K-Tape and the Science of Colours
Updated: Aug 17, 2017
Colour resonates with people in different ways. The effect is apparent on anyone entering a room. You will experience a completely different feeling if the walls of the room are painted red than if they are painted blue.
K-Tape works in the same way.
Although there are no difference in the structure or properties of the different colours of K-Tape (red/pink, blue, beige and black), the tape's colour is chosen in order to support therapy based on the study of chromatics — the science of colours.
It should be noted however that what is crucial in the success of K-Taping therapy is the correct application technique. The tape's colour plays a purely complementary role and is to be viewed only as an added positive aspect to treatment.
The Colour Effect
Initially, only beige coloured tape was used in Japan. Even today, beige is the most commonly used colour in Japan. In comparison, red and blue coloured tape was more widely used and accepted right from the beginning in Europe and Canada. The choice of colour is simple:
Red is the hottest and the most dynamic colour. It is activating, stimulating and powerful.
Blue represents dependability, trustworthiness and security. It is soothing.
Black exhibits power, elegance and modernity.
Beige like gray is often perceive as being neutral, conservative.
When using K-Tape with your patients, the choice of colour you use can add an additional effect during treatment.
If red tape is applied to a tense muscle or to an inflamed structure, most patients will respond with further stimulation and feelings of discomfort. In comparison, the colour blue will encourage a more soothing effect.
K-Tape is therefore applied so that red tape stimulates weak structures lacking in energy and aids in increasing muscle tension. The blue is used to soothe structures overflowing with energy and where the aim is to reduce muscle tension.
The effect of the colour can mostly be noticed with the red and blue tapes. The use of black coloured tape came along considerably later and was apparently developed to meet fashion needs. It is mainly used in sport, especially in the USA.
The beige tape, in any case, has a neutral effect. In some cases the patient’s vanity may play a role if the tape should not be noticeable. This is especially true with lymphatic drainage where large areas of skin are taped. Beige tape is mainly used in such cases.
The choice of colour when taping your patient is very similar to a placebo effect. As a therapist, however, you shouldn't discount its effect either.
That being said, it's important to realise that colour is not the most important aspect of the therapy... your application is!