Before, when a client came in with a fresh bruise, we'd have to avoid work in that area until the initial inflammatory process subsided. Not only do people tend to dislike it when a massage therapist pokes around in a fresh bruise, but the circulatory increase created by massage therapy can make that inflammation worse. Now that I'm a Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner, I can help people recover from even intense bruising right away. We'll apply a lymphatic drainage taping to the affected area to speed healing.
Look at this athlete's bruise. You can see the lines in her skin where strips of Kinesio tape criss-crossed the hematoma. The bruise appears to have a donut shape because the tape so effectively decompressed the center of the bruise that it got incredible drainage. I wish we had taken a photo before the Kinesio Tape application so that you could see the initial color and extent of the bruise (it was gnarly!!). This degree of drainage and healing only took three or four days. Before she saw me, the pain from the bruise was too much to bear during running or cycling. The Kinesio Tape method got this athlete back on her training plan much faster than she was expecting.
As soon as the hematoma can tolerate the gentle touch that I use to apply Kinesio Tape, we can start the process of lymphatic drainage. Bruises can take a series of tapings until both the pain and the discoloration subside. Once the hematoma reaches the subacute phase, we can reintroduce massage therapy to finish off the healing process. What was once a painful wait can be mitigated with the Kinesio Tape method. Play safe out there, but know that if you get bruised, we can work on it ASAP.