Saturday, November 16, 2019

Green Beret Purple Heart Recipient Joe Lowrey Doing KAATSU

Green Beret Purple Heart recipient Joe Lowrey of Long Beach, California has been doing KAATSU daily and nightly for nearly two years.

After a session at the Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach, California, Lowrey and KAATSU Master Specialist David Tawil did a short KAATSU session on his arms and legs. Lowrey survived a bullet to his head during a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan and is working towards being cleared to drive a vehicle with a lot of physical therapy at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach and twice daily with KAATSU.

After his KAATSU work on his arms and legs, then Tawil always finishes off the session with obstacle walking and other exercises to challenge Lowrey.

"It is such a joy, honor, and inspiration to work with wounded warriors like Joe," said KAATSU Master Specialist David Tawil.

Joe Lowrey retired as a U.S. Army Green Beret Sergeant 1st Class Joseph Lowrey. The Long Beach, California native is an avid KAATSU user after improbably surviving a horrific gunshot wound to his head during a combat tour in Afghanistan.

While serving with the 7th Special Forces Group on July 7th 2014, Lowrey and his fellow soldiers were tasked to enter an area known to be a Taliban stronghold.

The injury occurred during Lowrey’s third deployment while manning the gun turret on top of a truck during an intense firefight against Taliban insurgents.

Immediately after Lowrey was hit when PKM machine gun fire (the round pierced his Kevlar helmet and caused a massive traumatic brain injury to his right hemisphere), the medic onboard heroically saved his life by conducting an emergency tracheotomy on the battlefield. Even so, after surgery, his colleagues were told that Lowrey would not survive.

Inexplicably, Lowrey survived the next day as well as the next week and next month. Just after he and his wife Jennifer welcomed their fourth child, Lowrey was airlifted from Afghanistan to Germany's Landstuhl Hospital where he remained in a coma. Despite being given a small chance of survival by doctors, Lowrey was airlifted to the United States where he continued his battle through stays at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Palo Alto, California at a polytrauma rehabilitation hospital, and then at Casa Colina and Centre for Neuro Skills in Southern California.

After years of believing in himself and his caregivers through an excruciatingly painful recovery and rehabilitation, Lowrey emerged well enough to move back in with his family albeit without use of his left side and with some short-term memory losses due to his traumatic brain injury.

"My brothers rescued me from the fight," he recalled from his home in Ontario, California. "It has been a very long road to recovery, but I want to run again. That is one of my goals."

The Purple Heart recipient then met KAATSU Master Specialist David Tawil. Together they delved into every KAATSU protocol covering muscle development, rehabilitation enhancement and basic recovery.

But they also concurrently took a deep dive into nutrition, specifically ketogenic diets, and all kinds of healthy biohacks.

Because Joe, a former highly competitive ice hockey goalie and self-defined fitness fanatic, was completely paralyzed on his left side from 2014. "Due to being sedentary for the first time in my life, I gained a lot of weight and was just eating everything including too many hamburgers," recalled Lowrey.

"But then I lost the added weight when I began eating a low-carb diet and sleeping right."

But he also experienced significant muscle mass loss while undergoing physical therapy in several Veterans Administration hospitals and medical clinics for four years.

Lowrey started KAATSU in June 2018 and, together with Tawil, have established a smooth-running protocol where Lowrey does KAATSU twice daily in the convenience of his home. He does a morning exercise protocol where he focuses on muscle toning, balance and gait fluidity as well as an evening sleep protocol where he focuses on relaxation and vascular elasticity that enables him to get a solid 8 hours of deep sleep.

"I loved how my legs felt the very first time that I tried KAATSU," recalled Lowrey who first did KAATSU in the comfort of his living room.

"I didn't know how to use the KAATSU equipment at first; it was all new to me, but David was patient and taught me and my caregiver how to apply it during my morning and evening sessions. Now it is just part of my daily routine."

Tawil reiterated, "It is important to teach KAATSU users like Joe to understand how to do KAATSU by himself. Because of Joe's limited strength, uncertain balance and lack of complete mobility, we spend all the time necessary for Joe to feel comfortable and gain the maximum benefits from KAATSU.

Joe first started with very low-pressure KAATSU Cycles on both his arms and legs. He learned what the appropriate Base and Optimal pressures are for him - both in the morning where Joe does more vigorous workouts and in the evening where it is all about relaxation and getting ready to reap all the benefits of a good night's sleep

Over the next 8 weeks, Lowrey started to stand, balance and walk with KAATSU.

"We walk around the house and in his backyard," explains Tawil. "But we also go outside in his complex and tackle walking on grass. All of the different textures and slightly different elevations on the grass and a nearby hill are great challenges and objectives for Joe to achieve during his walking sessions. This sort of KAATSU Walking on a grassy hill - so simple for able-bodies people - are extremely helpful for Joe's improvement.

Joe does KAATSU 2 times per day: the first time at 10 am and then again at 7 pm before going to bed. At night, Joe just does simple KAATSU Cycles at a relatively low pressure. This double daily session has been essential for his rapid improvement. He is up to 2,000 steps a day, but his long-term goal is running a marathon

Lowrey is taking his progress step-by-step.

But it is never easy. Friend John Doolittle said, "Joe recently had a fall and is having resulting issues with his arm and shoulder on his left side. But Joe continues to consistently take 1,500 - 2,000 steps daily and has started to attack stairs and inclines, or mountains as he refers to them. He is making steady progress."

Copyright © 2014-2019 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, November 2, 2019

How Cells Sense And Adapt To Oxygen Availability

In 2006, Dr. David Chao was the first to describe KAATSU as a form of 'poor man's high altitude training' due to the physiological phenomenon caused by blood flow moderation with KAATSU Training and KAATSU Cycle. In other words, instead of having to go to 6,000 feet (1828 meters) or higher to train as many Olympic and endurance athletes do, altitude training could be done at sea level following the KAATSU protocols and using KAATSU equipment.

In 2004, KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato established the KAATSU Training Ischemic Circulatory Physiology Department at the University of Tokyo Hospital's 22nd Century Medical and Research Center. Dr. Sato and his cardiologists Dr. Nakajima and Dr. Morita learned early on that ischemia - or the temporary restriction of blood supply to tissues - was the catalyst to healthful outcomes when KAATSU Cycle protocols were strictly followed by people of various ages.

This information about hypoxia is gradually spreading outside the academic research, extreme sports and medical communities.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to William Kaelin Jr. of the Harvard Medical School, Sir Peter Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford, and Gregg Semenza of John Hopkins University for their study into how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability (hypoxia). For more information, read here.

One athlete who we know of - Ger Kennedy from Dublin, Ireland - practices the Wim Hof Method and uses KAATSU. Kennedy recently achieved the Ice Sevens - that is, completing an Ice Mile in the 7 continents of the world. Kennedy completed his latest and 12th career Ice Mile in Portillo, Chile in October 2019 at 2,880 meters (9,448 feet) in 2°C (35.6°F) water.

Copyright © 2014-2019 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Yuko Matsuzaki Sets Guinness World Record In Endless Pool

"When I went into a library and saw the Guinness World Records book, it was a light shining on it in the shelves," recalled Yuko Matsuzaki. "It was like a golden book. I had to read it. Even as a young girl - maybe 7 or 8 years old - I wanted my name to be in this great book of world records. It was a book that I read from cover to cover when I was a kid."

Matsuzaki, originally from Tokyo, Japan, continued to dream as she became a fin swimming champion and was later inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame for her prolific career in the sport.

"I was doing well as a fin swimmer, but then I had a chance meeting with Paul Asmuth [shown below]. He was a [7-time] world champion in marathon swimming and he encouraged me to try marathon swimming," she explained. She tried it and fell in love with the sport where competitive races up to 88 km consumed her. "I absolutely loved it. I was always the only swimmer from Japan, so when I competed in races in Italy, Argentina, Greece, Brazil, France, Canada, Serbia and the United States, the sponsors and race organizers always asked me to support them and promote the race.

It was wonderful being around these great marathon swimmers, traveling across the globe, and doing something that I love

She was later honored by the prestigious International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame - but getting into the Guinness World Records still remained on her mind for decades.

Finally, an unexpected opportunity came up - at the age of 57 - for Matsuzaki to realize her dream. She set off to break the Longest continuous swim in a counter-current pool of 16 hours in an official Guinness World Record attempt at the 2019 WOWSA Ocean Fest in Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach, California. Watkins Manufacturing installed its signature E500 Endless Pool on the beach and her attempt was set.

"Only when I got to Redondo Beach did I learn that it takes time for the pool to warm up so we delayed the swim start by one day," she said. So she set off at 8:00 am on Saturday, October 5th.

"She immediately got into her 'all-day pace', but I sensed something was a little off," said observer Steven Munatones. "She could swim all-day in a lake, sea, river or ocean, but it was an entirely different form of swimming in place at a constant pace. It requires a lot of concentration and focus to stay precisely in the middle of the Endless Pool's counter current. I think it is harder than even running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bicycle. She was looking down constantly at the same Endless Pool logo and could not see much of anything around her as she continued to swim.

Munatones recalled, "Yuko started at a comfortable 1 minute 55 second pace per 100 meters in the Endless Pool. She got into a groove and continued hour after hour without stopping.

Under the official Guinness World Records rules, she could rest, eat and go to the bathroom for up to 5 minutes per hour.

Most of her rest stops were between 4 - 5 minutes, but she never once got out of the pool. During her rest stops, she mostly stretched, but she also ate some amounts of Japanese rice porridge, chocolate bits and banana slices. She really did not drink much water or fluids, which concerned everyone, but she explained that she never was much of a drinker during her marathon swims

Gradually, she slowed down her pace as her rhomboid muscles in her upper back between her scapula became painful, especially on her right side. Despite the constant rhomboid spasms that she was experiencing, she continued to swim.

She slowed to 2:00 per 100 meters, then 2:01, then 2:02, then 2:05, then 2:06.

By the 14th hour at 10 pm, the pain became unbearable. She started to swim only with her left arm as her right arm hung at her side. She kept her kick up and soldiered on. After her 11:00 pm break, she started to swim breaststroke. "I cannot remember when the last time I swam breaststroke - at least 40 years ago," recalled Matsuzaki.

Chieko Smith and Chris Morgan were serving as observers and late-night support team. They were cheering her on and trying to put a light mood in the situation as midnight approached. "I was constantly writing messages on a whiteboard so she could read as she turned her head to breathe on her left side," said Smith. "Josef Köberl, a fellow Guinness World Record holder and famous ice swimmer, also stayed through the night supporting her - it was really something to see these record holders support each other."

"But late at night with few fans, it is very tough mentally to keep on swimming," Munatones explained. "There is the pain that she was feeling first on her right side and then the pain expanded towards her left side. Within her own thoughts, she had to face this excruciating discomfort in the darkness."

Finally, Chris decided to do some KAATSU Cycles on her arms during one of her rest breaks. "Yuko has been doing KAATSU Aqua for years. It helps her sleep and helps relieve some of the pain in her shoulders, so we decided to put the KAATSU Air Bands on her as she stopped and was eating some chocolate."

"I felt immediate relief so I started back up freestyle again, but we were still 8 hours from reaching my 24-hour goal,' Matsuzaki said later.

Matsuzaki gradually slowed down to 3:22 per 100 meters as she did mostly breaststroke with an occasional 5-10 minutes of freestyle over the last 8-hour stretch of swimming. Smith recalled, "She got a bit of adrenalin when she passed the 16th hour to break the existing record.

Then her long-time marathon swimming friend Shelley Taylor-Smith really got her pumped up. Shelley, a 7-time professional marathon swimming champion, knew how Matsuzaki was feeling and she knew exactly what to do. She smiled at her, cheered, and kept on writing inspirational messages to her. We all could immediately see the impact of Shelley's presence. Yuko immediately picked up her speed and improved her mindset

Munatones agreed, "Yuko was always in a great mindset, but she was hurting big-time. I was really worried and did not think she would make it to 24 hours. But Shelley was great. Shelley really knows how to transform the mindset of a tired and frustrated marathon swimmer. Without Shelley and Chieko and Chris doing KAATSU, I doubt Yuko could have made it through the night. Each of them, in their own way, pulled Yuko out of the depths and helped her continue swimming."

But it was not easy. Matsuzaki started to hallucinate, as do many marathon swimmers when they approach or exceed 24 hours in the water. Matsuzaki asked her team around 2 am, “Do you see the sea lions?

I saw sea lions and sea dragons while I was swimming,” explained Matsuzaki. “At one level, I knew that I was swimming in an Endless Pool. But I was swimming for hours and hours staring down at the same thing: an Endless Pool logo on the bottom of the pool. Eventually, that logo became black coral and I told Chieko and Chris to protect me from the worms that were peeking out from the black coral.”

Despite imaging playful sea lions, scary sea dragons and menacing coral worms that were sharing the Endless Pool with her, Matsuzaki kept her cool throughout the 24-hour stationary swim.

"So many people worked on this project with me including Mark Lutz, Aimee Soto and Nick Kale - and then everyone from the City of Redondo Beach from the Mayor Bill Brand to channel hero John York. I could not let any of them down - I had to keep swimming despite the pain. This was my one chance to set a world record - this was just one day of my life and I had to make it worthwhile. I have done other 24-hour swims in addition to a 33-hour swim in Lake Cane in Orlando, but this was really hard.”

By daybreak, Matsuzaki was in her final stretch and into a groove. By 6:00 am just before the sun rose, more and more fans had gathered in Seaside Lagoon and were cheering her on. People were taking photos and videos and posting it online - and Matsuzaki was taking it all in. "I was so looking forward to the final countdown."

Over the last 20 minutes, hundreds of spectators had surrounded the pool and then final countdown began. When it was finished, Matsuzaki took photos with and showed everyone the wrinkled skin on her hands.

It was a dream come true.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Past, Present and Future of KAATSU

The Moment of Discovery

In the fall of 1966, Yoshiaki Sato was 18 years old. He was attending a Buddhist memorial service and listening to the monk chanting sutras when, not unexpectedly, his legs went numb while sitting on the floor in the traditional Japanese position (“seiza” or 正座). With a straight back while kneeing on the tatami mat floor, he started to massage his calves in order to relieve the pain as his legs were bent underneath him.

While the discomfort continued during the long ceremony, he had a revelation.

Sato realized that his blood circulation was blocked in his calves as the weight of his body was directly upon his ankles. He reasoned that his legs must have gone to sleep as a result of the reduced blood flow to the periphery of his legs. Because his calves had the “pumped up” feeling after he experienced while bodybuilding, this was the initial KAATSU moment of inspiration where the original idea of blood flow moderation training began.

The swelling and hardness in his calves led to Sato asking himself the key question that began KAATSU.

I wonder if purposefully constricting blood flow could artificially replicate the physiological conditions of hard training. If this were true, could benefits be realized by only lifting no loads or only light loads instead of heavy weights?

The answer would be answered in the positive.

Years of Quiet Experimentation

Over the next seven years between 1966 and 1973 in the quiet of his own house, the young man from Tokyo diligently experimented on himself by applying different bicycle tubes, ropes and bands at different pressures on different parts of his body. He methodically kept track of what type of bands and pressures worked and what experiments did not.

As a monk in his local Buddhist temple, he began to see results that could not be explained given the physiological knowledge of the day. But the resulting effects of KAATSU were clear, although the medical explanations did not come for another decade.

After detailed and documented trial and error, Sato gradually developed effective protocols to safely restrict blood flow and enable muscle growth. His self-research on his own body led him to determine what length and width of bands are ideal and the optimal degree and locations to apply KAATSU pressure in various activities.

Moment of Proof

By 1973 on his own body, Sato gradually developed the details and fine-tuned the protocols of KAATSU as it continues to be practiced. At the age of 25 he went on a ski trip when he badly fractured his ankle and torn the ligaments around his knee. The injuries were diagnosed and his own father, a local doctor, told Sato that it would take six months to heal.

With a plaster cast on his leg, Sato rehabilitated himself with his KAATSU bands applied to his upper leg. Because he could not withstand the discomfort of keeping the bands on for the usual duration, he released the bands and repeatedly tightened the bands while doing isometric exercises for 30 seconds on and a few seconds off three times per day.

The results of his regimen – now known as the KAATSU Cycle – surprised him to a certain extent, but really shocked his doctors because not only did his muscles not atrophy, but he fully recovered within six weeks.

Years of Confirmation

Word spread locally of Sato’s unheard of recovery. Demand for his new approach built rapidly around Tokyo, so Sato opened the Sato Sports Plaza in Fuchu where the KAATSU Japan headquarters still exists.

Sato conducted KAATSU on local people of all ages and abilities over the next decade. Injured patients, healthy athletes, older people and younger adults flocked to his office. While applying KAATSU to thousands of clients, Sato learned what worked best for people with various kinds of afflictions and injuries and from all walks of life between 1973 and 1982.

Mind – Body – Spirit Connection

Sato observed that KAATSU enabled the human body to improve and heal itself most effectively and most efficiently than any other therapy or modality.

He also encouraged people to focus mentally on their injured body part while doing KAATSU and observed how the intake of food and water before and after KAATSU also led to positive results. The mind-body-spirit connection was clearly evident.

Patenting KAATSU

In 1994, Sato applied for his first patents in Japan (Patent No. 2670421), U.S.A. (Patent No. 6149618), and Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy with 94206403.0) as he produced and commercialized the first KAATSU Training bands. He worked on injured professional golfers and Japanese Olympians as his reputation grew.

Introduction of the KAATSU Instructor Certification Program

In 1997, Sato introduced the KAATSU Instructor educational program in Japan where his defined protocols were shared with coaches, trainers, physical therapists and physicians throughout Japan. Over 3,000 KAATSU Instructors were certified and hundreds of more experienced KAATSU Special Instructors were licensed. These instructors conducted tens of thousands of KAATSU sessions annually and safely without complications.

Media attention and public acceptance grew in Japan after KAATSU was named one of the collaborative projects of the University of Tokyo Hospital’s 22nd Century Medical and Research Center in 2000.

Sato also began to offer an ischemic circulatory physiology course at the University of Tokyo Hospital and conducted joint development work with the Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation.

KAATSU Research

Beginning in the mid-1990’s, Sato began joint research with Professor Naokata Ishii of the Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Tokyo. Other researchers in Japan, including cardiologists Dr. Nakajima and Dr. Morita at the University of Tokyo Hospital, started to explore the benefits of KAATSU and various research results were submitted to peer-review publications.

KAATSU Internationalization

In 2014, KAATSU Global was established in Huntington Beach, California and the Center for KAATSU Research at the Harvard Medical School was started in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Sato and his partners, Steven Munatones, Richard Herstone, David Tawil, retired Navy SEAL Captain John Doolittle, Robert Heiduk in Germany, Péter Lakatos in Hungary and many others began expansion to the markets in the North America, South America, Oceania, Europe and Asia. Eventually, KAATSU Global developed the next-generation products that were also sold to and distributed by Dr. Sato in Japan.


Future applications and the third generation of KAATSU products are currently being explored in the military, medical, sports performance and corporate wellness markets in the United States with plans for further expansion in Asia, South America, Europe, and Oceania.

While KAATSU has expanded to 32 countries as of 2018, there are also an increasing number of knock-offs and imitators that use KAATSU copyrighted materials and attempt to design products around KAATSU patents as the global market continues to grow.

Summary Timelines

1966: Dr. Sato developed the concept of KAATSU when he was sitting on his heels during a Buddhist ceremony.
1966-1972: Dr. Sato experiments on himself and develops the basic KAATSU methodology through years of trial and error.
1973: Dr. Sato breaks his ankle during skiing and uses KAATSU Cycle to rehabilitate himself quickly.
1973-1982: Dr. Sato begins to offer KAATSU to others.
1983-1994: Dr. Sato continues to improve know-how to apply KAATSU through increasingly wider application to people and basic research.
November 1993: Dr. Sato applies for first patent of KAATSU in Japan (Patent No. 2670421).
June 1994: Dr. Sato applies for first patent of KAATSU in the United States (Patent No. 6149618).
August 1994: Dr. Sato applies for first patent of KAATSU in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy (94306403.0).
1995: KAATSU receives recognition after being used on the Japanese bodybuilding champion Toshio Konuma.
1996-1999: Dr. Sato begins joint research with Professor Naokata Ishii, Department of Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo.
1997: Various research results are released at academic conferences in Japan.
2000: Research results are published in various academic journals.
2001: Research results are announced by the Japanese Society of Clinical Sports Medicine.
September 2001: KAATSU and KAATSU Aqua are tested at Golden West College in California, first time outside of Japan.
2004: Japan KAATSU Training Society is established.
June 2004: The study of KAATSU is initiated in the University of Tokyo Hospital's 22nd Century Medical and Research Center.
June 2004: Research results are published by the Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine.
October 2004: KAATSU Training and ischemic circulatory physiology course is established at the University of Tokyo Hospital.
April 2005: Joint development agreement is signed with the Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation.
August 2005: Advanced medical research & development cluster is launched at the University of Tokyo Hospital.
October 2005: KAATSU Master Mini is developed and launched in Japan.
April 2006: The University of Tokyo offers a course in Sport and Exercise Biometrics at its Graduate School of Frontier Science.
August 2006: Joint research begins with JAXA and the University of Tokyo into KAATSU implementation into space.
December 2006: KAATSU Training Research Institute Co., Ltd. is launched.
July 2007: Research on KAATSU begins at Rutgers University, University of Oklahoma, West Point, University of Texas and Indiana University Purdue University.
May 2008: KAATSU Master is launched.
August 2008: American College of Sports Medicine signs co-research project with Dr. Sato.
April 2009: Dr. Sato is appointed as Knight Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
September 2009: Joint development agreement is signed with Jilin University and the State General Administration of Sports in China.
April 2010: Genetic research starts at the Research Institute of Sports Science of the State General Administration of Sports in China. December 2013: Dr. Sato starts to work with United States Ski & Snowboard Association in Park City, Utah.
February 2014: KAATSU Global, Inc. is established in California.
February 2014: KAATSU is used by American Olympic Nordic combined skiers at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
September 2014: New KAATSU Master and KAATSU Nano are launched in the United States.
2016: Drs. Sato, Ishii, Nakajima and Abe publishes the book, KAATSU Training: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives, in English.
2016: KAATSU is widely used by Olympic athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2017: KAATSU is used by personnel in the Department of Defense and Special Operations Command in the United States military.
2018: KAATSU is used by athletes in the NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), NHL (National Hockey League), MLS (Major League Soccer) and NCAA Division I, II and III institutions in the United States.
2018: KAATSU is used by personnel in the Israeli Defense Forces.
2018: KAATSU is used by paraplegics and quadriplegics for the first time outside of Japan.
2019: KAATSU is distributed in 47 countries and 50 American states including at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
June 2019: Robert Heiduk publishes the book, KAATSU – The Pressure Training From Japan – New perspectives in sport, therapy and health promotion, in English and German.
June 2019: Dr. Nakajima and Dr. Sato publishes the book, University of Tokyo Hospital 22nd Century Medical and Research Center KAATSU Training & Ischemic Circulatory Physiology Course Summary from 2004 - 2014, in English.
July 2019: Next-generation KAATSU Master 2.0 is launched in the United States, Europe, and Middle East.
September 2019: Next-generation KAATSU Cycle 2.0 is launched in the United States, Europe, and Middle East.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, September 21, 2019

KAATSU Cycle 2.0 Is Launched

After years of research, design modifications, software changes, user feedback and utilization of metabolite testing results, the next-generation KAATSU Cycle 2.0 is now available. "It is more compact and quieter. It is more capable and more powerful than the first-generation KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Master products," explains Steven Munatones. "It enables exercise, recovery and rehabilitation anywhere anytime by anyone.

The ultra compact, ultralight, durable unit offers the KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Training modes and utilizes precise, software-controlled limb pressure for both your arms and legs

The KAATSU Cycle 2.0 includes 4 KAATSU Air Bands (for both arms and legs), a rechargeable battery with a USB-C charger. The pneumatic elastic bands can be disconnected from the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit and are waterproof, for use in the pool.

Based on the original KAATSU know-how and US patent #9,775,619 (Compression and decompression control system and vascular strengthening method), the equipment:

›› can tone muscle without weights
›› is convenient: do anywhere, anytime by anyone
›› offers access to the KAATSU Performance database
›› offers 6 pre-sent KAATSU Cycle levels
›› can efficiently and effectively improve speed, stamina and strength
›› is an incredible time saver
›› can improves circulation
›› enables faster recovery
›› enables greater range of motion for those rehabilitating and recovering from injuries and surgeries
›› is reimbursable with various CPT codes
›› offers customizable KAATSU pressures

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Monday, September 16, 2019

KAATSU Cycling For Cyclists

Competitive cyclists, including professional keirin cyclists and triathletes use KAATSU equipment in a variety of ways:

1. Warm-up and stretching with KAATSU Cycles
2. Workout recovery with KAATSU Cycles
3. Increased watt output with KAATSU Cycles
4. Increased watt output with KAATSU Training
5. Increase functional threshold power using KAATSU Training
6. Rehabilitation with KAATSU Cycles

Warm-up and stretching with KAATSU Cycles
* As the athletes prepare for a vigorous workout, they do 3-5 KAATSU Cycles on their arms and then 3-5 KAATSU Cycles on their legs.
* They can remain stationary, stretch, or do easy cycling on a stationary bicycle during these warm-up KAATSU Cycles.
* Using the KAATSU Wearables or the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 equipment, the units are easily and comfortable used.
* It is important to be well hydrated before starting KAATSU Cycles.
* It is very important to start with comfortable (i.e., lower) Optimal SKU pressure levels and gradually increase the Optimal SKU levels with each subsequent KAATSU Cycle.

Workout recovery with KAATSU Cycles
* As the athletes complete a vigorous workout, they do 3-5 KAATSU Cycles on their legs so waste products in their muscles can be effectively and efficiently removed. This enables the athlete to benefit from a rapid recovery so their subsequent workouts are optimized.
* They can remain stationary, stretch, or do easy cycling on a stationary bicycle during these cool-down KAATSU Cycles.
* Using the KAATSU Wearables or the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 equipment, the units are easily and comfortable used.
* It is important that the KAATSU Color is pink or rosy or beefy red while doing KAATSU Cycles; the skin tone should never be white, blue or gray.

Increased watt output with KAATSU Cycles
* Athletes can do their workouts while gradually increasing the Optimal SKU levels of the KAATSU Cycles.
* For example, athletes can do 6-8 sets of KAATSU Cycles as the Optimal SKU levels increase from 200 to 225 to 250 to 275 to 300 to 350 to 400 SKU.
* As time and experience with KAATSU increases, the watt output will also increase.
* Athletes can change (either decrease or increase) the parameters of time, incline, Optimal SKU levels as well as watt output.

Increased watt output with KAATSU Training
* Athletes can workout while setting their Optimal SKU at a specific level in the KAATSU Training mode.
* For example, athletes can cycle for a specific time at a specific SKU level at a specific watt output (e.g., 200 SKU for 15 minutes at a specific watt output).
* As time and experience with KAATSU increases, the watt output and time will also increase (e.g., 250 SKU for 20 minutes at an increased specific watt output).

Increase functional threshold power using KAATSU Training
* Athletes can workout while setting their Optimal SKU at a specific level in the KAATSU Training mode.
* For example, athletes can aim for a specific time at a specific SKU level at a specific watt output (e.g., 200 SKU for 15 minutes at a specific watt output).
* As time and experience with KAATSU increases, the watt output and time will also increase (e.g., 200 SKU for 20 minutes at an increased specific watt output). When the time goal is achieved, then the Optimal SKU level can also be increased.

Rehabilitation with KAATSU Cycles
* Torn muscles, ligaments, tendons or broken bones can be efficiently and effectively rehabilitated using the KAATSU Cycle mode.

It should be noted that academic researchers confirmed what KAATSU Specialists have long known since the 1980's: that low-intensity exercise with KAATSU Air Bands leads to muscle growth and strength gains.*

Many researchers between 2000 - 2005 tested KAATSU Walking with MRI-measured muscle size and strength (maximum dynamic or one repetition maximum) and isometric strength along with blood hormonal parameters. Testing was done on both control groups and experimental groups of subjects ranging from young men to older women.

The testing was done using 2-minute bouts of treadmill speed of 50 meters per minute.

The researchers found a multitude of benefits and changes among the experimental KAATSU users while there was no change in muscle size and dynamic and isometric strength in the control group..

1. Serum growth hormone was elevated after KAATSU Walking with the experimental group, but not with the non-KAATSU control group.
2. MRI-measured thigh muscle cross-sectional area and muscle volume increased by 4 - 7%.
3. One repetition maximum and maximum isometric strength increased between 8 - 10%

Furthermore, indicators of muscle damage (creatine kinase and myoglobin) and resting anabolic hormones did not change with both groups. The researchers concluded that KAATSU Walking induces muscle hypertrophy and strength gain despite the minimum level of exercise intensity after 3 weeks, and that KAATSU Walking may be a potentially useful method for promoting muscle hypertrophy for a wide range of the population including the frail and elderly.

While these benefits have long been known in Japan, there have been many other applications that have since been developed and researched that address age-related skeletal muscle loss (sarcopenia) that inhibits mobility and increases the risk of developing several diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

As the implications of KAATSU protocols began to be appreciated by the United States military, researchers like Dr. William Ursprung at Texas A&M University studied the effects of KAATSU Walking to improve aerobic capacity. Dr. Ursprung evaluated the effects of KAATSU Walking on VO2max, 1.5 mile run times, and muscular size at low training volumes and intensities with airman from the U.S. Air Force 350th Special Operations and Tactics Training Squadron.

After three weeks of lower extremity KAATSU Walking, the test found significant improvements in VO2max, significant decreases in 1.5 mile run time, and significant increases in thigh muscle cross sectional area and the researchers concluded that KAATSU Walking represents a methodology for improving aerobic capacity, endurance and muscular size at low training volumes and intensities.

This conclusion mirrored the applications for KAATSU that many far forward-thinking coaches and trainers have known and used. For military personnel and athletes who are looking for concurrent improvements in strength and endurance, they do not always have to move, run, swim, cycle or row at maximum intensity if they strategically use KAATSU equipment.

While movement or exercises with KAATSU equipment performed with intensity will result in significant physiological and athletic improvement, it is always unnecessary.

"As long as their technique and athletic form is correct, athletes and military personnel can realize benefits with KAATSU by moving more slowly (i.e., walking versus running or swimming at a moderate pace versus swimming at maximum speed) rather than always going all-out," explains Steven Munatones. "Perhaps this lowered intensity is appropriate after injuries or immediately after a competition or during a taper phase of training. Perhaps this slower pace or raw speed is simply more appropriate during different parts of any specific workout when an athlete is working on their technique or form."

This phenomena means that the implications and applications of KAATSU usage expands significantly. When benefits and improvements can be achieved at any speed, pace or level of intensity, coaches and athletes can be much more flexible and creative in their training decisions.

For example, instead of only going all-out sprints with KAATSU, runners, cyclists, swimmers, rowers and skiers can practice at more moderate pace - which means that KAATSU can be done more frequently and with less resultant fatigue.

The same effects of KAATSU have been found with other KAATSU-using mammals like horses, mice, rats, and goats in testing performed in Japan and China.

The photo above show Chinese scientists attaching standard KAATSU Air Bands on the hind legs of goats in northern China under the auspices of China's State General Administration of Sports, the government agency responsible for sports in China that also administers the Chinese Olympic Committee.

Kenneth McKeever, Ph.D., FACSM serves as the Associate Director of Research and is a Professor of Animal Sciences at The Rutgers Equine Science Center. The Center is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and is dedicated to better horse care through research and education to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry.

Since 1995, Professor McKeever has proceeded to build, develop, and coordinate one of the most active Equine Exercise Physiology laboratories in the USA. One of the most interesting studies that Professor McKeever conducted in collaboration with his colleagues Professors Abe, Kearns, Filho and Sato of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Department of Ischemic Circulatory Physiology at The University of Tokyo in Japan.

His study on this topic of using standard KAATSU Air Bands - the same used on humans - is entitled Muscle, tendon, and somatotropin responses to the restriction of muscle blood flow induced by KAATSU-walk training that was published in Equine Exercise Physiology.

Professor McKeever and his fellow researchers delved into the efficacy of KAATSU being used as both as a therapeutic method as well as a training aid. The purpose of their study was to investigate the effects of slow KAATSU Walking on muscle and tendon size.

They studied 6 healthy, unfit Standardbred mares performed walking (240 meters/minute for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute recovery) with KAATSU, and 6 mares performed walking without KAATSU. The KAATSU Air Bands - the same model and type that were used by humans and with the goats in China - were inflated using KAATSU equipment and placed at the most proximal position of the forelegs and inflated to a pressure of 200-230 mmHg throughout the KAATSU walking and recovery sessions.

The training was conducted once a day, 6 days/week for 2 weeks. Skeletal muscle thickness and tendon thickness were measured using B-mode ultrasound at baseline and after 2 weeks of training. Venous blood samples were obtained before the first acute exercise and 5, 15 and 60 minutes afterwards. Serum somatotropin concentration was determined using a commercially available equine-specific ELISA kit.

The professors found that the acute increase in plasma somatotropin was 40% greater (P<0.05) in the KAATSU Walking group than in the Control-walking group 5 minutes after exercise and remained elevated (P<0.05) at 15 and 60 minutes post exercise compared with the Control-walking group. After 2 weeks of training, muscle thickness increased (P<0.05) 3.5% in the KAATSU Walking group, but did not change in the Control-walking group (0.7%). Tendon thickness did not change (P>0.05) in either group.

They concluded that these data demonstrate that KAATSU can induce muscle hypertrophy in horses and suggest that KAATSU may provide significant therapeutic/rehabilitative value in horses, as has been shown in humans.

* Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, Kaatsu-walk training by Professor Abe and Professor Kearns of Tokyo Metropolitan University and Professor Sato of the University of Tokyo.

** The Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on VO2Max and 1.5 Mile Run Performance by William Ursprung, published in the International Journal of Exercise Science.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Casual KAATSU - Intensity Can Be Reduced With KAATSU Cycle

Among many young men - especially those in the bodybuilding and strength-training worlds - believe that KAATSU needs to be painful and discomforting in order to realize its benefits and see improved results. While this may be true for BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) training with occlusion bands or blood pressure cuffs, this is not true for KAATSU.

So while the young man in the above video is pushing himself to extremely high intensity levels, this level of exertion - or anything similar - does not need to be the case.

KAATSU benefits - performed at much lower levels of intensity - include improved recovery, increased speed of rehabilitation, effective warm-up and a metabolically efficient way to workout or finish off a training session.

For recovery, the KAATSU Cycle mode provides a very convenient, easy-to-use, and very importantly easy-to-feel means to recover effectively and efficiently after a vigorous workout or intense competition.

With the KAATSU Cycle, blood pooling is mechanically enabled with the KAATSU equipment for between 20-30 seconds (i.e., when your hands are very pink, rosy or a beefy red with visible vein distension). Then a repeated and subsequent 5-second total release of the KAATSU Air Band pressure enables a large venous flow of blood that includes the waste products produced during the vigorous workouts or intensive competition. This alternate pooling-and-release repetition is an easy-to-use means to clear the muscles of waste products.

For rehabilitation, the KAATSU Cycle mode also provides a very convenient, easy-to-use, and very importantly easy-to-observe means to rehabilitate effectively and efficiently from an injury or surgery.

Benefits such as a lack of muscle atrophy and sustained strength and aerobic conditioning become obvious with two or three KAATSU Cycle sessions per day. The KAATSU Cycle sessions can be done at your home, your office or during travel, making rehabilitation a constant throughout the day instead of merely focusing on rehabilitation during periodic visits to a physical therapy office.

Performance Gains Before Workout or Competition
For performance gains, the KAATSU Cycle mode provides a very convenient, easy-to-use, and very importantly easy-to-feel means to prepare effectively and efficiently for a vigorous workout or intense competition. When the vascular system - especially the capillaries that are ubiquitous in your muscles are engorged with blood, the effectiveness of a warm-up is optimized.

That is, doing 3-5 KAATSU Cycles on your arms followed by 3-5 KAATSU Cycles on your legs while stretching or walking around the track, field, gym or pool is an optimal way to get your vascular system and therefore your muscles prepared for a workout or competition.

Performance Gains During Workout
To experience the inevitable "race pain" experienced by athletes in competition, athletes can incorporate KAATSU in the middle or towards the end of their workouts on the track, field, gym or pool.

Ideally, KAATSU equipment is used to enhance the existing movements or sets performed in a workout, not necessarily as a replacement for proven workout drills and sets that already exist. So, for example, a basketball player can take 10-20 jump shots with the KAATSU Air Bands on. As fatigue sets in, the vertical leap will steadily decrease. When the coach or athlete determines that form has degradated beyond which is useful, the KAATSU Air Bands should be removed. After a brief rest and perhaps a bit of hydration, the athlete should resume his jump shot drill and see how how and fast he or she elevates and how smooth his shooting motion becomes.

The same can be done with track athletes, swimmers or any athletes who are practicing specific movements (e.g., starts, wrestling moves, agility drills, jumps, throws, pitches, or sprints). That is, the athletes should fatigue their muscles and stress their vascular system for brief periods within a workout (5-15 minutes) with the KAATSU Air Bands on. Then they should remove the KAATSU Air Bands and do the same movements in an explosive or intense manner similar what they want to do in competition.

For example, runners and swimmers can practice their starts or do a few sprints with the KAATSU equipment to the point of fatigue, and then finish off their workout without the KAATSU equipment - so they finish a workout with optimal performances.

Performance Gains in Lieu of a Workout
Special operators in the United States Air Force did KAATSU Walking with their KAATSU Leg Bands on for 3 weeks in a clinical test conducted at a U.S. military base under the supervision of researchers and scientists. They did not run as part of their normal training as they typically do. But the increased vascular elasticity due to the KAATSU Walking led to physiological improvements. The improvements were demonstrated by increased VO2 max and faster mile run times across the tested special operators [see photo below].

The ability to significantly decrease the intensity of KAATSU while still seeing physiological and vascular improvements is a key to sustained use by athletes, people recovering from injuries or surgeries, older individuals, and those who may not be psychologically motivated to exercise intensely - or at all.

Of course, for those athletes who are entirely focused on KAATSU performance gains and am aiming for Olympic medals, world championships, NCAA or professional sport competitions, intense KAATSU sessions are part of their overall equation - but not the only part.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Swimming Uphill Ends With Silver Lining

Courtesy of Wilma Wong, Lima, Peru.

Jamal Hill of Inglewood, California struggles with the degenerative disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth - but not much else.

Filmmaker John Duarte discussed Hill, "Jamal, a Paralympic swimmer from Inglewood, California has blazed through boundaries. Once fully paralyzed from the neck down, and now top ranked in the United States, he teaches us that nothing - and no one - can put a limit on his ambition if he doesn’t impose one on himself.

As soon as I met Jamal, I knew I had to document his journey
." [see video below]

Hill won a silver medal at the Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru with a lifetime best.  "He just keeps getting better and better under the tutelage of coach Wilma Wong.  "Jamal has a passion - for swimming, for sharing his passion, for mentoring others - has is so uncommon.  It is great to see him succeed both in his commercial ventures and in the water," said Steven Munatones who taught Hill how to use KAATSU in his training.

Hill is happy with his progress using KAATSU Aqua, "The [KAATSU] technology has been so integral in my growth since we first met almost two years ago.  I am glad to have something to commemorate this journey to Lima other than a llama souvenir."

Hill, a personable aquapreneur and member of the USA Paralympic swim team, is looking forward to competing in the 2020 Tokyo, 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Paralympic Games despite living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which is an inherited disorder that causes nerve damage in his arms and legs.

The disease results in smaller, weaker muscles, a loss of sensation and muscle contractions, and difficulty walking.

In Hill's case, it significantly reduces the mobility in his legs where his motor function stops at his knee caps and his motor function in my arms is also impacted.

[The disease] runs in my family,” Hill explained. “It affects my mom a little bit. It affects my uncles pretty heavily. Essentially my motor neurons in my outer extremities, from my elbow to my fingertips and from my kneecaps all the way to my toes gives me a lot of problems.”

But his overwhelming positive nature has enabled him to succeed in a sport he could have easily quit many times.

Currently coach by Wilma Wong, Hill is ranked #1 among American Paralympic swimmers in the 50m freestyle going into the Olympic year. But he has also created Swimming Up Hill, a digital marketing company that markets health and fitness brands, insurance and medical practices - and inspiring many young people who would not otherwise be swimming.

At its core, Hill's mission is to teach 1 million people - including many with little access to the shorelines of California or pools in their neighborhoods.  He want to teach these individuals how to swim. He works with swim schools in Southern California to help the schools facilitate more lessons for lower cost to the customer.

Hill is shown above with fellow American Paralympic medalist swimmer and KAATSU Aqua user Robert Griswold of Indiana.

"In Tokyo, I think there will be gold at the end of his Olympic rainbow," predicted Munatones.

Video below of Hill is courtesy of John Duarte, California.

For more information on Swimming Up Hill, visit and @swimminguphill.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Many people interchangeably refer to KAATSU as BFR and BFR as KAATSU. This article serves to explain in easy-to-understand, non-medical terms, why this assumption is incorrect and this definition is medically and technically wrong. In summary, KAATSU is not BFR and BFR is not KAATSU (read here) for various reasons.

First, let's review the vernacular used for both BFR and KAATSU:

Restriction (noun): something that restricts, an act of restricting, the condition of being restricted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Occlusion (noun): the act of occluding (or close up or block off or obstruct) from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Patent: open, unobstructed, affording free passage from MedicineNet

KAATSU (or 加圧 in Japanese): translated as additional pressure in English.

Blood Flow Restriction (or BFR): a training strategy that involves the use of blood pressure cuffs, tourniquets or occlusion wraps placed proximally around a limb that maintains some arterial inflow while occluding venous return during exercise or rehabilitation.

The Doppler ultrasound images above show the arm's artery and vein of a male using KAATSU Air Bands at different pressures. The ultrasound shows that the blood flow from the torso to the arm (arterial flow in the artery) and the blood flow back from the arm to the torso (venous flow in the vein) remain open and not occluded or restricted.

Second, how is the pressure in BFR and KAATSU determined?

BFR is commonly started by occluding the brachial systolic blood pressure in the arms or the femoral systolic blood pressure in the legs. Once this pressure, measured in mmHg, is determined, then the BFR bands are set at a certain percentage of that pressure measured in mmHG. In other words, BFR starts by cutting off the arterial flow from the torso to the limbs - and then proceeding with exercise or rehabilitation at a lower pressure.

Some BFR advocates, with inexpensive equipment, recommend using the Borg Scale; a simple self-determination of the perceived exertion on a scale of 1 to 10. The ideal tightness for these BFR (or Occlusion) bands is reportedly 7 on the Borg Scale; but, if there is numbness, the BFR advocates recommend loosening the pressure.

In contrast, KAATSU starts at homeostasis or the stable state of equilibrium in the body with complete patent (i.e., open) arteries and veins. From this point, the "KAATSU Cycle" is used to very gradually and precisely increase the pressure until an "optimal pressure" for each person and each limb is reached (note: the pressure on each limb can be different if there is an injury or significant difference in limb strength, range of motion, or girth).

That is, BFR starts at the point of occlusion where there is no arterial blood flow to the limbs - but KAATSU starts at the point of homeostasis where there is complete and open arterial blood flow to the limbs.

Even when the KAATSU Air Bands have significant air pressure inside them, there is no occlusion of arterial or venous flow [see photos above and read here]. The KAATSU Air Bands are specifically designed to allow this condition to occur even at the highest KAATSU pressure possible.

Decades of trials and testing with different material types, material elasticities, and widths enabled the KAATSU inventor, Dr. Yoshiaki Sato to come up with this innovative design. KAATSU protocols were tested and studied at the University of Tokyo Hospital under the supervision of trained and experienced cardiologists including Doctors Nakajima and Morita.

Third, the structure and composition of the bands are significantly different than all the other BFR and Occlusion Bands on the market today.

BFR or Occlusion bands are engineered to cut off or restrict blood flow - similar to blood pressure cuffs. Their structure and materials are purposefully designed to achieve this objective. The width of the bands apply a pressure that is effective in reducing or restricting arterial flow.

In contrast, the KAATSU Air Bands are specifically engineered to maintain arterial flow, and only modify the venous flow. The width and the center axis of the inflated KAATSU Air Bands are significantly different than BFR / Occlusion Bands or modified tourniquets / cuffs. This means that the pressure transmission region of the KAATSU Air Bands - especially within the limb on the arteries and veins, is significantly less than the larger / wider BFR bands.

Larger pressure transmission region and effects of BFR bands.

Smaller, narrower pressure transmission region of KAATSU Air Bands.

When the optimal pressure in reached with the KAATSU Air Bands, the KAATSU users see a pinkness or a beefy redness in their limbs as the blood fills the capillary vascular space. When the limbs are moved in this state, there is alternating distension and emptying of the venous/capillary vascular space.

The KAATSU Air Bands gradually apply pressure to the veins. This modifies the venous outflow in the limbs. As the pressure increases during the KAATSU Cycle mode, this modification of the venous outflow eventually modifies the arterial inflow. As exercise or movement continues with the KAATSU Air Bands on, the blood flow into the limbs must soon match the (venous) blood flow out of the limbs. Give about 80% of the body's blood is in the venous system, there is some capacitance for holding extra blood in the limb, and when that capacity is reached, the blood flow in must match the blood flow out of the limb.

Physiologically, exercise becomes unsustainable when light and easy exercises or movement (e.g., KAATSU Walking or unweighted KAATSU limb movements) are conducted with this impeded circulation. The pO2 and pH gradually (or quickly, depending on the KAATSU intensity) drop to critical levels with even mild exercise. Additionally, higher levels of lactate are generated during KAATSU (compared to non-KAATSU exercise). ATP levels drop as the ADP and Pi levels rise, and ATP dependant electrolyte pumps (e.g. Ca++) cannot maintain proper electrolyte gradients. In this state, there are a significant amount of metabolite and hormonal changes and increases that are subsequently realized.

The fact that KAATSU Air Bands do not approach occlusion pressure , nor result in Blood Flow Restriction, was identified by Professor Alyssa Weatherholt of the University of Southern Indiana, Professor William VanWye of Western Kentucky University, and Johnny Owens of Owens Recovery Science (the exclusive distributor of the Delfi Portable Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction equipment). They presented a study called Pressure Needed to Achieve Complete Arterial Occlusion: A Comparison of Two Devices Used for Blood Flow Restriction Training [see above].

The researchers concluded the wider cuff of the Delfi Portable Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction is able to restrict arterial blood flow at significantly lower pressures compared to the narrow cuffs [KAATSU Air Bands] using the KAATSU Master. The key finding of this study is as follows:

We were unable to achieve complete arterial occlusion in any participant with the KAATSU cuff.”

The KAATSU equipment is designed and is specifically manufactured to avoid arterial occlusion in the limbs. This fact is precisely why KAATSU was originally defined by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the KAATSU inventor, and leading Japanese cardiologists at the University of Tokyo Hospital as a Blood Flow Moderation (BFM) device. KAATSU equipment is specifically not a Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) device.

While the vernacular nuance between BFM and BFR may be overlooked by many (venous flow modification versus arterial flow restriction), the modification of venous flow is critical to understanding the safety and goal of KAATSU, as certified KAATSU Specialists understand.

"There is no part of the KAATSU protocols which tries to achieve arterial occlusion. This is why KAATSU is not BFR, occlusion training, tourniquet training, O-training, or any kind of blood flow restriction modality," explains Steven Munatones. "This is why KAATSU equipment does not use blood pressure cuffs or surgical tourniquets that are specifically designed to occlude, or manufactured to restrict arterial flow. Rather, the stretchable KAATSU Air Bands are designed with flexible, elastic air bladders that inflate inwards, towards the limb, at very moderate pressures to minimally modify venous flow.

This pressure is gentle on the body and uniform, because the limb is evenly and safely compressed by a bed of air. This principle and practical engineered solution leads to blood pooling in the limb - not arterial occlusion. This fact was independently determined by researchers and the leading Delfi proponent of BFR

Furthermore, the patented KAATSU Cycle allows normal arterial and venous flow every 20 seconds which means it is safe, effective and gentle for people of all ages (including up to 104 years - see here).

In summary:

1. The purpose of KAATSU equipment and its protocols is a reduction in venous flow via blood flow moderation, a term first coined in the 1990s by Dr. Sato and Doctors Nakajima and Morita, cardiologists at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

2. The pneumatically controlled KAATSU Air Bands are designed to achieve a reduction in venous flow, and is a very different approach from BFR and widely-promoted use of blood pressure cuffs that are specifically designed to achieve limb occlusion. KAATSU is not BFR.

3. When the KAATSU equipment is used, its users agree to follow the specific protocols as defined by its inventor, Dr. Sato. Specifically, KAATSU protocols and equipment are designed not to occlude.

4. The stretchable, pneumatically controlled KAATSU Air Bands are not (blood pressure) cuffs. A cuff is a term that refers to devices specifically engineered for limb occlusion.

5. KAATSU Specialists understand the importance of users to know both their Base SKU pressure and their Optimal SKU pressure while using in the KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Training modes. To refer to KAATSU pressure without reference to both Base SKU and Optimal SKU pressures is misleading.

There is another paper written by Jeremy P. Loenneke, Christopher Fahs, Lindy Rossow, Robert Thiebaud, Kevin T. Mattocks, Takashi Abe, and Michael G. Bemben (Blood flow restriction pressure recommendations: a tale of two cuffs) that addresses this subject from another perspective.

Fourth, proper and safe KAATSU extensively (or exclusively in most cases) utilizes the patented KAATSU Cycle mode. In the KAATSU Cycle mode, there is only 20-30 seconds of pressure applied at a time. The pressure is regularly and intermittently released (turned off) - and, most importantly, the pressure starts off gently and only gradually increases to the user's optimal pressure levels. This enables the vascular system to become more elastic during the session, enabling a greater vascular capacity to handle higher pressure and increased blood circulation.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Monday, August 19, 2019

Slimming Your Legs With KAATSU

Many individuals are initially attracted to KAATSU due to cosmetic reasons and weight loss goals. They simply want to lose weight or tone their bodies in some way.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the inventor of KAATSU, writes that thigh muscles are strengthened and legs can be slimmed especially when people are overweight and they experience swelling or have loose skin in their lower body. Swelling is relieved by promoting blood circulation - which is what KAATSU can achieve for people.

In order to strengthen your inner thighs, you can spin on a stationary bicycle or casually do KAATSU Walking for 10-20 minutes - or do these following exercises 10 - 20 times each.

Dr. Sato explains, "You can lie flat on your back on the floor with your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your legs together straight up from the floor. Concentrate on the muscles of your inner thigh and open your legs as widely as possible and then slowly close them 10-20 times.

It will not be easy in the beginning, but your legs will gradually get stronger.

When the veins and capillaries are engorged in blood, it takes incrementally more energy for our vascular system to expand and contract. When more energy is used, more calories are burned which is why daily KAATSU usage leads to effective body toning

If this is not possible in the beginning, you can do simple KAATSU Walking (i.e., walking comfortably with the KAATSU Leg Bands on) for up to 20 minutes - or even more simply the KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for the Legs.

The KAATSU Air Bands should be placed snugly on your legs. Snugly means that you can put one finger between the KAATSU Air Bands and your skin - but not two or three fingers. If you can put two or three fingers between the bands and your skin, the bands should be manually tightened a bit more.

Dr. Sato continues, "You can also stand straight with your arms placed on your hips. Spread your legs wider than your shoulders and stand with your toes pointed outward. While exhaling, lower your hips slowly as low as you can safely go. Then return to your standing position in order to strengthen the muscles of your inner thighs.

Alternatively, you can stand straight with your arms placed on your hips. Spread your legs wider than your shoulders and turn your toes inward. Lower your hips as much as safely possible to the level where your knees touch each other. Then slowly return to the standing position in order to strengthen the muscles of your outer thighs

KAATSU 3-point Exercises are a fundamental part of the standard KAATSU protocol for your legs.

Dr. Sato first established and fine-tuned the KAATSU 3-point Exercises during the 1970s for individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds whether they are athletes or de-conditioned overweight individuals. These simple exercises have been performed safely and effectively among millions of individual KAATSU sessions among people of all ages and abilities with myriad physical conditions or ailments.

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can either be used to help determine the optimal SKU pressure or as a form of basic exercise for both the arms and legs. After the Base SKU (manually applied pressure) is established, then the KAATSU 3-point Exercises is a means to determine if the Optimal SKU (inflated pressure of the pneumatic bands) is appropriate (read a more detailed explanation here).

Alternatively, especially for Baby Boomers and adults who are being reconditioned back to a state of wellness through a simple exercise program, the KAATSU 3-point Exercises can consist of their entire KAATSU training program.

When the KAATSU 3-point Exercises are performed, the exercises can be performed either on a KAATSU Master or a KAATSU Nano or a KAATSU Cycle unit. The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can be performed while the user is either tethered (connected) or untethered (disconnected) to the units.

KAATSU Leg 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted on left]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs are either defined as Standard or Advanced.

The Standard KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs involves toe curls, toe raises, and heel raises. These are all performed while the user is seated comfortably with good posture on a chair. In general, these are preferred for older or less fit individuals or those just starting an exercise program or KAATSU.

The Advanced KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs are alternatively used by more fit or active individuals or for those individuals with more experience in KAATSU. These 3 basic exercises includes heel raises, leg curls and squats. The heel raises can be done while sitting or standing. The leg curls can be performed while standing and holding onto a chair or balancing against a wall. The squats (or "chair touches") can be performed while bending the knees to touch a chair and then popping back up.

Ideally, the squats are "non-lock" (partial extension) so that the muscles are constantly engaged and there is no rest while the knees are "locked" straight (in a full extension). This will build up fatigue and lactic acid more quickly.

Each set of exercises should be done 3-4 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure (or fatigues).

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

KAATSU Arm 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted here]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions. Each set of exercises is done 3 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure.* But users do not have to go incredibly hard. It can be casual movement and muscle toning and body slimming can be achieved.

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

* Technical failure is defined when the individual starts to do improper technique (movement) due to an increasing sense of fatigue. At this point, the set is stopped.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Marie-Claude Légaré Doing KAATSU

Massothérapie sportive Marie-Claude Légaré of clinique universelle in Boisbriand, Québec, Canada shows her private training session under the guidance of Claude Groulx, a KAATSU Specialist and the most renowned bodybuilding Québécois.

Légaré was trained on KAATSU by Groulx who is located at the Zoo Health Club in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.

Copyright © 2019 by Marie-Claude Légaré