Thursday, August 29, 2019

Swimming Uphill Ends With Silver Lining

For who? swimmers, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

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

KAATSU Is The Original BFR - But It Is Not What You Think

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes, researchers
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

Many people interchangeably refer to KAATSU as BFR and BFR as KAATSU. In fact, KAATSU is the original BFR.

But the contemporary use of the acronym BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) in the United States and Europe is much different than the original definition of BFR. The seminal paper on KAATSU was described by Drs. Takarada, Takazawa, Sato, Takebayashi, Tanaka, and Ishii in their paper entitle "Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans", published in 2000 in the Journal of Applied Physiology.* It was this paper that gave impetus for others to research and publish articles where vascular occlusion gradually was replaced by BFR or Blood Flow Restriction.

But the KAATSU equipment and protocols are different with different outcomes and mechanisms than the BFR equipment and protocols currently practiced in the United States and Europe where Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) and other concepts are completely foreign and unnecessary with KAATSU.

This post attempts to explain in easy-to-understand, non-medical terms, why these differences and background. KAATSU was the original BFR because the editors of the first peer-review published studies did not recognize the word KAATSU and required that blood flow restriction or BFR was used. That being said, there are differences between KAATSU and BFR from a medical perspective.

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. KAATSU was original defined as such.

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).

BFR equipment such as Delfi Portable Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction, Air Cuffs, and Smart Bands start at the point of occlusion.

The user of these types of equipment place the tourniquets and cuffs around their arms and tighten the cuffs until there is no arterial blood flow to the limbs - this point is the well-used term, Limb Occlusion Pressure. In contrast, 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 KAATSU Air bands are 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).


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.

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.

* The first peer-review paper published in the Journal of Applied Physiology is the origin of the term BFR.

Dr. Sato and Professor Ishii knew that their findings would be difficult for the journal editors to accept as is because the word "KAATSU" was unknown in the research and sports world outside of Japan. KAATSU is a Japanese word that is written as 加圧 where the first character (加) means additional and the second character (圧) means pressure. In other words, restriction and occlusion were not the intention of KAATSU; the primary intention was incrementally adding pressure to sufficiently and temporarily modify the venous flow and not impact the arterial flow.

After discussions with the journal editors, the preferred word "KAATSU" was deleted and was instead described in the literature as vascular occlusion - to the grudging disagreement of Dr. Sato and Professor Ishii who most definitely wanted to steer away from the word "occlusion" because that was never their intention or purpose of the KAATSU equipment or protocols.

They knew that there is no arterial limb occlusion of the brachial artery and brachial veins even at high pressures with the pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands.

The ultrasound image on above shows the brachial artery and brachial veins at 300 SKU (mmHg) of a 21-year-old collegiate athlete, but vascular occlusion and, ultimately, BFR or Blood Flow Restriction stuck and was further discussed and defined in the scientific literature.

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

Monday, August 19, 2019

Slimming Your Legs With KAATSU

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

Many individuals are initially attracted to KAATSU the original BFR 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 (toned) 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 or tone your quadriceps and hamstrings, you can spin easily on a stationary bicycle or casually do KAATSU Walking for 10-20 minutes. This can be done using the KAATSU Cycle mode or a lower pressure in the KAATSU Training mode.

Alternatively, you can do these following exercises 10 - 20 times each.

Exercise #1
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 and more toned.

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.

Exercise #2
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 longer if you use the KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for your Legs in the comfort of your home. You can do KAATSU Walking in the KAATSU Cycle mode at your Optimal Pressure or at a lower pressure (e.g., 50-75% of your Optimal Pressure) in the KAATSU Training mode.

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.

Exercise #3
You can 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.

Exercise #4
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.

Exercise #5
KAATSU 3-point Exercises are also a fundamental part of the standard KAATSU protocol for your legs, for anyone of any age that can be done anywhere anytime (including at home watching television or working on a laptop or during travel).

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 deconditioned 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 2.0 or a KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit. The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can be performed while the user is either tethered (connected) or untethered (disconnected) to the units.

Exercise #6: KAATSU Leg 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted on left]

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

Standard KAATSU 3-point Exercises
The Standard KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs includes Toe Curls, Toe Raises, and Sitting Heel Raises. These are all performed while you are 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.

Advanced KAATSU 3-point Exercises
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, Standing Leg Curls and Quarter Squats. The Heel Raises can be done while either sitting (easier) or standing (harder). The Standing Leg Curls can be performed while standing and holding onto a chair or balancing against a wall. The Quarter Squats (or "chair touches") can be performed while bending the knees to touch a chair and then popping back up.

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

Pace, Interval and Repetitions
Each set of exercises can 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 25-40 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 3-10 repetitions on set #3. But the number of repetitions is not set in stone and can be modified to fit your goals and muscle fatigue. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on your last set, a failure signal is sent through your central nervous system to your brain - and this is part of the biochemical reaction in our bodies that is the goal of KAATSU.

The movements can all be done slowly and deliberately - there is no need to move quickly or vigorously as you may do with a set of burpees or high intensity exercises.

Exercises #7
With the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit in the Cycle mode, you can also do regular housework (e.g., washing dishes, folding clothes, cleaning up the house, vacuuming) or yardwork (e.g., sweeping, cleaning the car or windows, watering the lawn) with your leg bands on. This is a casual form of exercise is sufficient to serve as a catalyst for the biochemical reactions of KAATSU.

Exercises #8
With the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit in the Cycle mode, you can also do regular activities like brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, packing your bags or walking your dog, or simply watching television. This is a casual form of exercise is sufficient to serve as a catalyst for the biochemical reactions of KAATSU.

KAATSU Arm 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted here]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves Hand Clenches, Biceps 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 you reach muscular or technical failure.* But you do not have to go incredibly hard or do any vigorous movements. Everything can be performed casually so muscle toning and body slimming can be achieved.

An ideal set would be 25-40 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 3-10 repetitions on set #3. But, similar to the recommendations above for your legs, the number of repetitions is not set in stone and can be modified to fit your goals and muscle fatigue. For example, if you can only do 1-2 repetitions on your last set, or you cannot do 25-40 repetitions on your first set, it is OK. The biochemical reaction in our bodies will still occur as the result of KAATSU Cycles.

* Technical failure is defined when you start to do improper technique (movement) due to an increasing sense of fatigue. At this point, you should stop your set and rest.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Marie-Claude Légaré Doing KAATSU

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

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

Unleashing Your Potential...At Any Age

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

KAATSU 101 includes a number of articles describing various easy-to-understand applications and health benefits of KAATSU for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) and Occlusion Training are defined and often promoted by young men, bodybuilders or individuals who are focused on muscle building. Conversely, KAATSU the original BFR is meant for everyone including - and especially for - those who are deconditioned (out-of-shape), lazy, older, or injured.

BFR and Occlusion Training often use inexpensive products, produced inexpensively, with inexact means to measure or understand precise or specific pressures.

KAATSU, on the other hand, has stood the test of time across 49 countries, being used by millions of individuals - ranging from 4 to 104 years old - during innumerable KAATSU sessions. KAATSU is frequently used by professional and Olympic athletes, but also by Paralympic athletes and disabled military veterans.

But the largest demographic group, by far, who uses KAATSU are aging Baby Boomers; those between the ages of 50 - 80.

These Baby Boomers are generally not focused on building biceps or broad shoulders, but more specifically on maintaining pain-free overall wellness or doing effective, efficient rehabilitation from injuries and surgeries. Their interest in KAATSU is more functional rather than cosmetic, more focused on generating a healthful hormonal response rather than getting bigger muscles.

As 75.8 million American Baby Boomers either transition from the end of their careers or are in full or partial retirement, many of them have spent their most recent years raising children, financing college educations, paying for weddings, and helping out with grandchildren. These pressures have played havoc with their fitness levels.

Previously over-stressed, overworked, and under-exercised, the Baby Boomers are now facing much more free time. But with their higher body fat percentages, lowered muscle mass, and lessened aerobic capacities, getting back into shape is not easy. A change of lifestyle and a change in mindset are required. But this is easier said than done.

"KAATSU can present an easy-to-implement catalyst for individuals over the age of 50 to return to their former selves," says Paul Grzymkowski, the former president of Gold's Gym Franchising. "10,000 Baby Boomers in America will celebrate their 65th birthday every day for the next 2 decades (3,650,000 new Baby Boomers per year). This is a huge market for every fitness professional to consider."

A 65-year-old man or women sees the rest of their life much differently than they did at the age of 25 or 35. The quality of life is their focus, but it is at this time that their muscles have faded (or are fading) and various ailments are regular experiences.

"We must recondition the 26% of the total U.S. population in innovative ways, using modalities that are self-sustaining and much more low-impact than what we used to do in our youth or even mid-age," added Grzymkowski. "Heavy barbells and dumbbells are not ideal equipment to serve as a catalyst to whipping Baby Boomers into shape. Aerobics, spinning, and elliptical machines are also not for everyone. We have to look for something even more revolutionary."

Grzymkowski, a 67-year-old veteran of the fitness industry, has spent his lifetime around barbells, dumbbells, and spinning bikes. But he has substituted the iron of his youth for the pneumatic bands used by his counterparts in Japan. "I have not changed - I love feeling pumped when I exercise. When I feel my biceps bulge or my quads burn, it recalls my strength of former years. But I am doing this and changing my body shape without heavy weights. I am doing it with pneumatic bands and the KAATSU equipment that are used so effectively by senior citizens in Japan and elite athletes around the world. When I do use weights during my KAATSU workout I tend to use light dumbbells or weight plates of no more than 5-pounds."

KAATSU is a Japanese word that means 'additional pressure' in English and is the original BFR as defined by scientific journals in the mid-1990s.

KAATSU is done with pneumatic bands that are inflated to safe levels by a mobile electronic touch panel device. The bands are a proven means to safely modify the blood flow during exercise and improve blood circulation in the limbs. This modification leads to pooling of blood in the muscles that leads to significant human growth hormone secretion and a literal tricking of the brain into thinking the body is doing vigorous exercise - when the KAATSU user could be doing simple walking or stretching in place.

Some of the simplest KAATSU exercise include hand clenches and bicep curls without light weights, heel raises or leg curls while standing up, or easy walking.

Copyright © 2014 - 2019 by KAATSU Global

Monday, August 5, 2019

Doing KAATSU With Cancer

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, researchers, cancer patients
For what? functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

In 2014 when he had first started using KAATSU with his patients and clients, Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen wondered if KAATSU was safe and effective for a patient who had survived a bout of breast cancer.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the inventor of KAATSU, answered him with an emphatic yes. "Of course, every patient should check with their own physician. Fundamentally, if a patient is allowed to do exercise by their physician, then they can safely do the KAATSU Cycle with the assistance of an experienced KAATSU Master Specialist."

The American Cancer Society reports that exercise is important when it comes to cancer: "Exercise may lower cancer risk by helping control weight and strengthen the immune system, and it can boost quality of life during cancer treatment."

A 2016 study from researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute linked exercise with a lower risk of 13 specific types of cancer.

The study was published May 16th in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study found that "leisure-time physical activity was associated with a significantly decreased risk of not only these 3 cancers, but also esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia. In addition, physical activity was strongly associated with a decreased risk of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, as well as cancers of the head and neck, rectum, bladder, and lung (in current and former smokers)."

Walking 20 minutes per mile is considered moderate intensity. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of these). The organization suggests that these recommendations can be reached by walking for 30 minutes 5 days per week during your lunch break.

Dr. Sato lectures frequently about how KAATSU enables moderate exercise to be achieved with less time and lower intensity - an especially important factor for the aging Baby Boomer population. "The onset of cancer is related to the weakening of immunity. Growth hormone, which is secreted in large amounts with KAATSU, has an effect on improving immunity. Unless your own physician recommends no exercise or physical activity, then KAATSU is often done by cancer patients or cancer survivors."

He recalled the experiences of two patients. "When KAATSU was performed by a patient with ovarian cancer metastasized to the lung, the tumor marker - immunosuppressive acidic protein which is a factor that weakens immunity - was significantly reduced.

In addition, Teruo Sugihara, a Japanese professional golfer, developed prostate cancer at the age of 60 years. He succeeded in reducing the size of the tumor with diet and KAATSU.

KAATSU can be performed in short duration - up to 20 minutes at a time - no matter what your age or gender. You can do KAATSU with no special facilities or equipment; just walking casually with KAATSU leg bands

If patients are particularly weak, de-conditioned, significantly overweight, or unmotivated to do any kind of vigorous exercise including doing KAATSU Walking outside, they can comfortably do the standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises in the KAATSU Cycle mode in the comfort of their home or office.

Former Japanese golf professional Teruo Sugihara was one of the first professional golfers to transform his career later in life by incorporating the KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Constant modes into his training and recovery from prostate cancer in 1997. In 2006, at age 68, he became the oldest player to make the cut in a top-tier Japanese tour event.

His final Japan Golf Tour appearance came at the 2010 Mizuno Open in Nishonomiya, Japan, the same year that he co-authored a book called KAATSU Golf with KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato.

There are many valuable lessons in his innovative use of KAATSU during his cancer recovery that he has shared with golfers of any age, but especially with older people.

Sugihara-san used KAATSU to improve his overall health and his golf game specifically. His book written in Japanese, called KAATSU Golf, describes how he used KAATSU to:

* strengthen his upper body
* improve his swing
* enhance his mobility during his swing
* increase his grip strength
* improve his leg strength with squats and practice swings
* enhance his overall strength and club head speed

Sugihara used the combination of KAATSU Cycle sets with a bit of KAATSU Constant training while following the following protocols:

1. Always start with the KAATSU Cycle mode, following the Progressive KAATSU Cycle protocols (i.e., start with low pressures and then gradually increase to high(er) pressures - even if you do not "feel" anything). Then go to the KAATSU Constant mode, if desired (but absolutely not necessary).
2. Always be well-hydrated before and while doing KAATSU Cycle sets.
3. Always start KAATSU Cycle sets on your arms, then do KAATSU Cycle sets on your legs.
4. Always have good KAATSU color while doing KAATSU Cycle sets (i.e., have a pinker or redder skin color).
5. Always feel comfortable doing KAATSU Cycle sets; never feel uncomfortable or lightheaded. If you feel uncomfortable or lightheaded at any time, immediately remove the bands.
6. Always start off with conservative pressure and gradually increase as desired.
7. Always feel free to do simple movements - or just sit and relax - while doing KAATSU Cycle sets; it is not necessary to do intense or vigorous exercises.
8. You can incorporate KAATSU Cycle sets or KAATSU Constant sets into your standard physical therapy or at-home exercises.
9. You can do up to 6 KAATSU Cycle sets on both your upper and lower limbs during each session.
10. You can do 1-3 KAATSU sessions per day as your time, lifestyle, and energy permits.
11. You can do either Single-Limb KAATSU Cycle sets on only one leg or arm - or Standard KAATSU Cycle sets on both limbs. That is, you can focus on only one limb at a time if you wish or if you are feeling discomfort or pain on one side only.
12. Always start conservatively with KAATSU: either with low pressure or only 1 KAATSU Cycle set per day.
13. You can gradually increase the number of KAATSU Cycle sets over the course of several days or weeks.
14. You can do various kinds of movements - or no movement at all while you are sitting down and waiting to get on the course or range.
15. In addition to doing KAATSU Constant stretching or easy swings with your golf club in your hands, you can also do simple Standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises (e.g., Hand Clenches, Biceps Curls, Triceps Extensions) or other movements (e.g., Head or Foot Rotations, Balancing on One Foot, Stretching, Walking, Standing Up and Sitting Down, Handwriting) with your KAATSU Air Bands on your legs.
16. For exercises, you can begin with the KAATSU Cycle mode. For focus on putts, drives and chip shots, you can use the KAATSU Constant mode.

For Grip and Upper Body Strength:
* Do 1-3 KAATSU Cycle sets with KAATSU Air Bands on your arms while you are repeatedly squeezing a squeeze ball or tennis ball or your clubs.
* Do Standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises with KAATSU Air Bands on your arms (e.g., Hand Clenches, Biceps Curls, Triceps Extensions) while doing 3-6 KAATSU Cycle sets with the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms.
* Do KAATSU Stretching on your upper body while doing KAATSU Cycle sets.

For Core and Lower Back Strength:
* Do 3-6 KAATSU Cycle sets with the KAATSU Air Bands on your legs while you are walking, gently swinging your clubs, alternately twisting left and right at your waist.
* Do Standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises with KAATSU Air Bands on your legs (e.g., Heel Raises, Non-lock Quarter Squats, Standing Hamstring Curls).
* Do KAATSU Stretching with your lower body while doing KAATSU Cycle sets.
* Sit up straight in chair and repeatedly stretch your arms and hands upwards in a long, slow stretch.
* Balance on one of your feet until failure - and then repeat on your other leg. Repeat that sequence until exhaustion.
* Balance on one foot while moving water bottles in your hand or do KAATSU Walking while balancing a book on your head.

For Stamina:
* Do comfortable KAATSU Walking, either in the KAATSU Cycle or KAATSU Constant mode on level ground, on the sand, or on a treadmill for up to 15 minutes.
* Do comfortable KAATSU Cycling, either in the KAATSU Cycle or KAATSU Constant mode on a stationary or recumbent bicycle for up to 15 minutes.

For Swings:
* After you have completed KAATSU Cycle sets, untether the connector tubes and do KAATSU Constant with the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms while you practice your drive shots, iron shots, pitch shots, chip shots, and putts.
* After you complete KAATSU Constant on your arms, continue with KAATSU Constant with the KAATSU Air Bands on your legs while you practice your drive shots, iron shots, pitch shots, chip shots, and putts. Arms are first; legs are last.

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