What Is Kaatsu?

Kaatsu is a safe and effective form of exercise, rehabilitation and recovery. Properly utilizing Kaatsu can help to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy by modifying blood flow. The word “Kaatsu” itself describes the practice–the word “Ka” means “additional” and “atsu” is synonymous with “pressure.” Therefore, Kaatsu is “training with applied pressure.”

Essentially, Kaatsu involves performing exercises with light weight while restricting blood flow to the muscles being worked. This is done by strapping specialized bands around the extremity and constricting them. The modification of blood flow results in:

    • A decrease in oxygen to the muscles, which fatigues all muscle fibers, causing overload
    • An increase in metabolite buildup in tissues-lactic acid, resulting in the release of HGH by the pituitary
    • The release of nitric oxide and VEGF, which causes dilation of blood vessels and improves elasticity of blood vessels and regulates inflammation in vessel walls
    • An increase of metabolism which burns fat as energy
    • A decrease in CRP levels, which will help with systemic inflammation.

Some benefits of Kaatsu include:

  • Quick recovery
  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased strength
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Increased muscular endurance

HealthWorks provides Kaatsu for physical therapy patients and personal training clients. Whether you are looking for a quick injury recovery, are striving for that extra athletic edge when you perform, or simply want to preserve your youth and maintain muscle tone, there are specific protocols for you and your goals. 

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