TREATING LYMPHEDEMA WITH KINESIOLOGY TAPE AND IASTM TOOLS
Couple this taping method with the basic pumping action of muscles as they move and fluid moves with greater ease. Unlike general massage strokes that can compress the tissues, kinesiology tape offers a gentle treatment option. The most common application is the edema strip method used to alleviate swelling and aid in recovery.
In addition to kinesiology taping, IASTM has grown in popularity within the massage therapy community for a number of good reasons. IASTM for lymphedema can be an additional option for treatment if used correctly. Just as we must have adequate education to provide lymphatic treatment therapies, utilizing taping or tools in our work is no exception.
As it pertains to lymphedema and tooling, the imperative of providing treatment that helps facilitate fluid movement without excess compression and shear of the tissues is extremely important. Using IASTM tools is essentially an extension of your hands and thus care and a clear understanding of appropriate techniques is key.
The versatility of the tools allows for a wide range of pressure, strokes, depth, vectors, and intentions depending on the area being treated. From the standpoint of pain, gentle feathering methods have a direct effect on pain perception and can positively influence a client’s sense of well being and relief. For fluid movement, very light effleurage strokes can also elicit positive effects.
When looking at treatment from the perspective of the nervous system, whether using your hands, kinesiology tape, or IASTM tools, the most profound treatment we can provide to any client is that of a sense of truly being cared for. Knowledge of appropriate methods and techniques is essential. However, understanding the profound depth that imparting compassion can have on ones ability to heal is the cornerstone of wellbeing.
Our hands deliver far more than manual therapy. Clients suffering with chronic conditions begin their healing process in their minds, not the surface of their skin. Regardless of your tools of choice when treating lymphedema, treat the whole human being, not just the external symptoms.
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