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I am on my way to becoming a certified Kinesio Taper and recently completed Kinesio Taping Seminars 1 and 2. I found it fascinating before I attended the classes, and have learned that it has far more applications than I'd realized. However, I'm questioning whether some of its applications fall within the massage therapy scope of practice. Specifically, taping for lymphatic drainage. On one hand, it seems that if massage therapists are permitted to perform manual lymphatic drainage, a taping would simply be an extension of that. Dr. Kase intended his tape to act as an extension of the manual therapies performed on a client or patient, as though you were leaving your hands on them. But do the "powers that be" see it that way? If it is, in fact, out of scope, is it still permitted under the order of a physician?
Have any Kinesio Tape-using massage therapists out there run up against any problems with using it, for any purpose?
You bring up a good point. I have recently been using KT Tape and Spider Tape on my wife-after shoulder surgery - and on a couple of my clients. I plan to attend KT1-2 later this year and will probably get certified. I don't think that the tape is out of our scope of practice. It is available to anyone, there are numerous You Tube videos, and I don't think the tape would harm anyone. I have not had any problems with it. Many of the MDs that I talk to are excited and curious about it. No one has asked about scope of practice. My wife's physiatrist thinks that it's a great thing to use, so I'm going to continue.
I hope some other MTs weigh in on this.
I was shown the taping method by a Korean Doctor in L.A. Koreatown. The system has been altered a bit and expanded in Korea. It was very interesting, especially the application of small tape squares with a pattern of holes that is applied for merdian therapy. I have used it for myself for leg and back pain which it definitely helped. The squares were left on until they fell off in a few days. It does seem to best lend itself to self-therapy. With hands on modalities of Lymphatic Massage, Myofascial Release and Acupressure to draw on I get immediate results and rarely find the need for taping as part of massage.
As for being in the scope of practice, that is only determined when a claim is decided in court. Court claims or Insurance refusal to cover are very rare. You might ask your insurance if you are worried about that type of claim. An allergic reaction to adhesive, I am guessing would not be covered since massage is manual touch and adhesive is not something found in oils, lotions and creams which are needed to facilitate touch. Also massage does not leave affixed braces on a person for extended therapy. That would likely leave it in the realm of Physical Therapy. Even the use of essential oils is often only covered in massage insurance if the Therapist is a Certified Aromatherapist or using a commercially available blended essential oil with carrier that is used as purchased.
I took KT 1 & 2, and have been using Kinesio Tape for 5 years. I'm in NC. KT 1 &2 will give you enough solid info to start working with it. One of the things I've discovered is that some DCs bought the tape & the book, but didn't take the class, didn't understand the concept, and don't use it properly.
Classes by certain instructors are very PT heavy, and they can be quite snotty to us. One of them even called the PT & MT board, trying to tell me I was not in scope with this. The ruling by both the PT board & the MT board is that this is definitely within our scope of practice. One of Kinesio's best instructors is Pete Pfannerstill, who is a MT out of FL. Kineso does recommend that you take KT3 & 3+ from somene who does what you do. I'd suggest Pete. He has a KT 3 & 3+ class coming up in NC next month. His website lists more. http://ultrasportsmassage.com What will improve your ability & skill with Kineso Tape is a solid background in differential assessment. Kinesio leaves a pretty blank slate about this because they teach to such a wide variety of therapists.
Here's an example of how I use it. Someone comes to see me with medial knee pain. They've had no major injuries, surgeries, or recent trauma. It's been nagging them for a while, but the pain is annoying rather than serious. It's also dull achy pain rather than a sharp pain in one spot. I assess the muscles that make the knee work, discover that the IT band is horribly tight, and so are vastus lateralis & biceps femoris. I believe that this is causing undue pressure on the medial co-lateral ligament, resulting in pain. I would work to release the IT Band, vastus lateralis, & biceps femoris. Then I use Kinesio Tape as neuro-muscular re-education (well within our scope) to gently inhibit these muscles to prevent their return to a hypertonic state. Works like a charm, and all of it is within scope. I made no diagnosis. I did not prescribe a device. I noted which muscles were out of balance, and set a path to correct it with manual therapy & neuro-muscular re-education.
I also use KT on older people who have problems with minor edema, or post surgery minor edema. Reduced swelling = reduced pain = better healing. I love this stuff, and it's a vital part of my toolbox. I'll be in Pete's KT3 & 3+ class in Oct. I plan on sitting for certification this fall. If you've got any questions, let me know.