WHAT IS KINESIOLOGY TAPING?
Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. Therapeutic kinesiology tape that can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.
Kinesiology tape is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows kinesio tape to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of your movement.
When the tape is applied to your body, it recoils slightly, gently lifting your skin. It is believed that this helps to create a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues underneath it.
Kinesiology tape is used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. For the first decade after its introduction practitioners in Japan were the main users of the therapeutic kinesiology tape. By 1988 the tape had been adopted by Japanese Olympic and professional athletes before spreading across the world.
You would have noticed that more an more professional athletes use kinesiology taping improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker.
WHAT IS IASTM?
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization or Simply IASTM is a new range of tool which enables clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft tissue dysfunction. The technique itself is said to be a modern evolution from Traditional Chinese Medicine called Gua Sha.However Gua Sha was not used to treat Musculoskeletal conditions but was traditionally applied along meridiens to move the bad chi out through the skin. IASTM is a is a procedure that is rapidly growing in popularity due to its effectiveness and efficiency while remaining non-invasive,with its own indications and limitations.
IASTM is performed with ergonomically designed instruments that detect and treat fascial restrictions, encourage rapid localization and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, or degeneration. As in any Manual therapy treatment ,supplementation with exercises and additional modalities e.g. joint mobilization designed to correct biomechanical deficiencies by addressing musculoskeletal strength and muscle imbalances throughout the entire kinetic chain should be used in conjunction with IASTM.
How does it work?
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions and allows the clinician to treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
The introduction of controlled microtrauma to affected soft tissue structure causes the stimulation of a local inflammatory response. Microtrauma initiates reabsorption of inappropriate fibrosis or excessive scar tissue and facilitates a cascade of healing activities resulting in remodeling of affected soft tissue structures. Adhesions within the soft tissue which may have developed as a result of surgery, immobilization, repeated strain or other mechanisms, are broken down allowing full functional restoration to occur.
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass/plastic/silicone cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface. In dry cupping, the therapist will simply place the suction cups on the skin.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as gliding/dynamic cupping), emollient is applied to improve movement of the cups along the skin. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. This is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts, and is well known to provide relief through pressure.
The side effects of cupping are fairly mild. Bruising should be expected, but skin should return to looking normal within 10 days.