Lymphascial Kinesio Taping
As well as influencing the neuromuscular system, kinesio taping also influences the myofascial and lymphatic systems (together forming the name lymphascial). The myofascia or interstitium, is the area between the skin and the organs. It is like a fatty, fluidy yellow onesie, which maintains a watery environment between the cells so that the exchange of nurients and waste products can take place. It houses nerve endings, artery and vein capillaries. It also houses the entrance to the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining toxins and cellular waste. The level of fluid in the interstitium is kept constant by oxygenated blood coming in and deoxygenated blood and lymphatic waste draining out. This can be centrally controlled by blood pressure and flow, hormones and feedback systems. It can also be affected if the lymphatic system does not drain correctly or is overpowered. The myofascial system can dehydrate and change consistency from liquid to gel, when it is subject to stress. Stress can be the trauma associated with illness, injury or surgery. Not all stressors are physical. Mental stress and anguish can also be perceived as trauma to the nervous system and the whole myofascia can contract, which can send pain signals all over the body.
Lymphascial Taping for Muscles
Tapes can be applied with stretch to microscopically pull the ends of muscles together, relieving strains and sprains. They can be stretched to mimic the tensile strength of tendons to support large joints. Hips and shoulders can be 3 dimensionally repositioned to relieve complicated pain patterns. Tone can be added to weakened muscles. Plantar Fasciitis can be addressed, gait can be lengthened, shortened or corrected and arches in the foot can be supported. Compensation patterns because of replacement joints can be corrected. Biomechanics can be altered. Relaxation or contraction can be stimulated and manipulated. Spasticity in muscles can be relaxed....and pain can be relieved because of these neuromuscular corrections. Pain can be relieved from neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis.
Lymphascial Taping for Inflammation & Inflammatory Conditions
Taping speeds the body's initial inflammatory reaction to any injury or surgery by increasing blood flow and stimulating the lymphatic system to clear the area of cellular debris. The tape is applied in fine strips rather than in whole pieces, as it is for muscles and tendons. Taping is also very useful for longer term conditions and autoimmune disorders, where the inflammatory reaction seems to get stuck in a loop, or the body loses its sense of 'self' and begins to attack its own tissues and organs.
Inflammation is now becoming recognised as an underlying factor in many conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn's disease, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and many more. The role of the vagus nerve and the 'fight, flight & freeze'responses are becoming much more understood in inflammatory illnesses. The freeze response plays a massive part in many anxiety, post-traumatic and stress related inflammation.
Taping can be applied for localised swollen joints & bloating. It can be applied to work on a deeper level to stimulate vagus nerve tone or to reduce anxiety by retraining breathing patterns by supporting the diaphragm and ribs. Taping can also be applied to relax bodywide contraction of the myofascia or interstitium.
Lymphascial Taping for Speeding Recovery
Injury and surgery cause wounds and damage blood, vessels, veins and nerves. To recover from the trauma, the body goes through a natural healing process. including an inflammatory phase, which causes swelling, redness, pain and heat. Lymphascial taping lifts the pressure from the area and increases blood flow. This increases fluid uptake into the lymphatic system. This, in turn, speeds the whole inflammatory phase to renew tissues more quickly. Taping is excellent for intra-muscular buising, haematomas and seromas.
Healing wounds leave scarring, which can distort the myofascia and stick to other internal parts, stopping free movement. These adhesions can be eased with taping. So can the postural restrictions they cause . Burns can destroy lymphatic network under the skin, leaving large areas unable to drain. Lymphascial taping can redirect lymphatic networks to drain from uninjured areas that are draining norma
Lymphascial Taping for Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema is a progressive condition where areas of the body (often hands and arms or feet and legs but can be anywhere including breast and genitals) become swollen due to a failure of lymphatic drainage. There are two types of lymphoedema, primary and secondary. People are born with primary lymphoedema. They have genetic mutations which mean their lymphatic systems are not correctly formed or do not function correctly. Symptoms can develop throughout a lifetime, they are not necessarily present at birth.
Secondary lymphoedema is caused by an external factor damaging the lymphatic system and making it overload. This can be an injury, broken bones, surgery or burns. Most often in the UK, it is caused by node biopsies, surgeries, radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Swelling may not develop until some time after treatments are over. Taping can substantially reduce facial, genital and trunkal oedema, where compression garments cannot reach. Taping can be used alongside or instead of compression therapy. It is applied to redirect lymphatic drainage from areas that cannot drain to areas where drainage is normal. It draws lymph through the system more effectively and enhances the function of both lymphatic and myofascial systems.