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Kaatsu (blood flow restriction) training

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Sherlock, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Sherlock

    Sherlock Boswellia for lungs and MC stabllizing

    Boswellia, USA
    How to do? Tie off a limb, then lift with light weights. E.g., tie surgical tubing around the upper arm and then do bicep curls.

    Why? It's typically used with debilitated people (e.g.: elderly, burn patients), who can thereby get benefit similar to using normal/heavier weight.

    Dangerous? You bet. The creator of it even once gave himself a blood clot which became a Pulmonary Embolism.

    Any surprising mysteries? Yes, e.g. tying off the upper arm gives benefit in the chest muscle.

    Kaatsu is probably the last thing that people here would want to actually do. But musing about it might provide some insights into CFS and PEM. It's not known why Kaatsu works. Maybe it's from building up waste products as if the exercise was heavier. Maybe it's from hypoxia, or maybe from blood pooling.

  2. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

    Ventura, CA
    I would be very careful trying anything that could potentially cause a blood clot, those can often be fatal and sometimes very hard to catch (based on symptoms) before it gets to that point.
  3. Sherlock

    Sherlock Boswellia for lungs and MC stabllizing

    Boswellia, USA
    Finally, there is a Kaatsu-like approach used in studying CFS, and of course the purpose is to study the effects of exercise metabolites in muscle:

    Study shows why exercise magnifies exhaustion for cfs patients
    (Thanks @Aurator for posting that.)

    CFSers and normals used something like this:
    to first measure their maximum grip strength. Then they squeezed that same grip device at 50% of their maximum grip strength and held steady like that for as long as they could. On one arm, a blood pressure cuff was inflated immediately after the exercise to restrict blood flow and trap the exercise metabolites - which includes but is not limited to lactic acid and other acids. On the other arm, no blood flow restriction was used.

    From the underlying abstract:
    Evidence for Sensitized Fatigue Pathways in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    That's not exactly earth shattering, but (from the article):
    They also demonstrated increased pain, which follows up on Alan Light's work showing increased expression at post workout (PWO) of pain receptor RNA in CFSers. Light also talks about acid muscle metabolites.


    Finally, and again from the article:
    As an easy guess: for interventions read baking soda, or something very similar - which I myself felt compelled to rave about almost two years ago:

    and is what I'd call the main element in this more recent and very long thread about reducing PEM:

    Btw, after a while the baking soda still seemed useful to me but not quite so rave-able - maybe because I'd adapted more to hard endurance exercise and didn't need it quite as much anymore. Knock on wood :lol:
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015

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