of the skin. This is not with stretch on the tape, and we’re gonna get into, do we stretch, do we not stretch, direction, etc. To increase the space, you’re going to certainly have an impact on decreasing pain and swelling. This next visual for subacromial space was a case study that was not performed by RockTape. Definitely wanna point that out because the practitioner in the left, unfortunately, is really applying a lot of stretch on that tape, which we do not teach you to do. There are many reasons for that, one of which is you don’t wanna irritate the skin nor is it necessary. We are not trying to physically reposition the body by putting certain stretch on the tape. Again, we’re using the tape, remember, as a communicative method of intervention to have the client create new positions in space, their spatial awareness, their proprioception. This gentleman who had his shoulder taped had no clinical injury, but when we look at the pre-tape on the left and post-tape on the right, that was simply with the application of tape. Now, again, that practitioner was really stretching the end of that tape, but it didn’t look like there was too much stretch on the center there. Either way, simply applying tape to the skin gave that much space in the layers underneath the skin.

All right, the neurosensory input. This is definitely where we get into what I think is the most intriguing and fun, to be honest with you, aspect of what are we learning as a community? What is actually happening? Why does this tape actually do what it does? Is it something magic about the tape or is it our understanding of the minute we give the right kind of…the minute we speak the right kind of language to the skin that is then communicating with the brain. Then we’re learning how change is actually created. Now, this is the model of dermoneuromodulation, and this is basically a very cartoonish way to represent how as we touch the skin, we’re influencing…bypassing that reptilian brain. The reptilian brain is our survival mechanism. You know, it’s our breathing, it’s our fight or flight, it’s our sympathetic, parasympathetic, etc. And depending on the type of touch that we employ in our sessions or interventions, we’re directly going to impact all of the things that I’ve been talking about, those perceptions of pain, the proprioceptive or awareness of position and range of motion, the mechanical effects of creating more space, and what does that creation of more space do? It decreases pain. When we decrease pain, we, of course, can inspire and allow for more movement because who wants to move when they hurt? Right? Well, if we’re trying to change movement patterns, again, we have to understand that we need to influence that experience of pain.

This is taking us way back into physiology for those of you that are kind of nerds like me, Hilton’s Law. If we understand Hilton’s Law, it just reinforces the fact that the same trunk of nerves that supply the muscles also have a distribution at the surface level of the skin. So going back to that three-inch elbow in a hip to create change isn’t necessarily the only or maybe even the best option. Now, this space of conversation isn’t necessarily enough time to talk about, “Well, what about the patient’s perception that that is best for them?” Those are things that we’ll get into deeper in class when we talk about that biopsychosocial model and the client education aspect of getting them to let go of believing they need pain to heal. But this law right here just reminds us, as practitioners, we can affect the joint space. We can affect the musculature and the fascial system at the surface level, and it doesn’t always have to be with such aggressive approaches of manual therapy.

This is the video that I love. So, this gentleman on the left, frozen shoulder. And as you can see the video on the right. I’ve worked for RockTape now… I think this is my seventh year and I never get tired of this video. Not because it’s a testament of RockTape, but we did not apply that taping application over specific areas of muscles, like, I didn’t need to know about origin insertion, I didn’t need to know about vectors in line of pull. And I’m gonna play it again because that’s significant for you to take a look at this gentleman’s presentation face wise on the left. Look at his face. He is anticipating pain, he is anticipating lack of range of motion. Tape application, he’s obviously in a class. He is there to learn. He’s experienced the tape from a perspective of being the clinician, but now he’s experiencing it as a client and his perceived expectation of range of motion. You can see the biopsychosocial model at work right there. Did the tape give him more space in the joint? Most likely, yes. As we saw in the ultrasound, we can clearly see that there is actual physical space being created.

When we go back to that Venn diagram that we talked about just several slides ago, remember it’s not only bio, it is also that psychological and social. Do you think that this gentleman now has a much different perception of his condition? Do you think that affects his emotional relationship and his opinion to his pain? Of course, it does. Do you think he’s gonna be more likely to move? Yes, of course, he is. And so, that feeds into where we go from here with… Well, gosh, there’s so many things we can tape and that doesn’t mean that your people are gonna walk out like mummies. Remember, we’re gonna talk about less is more, but understanding the multifactorial ways that tape creates change. This one, I’m sure many of you have runners that come into your practice and you’re dealing with patellofemoral pain. This particular study talks about, again, that less is more concept of only applying tape to 50% of the area had a direct effect not only with sensation, but coordination, and this is a big one, decision-making, and planning of complex coordination tasks. Why do you think that’s so big? Because if we can influence someone’s sensation in an area that is previously governed by their experience of pain and we’re simply placing tape on 50% of the area, we didn’t mummify the knee with kind of tape. All of a sudden, now, the nervous system of this client is able to assimilate that communication into creating more coordinated movement, complex decision-making. So they’re probably gonna move through that joint space much better and with greater adaptability to recreate correct movement patterns than they were previously.

Improved balance. I’m sure many of you in here, age is not a predicator for whether or not you have balance or not. And I know plenty of young people that struggle with balance, but particularly we see this in the geriatric population, maybe stroke patients, a number of things could cause balance issues, right? Balance. Where do you tape for balance, Stace? What’s the balance muscle? It’s not like that, right? If you’re thinking in the constructs of concepts that we’re talking about, we can understand that once we understand our client’s relationship to their lack of balance, we can start looking at this through a different lens of where might it make the most sense to provide our client with a sense of stability? Would this be a low back taping application? Possibly. Would it potentially be dorsal or plantar aspect of the foot? Possibly. Do I need to tape their ankle in a stirrup formation or a fixated position? Not necessarily. But the neurological aspect of applying tape and removing thread and the actual tangible sensation of bringing proprioceptive awareness back to maybe that ankle space or maybe the low back so that now that we help them come out of that really intense anterior pelvic tilt, now we’ve created a new shape for them to coordinate a balanced position. So, lots and lots can be extrapolated from this study as well as this conversation. We do this a lot in class as well. We have everybody stand on one foot and we see what kind of changes we can make. And inevitably, there are.

Two-point discrimination. Usually, the room is split in class when I ask, “Who in here does two-point discrimination?” And feel free to throw in the comments there whether or not you participate in a two-point discrimination test. Very simple. It’s really…it’s your way as a clinician and the client to gain an understanding of how well are they relating to a particular area of their body. We use the low back often because it tends to be an area that’s most often affected. Most people have a low back affliction of some type. When we ask them, “How are you relating to the low back?” They’re probably not gonna know how to answer that. But if we put some tangibility to it via two-point discrimination, there are two-point discrimination tools. I can tell you that the original tools, i.e., your two fingers, one on each hand, can do the job. You’re basically creating a vertical and horizontal representation. You’re looking for the margin of how close can you get those two points and your clients still be able to tell that you’re touching them. And we get into this quite a bit in class and it’s very interesting to see some people, you’ll have your hands on them…or two fingers on them and they won’t even know that you’re touching them yet. And what does that tell you about their ability to relate to that area and create movement? They’ve completely dissociated it. It goes back to that homunculus conversation and their ability to or the body’s adaptive mechanism to move around that and create bad movement patterns. So we wanna give them these clear cortical maps, and this is definitely where tape can come into place. So that same patient or client that we’re talking about with low back dissociation, a low back taping application can function as though you’re giving the nervous system a continuous feedback loop of touch and bringing proprioceptive awareness there for them to reestablish that cortical map. And, of course, this just backs that up. Does tape direction matter? Absolutely not.

Now, I realize that we’re running into the end of the slideshow here. So I’m gonna touch on some of the things that I feel are the most important for you guys to take away from this presentation. Does direction of tape matter? Research says no. Now, some of you might be in the room that are really upset with that statement because maybe you’ve taken a very traditional kinesiology taping class where you are taught origin to insertion or vice versa, direction, line of pole, etc. I am not nor is RockTape here to tell you that that is completely wrong and you should completely trash that method of thinking. What we are saying is there is a research-proven way to take a look at this differently and to be honest with you, it certainly frees up our ability to instead of being so myopic with our taping applications, we can start looking at, “Well, if research and evidence is suggesting that the brain is certainly not going to interpret your origin to insertion or insertion towards origin application, that allows us to really reassess the communication that we are giving to the brain via the tape. Understanding that it’s not about the direction or the vector, it’s understanding what is the outcome we are trying to achieve with the client that is in front of us? It’s not protocol-based. It’s not, “This is how you take for every shoulder,” it’s understanding what is that Venn diagram of, biopsychosocial aspect of why is this limitation present in my client. If there’s pain, we take for pain, but then we address how do we create new movement patterns to eliminate that.

Does amount of stretch on the tape matter? No. And, in fact, when you come to our class, we teach you that you stretch the skin versus the tape, meaning the only time you will have instruction from us to tape with a stretched aspect in that tape will be a decompression application, but never on the ends of the anchors, the very ends of the tape. But even at that, the tape stretch is pretty minimal, 50% stretch in the middle of that application, at most. Other than that, if the client is able to move through and whatever you deem as the therapist, an adequate or appropriate range of motion, we can potentially put them on stretch, low back tape example, again, because it’s the easiest. If I was taping someone’s low back, I can simply have them lean over by holding on to, say, the back of a chair in the treatment office or even placing their hands on the treatment table if that does not cause them any type of pain. And in effect, I’ve stretched the skin. I simply apply the tape to the skin at that point and have them stand up. And that’s when you see the ripples in the tape creating those convexities and that mechanical lift. As always, though, the minimally effective dose is what you’re going for. Less is more. You do not need to have tape all over your client’s body in order to create change. In fact, it will likely cause too much stimulation.

Now, this is just the nitty-gritty of RockTape as a brand. I’m gonna move right through this because, ultimately, like I said, we’re not here to sell you RockTape. We’re here to talk about what does kinesiology taping do and what can we use it for as therapists, putting it as an adjunct into our treatment therapies. You can wear it for 24 hours a day, three to five days. That means you can wear it in the shower. We have several degrees of stickiness and this is a question I get a lot, “Do we have tape for geriatrics or pediatrics or people with sensitive skin?” Yes, we do. It is a gentle adhesive in comparison to our stickiest of tapes, which is called our H2O tape or our general basic tape, which is pretty darn sticky. But if you really need some, say you’ve got an adventure-racing athlete or an OCR athlete or a triathlete, you can go with our H2O or somebody that’s just really sweaty, or if you have that geriatric pediatric pregnant client etc., we have a more gentle taper. There are, of course, scenarios in which you do not tape, and these are contraindications that are pretty similar to what we know as massage therapists already for contra-indicated touch, but these will obviously be things that we go over in class at length, which I hope to see you at.

Karen: Hey, Stacey, I just wanted to ask you if we could go ahead and move on to some of the questions that people have.

Stacey: Absolutely. Perfect timing. We just finished up.

Karen: Okay, great. Good. We’re on the same page. Listen, I wanna thank you for the slides and the presentation. It’s been super inspiring and informative, especially all the information about how touch can influence pain and pain perception. And I know there’s lots more information available in the classes and such. And just before I forget, I wanna remind our audience to visit rocktape.com and input the code massageFMT, that’s M-A-S-S-A-G-E, F as in frank, M as in massage, T as in touch, for 10% off RockTape courses, which is a super wonderful offer. And so, we have a lot of questions that have come in from people interested in taping and so let’s get right into that. Massage therapist, Mary, asks, “Should I tape all of my clients?”

Stacey: Great question. Not necessarily. Tape is… Really as a clinician, it’s up to you to determine who the tape is appropriate for. Some people will absolutely hate tape on their body and that’s a very easy decision, right? Then and there. If your client hates wearing it, you’re not gonna tape that person. There are many factors that go into that decision, whether or not they have any contraindications, of course. If you have someone, say, that’s dealing with breast cancer or lymphedema, you, of course, wanna be working with their general practitioner to receive approval for that. But really, it boils down to, does your client tolerate it well and without any discomfort, and whether or not you deem that it’s appropriate at that point within their clinical treatment with you or at all.

Karen: Okay. And then Frank in California, also a massage therapist asks, “How do I charge for taping?”

Stacey: Great question. And we talk about this a little bit in, in the business side of the class at the very, very end. So, as massage therapists, we don’t necessarily… I mean, there might be some of you in the room that are taking insurance that are dealing with codes, but I can tell you from the most basic way to charge, what I used to do in my practice is, if I felt that someone was a candidate for taping, I would have them buy their own roll of tape and they can either take it home with them and bring it with them to every session or they could leave it in my office, and that would be the roll from which we use. The retail price for a roll of two-inch tape is typically $20. Now, we do have ways for you as small business owners to add tape as a retail product to your office, whether or not they are your clients or not. And we can get into that in class, the many ways you can monetize that.

Karen: Okay. So Jada in Florida asks, “If my client can’t tolerate tape, what are some other ways I can help them change movement patterns?”

Stacey: You guys have really great questions. So, we have to look at what creates movement pattern in the first place, right? And that’s going to be the experience of the external environment and how we’re perceiving that in the internal environment. So if your client doesn’t tolerate tape, there are many ways we can influence how they’re moving. The first is what you’ve been doing all along as a therapist, using your hands to mitigate pain. Now, there are other ways to manage that. We can use topical analgesics. I often will do this right in my office before the movement session even starts. If I have someone who doesn’t like tape but they enjoy or don’t mind, say an analgesic, I can use that as the pain-relieving agent because, again, I’ve shut off that megaphone that’s communicating pain. And now I can go through, say, movement exercises of utilizing mirrors so they can use the visual component of relearning movement patterns. I can utilize bands, I can utilize touch as feedback by using our cupping method. We cup a little bit differently at RockTape. We can utilize a number of different methods. If movement is in your toolbox, go to what you know to change someone’s ability to perceive new movement spaces.

Karen: Great. Thank you. Then we have a question from Kevin, “Have you noticed any relief from acute pain when using Kinesio tape?”

Stacey: Certainly. The answer to that is going to be one you don’t like, and that is, it depends because everyone is different. Again, that perception of pain is going to be so individualized. I can personally say that from my own use with acute pain, I am a chronic ankle turner and, yes, the first thing I throw on will be some tape and it does provide relief. I have had clients that have had acute pain and it doesn’t touch it because as you know, with acute pain, it varies. People’s pain tolerance or ability to…or their pain threshold, if you will, differ. So tape might not touch it if it’s super acute. It’s definitely worth trying, though, because it does again interrupt that pain gate to a certain degree.

Karen: Okay, great. So I just wanted to say that a lot of people have been asking how they can get a copy of this presentation and I wanna remind everyone that it will be archived at massagemag.com and we will email you when that happens. We’ll also be able to get to all of the questions that we did not have time to answer today. We don’t have time for any more questions right now, but, Stacey, I just wanted to give you the floor for a couple of minutes, if you have anything else that you’d like to follow up with.

Stacey: You, guys, thank you so much for being here. Sorry about Pepper in the beginning. She is now sleeping soundly, so…

Karen: All good though.

Stacey: [crosstalk 00:51:22] lovers in the room. But I appreciate all of your attention today and we, definitely, at RockTape, we’d love to see you in class. Or, you know, even if adding taping to your treatment therapies is something you’re just getting into, and maybe you don’t wanna use RockTape, that’s totally fine. What we’d like to provide people is with a new lens to view things through as practitioners, whether it’s our tape or another tape, our primary focus is being able to deliver education that gets you to maybe think a little differently and ultimately serve you as the treatment therapist to be a little bit easier on your body as well as providing great treatment for your clients. And doing it in ways that, perhaps, are a little novel, but hopefully, as the research continues to make its way through the massage community, we all start to adopt some different ways of doing things.

Karen: Okay, great. And, you know, we had a couple of people just ask, again, where the classes are given. I wanna remind people to go to rocktape.com. And, Stacey, thank you for your presentation on kinesiology taping today. It’s been so educational and informative. We really appreciate it.

Stacey: My pleasure. It was great to hang out with you guys.

Karen: Yeah, and thank you to everyone here in our audience who participated and learned from Stacey. We appreciate your time today as well. Thank you, and goodbye.

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