Showing posts with label KAATSU History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KAATSU History. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Why KAATSU Is The Original BFR

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. This article serves 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).

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 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).

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.

Copyright © 2014 - 2021 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Evolution of KAATSU

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

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.

KAATSU Future

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.

Copyright © 2014 - 2017 by KAATSU Global