Whilst watching the Olympics this summer, One thing that struck me was the number of gymnasts who had ‘body parts’ covered in tape to support their performance. Whilst competitive athletes may take extreme and sometimes even bizarre actions to give them a competitive edge they generally wont do something without a degree of confidence that it will assist their performance in some way. With so much visible tape athletes were effectively endorsing it’s use and this spurred me on to sign up for a course to understand better it’s clinical use.
Today I attended a one day course by Rock Tape in Fascial Movement Taping with Barry Spencer and Mark Archer, two Physiotherapists and excellent tutors. In this blog I want to share with you some simple concepts taught on the course.
The first concept to share is that of Fascia. In simple terms this refers to the connective tissue that runs though out our bodies. For years it was the stuff that anatomists ‘threw away’ in the eagerness to reveal the muscles and bones, believing it to have no value in understanding body mechanics.
Now it is viewed as essential in understanding how muscles work together to achieve motion and how pain and restrictions in one part of the body can be connected to another part previously believed to be disparate. Barry demonstrated this on the course by asking us all to stand nice and relaxed, feet apart, shut our eyes and lift the arches of our feet. Everyone felt their Quads (at the front of the thigh) engage to allow this movement – showing a connection that had to be fascial since there is no single muscle connecting the thigh to the sole of the foot. The course referred extensively to Anatomy Trains which you can read about in more depth here.
The next two concepts to share reveal how taping works.
One significant way the tape works is to improve Proprioception… so what does that mean?