On Sunday I got up rather early to travel to Leeds and take part in a CPD course put on by the MTI North regional group. This time the subject was Kinesiology Taping which has caught on significantly in the sporting world over the past few years. Most of the Olympic Participants in Brazil last year were covered in the brightly coloured lines of tape. The training was lead by Jen Wren, who also did the Massage for Dancers workshop I was at down in a London a few months ago. Jen has trained with and worked closely with few manufacturers and distributors so she knew the ropes.
The day was held in the School Of Economic Science in Chapel Allerton, North Leeds. I was expecting the venue to be a little closer to the centre to be honest, so when I checked travel arrangements I was a little shocked at how early I need to leave. Still, it wasn’t a bad journey really, as I took the local train to Leeds which as it goes pretty much everywhere, gave me lots of time to complete some other Massage write up work on route. Once we got to Leeds, I met up with Sarah and the MTI North Rep and CPD organiser Claire who knew the way. A short walk through the middle of Leeds and a short bus ride and we were there.
It was a pretty small group attending this time, 7 of us, including Jen and Claire, so after a short introduction to the concepts of the tape, we had loads of time to practice and play with the tape to get used to how to hold it, apply it properly and learn some taping strategies for different issues and requests.
We started out at the feet, showing some ways to help support Plantar Fasciitis and weak ankles. Moving upwards we tried out support for shin splints and calf support. At this point I offered myself as a candidate for some “power taping” on my calf as I was running a 26k race the next day. I hadn’t realised that this would mean I’d need the clippers to come out to shorten the hair on my legs! We then went even further and did some hamstring taping from sit bones down to knee. More trimming needed.
Other techniques we tried included taping for bruising and swelling, shoulder support and even something for supporting the diaphragm to help with breathing.
It was surprising how the tape felt as I was expecting it to have much more “pull” on the skin. Instead, you were just left with definite increased awareness of the taped area, and possibly therefore an increase in proprioception.
I ended up pretty much covered in tape. I had some on my right foot and ankle, left calf, right leg hamstrings, some tape over my left greater trochanter region, and finally something over my right lower back from mid gluteus medius up to the middle of my back, yet once it was on, it didn’t annoy or get in the way.
Feeling rather brave, I left it all on the race the next day. I was concerned about the possibility of rubbing from the tape, especially around my feet, but it was all fine. It was a really tough race and it’s entirely possible that the tape helped get me around!
So. now I need more practice! Applying the tape is pretty easy; the trick seems to be is diagnosing when it will be helpful and where to put it to support or strengthen the body.