Friday, July 30, 2021

What Is mmHg vs. SKU? Blood Pressure Cuffs vs. KAATSU Air Bands?

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, competitive athletes, post-surgical patients
For what? Athletic performance, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery, rehabilitation

All KAATSU equipment uses the measurement of SKU (Standard KAATSU Unit). For the KAATSU Nano, KAATSU 2.0, KAATSU C3 models, the KAATSU scale ranges from 0 SKU to 400 SKU. On the KAATSU Master 2.0, the KAATSU scale ranges from 0 SKU to 500 SKU.

Many physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, coaches, physios, athletes and users ask what is the equivalent unit in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) pressure of 1 SKU? It is among the most common questions asked about KAATSU the Original BFR.

The easy answer is 1 SKU = 1 mmHg.

But the correct answer is SKU and mmHg are completely different scales and measure completely different things in the body.

In medicine, pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury. Blood pressure is measured with a sphygmomanometer. Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. Most of this pressure results from the heart pumping blood through the circulatory system. When used without qualification, blood pressure refers to the pressure in the large arteries.

Blood pressure is usually expressed in terms of the systolic pressure (maximum pressure during one heartbeat) over diastolic pressure (minimum pressure between two heartbeats) in the cardiac cycle. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) above the surrounding atmospheric pressure. Blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature are used in evaluate a patient's health. Normal resting blood pressure in an adult is denoted as 120/80 mmHg with 127/79 mmHg as the average for men and 122/77 mmHg as the average for women.

Traditionally, blood pressure was measured non-invasively using a mercury-tube sphygmomanometer [see above].

The photo below shows a standard blood pressure cuff on the right arm and a KAATSU Air Band on the left arm.

SKU as measured by KAATSU equipment is much different.

SKU measures the compression against the air bladder that is located inside the pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands. So, simply compared, blood pressure in mmHg is the pressure of blood against the walls of the blood vessels, but SKU with KAATSU equipment is a measure within an external non-body part (i.e., the air bladder).

mmHg is an internal measure taken at full occlusion of arterial flow. In contrast, SKU is an measure of pressure taken at homeostasis of an external non-body part (i.e., the air bladder).

Those are two completely different measurements. Therefore, in reality, 1 SKU ≠ 1 mmHg and 120 SKU ≠ 120 mmHg when compared side-by-side.

The effects of SKU in a KAATSU Air Band and mmHg in a blood pressure cuff (or tourniquet) on the human body are also vastly different.

Orthopedic surgeons generally practice fixed inflation pressures (typically 250 mmHg for the upper arm and 300 mmHg for thigh) or fixed amount of pressure above systolic arterial pressure (typically +100 mmHg for upper arm and 100–150 mmHg for thigh). At these pressures (e.g., 250 mmHg for the arm), there is full occlusion. That is, arterial blood flow is stopped from the torso to the arm so the surgeon can properly and safely perform surgery. The reason why 250 mmHg creates full occlusion is due to the structure of the blood pressure cuff or tourniquet.


The surgerical tourniquets used are stiff, wide, inflexible and purposefully engineered to occlude - or stop - arterial blood flow from the torso to the arm or leg. So a 250 mmHg pressure on such a tourniquet is what surgeons generally use.

In contrast, a pressure of 250 SKU with KAATSU equipment is the pressure WITHIN the KAATSU air bladder. 250 SKU completely enables arterial blood flow to continue unimpeded into the air or leg. This is easily demonstrated by a pulse oximeter.

So 250 mmHg with a blood pressure cuff ≠ 250 SKU with KAATSU Air Bands. In the former case, blood flow stops temporarily; in the latter case, blood flow continues unimpeded.

Furthermore, the width of standard blood pressure cuffs and the narrow KAATSU Air Bands apply completely different pressures on the veins and arteries of the arms and legs. In the case of a standard blood pressure cuff, the stiff, wide, inflexible material and structure of the cuff effectively cuts off blood flow when inflated. In contrast with the KAATSU Air Bands, the flexible, stretchable and narrow bands enables venous flow and arterial flow to continue gently and repeatable in order to achieve the optimal KAATSU effects.






























Many scientific researchers, physicians, coaches, and users interchangeably refer to KAATSU as BFR and BFR as KAATSU.

In fact, KAATSU is the original BFR. KAATSU was the original BFR because the editors of the first peer-review published studies in the 1990's did not recognize or accept the Japanese word 'KAATSU'. The scientific and medical community in the 1990's did not know what 'KAATSU' meant or what the protocols were. So the editors required that the word 'KAATSU' was substituted by 'blood flow restriction' or BFR.






























The key definitions used in the BFR and KAATSU community include the following:

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 [300 SKU in the upper photo and 200 SKU in the lower photo] 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.

How is the pressure in BFR and KAATSU determined by BFR users and KAATSU Specialists?

BFR is commonly started by occluding the brachial systolic blood pressure in the arms or the femoral systolic blood pressure in the legs [known as 'Limb Occlusion Pressure' or LOP]. Once this pressure is measured in mmHg, then the BFR bands are set at a certain percentage of that pressure measured in mmHG [50-80%]. In other words, BFR starts by occluding 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 testing with different materials, elasticities, and widths enabled the KAATSU inventor, Dr. Sato, to develop this innovative design. KAATSU protocols were researched at the University of Tokyo Hospital under the supervision of experienced cardiologists including Doctors Nakajima and Morita.

Also importantly, the structure and composition of the KAATSU Air bands are different than other BFR and Occlusion Bands on the market today.






















Most importantly, when the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated, they take on a parabolic shape. This enables a very mild effect on the veins and arteries of the arms and legs. That is the veins and arteries are NOT compressed as they are with standard blood pressure effects. They are only minimally compressed so arterial flow continues unimpeded. This is the reason why there is no occlusion and the effect is an engorgement of blood in the limbs with KAATSU.

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 slightly modify the venous flow. The width and the center axis of the inflated KAATSU Air Bands are significantly different than BFR or Occlusion Bands or modified tourniquets or 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. Given 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 occlusion training, tourniquet training, or O-training," 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.

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, July 26, 2021

Coach, Do No Harm

For who? Baby Boomers, competitive athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, jet lag recovery

In a recent New York Times article (A Hot Fitness Trend Among Olympians: Blood Flow Restriction), Olympic swimming coach Dave Marsh - who has coached 49 athletes to the Summer Olympic Games - stated that one of his athletes (Roy-Allan Burch of Bermuda) had used KAATSU to dramatically rehabilitate from a double knee patella tendon rupture.

Burch's recovery from the injury and the subsequent muscle atrophy was significant. Burch eventually made it back to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics against all odds despite his injury to both legs.

"It was great to see and be a part of Roy's remarkable comeback," said Chris Morgan.

Morgan regularly teaches KAATSU to many Olympic athletes on United States' Olympic swimming and track and field teams. He has also taught KAATSU to German, Swiss and Japanese Olympic athletes.

"Many of the athletes and their coaches want to learn about how to use KAATSU for improved athletic performance and recovery, but I also teach them about our jet lag protocols."

But a vast majority of swimming coaches - like Marsh - have not 'jumped on the KAATSU bandwagon' as described by New York Times deputy sports editor Matt Futterman. As yet, Marsh has yet to recommend KAATSU in the training of his athletes. "The first job of a coach is to not do any harm. It seemed to me that with blood flow restriction, it could lead an athlete to take a step backward," explained Marsh to Futterman.

"Marsh speaks the truth - a coach should absolutely do no harm. That is so true - coaches need to be just like physicians who take the Hippocratic Oath," said Steven Munatones, Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global.

"But a coach also has a responsibility to investigate, offer, and teach their athletes the best modalities and training possibilities in order to achieve their full potential. The global world of athletics is too competitive to rely on the past and old-school techniques instead of constantly seeing what can make their athletes more efficient and effective in their preparations..

This belief that KAATSU could take athletes backwardsis where Dave fundamentally and specifically misses a key point. First of all, his statement that Roy did blood flow restriction points to his misunderstanding. There is no restriction of arterial blood flow - or the blood flow from the torso to the limbs. In reality, KAATSU does the exact opposite. There is a slow, gradual, and safe blood engorgement in the limbs - that is a key principle of KAATSU.

The vascular tissue is engorged with incremental increases of blood while doing the KAATSU Cycle mode. You can see the effects of slow, gradual, rhythmic compression and decompression of the pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands on the photos on the left.

The photos show an older user (a 56-year-old woman) with a KAATSU Air Band on her right arm and no band on her left arm. The KAATSU Air Band was only slightly moderately inflated.

This rhythmic compression and decompression not only brings increased elasticity to the vascular walls of the arteries, veins and capillaries throughout the healthy and injured parts of the body, but it also serves as the catalyst for a significant secretion of healing hormones - in addition to enhancing the strength and resilience of muscle. There are so many biochemical processes that concurrently occur in the body naturally and safely that it would take hours to properly and comprehensively cover all effects and outcomes [check out www.kaatsu.com for more information].

Coaches can first understand KAATSU with a basic understanding of human physiology, anatomy, and the metabolic processes that occur as a result of hard training.

It is not hard - it just takes a bit of time to study and try the KAATSU Air Bands yourself. This is precisely why America's best trained athletes - including the tactical athletes of the Special Operations Command or Navy SEALs and many professional athletes - use KAATSU regularly for rehabilitation, recovery, and athletic performance
."

The New York Times article (A Hot Fitness Trend Among Olympians: Blood Flow Restriction) is here. The research article - Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans - that was published in 2000 and noted in the article is posted here.

A short list of KAATSU-using Olympians is below:

Ana Marcela Cunha (marathon swimming) Brazil
Roy-Allan Burch (swimming) Bermuda
Adam Wright (water polo) USA
Michael Andrew (swimming) USA
Mark McCoy (track) Canada
Todd Lodwick (Nordic combined) USA
Zach Apple (swimming) USA
Kenny Bednarek (track) USA
Taylor Fletcher (Nordic combined) USA
Oussama Mellouli (swimming and marathon swimming) Tunisia
Kyree King (track) USA
Bryan Fletcher (Nordic combined) USA
Francesco Friedrich (bobsleigh) Germany
Robert Griswold (Para swimming) USA
Yasu Fukuoka (marathon swimming) Japan
Isiah Young (track) USA
Martin Grothkopp (bobsleigh) Germany
Kasai Noriaki (ski jumping) Japan
Jamal Hill (Para swimming) USA
Laura Wilkinson (diving) USA
Justin Gatlin (track) USA
Candy Bauer (bobsleigh) Germany
Thorsten Margis (bobsleigh) Germany
Matt Torres (Para swimming) USA
Hawley Bennett (equestrian) Canada
Dennis Mitchell (track) USA
Javianne Oliver (track) USA
Melissa Rodriguez (swimming) Mexico
Mikaela Shiffrin (skiing) USA
Ted Ligety (skiing) USA
Willie Banks (track & field) USA
Alex Wolf (water polo) USA
Rob Stull (pentathlon) USA
Stephen McCain (gymnastics) USA
Mohamed Hussein (swimming) Egypt
Lukas Räuftlin (swimming) Switzerland
Richard Quick (swimming, coach) USA
Chris Morgan (swimming, coach) USA

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

46.69 Anchor Leg By Zach Apple Clinches Olympic Gold For USA

For who? Baby Boomers, competitive athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, jet lag recovery

American swimmer Zach Apple of Indiana swam of the history fastest 100-meter freestyle legs at the Tokyo Olympics. The incredibly fast (46.69 second) 100m anchor split clinched the Olympic gold medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay yesterday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Apple said later, "It is easy when these three guys [Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, and Bowen Becker] are leading off, giving me a lead. I love living in the pressure. It is why we race. It brings out the best in us."

Apple has been using KAATSU ever since he was introduced to it by coach Jonty Skinner at Indiana University a few years ago. Like his track colleagues, the American Olympic runners in the 100m and 200m sprints, Apple uses the KAATSU equipment for performance and recovery advantages.

Olympian Glenn Mills told Parade Magazine, "Cupping, which leaves circular marks on the skin of athletes remains popular, along with KAATSU, a blood flow moderation exercise that involves strapping bands around specific points of muscles to restrict blood flow and make those muscles work harder."

While Mills is correct in describing KAATSU as a blood flow moderation modality, KAATSU does not restrict blood flow or necessarily make muscles work harder - as experienced KAATSU users know well.

"We started to use and sell the Masimo MightySat™ Finger Pulse Oximeter with KAATSU equipment in order to demonstrate that there was no restriction of blood flow while doing KAATSU," said Steven Munatones.

"People often use the words 'cuff' or 'tourniquet' to describe the KAATSU Air Bands. Nothing could be further from the truth. Blood pressure cuffs and tourniquets are specifically designed to occlude - or cut off - arterial blood or blood that flows from the torso to our limbs.

The reason why we use the Masimo MightySat™ Finger Pulse Oximeter [shown above] is to demonstrate that arterial blood flow continues even while doing KAATSU and wearing KAATSU Air Bands. We place the oximeter on a fingertip and we can not only measure our pulse rate but also our SpO2 or oxygen saturation rate that increases with KAATSU. If KAATSU did restrict blood flow or functioned as a cuff or tourniquet, then the SpO2 would decrease and our skin color would turn whiter or paler than normal."

But with KAATSU - even when the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated to its maximum while following the standard protocols, the arterial blood flow continues and is measured by the pulse oximeter - a clear indication that there is no blood flow restriction as the word BFR implies.

What actually happens is that the slow, gradual, rhythmic compression and decompression of the KAATSU Air Bands enables the vascular tissue to become more elastic and the limb becomes engorged in blood.

The photos on the left show an older user (a 56-year-old woman) with a KAATSU Air Band on her (darker) left arm and no band on her right arm (with her normal skin color). The KAATSU Air Band was only moderately inflated.

Within a few minutes, her veins become distended and her skin color becam darker as the capillaries and veins become filled with blood. There is no pain, discomfort or magic secret involved.

The appearance of this 'KAATSU Color' is a physiological phenomenon that happens naturally and safely.

"It occurs both in the arms and legs of KAATSU users, of any age or with any physical condition," says Munatones. "From our perspective as KAATSU users, the three vascular walls of our arteries, veins and capillaries throughout our bodies are a muscle. So, in that sense, KAATSU is definitely muscle training.

Our vascular tissue gradually becomes more elastic in a gentle, safe way while using KAATSU.

It is a convenient and perfect recovery modality. KAATSU equipment is easy-to-carry and easy-to-use. The compact compressor automatically inflates and deflates the bands on either your arms or legs. This forces blood into the very small capillaries and enhances recovery, improves circulation, and oxygen flow to muscles just after prolonged or intense bouts of exercise.

This is how Olympic swimmers, runners and other athletes are using KAATSU at the Tokyo Olympics, especially those who have multiple races or events over the course of the day or days while in Tokyo. The KAATSU Air Bands helps flush the metabolic waste out of the tissue after or between events.
.

With the Masimo oximeter, you can see the athletes' oxygen saturation levels increase while their pulse rate and respiratory rate concurrently decrease as they sit down and relax after their races. KAATSU is quite versatile. You can use the equipment to make your muscles work harder, but you can also use the device to make you relax and recover.

Munatones continues, "The commonly misunderstood effect of KAATSU is that the equipment necessarily makes muscles work harder - as Mills described. If KAATSU users utilize the KAATSU Air Bands for recovery after an intense workout or to avoid jet lag or for recovery after a competition, then their muscles work LESS, not more. The parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and metabolic waste products are more effectively and efficiently removed from the working muscles."

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Antonio Argüelles On Avoiding Jet Lag With The KAATSU C3

For who? International travelers, business people, competitive athletes
For what? Jet lag, insomnia, travel fatigue, recovery



Antonio Argüelles, a 2-time Guinness World Record holder who have completed the Oceans Seven (solo crossings of the English Channel, North Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Channel, Cook Strait, and Molokai Channel), will attempt to set his third world record this month.

He aims to become the oldest swimmer in history - at the age of 62 - to complete a two-way non-stop English Channel crossing, 67 km (42 miles) from England to France and back to England this month.

The English Channel crossing is expected to take him over 24 hours to complete.

Argüelles used KAATSU Cycle 2.0 equipment and followed the standard KAATSU Jet Lag Protocols on his 10.5-hour flight from Mexico City to Heathrow International Airport. He explains the effects of the original BFR protocols and equipment in his brief interview posted above.

The 62-year-old channel swimmer says, "I keep my KAATSU close to me at all times.

I did three full KAATSU Cycles today after swimming and will do one more KAATSU Cycle tonight before going to sleep. I swam 90 minutes this morning [three days after arriving in Dover, a week before attempting the world record English Channel crossing]
."

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Onwards To Tokyo With Jamal Hill

For who? Swimmers, competitive athletes, Paralympians, disabled athletes
For what? Performance, rehabilitation, recovery

Fly into LAX and head out of the international airport to all points in Southern California, and you may see a large multi-story likeness of Paralympic swimmer Jamal Hill who grew up underneath the LAX flight paths of inbound and outbound airlines.

Hill, a native of Southern California who grew up in Inglewood, was only 10 years old when his body started to fail him. He experienced total paralysis and doctors considered amputating his right arm. The decision was made to keep his arm, but he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT), a hereditary neurological condition that can result in progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation in the body.

CMT threatened to alter his life, including his passion for swimming where he started near the LAX Airport. But through sheer will, deep faith, and relentless determination, Hill has not only regained his mobility and strength, but he also competed in college and most recently qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic Games (S10 category).

The 26-year-old developed a love for swimming at the Westchester YMCA Mommy & Me swim class - and has never stopped. Two decades later, an 8-story likeness of him hangs from a building not far from LAX and the YMCA where his career started.

Hill is ranked #1 as the top U.S. Paralympic 50m freestyle sprinter and #3 in the world - with eyes on a gold medal. He talks about his journey in an interview with KAATSU Global CEO Steven Munatones and KAATSU Aqua Master Specialist and Olympic swim coach Chris Morgan:



Hill pushed through the pain and fear of being seen and treated differently and swam competitively in high school, receiving a swimming scholarship to Hiram College in Ohio. After college, the post-graduate swimmer trains 14 hours per week and now works with mental performance coach and swim coach Wilma Wong. He says, "Her innovative training style and techniques have resulted in improving from an unranked amateur to number one in the nation within one year."

Global Ranking Progression

There are 13 classes of athletes in para swimming. The lower the number the more severe impact of activity limitation an athlete experiences according to designated classifiers. . The nature of Hill's disability has caused him to fluctuate between World Para Swimming classifications as an S9 and S10. Despite the constant uncertainty of classification, Hill continued to excell in whatever class he is ultimately categorized.

Hill won his first national title at age 23 in 2018, a veteran swimmer but a neophyte national champion. It was his first time traveling outside California for a national competition and he finished strongly as a member of Team USA. The experience motivated him to accelerate his physical and mental training to higher levels.

At the 2019 Glasgow International World Series, Hill won silver and bronze medals while setting three new personal best times and an invitation to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

His success in Glasgow was followed by a spectacular performance in Peru at the 2019 ParaPan American Games where he won a silver medal and 2 relay bronze medals. He also received the honor to anchor the first Team USA men's relay to medal at an international paraswimming event.

Throughout 2020, Hill's goals became clear as he continued to experiment KAATSU with Coach Wong. The investment in KAATSU the Original BFR, both in the water and on dryland, as a modality to improve athletic performance, and to warm-up for races, and to recover from workouts is paying off well. Under Wong's tutelage, Hill has ventured into the Top 10 rankings of the world, an achievement that has not been reached by an American S10 athlete in nearly a decade.

Finally, within sight of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Hill's dreams came crashing down. Down hard.

Due to a unique set of circumstances caused in part by the pandemic, Hill learned that his route to Tokyo was hampered by bureaucracy. But he was not about to lie low and accept fate. He and Wong uncovered and considered every possibility - and they found a route to Paralympic selection by going on an unplanned trip to Rio de Janeiro so Hill could be properly and officially categorized. His travel plans set, Hill went off on a 10-day journal from LAX to Houston to Rio de Janeiro to Houston to LAX to Indianapolis and back, using his new KAATSU C3 and the KAATSU jet lag and travel fatigue protocols throughout the long journey.

"He did KAATSU Cycles before and during the flight, and then once again behind his scheduled bedtime throughout his international travels," explains KAATSU Global CEO Steven Munatones. "We have been developing and testing these protocols ever since KAATSU inventor Dr. Sato and cardiologist Dr. Nakajima first tested their oxygen saturation rates (SpO2) before and after doing KAATSU on airplanes back in the 1990's. When the doctors first saw their oxygen saturation rates increase in flight, they knew they had something special."

Hill was selected for the Team USA Paralympic 50m freestyle sprinter and a relay member.

But his passion for swimming extends beyond his personal and professional goals for the Tokyo Paralympics. The World Health Organization show that 360,000 people lost their lives to drowning in 2016. In the United States, drowning ranks fifth among the causes of unintentional injury death according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an attempt to lower the global drowning rate, Hill began Swim Uphill, an initiative to teach one million people to swim through a wholly innovative program supported by a digital swim school platform.

Swim Uphill is exploding with success and growth, just as its founder is doing in the swimming world.

For more information on Swim Uphill, visit www.swimuphill.com.

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

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For who? KAATSU Nano, KAATSU Cycle 2.0, KAATSU Master 2.0, KAATSU C3, KAATSU A1 users
For what? recovery, rehabilitation, athletic performance, overall wellness











To watch hundreds of more KAATSU videos, programs, lots of advice and all kinds of recommendations, visit the KAATSU YouTube Channel here.

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

Unboxing The KAATSU C3

For who? KAATSU C3 users
For what? recovery, rehabilitation, athletic performance, overall wellness



KAATSU C3 is the third generation KAATSU Cycle device.

KAATSU can improve blood circulation and improve muscle tone. KAATSU is the Original BFR (Blood Flow Restriction). Invented in Japan, with products engineered and designed in Southern California, KAATSU Global is the pioneer in the emerging BFR market. The carefully controlled, easy-to-use pneumatic KAATSU bands automatically and safely optimizes blood circulation for muscle tone, strength, mobility, rehabilitation, and recovery.

KAATSU devices (KAATSU Master 2.0, KAATSU Cycle 2.0, KAATSU C3, KAATSU B1, KAATSU AI) included a handheld automated compressor and universal pneumatic, stretchable bands which are placed around the arms or legs. Arm bands and leg bands are used separately during each session.

The KAATSU Air Bands inflate and deflate in a patented sequence based on algorithms that are optimal for each user, no matter their age or physical abilities. KAATSU protocols are convenient, easy-to-do, and time-effective. KAATSU equipment offer unparalleled performance, precision, and safety for users of all ages, fitness levels, and walks of life - and can be used anywhere anytime to help you Recover Faster, Rehab Stronger and Perform Better.

For more information, visit the www.kaatsu.com website to learn more about BFR, Blood Flow Restriction, BFR exercise, BFR science, and KAATSU protocols and how KAATSU differs from B Strong, Delfi Portable Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction, Smart Cuffs, and other BFR brands and occlusion bands.

You can also learn more about KAATSU the Original BFR here:

https://kaatsu.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kaatsu/
https://twitter.com/KAATSUGlobal
https://twitter.com/originalbfr
https://www.kaatsublog.com/
https://www.instagram.com/kaatsuglobal/

The primary differences between KAATSU and the other BFR bands is:

(1) KAATSU utilizes the patented Cycle function
(2) different pressures can be simultaneously used on different limbs
(3) KAATSU equipment and protocols were proven safe and effective after a decade of clinical use and research on over 7,000 cardiac rehab patients at the University of Tokyo Hospital (between 2004 and 2014)
(4) KAATSU is used by cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, and physicians in various specialties
(5) KAATSU Air Bands do not occlude arterial flow
(6) KAATSU is meant to be gentle and convenient in order to do anywhere anytime
(7) KAATSU is sold worldwide to people up to the age of 104
(8) more research has been conducted in more countries on KAATSU than any other BFR device
(9) the seminal, groundbreaking research on BFR was conducted and published by KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in the 1990s
(10) KAATSU Air Bands are waterproof and the KAATSU C3 is ruggedized for military applications

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Recommendations For Bedridden Users

For who? brain injury survivors, diving/climbing/car/biking accident victims
For what? recovery, functional movement, functional strength

Brain injury survivors, wounded warriors, and diving, climbing, biking and car accident victims use KAATSU on all four limbs in order to aid their recovery and rehabilitation.

They follow all the standard protocols and Do's and Don'ts of KAATSU, but are also encouraged to focus on Progressive KAATSU Cycles. That is, they should start off very conservatively (i.e., low SKU pressure) while they get comfortable in position. This may require them to add pillows to different places on their bed or chair, or to change their body or limb positions. There is no rush and the more comfortable they are, they more benefit they will feel.

Progressive KAATSU Cycles are absolutely essential for success. The vascular tissue needs to be very, very, very gradually worked on. Starting with very low SKU pressures and then slowly increasing incrementally is the most effective and efficient way to increase the elasticity of your vascular tissue. For example, on the KAATSU C3, users can start on the LOW pressure several times and then gradually move to the MEDIUM pressure. Some users even go lower than the LOW SKU settings and use the CUSTOM mode.

The Progressive KAATSU Cycles should also always start on your arms and while you are very well hydrated.

KAATSU Session

The KAATSU session can include, in order:

1. Be well hydrated with water.
2. Get comfortable in position.
3. Do Progressive KAATSU Cycles on your arms (either Single-Limb KAATSU Cycles on only one arm or Standard KAATSU Cycles on both arms). This can be 3-6 KAATSU Cycles that will take 15-30 minutes.
2. Progressive KAATSU Cycles on your legs (either Single-Limb KAATSU Cycles on only one leg or Standard KAATSU Cycles on both legs). This can be 3-6 KAATSU Cycles that will take 15-30 minutes.

Of course, always start conservatively with KAATSU (see here). You may not be able to do 3-6 KAATSU Cycles on both your arms and legs in the beginning. Perhaps you can start with 1-2 KAATSU Cycles on your upper body and lower body - and then gradually increase the number of KAATSU Cycles over the course of several weeks. This is perfectly acceptable.
After several weeks of KAATSU Cycles performed daily on your arms and legs, you most likely will see a number of changes and benefits as you learn the best pressure and duration that fits your recovery and lifestyle.

KAATSU Movements

Various movements - or no movement at all - are up to your discretion. It could be as simple of Standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises (e.g., Hand Clenches, Biceps Curls, Triceps Extensions, Toe Curls) or other movements (e.g., Head or Foot Rotations, Balancing on One Foot, Stretching, Walking, Standing Up and Sitting Down, Handwriting). But it is very important avoid any painful movements or any sudden movements. KAATSU is best done with slow, easy, gentle movements. You can think of KAATSU as slow stretching of the muscular and connective tissue.

Other Modalities

You can also use other modalities and therapy in conjunction with or before or after KAATSU including acupressure, electric muscle stim therapy, aqua therapy, etc.

Phenomena

1. When people have been bedridden for long periods and try KAATSU, they often say they have a feeling of warmth which is an indication of improved blood circulation.

2. When people have been bedridden for long periods and try KAATSU, they often sleep much better, especially if KAATSU Cycles are gently performed closer to bedtime.

3. Caregivers are also under stress, both physically and mentally. They can use the KAATSU equipment and follow the standard KAATSU protocols if they have a sore back or fatigued muscles.

4. After regular daily use of KAATSU Cycles, the color of your skin should turn from light pink to rosy pink to light red to a beefy red over time. This is an indication of healthier, most elastic vascular tissue of your surface capillaries.

5. Occasionally, a bedridden user will have cuts or lacerations that stubbornly do not heal. The length, width and depth of the cuts will gradually improve with regular daily use of KAATSU Cycles.















A caregiver to a quadriplegic explains the differences she has seen in her hands since starting KAATSU:



















Dr. Yoshiaki Sato explained about KAATSU usage with, by, and for people with paralysis:

Q1. Why does a patient with paralysis become more relaxed and sleep better after doing KAATSU?

A1. The sympathetic nervous system has been activated for a long time. When KAATSU is performed, the sympathetic nervous system relaxes as the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and patients with paralysis are able to sleep well [after KAATSU]. Also, mechanical stress - which is a good stress - occurs and they can sleep comfortably.

Q2. What is the mechanism that enables an increased passive range of motion in her elbows, hands, and ankles?

A2. After the accident, joints became harden and spastic [for a long time, decades]. The tendons and ligaments become harden. Relaxed by KAATSU, because the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system are well activated, the joints and muscles become loosened. This increases its range of motion. There are tendons within the muscles, but they will not become soft soon. Over time, however, the tendons gradually softens over the course of many months.

Q3. The muscle and ligament contractures in their elbows, wrists, fingers and ankle plantar flexors are rigid. Can you predict how much a patient with paralysis can improve her range of motion?

A3. Patients with paralysis have been tense for a long time and their bodies became stiff as a result. It is very important to make concentrated efforts just like climbing stairs, step by step. They should not be impatient. Movement towards their goals might go in a good direction if they keep making steady effort.

Q4. Why do quadriplegic patients feel less pain?

A4. The pain is relieved because of the secretion of beta-endorphins, which is called intra-cerebral anesthesia in the brain. Also, the nerves of the muscle fibers that were in a sleeping state around the damaged muscle fibers are awakened by the application of KAATSU. Thus, the pain is relieved.

Q5. There are some red spots that showed up on a quadriplegic’s right thigh after the initial session. Was the Base SKU too high initially?

A5. You can judge that the patient's blood vessels are weak due to the appearance of red spots on the skin. Perhaps next time, when KAATSU is applied with the same SKU, these tiny red specks might disappear. Some people might say that KAATSU is dangerous because the red spots appeared or KAATSU might cause blood clots. The red spots indicates that stimulation was sufficiently given to blood vessels. It is important to start with KAATSU Cycle 1 (i.e., 100 SKU) for people who are trying KAATSU for the first time and gradually move on to KAATSU Cycle 2 (e.g., 120 SKU), Cycle 3 and on.

Q6. Should we worry about blood clots in immobile patients? Does the potential for existing clots change KAATSU protocols?

A6. The potential for kicking off blood clots will not change as long as you do the KAATSU Cycle. Start with pressurization for 30 seconds and depressurization for 5 seconds (i.e., KAATSU Cycle on and then off). Since the blood vessels gradually increase resistance against pressure and patient's blood vessels get used to SKU and can tolerate it. Do not worry about thrombosis.

Q7. If patients eat poorly, what should we worry about with KAATSU?

A7. Improving one’s diet in parallel with doing KAATSU is one kind of treatment. The three goals - exercise, good diet and sufficient sleep are important to become healthier. It is necessary to balance these three factors.

Q8. Do you recommend 2 full cycles, 2 times a day? What do you recommend for daily KAATSU usage?

A8. The daily usage of KAATSU varies according to patient's abilities and their level of physical fitness. In the case of patients where spasticity tends to easily occur, even if their body loosens after one KAATSU session, it is possible that they will return to their original state after a few minutes. Rather than deciding whether to do one or two KAATSU Cycles, the amount of KAATSU should be decided by the patient. Generally, the more serious the patient, the more times they should do the KAATSU Cycle. Conversely, for less serious patients, the less time should be spent doing KAATSU. That is, the number of times doing KAATSU Cycles should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Q9. Why do patients with spinal cord injuries feel warm during KAATSU - especially when they have no sensation in the same limb?

A9. The fact that their body feels warm after KAATSU is evidence that new blood vessels were created. Normally, there is no medical treatment to create new blood vessels instantly, but KAATSU instantly creates new capillaries. Blood flows to those points in the body and their body warms up. Conversely, when the body is exposed to below the freezing temperatures, capillaries are pulled away and the body becomes cold.

Q10. Why does KAATSU appear to help with neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury patients?

A10. For not only the patients with spinal injuries, but also the patients with various diseases, when they do KAATSU, cells and muscle fibers that have not been used until now start to work. Consider the case if there are 100 soldiers, but only 10 of them have been working. When those 10 soldiers are injured, the 90 other soldiers will start working on behalf of those 10 people.

Q11. The Masimo device measures Perfusion Index (an indication of the pulse strength at the sensor site). The Perfusion Index values range from 0.02% for very weak pulse to 20% for extremely strong pulse. Normally, the Perfusion Index decreases during KAATSU, but why does the Perfusion Index often increase during KAATSU for a client with a spinal cord injury?

A11. KAATSU immediately creates new blood vessels and the blood fills the place where no blood was flowing until then. Naturally, the perfusion index will increase in this case.

Q12. For spinal cord injury patients, Capillary Refill Time is often very slow with no KAATSU pressure, and speeds up during KAATSU. Why?

A12. Since the blood flow reaches every corner [in the limb], Capillary Refill Time is accelerated. New blood vessels are increased. When you do KAATSU, VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor) new blood vessel growth factor hormone increases. KAATSU effects have continued to surprise me.

Q13. If neural pathways are NOT intact (for example, with a completely severed spinal cord) for an individual with a spinal cord injury, why does the client still feel pain? Why does KAATSU appear to decrease that pain?

A13. Blood vessels are not connected, but new blood vessels are born. It is the same as bypassing a road. Rather than repairing broken roads, roads are made new. When new blood vessels are formed, nerve cells comes after, and nerves are completed. As new blood vessels are formed, neural cells are formed. In a previous KAATSU trial, we put a patient’s head in a Functional MRI machine as we applied KAATSU to both arms while doing Hand Clenches with a grip band. New blood vessels increased in the portion of the brain that was black. Naturally, neurons are formed after. Since KAATSU works, I would like doctors and researchers at the VA to conduct further clinical trials.

Q14. Many military therapists use electrical muscle stimulation on spinal cord injury patients. Can this Electrical Muscle Stimulation device be combined with KAATSU to achieve better results during the isometric contractions?

A14. There are various devices such as electric stimulation units and EMS available now. When electric stimulation is given, the muscles shake. There are several research results that cause muscle hypertrophy to some extent. We get requests from researchers who specialize in electrical stimulation to simultaneously use KAATSU and electrical stimulation. We performed clinical trials on patients with spinal injury who could not move their legs. It showed positive results with KAATSU.

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global