KAATSU training is a novel training method conducted under special conditions of restricted muscle blood flow of the limbs with a specially-designed KAATSU belt. In 2006, we conducted a questionnaire survey across the whole of Japan to investigate the status of KAATSU training. After that, we have performed KAATSU training mainly for patients with cardiovascular diseases at a total of approximately 700 people per year, and no serious side effects of note have been found. However, it has also been applied for various purposes such as to increase the muscle strength and prevent the muscular atrophy of all kinds of patients including older people. And, in near future, it may be used to train more seriously affected patients with cachexia or sarcopenia. Therefore, in this review, we introduce the main matters reported over the five years since the questionnaire survey was conducted. In addition, we outline key considerations concerning the implementation of KAATSU training centered mainly on our previous experience and reports reached to us.
Kaatsu training (hereafter Kaatsu) was applied to patients with metabolic syndrome. PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of Kaatsu on patients with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and obesity with metabolic syndrome. METHOD: A 3-exercise set of Kaatsu was performed for 6-12 minutes, once or twice a week with a Borg scale at level 13. The usefulness of Kaatsu was evaluated 3 to 4 months later. In this study, patients were instructed not to change their lifestyles (e.g. food, medicine and exercise). RESULTS: The effectiveness of Kaatsu was shown in 31 out of 51 patients (61%) to which Kaatsu was applied. 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. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Kaatsu training improves physical conditions including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and obesity with metabolic syndrome.
The number of patients with dementia is increasing markedly, and effective treatment and methods for prevention are needed. Moderate exercise decreases the progression of dementia. We report a case of dementia presenting remarkable improvement in activities of daily living (ADL) through KAATSU training. The patient was a 78-year-old woman with brain atrophy detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the age of 73. She had a remarkable decrease in ADL and vitality at the age of 76 and was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) at the age of 77. In initial presentation, she had a humpback and Parkinsonian gait. Her muscle strength in the abdomen, lower back, and thighs was remarkably decreased, and her trunk rotation and sense of equilibrium were also reduced. At first, the training protocol was low-intensity resistance exercises using self-weight workouts and KAATSU-walk training. For upper extremities exercises, dynamic movement using the truncal muscle group was performed, and for lower extremities exercises, the sense of equilibrium was stimulated using standing exercises. The load and degree of difficulty were increased gradually. The average 10-meter walk time, the number of steps, and the average timed up and go test time were lower after 6 months than after 2 months. The average bilateral femoral circumference increased after 6 months compared with after 2 months. In conclusion, a patient with FTD performed KAATSU training for 6 months and had a remarkable improvement in motor function. Thus, KAATSU training may be effective in improving ADL in patients with dementia.