Over the course of my 12-year career as a massage therapist and physical therapist, my thought processes have evolved, compelling my treatments to become more effective.

For example, by placing more emphasis on the nervous system than the musculoskeletal system, I have learned we can create neurological opportunities for change through touch and movement; kinesiology tape can help lengthen the opportunity while also helping to guide movement.

Movement therapies have customarily focused on isolated muscles rather than motion for treatment outcomes. However, in reality, the body knows movement – not muscles. Knowledge of isolated muscle is necessary and yet it doesn’t reflect integrated movement, as tradition dictates muscles are named for the isolated, shortening action rather than the lengthening action.

For example, the quadricep can extend the knee and often does, yet in upright function, the quadricep (along with tissue above and below) controls knee flexion and simultaneous frontal and transverse motions. The body controls and reacts to gravity, ground reaction forces, mass and momentum, and injury often occurs at the hypermobile region(s) when it is unable to.

For more information on this topic, see my book, “REAL Movement: Perspective on Integrated Motion & Motor Control.

Prior to my introduction to the concept of taping movement, not muscles, kinesiology taping didn’t fit into my thought process or treatment paradigm. I couldn’t rationalize why I’d tape an individual muscle, let alone distal-proximal or proximal-distal to facilitate or inhibit it.

Nonetheless, after my introduction to this new framework of taping motions instead of muscles, lengthening the skin (not the tape) made sense. This taping method fits into my philosophy of modulating the nervous system more than the musculoskeletal system, recognizing the two systems are interrelated and interconnected via a neuromusculoskeletal system.

Read this entire article at MassageMag.com.



Adam Wolf, PT, LMT, FAFS, is co-owner of REAL PT in Chicago, IL. His professional career spans nearly two decades and includes clinical education, performance/strength and conditioning. Wolf presents to fitness and rehabilitation professionals internationally.