It was the summer of 2008; I was in Beijing, China, at an Olympic beach volleyball event. I was watching these world-class athletes walk onto the sand court with their shoulders and/or legs taped in what looked to me like athletic tape. But it wasn’t the standard issue athletic tape that I was used to seeing. This was the first time I had seen Kinesio Tape.
Since then, I started seeing these colorful tapes pop up on athletes from all genres of sports, from basketball to football to tennis. Curious as to what it was, I had to do some investigating into this mysterious tape. After some googling, I learned that this was not just any regular athletic tape, this was supposed to ease pain and rehab muscles and joints. Sounded too good to be true, but since I was having shoulder problems of my own, I had to try it out.
About 6 months ago, I finally got my hands on some Kinesio Tape. With the samples, I was also sent a booklet on how to properly apply the tape. This booklet was no joke, I felt like I had to go to medical school to understand the big eight syllable words. Where exactly is my coracobrachialis muscle? Luckily for us non-Ph.Ds, there are easy to follow pictures. I grabbed some of the hot pink tape (brings out the color in my eyes), and had someone tape me up. First impressions: this felt weird. My shoulder felt like it was supported and tight, yet I had a full range of motion. The real test would be during and after my hit.
Wow, I was flabbergasted at the results. Yes, flabbergasted, astonished, shocked (thank you, thesaurus). Was it a placebo effect? Or did it really work? Perhaps a combination of both? Whatever it was, I was hitting almost pain free for the first time in a long time. I had to share this miraculous find with the rest of my ailing office mates. In the next few weeks, we used this to treat a hurt wrist, tennis elbow, and another hurt shoulder. Did this tape work on those conditions? Check, check, check and check. We were sold.
Various taping methods
Exactly, how it works, I have no idea. What I do know is that without the tape, every time I swung a racquet, especially on the serve, it’d feel like my shoulder socket was filled with glass shards. With it on, it was like putting WD-40 on a rusty joint. A magical tape it is not, but the Kinesio Tape does minimize the pain enough to allow me to continue playing. What’s great about this tape is that there are so many applications it can be used for. From head to toe, this tape has got you covered. Literally and figuratively.
Don’t believe me? Great. I’m actually glad you’re not just taking my word for it. I think with the Kinesio Tape, it’s like The Matrix, you cannot be told of how it works, you’ll need to experience it for yourself. Luckily for you, a roll of Kinesio TEX tape only costs $12.99. That’s cheaper than most tennis equipment you’ll ever buy. Take it to a personal trainer familiar with the Kinesio Taping Method or get the booklet and tape yourself up. Either way, I think you’ll be glad you did.
Have any of you had a chance to try out some Kinesio Tape? Share your stories; I’d love to hear them.