Holistic medicine

Taping or taping - effectiveness and application

Taping or taping - effectiveness and application

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Taping - an overview

Taping - a relatively new, therapeutic method that is on everyone's lips. This technology has been established in Asia, Japan and the USA for many years. It is used by physiotherapists, doctors and naturopaths and is becoming increasingly popular in Europe, including Germany. Here you will learn how the promising taping works and what healing effects are attributed to it.

  • Definition:Taping is a treatment method in which special, elastic plaster tape is applied to the skin using various techniques.
  • Mode of action:Various effects are attributed to the tapes. These include e.g. reducing pain and swelling, stabilizing the joints, improving muscle function and relieving tension.
  • Application areas:Taping can be used, among other things, for muscle strains, knee problems, back pain, tension, joint problems or to prevent sports injuries.
  • Contraindication:In some cases, such as In the case of skin diseases, allergies, broken bones or when taking blood thinners at the same time, the adhesive strips must not be used or only after consultation with the appropriate doctor.
  • Important: The correct application of the tapes requires a thorough training and should therefore only be done by specialists.

What is taping?

The term “taping” (English tape 'tape') describes a therapy method in which special adhesive tape is applied to the skin using various techniques. The tape bandage, often also referred to briefly as “tape”, is used by physiotherapists, orthopedic surgeons and sports doctors, among others, both for the treatment of acute complaints and for prevention.

The adhesive tapes sticking to the skin are stretchable so that the freedom of movement is not restricted by putting them on or sticking them on. Because the movement is crucial if the tape bandage is to bring healing and relief.

Development of the Kinesio tape

The founder of Kinesio Taping is the Japanese doctor and chiropractor Kenzo Kase, who developed this method more than 30 years ago. Taping was already known, but with a rigid band that was mainly used for immobilization.

The new thing about kinesiological taping was that it does not use a fixed tape, but a cotton tape with an acrylic adhesive layer that is breathable and stretchy. The skin adheres to it and with every movement its layers are raised and receptors stimulated, which creates a constant stimulus for the affected muscles, ligaments or joints.

Taping was originally only used for orthopedic problems. In the meantime, however, this has also found its way into other areas, such as pain therapy and gynecology. The basis of the different methods is kinesio taping, which goes back to Kenzo Kase. The name is derived from the Greek, "kinesis", which means movement. The tape is usually applied to pre-stretched muscles or joints. This does not restrict freedom of movement.

Effectiveness of taping

Taping is a gentle method to accelerate healing. By sticking the tape on, the skin is gently massaged with every movement, stimulating the lymph and blood flow. The underlying structures are brought into a slight state of irritation, which stimulates both the metabolism and the self-healing powers.

Although there is currently no scientific evidence for the effect of kinesio tapes, many users report positive changes due to the application of the colored stripes on the skin. Accordingly, it can definitely be worth trying the promising technology.

Experience reports from practice show that the positive effects of taping include one

  • Improvement of muscle function,
  • Pain reduction,
  • Relief of inflammation,
  • Stimulation and strengthening of the lymph flow,
  • Promoting blood circulation,
  • Stabilization of the joints,
  • Improvement of joint mobility,
  • Support the healing process after injuries
  • and the reduction of tension.

Areas of application for Kinesio tape

Taping is now used for a variety of complaints and clinical pictures in accordance with the various modes of action.

Areas of application for the Kinesio tape are for example:

  • Treatment of Musculoskeletal problems such as. in the area of ​​the spine, joints and muscles
  • Preventive use in Professional sportto protect and support massively stressed areas of the body (e.g. taping the elbow joint during tennis or squash)
  • prevention of low back pain
  • Prevention of Knee problemss or the Achilles tendon
  • Muscle strains
  • aching
  • For support after operations
  • Orthopedic complaints such as Joint pain and effusions
  • Stinging or shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Pain in the spine
  • Elbow pain
  • Gynecological complaints such as menstrual pain or ovulation pain
  • Internal problems like abdominal pain or diarrhea

Gluing is not a panacea

The application of elastic cotton tapes is not a panacea, but can be used to support many diseases. However, if the flow of energy in the body is blocked for some reason, a so-called regulatory rigidity arises, which can have the effect that previously used therapies, including the adhesive tape, do not have a positive effect.

The term regulatory rigidity is known in naturopathy and says that, for example, an unhealthy diet affects the metabolism so negatively that there is a blockage in the diseased area. Here this must first be resolved, whereby measures for detoxification and / or deacidification are mostly to be applied.

Appearance, nature and application of Kinesio tape

The tape consists of a high-quality elastic cotton fabric that is stretchable up to 160 percent. A skin-friendly acrylic adhesive in wave form is applied to its underside. The tape is latex free.

The body heat keeps the band even better and can remain on the skin for up to seven days. Showers and saunas are not a problem as the band cannot store water. The exception is salt water or heavily chlorinated water, both of which help the tape to release faster. Sweating, on the other hand, does no harm.

After showering, the tape should not be rubbed dry with a towel, but only dabbed off. There must be a waiting time of at least thirty minutes between sticking the tape and a sporting activity, since the tape must then really connect to the skin. This "sealing time" is important in order to develop sufficient effectiveness.

Importance of colors in taping

The texture of the tapes is actually all the same, but is still available in different colors. The main colors are red and blue, next to which are e.g. green, black, yellow and beige ribbons available. Many users assume that these are based on the Chinese color theory and that each color has a certain effect on the body. However, whether there is actually a connection here has not been proven and is controversial among experts.

In practice, the colors of the tapes are often assigned the following meanings or modes of action:

  • Blue: Has a cooling, pain relieving and relaxing effect. Hence frequent use e.g. for bruises, swellings and acute pain.
  • Red / pink: Activating, warming, stabilized, releases blockages and promotes blood circulation.
  • Yellow: Generally has a positive and mood-enhancing effect, increases well-being and stimulates the metabolism.
  • Orange: Strengthening and stimulating effect on the affected part of the body.
  • Beige / skin colors: These tapes are neutral and are therefore often used for the face, neck and other visible areas.
  • Green: Balancing and harmonizing effect, promotes inner peace and balance, supports the healing process.
  • Black: Signals strength and power, has a neutral effect and is therefore often used by athletes. Often in combination with other tapes to support their effect.

In some practices, patients can choose the color they prefer. If the affected people reject the color, the effect may also fail to appear.


Taping should not be used on everyone, here too there are contraindications. Pregnancy is a very special time in a woman's life and it should be consulted with the treating gynecologist before using it. In the case of existing diseases that have not yet been clarified by conventional medicine, the doctor should be consulted before using the tape.

Caution should also be exercised when taking blood-thinning medication. Taping should not be used lightly in the area of ​​mental illness either, but medical advice should be sought beforehand. The method should also not be used on diseased skin areas and in the case of allergies or in the area of ​​a fracture or rupture.

Allergic reaction

An allergic reaction to the tape is rare. This is most likely to occur in patients who have very sensitive skin. If itching and / or redness occurs, the tape can be easily removed so that the skin recovers. The glued tape is moistened with water or oil and then slowly and carefully removed from the skin.

Precautions to be taken

Some precautions have to be taken before taping. The skin to be glued on must be fat-free, clean and dry. It is often cleaned beforehand with a damp cloth or with a disinfectant solution and then dried well.

If there is strong body hair on the area to be treated, the hair is shortened before gluing. If these are completely removed by depilation, wait at least one day before applying the adhesive strips, as there is no treatment of skin irritation. The ends of the tapes are always rounded off with a pair of scissors so that they cannot detach from the skin as quickly.

Where to stick

The main pain site is the first area in which the strip is used. The therapist may choose another location where the taping will take place. The band stays there for five to seven days and is renewed several times, depending on the complaints.

The correct application of the tapes

Depending on the area of ​​application, a distinction is made between taping techniques.

So is the tape in the so-called Muscle system starting at the base of a muscle and glued in the direction of its origin or vice versa. This helps against muscle cramps, increased muscle tension (hypertension) or a low or weak muscle tone (hypotension).

Another technique is that Ligament system. The possible uses are, for example, the relief and support of joints.

In the Fascia system the strips are not attached to the center of the action, but to the side. The indications here are malpositions and poor posture.

The Nervous system is used, for example, for nerve compression or sciatica for easy stretching and to improve the lubricity of the nerve.

Another option is Lymphatic system, in which the tapes are stuck on in a strip shape to improve the lymph flow. This is particularly useful after an operation or other injuries to relieve swelling and support the healing process.

Based on Chinese medicine, the so-called Energy Technology to mention. Here the Qi (Chinese term for life energy) is stimulated or reduced by taping on certain meridians. For pain therapy, lattice plasters are often applied to the affected area. There is also taping to remove scars, which allows the energy to flow again.

Important: All of the above techniques are to be performed by trained therapists.

Training necessary

Taping is a form of therapy that can be used correctly and can support healing and bring relief in various areas. Sticking on tapes of different colors is a method that definitely requires sound training. The possibilities of this form of therapy continue to develop. Kinesio taping, Aku taping, emotional taping, medi taping and the sticking of grid plasters already exist.

Difference Aku taping - kinesiological taping

According to anatomical knowledge, kinesio taping is used directly on the painful area. Aku-Taping, a further development of this, combines the anatomical laws with the knowledge of Chinese medicine and is therefore more versatile. However, the effects remain controversial. It applies to both methods that these should only be used by specialists.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a more than 3,000 year old holistic, coherent healing system that originated in China. TCM includes acupuncture, dietetics, massage, tuina, movement theory and much more. Body, soul and spirit are inseparable in Chinese medicine. Health means harmony of yin and yang, which are present as opposite poles in every person.

There are five elements in TCM that go with the rhythms of nature. For example, people, their organs, diseases, but also characteristics such as anger, fears or anger are assigned to these rhythms. The liver is an example of this. Anger or anger is their negative quality and wood is the related element.

Acupuncture, also part of TCM, has now become established and is gaining more and more recognition. According to the thinking of Chinese medicine, the body runs through various energy channels on which the acupuncture points are arranged.

The knowledge of TCM, especially acupuncture, is incorporated into the therapy form of Aku-Taping. For example, tapes are glued to meridians (energy channels) to increase the flow here.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Lorenz Fischer, Elmar T. Peuker: Textbook Integrative Pain Therapy, Haug Verlag, 2011
  • Hans-W. Müller-Wohlfahrt, Peter Ueblacker, Lutz Hänsel: Muscle injuries in sports, Thieme Verlag, 3rd edition, 2018
  • Birgit Kumbrink: K-Taping - Fundamentals, investment techniques, indications, Springer Verlag, 3rd edition, 2018

Video: Kinesiology Tape Application Principles - Doctor K (October 2022).