KAATSU Specialist Series: KAATSU And Cancer

KAATSU Specialist Series: KAATSU And Cancer

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, cancer survivors
For what? Strength, recovery

Since 2014 when KAATSU Global first started distributing its equipment in the United States, questions arose whether or not KAATSU is safe and effective for patient who had survived bouts of cancer.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the inventor of KAATSU, answers with an emphatic yes.

“Of course, every patient should check with their own physician. Fundamentally, if a patient is allowed to do exercise by their physician, then they can safely do the KAATSU Cycle following the standard KAATSU protocols.”

The American Cancer Society reports that exercise is important when it comes to cancer:

“Exercise may lower cancer risk by helping control weight and strengthen the immune system, and it can boost quality of life during cancer treatment.”

A 2016 study from researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute linked exercise with a lower risk of 13 specific types of cancer. The study was published May 16th in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study found that

“leisure-time physical activity was associated with a significantly decreased risk of not only these 3 cancers, but also esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia. In addition, physical activity was strongly associated with a decreased risk of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, as well as cancers of the head and neck, rectum, bladder, and lung (in current and former smokers).”

Walking 20 minutes per mile is considered moderate exercise.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of these). The organization suggests that these recommendations can be reached by walking for 30 minutes 5 days per week during your lunch break.

Dr. Sato lectures frequently about how KAATSU enables moderate exercise to be achieved with less time and lower intensity – an especially important factor for the aging Baby Boomer population.

“The onset of cancer is related to the weakening of immunity. Growth hormone, which is secreted in large amounts with KAATSU, has an effect on improving immunity. Unless your own physician recommends no exercise or physical activity, then KAATSU is often done by cancer patients or cancer survivors.”

He recalled the experiences of two patients.

“When KAATSU was performed by a patient with ovarian cancer metastasized to the lung, the tumor marker – immunosuppressive acidic protein which is a factor that weakens immunity – was significantly reduced.

In addition, Teruo Sugihara, a Japanese professional golfer [shown on left], developed prostate cancer at the age of 60 years, started doing KAATSU, and then continued with his golfing career.

KAATSU can be performed in short durations – up to 20 minutes at a time.

This is true no matter what your age or gender is. You can do KAATSU with no special facilities or equipment; just walking casually with KAATSU leg bands.”

If patients are particularly weak, de-conditioned, significantly overweight, or unmotivated to do any kind of vigorous exercise including doing KAATSU Walking outside, they can comfortably do the standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises in the KAATSU Cycle mode in the comfort of their home or office.

Because moderate exercise is beneficial for those who wish to prevent cancer or those who currently have cancer, KAATSU Cycle is an effective, efficient and sustainable form of exercise.

Of course, if moderate exercise causes pain, leads to a rapid heart rate or shortness of breath for the cancer patient, then the intensity, type or duration of exercise should be stopped, changed or modified. But exercise – or KAATSU Cycles – are safe and possible during cancer treatment.

Too much rest – as may be advised by family members – can actually lead to a loss or reduction of body functions, muscle weakness, and reduced range of motion. But, in general, the medical community understand the benefits of being as physically active as possible during cancer and after its remission.

This is especially true if a patient was previously physically active, but it also holds true for those who previously lead sedentary lives and then were diagnosed with a form of cancer. Moderate exercise helps the patient maintain or improve their physical abilities (from walking to lifting objects), maintain or improve their balance and therefore lower the risk of falls and broken bones, reduces or eliminates muscle atrophy, lessens the risk of osteoporosis, improves blood circulation to the lower body and reduces the risk of blood clots (especially with KAATSU Walking using the KAATSU Cycle mode), can lessen bouts of nausea and fatigue.

In other words, moderate exercise and KAATSU can help maintain or improve the quality of life during cancer or after its remission.

KAATSU enables cancer patients to realize the same or more benefits of moderate exercise in less time and lower intensity. The KAATSU Cycle can be performed anywhere anytime by anyone. It can be performed in short durations (i.e., under 20 minutes) regardless of age or gender, with no special facilities or equipment (other than the KAATSU Air Bands).

The KAATSU Cycle can be used in lower SKU pressure levels so as to reduce intensity relative to moderate or vigorous exercise, but the benefits to the musculoskeletal and vascular and endocrinological systems remain. The repeated changes in pressure and its effects on the musculoskeletal and vascular systems is very good for human health and immunity.

Ideal movement in the KAATSU Cycle mode include walking, balancing on one foot, stretching, and KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on the lower body (i.e., Toe Raises, Heel Raises, Leg Extensions, Standing Leg Curls, Quarter Squats) and upper body (i.e., Hand Clenches, Biceps Curls, Triceps Extensions), aqua therapy or aqua walking – all done slowly and deliberately with good KAATSU CRT (Capillary Refill Time). Less optimal KAATSU exercise include lifting weights, running, vigorously spinning or cycling, push-ups, pull-ups or burpees. In other words, intense vigorous exercises with KAATSU are significantly less beneficial and should be avoided.

KAATSU exercise and SKU pressure should be appropriate for the cancer patient based on what is safe for them and what they have previously done in the past. KAATSU movements should be something that is sustainable (i.e., enjoyable to do over the long term). So to ask a patient to start KAATSU Stretching or KAATSU Walking when they have not done either of those exercises in the past is suboptimal. But if they like yoga and walking outdoors, then KAATSU Stretching or KAATSU Walking would be ideal.

That being said, during cancer treatment, the duration and intensity of the exercise and KAATSU will probably be less (time) and lower (intensity) than before. That is, if a KAATSU user were accustomed to using the PRO MEDIUM and HIGH levels on the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit before cancer treatment, then perhaps they can do the same, but use the GROUP MEDIUM and HIGH levels. Or instead of doing an hour class of spin or aerobics, perhaps they only do 20 minutes of KAATSU Walking or 15 minutes of KAATSU body weight movements.

For older patients or those with osteoporosis or peripheral neuropathy, KAATSU balance exercises and KAATSU 3-Point Exercises while sitting and using the KAATSU Cycle mode are ideal.