Tuesday, April 3, 2018

KAATSU Cycling

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


KAATSU Cycle is a sequential series of increasing pressure on the circumference of a limb by KAATSU Air Bands. The invention in Tokyo in 1973 by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato is based on his blood flow moderation concepts.

KAATSU Global has developed a series of commercial products - KAATSU Nano, KAATSU Master, KAATSU Master 2.0 - with this modality that has long been used by people of all ages and abilities from Navy SEALs and professional and Olympic athletes to aging Baby Boomers and individuals as old as 104 years.

The concept is patented (United States 9,775,619) as a Compression and Decompression Control System and Vascular Strengthening Method by Dr. Sato and is used by athletes preparing for the Olympics to individuals with cardiac issues including those who have just come out of heart bypass surgery at the University of Tokyo Hospital under the care of cardiologists Drs. Nakajima and Morita.

With the KAATSU Cycle modality, users benefit from doing rehabilitation and exercise with different levels of pressure and duration that are automatically applied. Different goals for different individuals are achieved based on the different protocols.

So, for example, a Navy SEAL or an NBA player might use Cycle 60 (i.e., 60 seconds of pressure followed by 20 seconds of no pressure in 8 sequential cycles as the pressure levels increase each cycle) for Performance Training (i.e., meant to improve strength, stamina or speed on a healthy individual) while a patient with a broken bone or a septuagenarian recovering from a knee replacement surgery might use Cycle 20 (i.e., 20 seconds of pressure followed by 5 seconds of no pressure) for rehabilitation. The appropriate tightness for each individual based on a combination of their Base SKU pressure (i.e., manual tightening of the pneumatic bands) and Optimal SKU pressure (i.e., inflated tightening of the bands).

KAATSU Global offers numerous different KAATSU Cycle modalities depending on the person’s age, conditions and goals from Performance Training to Rehabilitation to Recovery - and is an ideal mode to get some quick and efficient exercise or stress relief in the office or work cubicle:

Copyright © 2014-2018 by KAATSU Global

Organizational Use Of KAATSU

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

In an organizational setting of KAATSU where there are many (over 20 individuals) doing KAATSU at the same time, in the same location, and with strict time limitations (e.g., at a military base or with an athletic team), KAATSU Global recommends the following protocols for KAATSU Group Lessons:

* Each individual is first taught the proper location of the KAATSU Air Bands on their arms and legs and their safe Base SKU pressure.
* Each individual is taught how to check their Capillary Refill Time (CRT).
* Each individual is taught how to warm-up and warm-down and rehabilitate with the KAATSU Cycle mode.
* Each individual is taught how to find their own Optimal SKU pressure - that will gradually change over time and vary between different exercises and activities (e.g., isometric versus aerobic exercises).
* The leaders or coaches confirm each individual has a complete comprehension of the above.
* During the KAATSU Group Lessons, each individual is responsible for constantly checking the CRT of their individual (or teammate to their right) if they are simultaneously doing the same activities.
* The leaders or coaches are responsible for reviewing everyone's CRT on a random basis.
* The KAATSU Air Band sets can be shared for efficiency. Half of the group can use the bands on their arms while the other half of the group uses the bands on their legs.
* If some individuals can do vastly more repetitions than their peers, then the leader or coach can ask those with greater abilities to slow down the pace of their repetitions and contract their muscles in the positive and negative directions.
* If the leaders are coaches have very specific training sets (e.g., push-ups or core work or sprints), specific Optimal SKU levels may be varied (100-500 SKU) in order to accommodate the different capabilities of each individual.
* KAATSU should be done on both legs and arms, and in the cases where there are significant differences between the strength or abilities of one limb versus the other limb, the Optimal SKU levels can be set differently for each limb.
* More frequent use of KAATSU will lead to an increased elasticity of veins and capillaries.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Warming Up And Warming Down With KAATSU

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? mobility, flexibility, recovery

KAATSU is well-known to help build muscle mass and girth. But this is only one single aspect, one athletic perspective, one possible benefit, and one resultant outcome of KAATSU.

There are some athletic activities that need only a greater range of motion or increased strength or improved performance - and do not desire greater muscle mass or girth. Similarly, some individuals do not wish to gain muscle mass or muscle girth - they prefer improved muscle tone or improved BMI.

In these cases, the KAATSU Cycle is an ideal application of KAATSU.

The KAATSU Cycle should be done before every KAATSU session as an ideal warm-up protocol. You can start off at your usual Base SKU pressure and a conservative Optimal SKU pressure. Stretch while the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated and rest while the bands are deflated. Then increase your Optimal SKU pressure on the second (and subsequent) KAATSU Cycles. For example, you can start with a Base SKU of 20 and an Optimal SKU of 200 SKU on the first KAATSU Cycle (that takes 3 minutes 20 seconds).

Then you can increase the Optimal SKU to 250 SKU and 300 SKU respectively on the subsequent KAATSU Cycles. Continue to stretch or do other warm-up exercises as appropriate to your sport or activity.

Then, a few KAATSU Cycles can be repeated at the end of your KAATSU session or after your workout is over. First, do a complete release of the KAATSU Air Bands and get well-hydrated. Then re-apply the KAATSU Air Bands and do a few KAATSU Cycles. But in this case, you can slightly lower your Base SKU and use a lower Optimal SKU pressure to help flush out the lactic acid that may have built up during your workout.

You can walk or do simple stretching while you do the warm-down KAATSU Cycles that will help mitigate undesired muscle growth and increased girth.

The use of KAATSU Cycle is a safe and effective engorgement of blood in the limbs. A warm-up or warm-down while moving (e.g., walking or stretching) in such a physiological state will lead to improved preparation for vigorous training or greater efficiency in flushing out lactic acid that has built up.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Monday, April 2, 2018

Post-ACL Surgery KAATSU Protocols

For who? Competitive athletes
For what? Mobility, Flexibility, Recovery and Rehabilitation

After anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, rehabilitation begins in order to help blood circulation, prevent blood clots from forming in your legs, and to prevent muscle atrophy.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato has long worked with KAATSU Specialists in Japan to develop specific protocols to incorporate KAATSU into post-ACL surgery rehabilitation.

With the approval of your physician and therapist, patients can begin KAATSU soon (72 hours) after the surgery if there are no complications. The patient can also do KAATSU on their other healthy limbs (i.e., healthy leg and both arms). The standard protocol includes the following:

KAATSU Equipment
›› Use either the KAATSU Master 2.0, the KAATSU Nano, the KAATSU C3, and the KAATSU B1 together with the KAATSU Air Bands.
›› The KAATSU Air Bands may look like a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff, but they are specifically designed and manufactured to allow arterial flow to continue and only moderate the venous flow.
›› Because KAATSU has systemic effects, it is recommended to do KAATSU both on the arms first and then the legs no matter when the injury or surgery is located.

Important Points
›› Be well-hydrated before and during KAATSU the Original BFR.
›› Always follow KAATSU protocols (i.e., always have Capillary Refill Time within 3 seconds with no occlusion).
›› You should experience no lightheadedness, or no numbness or whiteness in your limbs. If so, immediately take off the KAATSU Air Bands. ›› Always start with the KAATSU Cycles on both the arms and legs. For older patients and patients who lead sedentary lives, ONLY do KAATSU Cycles.
›› Proceed with KAATSU 3-point Exercises (first on arms and then on legs) or do KAATSU while conducting physical rehabilitation exercises. ›› KAATSU can be done daily, even twice per day during rehabilitation or recovery from injuries.
›› Use an appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU that is safe and falls within the standard KAATSU guidelines. However, it is always best to begin KAATSU sessions with low Optimal SKU on the first few KAATSU Cycles.
›› Never experience pain in the joint, tendon, bone or injured areas while doing KAATSU.
›› Always use the correct form in any movements.
›› Rest between sets and between exercises should be no more than 30 seconds.
›› Always breathe normally throughout the KAATSU Constant and KAATSU Cycle modes.
›› You can do KAATSU Cycle daily, but limit your KAATSU sessions to 15 minutes on your arms and 20 minutes on your legs during each session. ›› Sessions should always start with the KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 20 seconds of pressure on + 5 seconds of pressure off). This will help prepare (“warm-up”) the muscles, veins and capillaries before doing anything more strenuous.
›› In order to avoid atrophy, you can regularly do the KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on your legs.

KAATSU Cycles ›› With the KAATSU Air Bands at the appropriate Base SKU pressure (i.e., manual tightening) and Optimal SKU pressure (i.e., the inflated pressure), do 3 sets each of the following depending on how the you feel and your range of mobility:

* toe curls
* heel raises (or just rotating the ankles)
* leg curls
* repeated quadricep contractions
* stretching
* stationary bike riding
* leg presses

›› You can do the same KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on your healthy leg and the following KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for your arms, performed slowly while contracting your muscles:

* hand clenches
* biceps curls
* triceps extensions
* stretching

›› As you become more mobile, simple walking (especially in the sand at the beach) with the KAATSU Air Bands on is beneficial. You can even do this at yourr home or office as you walk back and forth in your room. If you regularly do these exercises, you should not see any muscle atrophy.

›› Your skin should turn pink or reddish as your limb should experience an engorgement of pool in the limbs.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or therapist.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU: Application to Metabolic Syndrome

Courtesy of the International Journal of KAATSU Training Research, 2011; 7: 7-12

Dr. Satoh of the Satoh Clinic in Ube City, Japan presented a clinical study entitled Kaatsu Training: Application to Metabolic Syndrome where he applied KAATSU to patients with metabolic syndrome based on the principles and protocols of KAATSU the original BFR.

His goal was to evaluate the effect of KAATSU on patients with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and obesity with metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Satoh asked 18 patients to do the standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for 6-12 minutes, once or twice a week with a Borg scale at level 13. The usefulness of KAATSU was evaluated after 3-4 months. The patients were instructed not to change their lifestyles (e.g., food, medicine and exercise).

Dr. Satoh (note: no relation to KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato of Tokyo) reported the following results: The effectiveness of KAATSU was shown in 31 out of 51 patients (61%). In 12 out of 18 patients (67%) with hypertension, systolic blood pressure dropped from an average of 166 mmHg to 146 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure also dropped from an average of 96 mmHg to 86 mmHg.

In 6 out of 10 patients (60%) with diabetes mellitus, HbA1c dropped from an average of 6.8% to 6.12%.

In 8 out of 14 patients (57%) with dyslipidemia, LDL-c decreased from an average of 158 mg/dl to 136 mg/dl. In 5 out of 9 patients (56%) with obesity, there was a reduction in weight from an average of 67 kg to 59 kg.

The doctor concluded that KAATSU improves physical conditions including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and obesity with metabolic syndrome.


Metabolic syndrome is defined as a condition of visceral fat accumulation with a combination of two or more of hyperglycemia, hypertension or dyslipidemia. These closely resemble the symptoms of somatopause which is the condition of decreasing growth hormone (hereafter GH) secretion with aging.

On the other hand, KAATSU has brought about a variety of good effects in muscle strength (Takarada et al., 2000; Abe et al., 2005), lipolysis (Satoh, 2011) and health promotion. KAATSU has also been applied in the field of medical care (Nakajima et al., 2007). In my clinic, exercise therapy, especially walking, has become valued for the treatment and prevention of metabolic syndrome (Satoh, 1990). Nevertheless, in cases of patients with a walking disturbance or patients who cannot spare one hour or more for walking, KAATSU has been proactively introduced and good results were obtained (Satoh, 2006). This method can be performed in a short period of time, without placing a burden on the knees and the lower back. Furthermore, it is believed that there is a good effect even with metabolic syndrome because of the secretion of GH. Therefore, the effectiveness of KAATSU on metabolic syndrome was evaluated in this study.


The subjects of this study were 51 patients with metabolic syndrome (14 males and 37 females) out of 96 patients treated with KAATSU so far at my clinic.

The ages of these subjects were as follows: 3 in their 30’s, 5 in their 40’s, 9 in their 50’s, 12 in their 60’s, 10 in their 70’s, 10 in their 80’s and 2 in their 90’s. The diseases of subjects were as follows: 18 patients with hypertension (7 males and 11 females), 10 patients with diabetes mellitus (3 males and 7 females), 14 patients with dyslipidemia (4 males and 10 females), and 9 patients with obesity (1 male and 8 females).

The criteria of indication for KAATSU were as follows:

Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure, 150 mmHg - 170 mmHg, Diastolic blood pressure, 90 mmHg - 100 mmHg
Diabetes mellitus: HbA1c levels of 6.5% or above
Dyslipidemia: LDL cholesterol levels of 140 mg/dl or above
Obesity: BMI levels of 28 or above

However, patients with a resting blood pressure of 170 / 100 mmHg or above were excluded from the subjects because they could be considered at danger of a rise in pressure during KAATSU training. Fasting blood samples were taken early in the morning and body weight was measured with the Body Composition Analyzer MC190 (TANITA Corporation, Tokyo). The kinetics of GH secretion before and after KAATSU was examined in one elderly patient to confirm the results reported before, since the levels of GH in previous studies were checked only in young athletes (Takarada et al., 2000) or healthy males (Takano et al., 2006).

KAATSU training protocols

Before KAATSU was applied, there was first a 10-minute period of stretching of the entire body. Then, the KAATSU belts (Sato Sports Plaza, Tokyo) were coiled around the proximal end of either the arms or the legs. After this, the pneumatic control type KAATSU Training Device (the KAATSU-Master or the KAATSU-Mini, Sato Sports Plaza, Tokyo) was connected to those belts, and KAATSU was performed for a period of 6-12 minutes under an appropriate pressure (60 to 160 mmHg for the arms and 80 to 200 mmHg for the legs respectively). The appropriate pressure was set so as the patients didn’t feel pain in the distal portion to the KAATSU belt during the exercise. The content of KAATSU was a 3-exercise set of training (Sato Y, 2007a); that is, (1) an opening and shutting movement of both the fingers and the toes at the same time, (2) an extension and a flexion of the arms (arm curl) and the feet (toes raise) at the same time, and (3) a pushing the both fists which are placed in front of the chest down obliquely to behind, with stretching the elbows (push down) and the heels up (calf raise) at the same time. Each 3-exercise set was performed 30 times with 20 second resting intervals.

This exercise intensity was equivalent to the Borg scale of level 13 (somewhat hard). KAATSU was performed once or twice a week.

Evaluation of the effectiveness

For the exact evaluation, the purpose of this study was sufficiently explained to the patients and they were instructed not to change their lifestyle (food, exercise, and medicine). Nevertheless, some patients changed their lifestyle during this study and they were therefore excluded from the assessment. The evaluation of the effect was done 3 to 4 months later.

The criteria of effectiveness were as follows:

Hypertension: Drop in systolic and diastolic pressure of 10% or above
Diabetes mellitus: Drop in HbA1c of 10% or above
Dyslipidemia: Decrease in LDL cholesterol of 8% or above
Obesity: Weight loss of 10% or above

Statistical methods

All values are expressed as means ± S.D.


There were no accidents in this study.

KAATSU was effective against metabolic syndrome in 31 patients (61%), and ineffective in 11 patients (22%). A total of 9 patients (17%) were excluded.

Among the excluded cases, 6 patients changed their lifestyles during this study; 5 patients added diet or exercise therapy by themselves, seeking further improvement because they had seen the effectiveness of KAATSU before the evaluation, and a patient had his medical treatment changed by another clinic during the study. Furthermore, 3 patients withdrew themselves from the study because no effects had appeared; 2 patients had diabetes mellitus and the other one had dyslipidemia.

KAATSU decreased blood pressure in 12 out of 18 patients with hypertension (67%). In systolic blood pressure, there was an average drop from 166 ± 5.98 mmHg to 146 ± 1.15 mmHg and the average drop rate was -12 ± 2.87%. In diastolic blood pressure, there was an average drop from 96 ± 2.68 mmHg to 86 ± 2.88 mmHg and the average drop rate was -10 ± 2.24%. Among the 2 excluded cases, one patient added walking to his lifestyle by himself and the other patient who attended a different clinic had his medication reduced by the attending physician.

KAATSU was effective in 6 out of 10 patients with diabetes mellitus (60%): HbA1c dropped by an average of 6.8 ± 0.31% to 6.12 ± 0.29% and the average of drop rate was -10 ± 0.56%. There were 3 excluded patients in this group. A patient restricted her eating habits (snacks between meals) by herself and the other 2 patients discontinued KAATSU 2 months after starting without seeing a drop in HbA1c.

KAATSU was effective in 8 out of 14 patients with dyslipidemia (57%): LDL-c decreased by an average of -14 ± 2.62% in 158 ± 12.60 mg/dl to 136 ± 6.99 mg/dl. Among the 2 excluded patients, one patient restricted her eating habits (snacks between meals) by herself, and the other patient discontinued KAATSU treatment because LDL-c didn’t drop. KAATSU was also effective in 5 out of 9 patients with obesity (56%): There was an average reduction in body weight from 67 ± 4.26 kg (BMI 28.7±1.82) to 59 ± 3.30 kg (BMI 25.2±1.41) and by an average of -12 ± 1.91 (BMI -12 ± 0.48)%. There were 2 patients excluded because they restricted their eating habits (snacks between meals).

For additional details on this study, visit the Research Page on the KAATSU Global website here.

KAATSU Arm 3-point Exercises [refer to illustrations above]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions. Each set of exercises should be done 3-4 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure* (or fatigues).

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

KAATSU Leg 3-point Exercises [refer to illustrations above]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

In Connection With KAATSU

Andre Metzger, coach of the rapidly up-and-coming wrestling team at the University of North Texas, regularly uses KAATSU with his team's training and rehabilitation. He knows that KAATSU equipment can be used in conjunction with:

* AlterG treadmills
* regular treadmills
* exercise bikes
* resistance bands
* very light weights
* water bottles
* hand paddles and fins in a pool
* home gyms
* Bosu balls
* ab machines & ab rollers
* rowing machines
* elliptical machines
* step machines
* jump ropes
* golf clubs and baseball bats

Copyright © 2014 - 2016 by KAATSU Global

Andre Metzger, Wrestling Hall Of Famer, On KAATSU

For who? Competitive athletes
For what? Mobility, Flexibility, Recovery and Rehabilitation

Andre Metzger was inducted in the Class of 2017 as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Metzger has been a KAATSU Master Specialist for nearly four years and has seen great results on himself and his wrestling athletes who he coaches at the University of North Texas.

He is a legendary high school wrestler from Michigan who won two NCAA titles for the University of Oklahoma and was a freestyle World medalist winning numerous international events over the course of his career.

His Hall of Fame induction reads as follows, "Andre Metzger is one of the greatest technicians in amateur wrestling history, and he wrestled and won more matches than anyone, competing in over 2,000 matches and winning 1,870 for an estimated winning percentage of 93.5%.

He was a state champion at Cedar Springs High School in Michigan and was the first wrestler to win five junior national titles, capturing three freestyle and two Greco-Roman championships.

Before beginning his career at the University of Oklahoma, he wrestled in the 1979 World Championships and won a bronze medal to become the youngest American to medal in the World Championships at 19 years old.

He was a two-time NCAA champion and a four-time All-American for Oklahoma, winning titles in 1981 and 1982 after finishing second in 1980 and fifth in 1979.

Metzger was the United States Senior Greco-Roman champion in 1980 and a five-time U.S. Freestyle Champion, winning titles in 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1987. Metzger won gold medals at the Pan American Games in 1979 and 1987 while capturing silver medals at the World Cup in 1980, 1986 and 1988 and at the World Games in 1986. He was an alternate to Distinguished Member Nate Carr on the 1988 Olympic Freestyle team and defeated at least six Olympic gold medalists during his career.

He returned to the mat in 2012 at the age of 52 and competed for a spot on the U.S. Greco-Roman team.

Metzger was an assistant coach at Indiana University, University of North Carolina and Villanova University from 1983-88 and currently is the head coach at the University of North Texas as well as a member of the coaching staff for the Bombers of Frisco Wrestling Club

Metzger describes below how KAATSU helps his collegiate wrestlers at the University of North Texas and the Bombers of Frisco Wrestling Club make weight before their bouts.

Metzger uses a KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Air Bands on his wrestlers' arms and legs (separately) with the appropriate Base SKU (compression) and Optimal SKU (compression) - while taking care to monitor their fluid intake.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Leads To Decreased CRP Levels

Mike Allcord is an experienced Dive Master at the New England Aquarium who spends a lot of time in the Giant Ocean Tank, a huge tank simulating a Caribbean coral reef where bonnethead sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, moray eels, barracuda, and many smaller reef-living fish reside.

The 77-year-old hardened veteran of the open water is also a blazing fast masters swimmer.

Allcord is coached and was trained on KAATSU the original BFR by Olympic swim coach Chris Morgan at Boston University.

He does the KAATSU Cycle regularly at his appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU levels. He recently noticed something that he brought up to Coach Morgan. "I just started kick biking again, since the weather has improved. I noticed that when I grab the handlebar that I have no pain in my hands. Last summer, whenever I kick biked my hands consistentally hurt due to arthritis which had been diagnosed.

Is it possible that KAATSU has caused this pain relief? If it is, that’s truly amazing and a wonderful, unanticipated effect

KAATSU inventor Dr. Sato explained the mechanism behind the apparent pain relief that many KAATSU users feel after doing repeated KAATSU Cycle sets while gradually and only incrementally increasing the air pressure in the KAATSU Air Bands.

Along with his colleagues at the University of Tokyo Hospital (cardiologists Dr. Nakajima and Dr. Morita), he said, "We have found that KAATSU Training and the KAATSU Cycle leads to a decrease in CRP (C-reactive protein) which is a blood test marker for inflammation in the body. CRP levels increase in response to inflammation.

This is why people who have arthritis or are experiencing different kinds of pain report feeling relief after bouts of KAATSU. While there is also an increase in HGH (Human Growth Hormone), nitric oxide, IGF-1 (insulin growth factor) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), KAATSU also has shown to decrease CRP.

Typically with pain comes inflammation and the CRP increases. But with KAATSU, the decrease in CRP and production of EPC (endothelial progenitor cell) help. EPC are cells that help regenerate the endothelial lining of your blood vessels and is great for people like Mike

Another practical application of this with shin splint (medically called, the medial tibial stress syndrome), one of the common problems with runners, dancers, and military recruits.

The key for relieving and eliinating the pain that comes with shin splints is the fact that KAATSU Cycle sets leads to a decrease in CRP along with the production of ECP (endothelial progenitor cells). Both of these phenomenon help reduce the inflammation in the tibia (the shinbone in the lower leg) that relieves the discomfort associated with shin splints.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Friday, March 23, 2018

Working On One Limb At A Time

Above are various KAATSU the original BFR exercises performed by 5-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin who did his KAATSU workout together with Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the KAATSU inventor, at Dr. Sato's office in Tokyo.

Gatlin warmed up with the KAATSU Cycle, both on his arms and legs, while learning his appropriate Base SKU pressure and Optimal SKU training pressure.

Gatlin first wanted to work on his left leg because the timing and firing of his left leg was slower than his right leg. In this case, he first performed several KAATSU Cycles on his left leg only with his appropriate Base pressure of 30 SKU and found his Optimal SKU pressure.

He then untethered the KAATSU connector tubes and did a variety of normal leg exercises with the left KAATSU Air Band on his left leg. Both he and his coach were surprised and happy with the results after Dr. Sato removed the KAATSU Leg BBand.

Gatlin then explained that his arms need to move faster in order to improve. So KAATSU Arm Bands were placed on both arms and his Optimal SKU pressure was found using the standard KAATSU Cycle protocols.

After several KAATSU Cycles where he gradually increased the Optimal SKU pressure, Dr. Sato untethered Gatlin from the KAATSU equipment. Gatlin proceeded to do his standard arm exercises, both with and without the bands on.

His body started to produce Human Growth Hormone, nitric oxide, VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), and beta endorphins as his level of CRP (C-reactive protein) started to decrease. All these factors enabled Gatlin to feel better and move his legs and arms as he had hoped. Many athletes describe this sensation as "feeling lighter or smoother - and faster."

Additionally, if increased speed is desired or required, Gatlin and every other athlete can be directed to do several KAATSU Cycles at increasingly higher SKU pressures on the KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Master 2.0 as they do specific movements. Then they can untether the KAATSU Air Bands and do normal training exercises at race pace. "We focus on race pain as opposed to race pace," said Olympic swim coach Chris Morgan. "The athletes train at the speed in which they want to move in competition, but with the KAATSU Air Bands on their limbs, the amount of lactate that builds up in their limbs leads to discomfort - the very kind of discomfort they will feel in competition."

Coach Morgan prefers to focus his athletes on their 'race pain' rather than their race pace. "I want them to experience the discomfort that they will face in a competition. With the KAATSU Air Bands or KAATSU Aqua Bands on, they can almost always get to that feeling. Over time, this helps them improve significantly as they start to be able to engage a greater percentage of their muscle fibers and deliver more blood to the exercising muscle as well as flush out the lactic acid more efficiently."

Elite track club in Florida after their KAATSU workouts.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, March 17, 2018

KAATSU Performance Training For Football Players

Fundamentally, KAATSU applications are separated into three general areas. KAATSU protocols differ slightly for (1) Athletic Performance, (2) Rehabilitation, and (3) Recovery and Wellness.

Athletic Performance
KAATSU is used in different ways to develop speed or stamina or strength or muscle size or to lose weight or improve BMI. Each of these goals has slightly different protocols.

KAATSU is used together with basic physical therapy for people with broken bones, torn ligaments or tendons, or pulled muscles - and, very importantly, to eliminate muscle atrophy during rehabilitation and recovery. These protocols are specific with different applications of pressure and can include the CYCLE 20 or CYCLE 60.

Recovery & Wellness
KAATSU is used for recovery from injuries, jet lag and the effects of sedentary living.

When trainers and coaches focus on KAATSU Performance Training, they make sure the athlete is well-hydrated and start with 2-3 KAATSU Cycles. The pressure on for 20 seconds followed by pressure off for 5 seconds in sequentially higher pressures enables the athlete's capillaries and veins to become 'warmed up' (more elastic) and ready for more intense exercise.

The KAATSU Air Bands are then inflated to the athlete's Optimal SKU pressure. If this is the first experience with KAATSU Performance Training, the athlete should start off conservatively (i.e., low pressure). Over time, they can increase their Optimal SKU pressure as their bodies acclimate to KAATSU.

After the Optimal SKU pressure is reached, the athlete can untether (disconnect) the KAATSU Air Bands from the KAATSU unit and the athlete is free to move around the field. They should start off slowly and be comfortable, always checking their Capillary Refill Time.

Quarterbacks can throw, linemen can come off the line (like sumo wrestlers do), receivers can run routes, and punters can stretch and kick.

The athletes can do 5-10 repetitions of their motions (passes, routes, blocks or kicks). This will build up lactic acid fairly quickly in the muscles and their performance will gradually and slightly degenerate - so quarterbacks will throw with less of a zip, linemen and receivers will get very winded, and kickers will not be able to extend as normal). This is helping the muscle fibers get faster and stronger despite the athlete's increasing fatigue and decreasing performance.

Then take off the KAATSU Air Bands (off either their arms or legs - never use both the arm and leg bands together). The coaches and trainers should allow the athlete to rest and hydrate a bit. Linemen and receivers will definitely need to catch their breath.

Now the athlete should repeat the same movements (i.e., throws, blocks, routes, kicks) without the KAATSU Air Bands on. Their tactile feel should improve; their speed of movement should feel more fluid. Some athletes describe this feeling as being 'lighter'.

KAATSU Performance Training can be done daily and can be limited to less than 10 minutes (i.e., without a big impact to the total number of hours they are practicing).

Strength training exercises can even be done out on the field - without the need to head back to the weight room:

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Before And After Effects Of KAATSU Among The Elderly

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

At the Harvard Medical School in Boston on November 5th 2014, cardiologist Toshiaki Nakajima, M.D., Ph.D., formerly of the University of Tokyo Hospital [shown on left with KAATSU inventor Professor Sir Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D.), presented a study entitled Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy inducted by KAATSU Rehabilitation and Prevention of Sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and is a major problem among older individuals. Among both males and females, muscle strength decreases with age and muscle volume quickly decreases (0.45 kg per year) as individuals age past 50 years old. That is, fast twitch muscle fiber decreases on average to 50% by the age of 80 years.

To prevent it, physicians and physiologists understand that high-intensity resistance exercise (e.g., weight training or body weight exercises) is required. But this type of training is usually not possible - or desired - by the elderly.

But with KAATSU, individuals up to the age of 104 [see below and here] can perform low-load or no-load, non-impact exercise with KAATSU equipment following the KAATSU Cycle modality to induce muscle hypertrophy and strengthen muscle even with short-term, low-intensity exercise. With the KAATSU Air Bands or KAATSU Aqua Bands, the KAATSU no-load, non-impact exercise physiologically equals high-intensity, high-load training. In both cases (KAATSU and high-intensity, high-load training) the muscle and brain are stimulated to induce muscle hypertrophy and strength including fast twitch muscle fibers.

Dr. Nakajima tested 19 healthy elderly subjects with a mean age of 71 years [one 84-year-old subject is shown on left]. There were 10 individuals in the control group and 9 individuals in the experimental (KAATSU) group. The individuals did knee extensions and leg press exercises twice per week (Mondays and Thursdays) for 12 weeks. The SKU (Standard KAATSU Unit) pressure on the KAATSU leg bands ranged from 120-250 SKU.

Dr. Nakajima reported the significant increase in cross sectional area of thigh with MRI in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (2014 Oct;24(5):799-806). He also explained how the increase in muscle strength and mass leads to improvement of life function tests like getting up and out of a chair or bed.

Similar results were realized in the arms (biceps and triceps) among the group of elderly patients [see before-and-after effects of a 71-year-old subject on left].

He explains the process leading up to muscle hypertrophy due to traditional resistance training. "Typically, an individual needs to perform at least 65% of 1RM to create mechanical stress, metabolic stress, Hormone (cathecholamine) secretion, Growth factor, Cytokin (IL-6), nerve factor, local circulation, hypoxia and cell swelling that leads to adaptation and an increase in protein synthesis and decrease in protein degradation.

In contrast, KAATSU leads to several mechanisms that cause KAATSU's hypertrophic effects: recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers, increase in Growth Hormone and IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor), amino acid uptake, increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in myostatin.

He described the process. "Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass is dependent on the relationship of muscle protein balance - protein synthesis and breakdown. A negative protein balance induces muscle atrophy, whereas a positive balance induces muscle hypertrophy.

After muscle disuse, during long-term bed rest and simulated models of no-bearing activity, severe skeletal muscle atrophy develops due to altered protein metabolism leading to decreased muscle contractile protein content.

To prevent this, resistance exercise, an established and potent stimulus for enhancing muscle protein synthesis and subsequent muscle hypertrophy, is traditionally used.

Conversely, skeletal muscle is a plastic organ that adapts its mass to the different conditions by affecting pathways that regulate protein and cellular turnover. Repetitive KAATSU appears to be a novel stimulus for skeletal muscle to induce a net positive protein balance and prevent atrophy especially with patients with orthopedic diseases or injuries or those with disuse syndrome, sarcopenia and cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness)

To view an example of the before-and-after effects of KAATSU on a 104-year-old female, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Functional Movement with KAATSU

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

KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Training is used for a variety of purposes from athletic performance (increasing speed, strength, stamina or size) to rehabilitation to recovery.

For many users, the most effective functional movement with KAATSU is walking. That is, simply walking at a comfortable pace with the KAATSU Air Bands on your legs, a most common and popular form of KAATSU performed.

But there are some older or injured individuals who cannot walk (far) with KAATSU Air Bands. In these cases, they put on their KAATSU Air Bands on their legs and either:

* walk in place
* repeatedly stand up and down while holding a chair, table or wall
* lift up one foot up as repeated leg curls (alternating legs after 10-30 repetitions)

KAATSU functional movements can also be enhanced with KAATSU Air Bands or Aqua Bands during:

1. martial arts training or combative sports movements (e.g., throwing a jab or learning a new wrestling move)
2. swimming or aqua-walking
3. shooting (a basketball)
4. throwing (a baseball)
5. swimming or track starts
6. typing on a computer
7. swinging a tennis racquet or golf club
8. spinning on a stationary bicycle
9. jumping for specific sports (e.g., rebounds in basketball)
10. paddling or kayaking
11. walking up stairs
12. getting in and out of a chair or bed

Users should start with the KAATSU Cycle and then move right into their KAATSU functional movements of choice.

Alternatively, if functional movements are not possible due to age, injury or disability, the KAATSU 3-Point Exercises were developed for these individuals or others who want a specific set of exercises to repeat for their own rehabilitation or training program.

1. KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for arms:

(a) Standard: 3 sets of Hand Clenches + 3 sets of Biceps Curls + 3 sets of Triceps Extensions
(b) Advanced: 3 sets of Hand Clenches with a squeeze ball + 3 sets of Biceps Curls with very light dumbbells + 3 sets of Triceps Extensions done slowly with muscle contraction

2. KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for legs:

(a) Standard: 3 sets of Toe Curls + 3 sets of Toe Raises + 3 sets of Sitting Heel Raises
(b) Advanced: 3 sets of slow Standing Heel Raises + 3 sets of slow Standing Leg Curls + 3 sets of slow non-lock Quarter Squats

3. KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for core (optional):

(a) Standard (with KAATSU leg bands on): Sit up straight in chair + stretch arms and hands upwards in a long, slow stretch + bend forward breathing slowly
(b) Advanced (with KAATSU leg bands on): Balance on one foot (alternate feet) + balance on one foot while moving water bottles in hand + walk with a book on your head + balance

Photo shows physical therapist Bettina Bardin-Sorensen PT, MSPT, CAFS, TPI doing KAATSU with a patient.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Recovering from Dislocations and Tears with KAATSU

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

Many athletes and other active people of various ages and backgrounds dislocate their shoulders or tear ligaments and tendons in course of their workouts or competitions.

Many of these individuals use the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Master 2.0 or KAATSU Nano products for their rehabilitation and recovery.

These are the key protocols that they follow to achieve rapid recovery:

1. Continue their existing physical therapy, using KAATSU to augment their recovery. That is, if they are doing 60 minutes of physical therapy, continue with the same movements and exercises, but add in KAATSU in the last 20-30 minutes.

2. Do KAATSU Cycle on both their arms and legs, regardless if the injury is in the lower body or upper body.

3. Be well-hydrated before and during KAATSU, and follow all standard KAATSU safety protocols.

4. Start with conservative Optimal pressures on the KAATSU Cycle (e.g., 200 SKU for the first KAATSU Cycle of 3 minutes 20 seconds). Then repeat a series of KAATSU Cycles with higher and higher Optimal pressures (e.g., 250 SKU, 275 SKU, 300 SKU, 325 SKU), always checking for proper Capillary Refill Time.

5. Never move the limb, joint or muscle to the point of pain. Stop just short of discomfort in any movement and move the limb slowly and steadily as the physical therapy movements are being done.

6. The limbs should be fully engorged with blood so the skin becomes a deep pink, beefy red or even a purple color.

7. Never simultaneously put on the arm and leg bands. Work only the upper body with KAATSU and then the lower body.

8. As the body becomes more accustomed to KAATSU, the Optimal SKU pressures will naturally increase.

9. Pay close attention to the appropriate Base SKU levels. It is best to place on the KAATSU Air Bands on snugly so you cannot stick your fingers between the bands and your skin.

10. Email KAATSU Global at info@kaatsu-global.com if you have any specific questions.

Photos above show young athletes doing KAATSU Cycles and 77-year-old swimmer Mike Allford of Boston working on his partly torn rotator cuff.

Copyright © 2014-2018 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, January 27, 2018

守破離 ... Shu-ha-ri With KAATSU

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

Shuhari (守破離 in Japanese) is a Japanese martial art concept. It succinctly describes the three stages of learning to mastery.

"When I first saw Dr. Sato use KAATSU to enable the human body to heal itself, to perform effective and efficient rehabilitation, and to build muscle and increase vascular elasticity in creative and unique ways, I realized that he followed the concept of shuhari," observed KAATSU Global CEO Steven Munatones.

Shu or 守 means to protect or obey traditional wisdom. This is the stage where the fundamentals of exercise or rehabilitation are studied, and the protocols of improving human physiology or healing injuries are learned from experienced coaches, teachers, masters, physicians or medical practitioners.

Ha or 破 means to detach or break away from tradition. This is the stage where KAATSU Specialists look beyond what has been done before - and study the mechanisms of KAATSU.

Ri or 離 means to separate from the past. This is where KAATSU Specialists achieve their own goals in the areas of human performance, rehabilitation and recovery for users of various ages, abilities, conditions and backgrounds.

Aikido master Endō Seishirō shihan explained, "It is known that, when we learn or train in something, we pass through the stages of shu, ha, and ri.

In shu, we repeat the forms and discipline ourselves so that our bodies absorb the forms that our forebears created. We remain faithful to these forms with no deviation. Next, in the stage of ha, once we have disciplined ourselves to acquire the forms and movements, we make innovations. In this process the forms may be broken and discarded.

Finally, in ri, we completely depart from the forms, open the door to creative technique, and arrive in a place where we act in accordance with what our heart/mind desires, unhindered while not overstepping laws

Copyright © 2014-2018 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, January 18, 2018

104-Year-Old Building Muscle and Doing KAATSU

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

Visionary physicians and patients born before 1950 are leading the way on how best to incorporate KAATSU to combat sarcopenia and address a host of other health issues. A 104-year-old female patient in Kawasaki, Japan shows what is possible with KAATSU under the guidance of her physician Dr. Odagiri and KAATSU inventor Dr. Sato.

The video above was presented by Dr. Odagiri at the first KAATSU Training Symposium held in Tokyo, Japan in 2005.

The patient was bedridden and uncommunicative for two months with severe dementia. She was transferred from her local hospital to Odagiri Hospital where she was treated with KAATSU. Initially for the first month, she simply did passive KAATSU Cycle sets as she remained in bed. Gradually, she became communicative - to the delight of her daughters in their early 80's - and was able to get out of bed by herself. Eventually, over the course of two months, she was able to do a variety of exercises and found herself wishing to live to be 200 years old [see video above].

During the video, she was asked how old she is and she answers as 104, holding a document confirming her age and birth date. She is shown doing a variety of exercises with her KAATSU AirBands on (at a 120 SKU level).

Her doctors also documented her muscle gains in her upper legs (quadriceps and hamstring muscles) via before-and-after comparative computed tomography scans (3 months apart):

For a brief explanation of the mechanisms involved in doing KAATSU among elderly patients, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Monday, January 8, 2018

KAATSU Aqua Core And Shoulder Work

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

While basic core-strength exercises including planks, crunches, sit-ups, bridges, and abdominal presses can be done on land or in gyms, KAATSU users (especially competitive and fitness swimmers, water polo players, lifeguards and surfers) can also do a variety of core-strength and shoulder exercises in the pool.

Use a Bosu Ball and KAATSU Aqua Bands - either on your arms or legs.

The KAATSU Aqua Bands can be inflated and monitored with the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano, and KAATSU Master 2.0 products.

After tightening to your appropriate Base SKU and inflating to your Optimal SKU, and doing a few KAATSU Cycles in order to warm-up, you are ready to go in the pool.

In the exercise shown above, place the KAATSU Aqua Bands on your arms and start in deep water (so you cannot stand on the bottom of the pool). Place your hands on sides of the Bosu Ball and pull yourself up on top of the Bosu Ball, using your arms and legs. Balance on the ball for a short time (3-10 seconds) as you place stress on your core. Slide off the ball back into the water and repeat.

Do this non-stop: (1) pull yourself up on top of the ball, (2) balance on the ball, (3) drop back down into the water, treading water to stay afloat, and (4) repeat until failure - where you cannot do any more repetitions.

Rest 20 seconds between each set. Do 3 sets with the KAATSU Aqua Bands on your arms.

Then do 3 sets to failure in the same manner with the KAATSU Aqua Bands on legs, resting 20 seconds between each set.

It is harder than it looks.

Other core exercises in the water are shown here and below:

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Core Work In The Water With KAATSU Aqua

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

While basic core-strength exercises including planks, crunches, sit-ups, bridges, and abdominal presses can be done on land or in gyms, KAATSU users (especially competitive and fitness swimmers, water polo players, lifeguards and surfers) can also do a variety of core-strength exercises in the pool.

Core exercises in the pool with a Bosu Ball and KAATSU Aqua Bands are fun and enjoyable to do with friends.

KAATSU Aqua Bands are made of neoprene and can be inflated and monitored with the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano, and KAATSU Master 2.0 products.

After tightening to your appropriate Base SKU and inflating to your Optimal SKU, and doing a few KAATSU Cycles in order to warm-up, you are ready to go in the pool. There are various exercises that you can do:

1. KAATSU Kicking
Use a Bosu Ball of any size and place KAATSU Aqua Bands on either your upper arms or upper legs (but not both!). Jump on top of the ball and starting kicking forward. It may take a few times to get the hang of it, but once you get the hang on it, KAATSU Kicking can be fun.

If you want, repeat three times with your arm bands on with at least 20 seconds of rest between each set. Then try three times with your leg bands on. Repeat three times with at least 20 seconds of rest between each try. You can kick freestyle - or even breaststroke or butterfly (dolphin) kick for even more difficult sets.

2. KAATSU Balancing
Use a Bosu Ball of any size and place KAATSU Aqua Bands on either your upper arms or upper legs (but not both!). Jump on top of the ball and starting balancing without trying to move. It may take a few times to get the hang of it, but once you get the hang on it, KAATSU Aqua Balancing can be fun.

Repeat three times with your arm bands on with at least 20 seconds of rest between each set. Then try three times with your leg bands on. Balance as you can. Then try extending your arms forward - and then placing your legs over the surface of the water for even more difficult sets.

You can start in the shallow water by jumping off the bottom of the pool - or try climbing up on the Bosu Ball in deep water for a greater challenge.

3. KAATSU Backstroke
Put on your KAATSU Aqua Bands on your upper legs. Kick on your back holding the Bosu Ball up over the surface of the water. Your hips and legs will sink deep in the water, but try to tighten your core and kick backstroke with your hips and legs as close to the water surface as possible. Kick 3 x 25 meters with at least 20 seconds of rest between each set.

4. KAATSU Aqua Walking
Put on your KAATSU Aqua Bands on your upper legs. Walk in shallow water of at least 1 meter in depth. The resistance of the water will make you quickly feel the KAATSU effects on your quadriceps and hamstrings. Walk slowly and steadily.

5. KAATSU Leg Lifts Put on your KAATSU Aqua Bands on your upper legs. Place your back against the wall of the pool and extend your arms along the pool's edge. Lift your legs in a variety of movements (see video above and other KAATSU Aqua ideas below). Move slowly and steadily.

Copyright © 2014 - 2018 by KAATSU Global

Friday, December 29, 2017

KAATSU Illustrated

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

Copyright © 2014-2017 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.


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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

John Doolittle Joins The KAATSU Team

For who? Navy SEAL, soldiers
For what? Strength, stamina

Retired Navy SEAL Captain John Doolittle as KAATSU Global's Chief Business Development Officer. Originally from Walnut Creek, California, he graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992 and has a Master’s Degree in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School.

After graduation from the Air Force Academy, he received a cross commission and served as a hard-hat Dive Salvage Officer and Surface Warfare Officer with the U.S. Navy from three years in Hawaii. In 1996, he transferred to the Naval Special Warfare community and became a Navy SEAL.

From 1997 to 2002, Doolittle was assigned to Navy SEAL Team Two and served throughout Europe and Africa including a deployment in Kosovo during the 9/11 tragedy.

In 2002, he reported to Naval Special Warfare Unit Two in Germany and conducted special operations in the Baltics, Levant, Bosnia and East Africa. In 2005, he was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Unit One in Guam as an Executive Officer. In 2006, he was sent to Fallujah, Iraq in support of Special Operations Task Force West.

In 2007, he served in the U.S. Special Operations Command headquarters and was the Deputy Commander for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force for the Arabian Peninsula in Iraq. In 2009, he commanded the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. In 2013, he became a director for the Preservation of the Force and Family Task Force in Florida.

He has received a Bronze Star twice, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal twice.

He was first introduced to KAATSU the Original BFR while he was rehabilitating with injured knees and a torn bicep muscle.

Photos above show Doolittle, a former collegiate swimmer at the Air Force Academy, with his graduating SEAL's class in 1996 [bottom row, far right], upon his retirement, and introducing KAATSU to men and women from various walks of life.

Copyright © 2014-2017 by KAATSU Global