Do you remember watching the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, seeing Kerri Walsh with her shoulder taped up and wondering what in the world that was for? That summer was the first time most people saw kinesiology tape, though it has been around far longer than just 7 years. In fact, it was invented by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan over 25 years ago when he realized there was no sports taping method that could help to heal injured tissues and muscles.
Kinesiology tape is a stretchable cotton fabric placed over a heat-activated adhesive. Most types of kinesiology tape can be stretched as much as 140% of its original size. The abundant stretchability is what makes it different from other types of sports tape, such as white athletic tape, used mostly by athletic trainers. When applied properly, the tape will lift the skin and fascia away from the muscle allowing more blood flow into the area. This increase in blood flow promotes more oxygen to the tissues as well as an increase in lymph drainage. Draining the lymph fluid helps to expel byproducts of exercise like lactic acid and helps to reduce swelling or edema.