Move and Shaker
By Living North | 05 September 2012

While the likes of Coca Cola, Adidas, Visa and Samsung paid in the region of £64 million each to have their products associated with the London 2012 Olympic Games, one North East based brand had images of their product beamed around the world for free, thanks to its popularity amongst some of the world’s top athletes. ‘ The amazing thing is, five or six years ago nobody knew what Kinesio Tape was,’ Kevin Anderson explains, ‘so to see it so popular now and have everybody talking about it gives me a lot of pleasure.’ Kinesio UK is the official training partner and distributor for Kinesio Tape, a revolutionary product first developed by Japanese chiropractor Dr Kenzo Kase in the 70s and a product Kevin spotted the potential of eight years ago.

Kevin began his working life developing software for the medical industry and, listening to him describe the career path that led him to Kinesio UK, you realise why he is so passionate about the brand. Born in Newcastle, he completed his degree at Northumbria University and began a career in I.T., securing his first major job working for what was then known as the Prescription Pricing Authority. Here he developed I.T. systems used to analyse the prescribing habits of doctors and helped regulate the NHS’s enormous drug bill. From there he moved onto Sage, working on their successful Line 50 accountancy software, but it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial spirit got the better of him. ‘ I realised that a lot of people were getting rich at Sage - I wasn't, so I decided to start-up my own business, predominately in I.T. It was called 3 Tier Systems and things have just moved on from there.’

‘ We also work very closely with the English Institute of Sport and look after Olympic athletes, and we’ve had huge interest in international development too, so it’s all very exciting’

One of the products his company developed included a programme that helped practitioners treat lymphedema, a swelling in the limbs caused by blockage of the lymph passages. At the time the two main treatment methods involved compression, which reduces swelling by squeezing fluid out of the limb, and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) which involves massaging the fluids away, but Kevin became interested by a theory put forward by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr Kenzo Kase. Dr Kase suggested that using his revolutionary tape might actually be a more effective way to treat this condition. ‘He was saying that instead of using compression, what we should be doing is lifting the skin, as if using the MLD technique, and actually encouraging channels for the lymphatic fluid to be drained away.’ Dr Kase’s taping techniques are different to conventional strapping which, although it provides muscle and joint support, is often restrictive and uncomfortable. Instead, Kinesio Tape lifts the skin, assisting lymphatic flow, which in turn helps reduce pain and swelling. ‘The tape is not magic, it has no medicinal properties at all, which really confuses a lot of people at first. They think “How can something that has no medicinal properties provide any sort of treatment?” The analogy I use is this: we’ve all done it before, if you hurt your finger, you’ll probably swear a bit then you’ll probably start shaking it and you may even put it in your mouth. What you’re trying to do there is provide external mechanical input to try and reduce the pressure on your pain receptors. You're actually providing pain relief yourself without using any pills.’

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