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Kaatsu: A Japanese Technique to Effortlessly Gain Muscle and Improve Your Health With Steven Munatones

Is it possible to build muscle without lifting weights? Can we tone our facial muscles? Is it possible to improve our cardiovascular system with almost no effort? Today, we sit down with former USA swim coach and Kaatsu CEO Steven Munatones. He tells us all about his decades-long journey of discovery and tutelage under Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in Tokyo, wherein he studied the myriad benefits of Japanese Kaatsu bands and developed a plan to introduce this technology to the world. Huge amounts of research out of Japan is showing that one can maintain strength and vitality as they age, improve overall vascular function, and rehabilitate injuries all with zero risk of injury.

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Key Moments

“Why would someone [restrict blood flow]? They do it for a variety of reasons, and there’s a lot of literature out there by researchers, scientists, physicians, and physical therapists, and you want to do this mostly to build muscle. Building muscle helps if you’re injured, maybe you had a surgery on your knee, maybe you broke your arm. It helps reduce atrophy. And so, part of the recovery process is rebuilding that muscle loss. When you use BFR, you actually reduce the amount of muscle atrophy that you get, so your body will heal itself and then you go through a shorter recovery period because you’re not losing as much muscle mass.”

“Fundamentally, what’s happening is a bit of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, in the muscle. If you do movement as simple as bicep curls — it could be stretching, it can be walking, whatever you want to do that leads to that uncomfortable feeling you have when you work out — that lactate sends a signal through your central nervous system up to your brain. And then the brain thinks that you are doing something very vigorous, something very intense. And when the brain receives that signal again, the brain does not know if you’re lifting heavy weight or you’re just doing BFR. So it reacts as it naturally does and produces growth hormones, amongst other metabolites, which flow through our vascular system and promote muscle growth.”

“The Japanese found that when you engorge the limbs and blood and you do slight movement, this is the most effective way to trigger those signals up to the brain and then release a variety of hormones.”

Connect with Steven

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Book: Open Water Swimming

Transcript

00:06:47:11 – 00:06:48:22

David

Hey, Steve. How are you today?

00:06:49:00 – 00:06:51:14

Steven

Good. I’m very fine, thank you very much. How are you?

00:06:51:19 – 00:06:56:19

David

I’m good, thank you. We actually saw each other. When was that? No, two days ago.

00:06:56:22 – 00:06:57:10

Steven

Yes.

00:06:57:13 – 00:06:58:16

David

In California. In the South.

00:06:58:16 – 00:07:02:04

Steven

Bay? Yes. Now, I’ve enjoyed our. Our meeting.

00:07:02:06 – 00:07:23:00

David

You know, during our. Our meeting, you explained a lot of things about Katsu and. And the bands and that even though I’ve been using it for a while, I didn’t really understand. I’m guessing a lot of other people also have some confusion grips. And so because there’s an immense amount of information out there and it can be difficult to parse it.

00:07:23:00 – 00:07:27:05

David

But let’s start with your background, Steve. You’re a competitive swimmer.

00:07:27:07 – 00:07:42:21

Steven

Yes, I played water polo and was competitive summer in Southern California. All my life. I as a young kid, high schooler, collegiate athlete, and then post-graduate, I was competing all over the world.

00:07:42:23 – 00:07:51:13

David

And then you went to Japan and you discovered Katsu? Correct. Tell me, how did that happen?

00:07:51:15 – 00:08:30:22

Steven

So after graduation, I moved to Hawaii. I was working in the mayor’s office. The Japanese were buying a lot of property in Japan, in Hawaii, in California, in New York, etc.. I decided to move to Japan. I worked for a large company, Hitachi. I learned how to read and write Japanese and Dow forward ten years. My old high school coach was then the national team coach of the U.S. team and he invited me because I knew swimming and the Japanese invited me to attend or be a participant of the U.S. national team at the World Swimming Championships.

00:08:31:00 – 00:08:52:23

Steven

And it was there at that time. When I saw Katsu for the first time, I was introduced to Dr. Sotto, the inventor of Katsu, and I was immediately enthralled by it. And I asked him, I said, Dr. Sato, how do I learn about Katsu? This this wonderful thing? He said, You are the exact person I’ve been looking for.

00:08:53:00 – 00:09:19:18

Steven

He doesn’t speak Japanese. He doesn’t travel outside of Japan. And I said, Well, I speak Japanese and I travel outside of Japan. In fact, I live outside of his great I will teach you. And that teaching process, that mentorship took 13 years at the end of 13 years, Dr. Sato said, okay, Steve, I think you understand much of of Katsu and please go out and introduce it to the world.

00:09:19:19 – 00:09:40:14

David

I want to back up a little bit here because Katsu It’s a form of blood flow restriction, but modified so some people know what blood flow restriction is. They’re classically what you do is you would put a tight band on a limb or a couple of limbs and then you would be doing exercises. But those are like a cutting, right?

00:09:40:14 – 00:09:49:07

David

You’re like cutting off the venous flow back. You’re stopping it for some period of time. So trying Do I get that right?

00:09:49:09 – 00:10:15:16

Steven

Correct. So before blood flow restriction, they use either a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff or a modified train ticket or blood pressure cuff. And you put it either on your upper arm or upper leg, and that it does what you would think a blood pressure cuff does. It cuts off or includes the what we call the arterial flow that goes from your torso out to your hands or from your torso down to your feet.

00:10:15:18 – 00:10:45:03

Steven

And they use a concept called limb occlusion pressure. So what percentage of total occlusion should you use with these? This equipment generally, the marketplace looks at at 50% of your occlusion rate is safe and effective on your arms and 80% on the legs. And of course, anybody can modify that, but that is generally what blood flow restriction is.

00:10:45:05 – 00:10:48:08

David

Why would someone do this?

00:10:48:10 – 00:11:19:19

Steven

They do it for a variety of reasons, and there’s a lot of literature out there and by researchers and scientists and physicians and physical therapists. And you want to do this mostly to build the muscle. Building muscle helps. For example, if you’re injured, maybe you had a surgery on your knee, maybe you broke your arm. It helps reduce atrophy when you have a cast on or when you’re in a wheelchair or let’s say you’re on crutches.

00:11:19:22 – 00:11:46:21

Steven

And so part of the recovery process is rebuilding that muscle loss. When you use VFR, you actually reduce the amount of atrophy, muscle atrophy that you get, so your body will heal itself. And then you go through a recovery period. If you can shorten that recovery period, because you’re not losing as much muscle mass as possible, then this is a very good thing.

00:11:46:23 – 00:11:55:14

David

What are the mechanics of that? How is it possible that like partially including blood flow reduces muscle loss? I’m help me out there.

00:11:55:20 – 00:12:23:15

Steven

But it’s actually quite, quite detailed and the scientists are still studying it. As our technologies improve, we can get delve deeper and deeper. But fundamentally, what’s happening is there is a bit of hypoxia or lack of oxygen in the muscle. If you do movement and movement can be simple bicep curls. It could be stretching, it can be walking whatever you want to do that actually leads to lactate.

00:12:23:17 – 00:12:54:21

Steven

And some people call it lactic acid lactate being built up in the muscle. That uncomfortable feeling you have when you, let’s say, walk up ten flights of stairs or lift weights that lactate sends a signal goes that that signaling mechanism goes through your central nervous system up to your brain. And then the brain thinks that you are doing something very vigorous, something very intense, although you may be lifting very, very lightweight or no weights at all.

00:12:54:23 – 00:13:43:06

Steven

And when the brain receives that signal again, the brain does not know if you’re lifting heavy weight or you’re just doing BFR. So the brain reacts as it naturally does, as our brains have evolved to do. And it feels this this discomfort in the working muscle and then it secretes or produces growth hormone amongst other metabolites, those growth hormones flow through our vascular system and then when it gets to the working muscle, as it normally would do without BFR, when it gets the working muscle, then each cell has a receptor and that hormone actually enables that muscle tissue or that muscle fiber to get stronger or bigger.

00:13:43:08 – 00:14:09:16

David

I want to jump to Katsu because BFR is something, you know, you see these bands on like Amazon or something and they’re like, I don’t know, 20 blocks or something. I just thought like, Oh, this is like really dangerous. Like, I don’t know if I want to get involved in this. And I think I, I became aware. Katsu Maybe like three years ago and I, somebody somewhere was talking about it, and then I saw somebody in the gym with these things.

00:14:09:16 – 00:14:31:15

David

And then we have a mutual friend who was using them because he had a hip problem. And she was saying, like without exercising, she actually gained muscle mass. And so that’s when you and I started talking about this. Yeah. And so I’ve I’ve had these now for I know about six months or so. Is it because Katsu is a is quite a different thing from these BFR bands.

00:14:31:17 – 00:15:03:00

Steven

Correct. So BFR as it name indicates, blood flow restriction restricts the blood going into the arm and out of the arm through turning kids or modified blood pressure cuffs. That is what the machine that is what the equipment is designed to do. And it does it very well. Cuts through, on the other hand, was never meant and does not occlude the blood flow from the chest out to your hands or out to your legs.

00:15:03:02 – 00:15:33:04

Steven

Cuts. It was tested and created by a Dr. Sato in Japan, but it was also tested by a fairly big team of cardiologists at the University of Tokyo Hospital. There. They understand that if they put some kind of tourniquet or blood pressure cuff in the hands of consumers, they’re going to have something untoward happening. So it was never their intention to occlude or impede the arterial flow into the lens.

00:15:33:06 – 00:16:01:07

Steven

What they did was create a special band. And I have I have it here, and it’s quite narrow, much, much more narrow than a blood pressure cuff. And it goes around the upper arm as I have an upper leg. Now, this band took many years to develop because the band is an oval shape when it’s inflated and the pressure on the artery is just along this ridge.

00:16:01:09 – 00:16:29:11

Steven

What that allows is for the blood to go normally into the hand or the on the feet and are to the lower extremity. And when this band is inflated, the band actually slows down the venous return or the blood coming back from the hands or feet. That’s all that the equipment is intended to do. Now, the effect of that is I let’s see if I do this.

00:16:29:11 – 00:16:39:08

Steven

You can see this is the normal color of my hand and this is the cut suit color of my hand. So you can see how a.

00:16:39:10 – 00:16:40:17

David

Little more pink. Yeah, it’s a.

00:16:40:17 – 00:17:06:02

Steven

Little more pink. What’s happening is when the band is on my arm, blade is going into my arm. Normally and is slowed down every 30 seconds slightly, that slight slowing down or modification of the blood flow coming back to the arm forces the blood into the very small capillaries of your hands, forearms and upper arms or your legs.

00:17:06:04 – 00:17:49:10

Steven

And that is what it’s meant to do, because the Japanese found when you when you engorged the limbs and blood and you do slight movement, this is the most effective way to trigger that those signals up to the brain and then release a variety of hormones. So that was the course of their study over several decades. And so that is why in how the bands are designed the way they are and how the the equipment works, it’s only meant to engorged the lemon blood temporarily and gently in order for the body to respond naturally.

00:17:49:12 – 00:18:04:01

David

You’ve used the word gently. And we also talked about lactate. So to me, these are two very different things. I experienced lactate under vigorous exercise, right? It’s just like my muscle hurts. I have to stop. If what you’re talking about is something, help me to understand this.

00:18:04:06 – 00:18:26:12

Steven

Yes. So almost everything with cut. So it’s non-intuitive what we learned in the past or what we know from sports science, from athletics, from performance is in this bucket. And what I learned from the Japanese in Dr. Sato is in this bucket. There are two different things. So it is absolutely natural for you to go. It doesn’t make sense.

00:18:26:12 – 00:18:58:14

Steven

How can something be natural but then produce the hormones, produce the natural mechanisms in the body that we all equate, rightly so, with vigorous exercise. And it’s simply because and this was the beauty and this implicit key of Katsu in that when the blood is engorged in the vascular tissue, and we have to understand that sports science often looks at athlete’s heart, what is your resting heartbeat?

00:18:58:16 – 00:19:26:00

Steven

What is your cardiovascular system? What is your VO2 max? What is your running speed lifting capabilities, etc.. But in reality, when we look at our vascular tissue and our vascular tissue, our arteries, veins and capillaries, when we take those three things, the arteries, veins that capillaries and line them up end to end, they circle the earth two times for every human on the planet.

00:19:26:05 – 00:19:53:17

Steven

That is how much vascular tissue we have. So it’s a major component of every human on this on this planet. So when you engorged that all of that tissue in blood, those very, very tiny capillaries and your heart beats normally. So let’s assume that my heart is beating at 60 beats a minute. 60 beats a minute is going dun dun dun dun dun dun.

00:19:53:18 – 00:20:30:01

Steven

But with the engorgement of blood and all of those capillaries, now instead of going, let’s say theoretically this much now it’s going much bigger, now it’s going much bigger physiologically. My body is actually requiring and using much more energy. Just that basic fact of increasing from this amount to this amount is, is the effect of running faster or lifting weights or doing something vigorous.

00:20:30:03 – 00:20:57:12

Steven

So the fact that we’ve engorged it in the major muscle groups and our vascular tissue expands sort of tricks or biohacking or body to believe that it’s actually requiring and using a lot of energy. And in fact, it is. And we can do that while we’re sitting down. We don’t we can go running, we can lift weights, we can do push ups, but we don’t have to.

00:20:57:15 – 00:21:32:06

Steven

And that is that is what the Japanese were looking at, because when they were developing Cottew, the key point here for them in the Japan has the most elderly population in the history of of of earth. Their their population about 130 million is so old and they don’t have much immigration. And the number of young people who are being born are not replacing all of the old people, older people.

00:21:32:08 – 00:21:59:06

Steven

So they knew that they were given a population base that is rapidly aging. As you age, you have much more. You don’t have the incentive to go to the gym to do a ten k run, to ski, to swim, etc. They had to deal with this aging population. That is, as you can imagine, becoming more sentry. But they wanted to keep them as healthy, strong and resilient as possible.

00:21:59:11 – 00:22:25:06

Steven

So cuts in was the way that if you if the older people could engorged their limbs and blood and do simple movement and simple momentum talking with your hands and feet holding a book, it could be squeezing, it could be knitting, it could be a variety of things walking comfortably. That is a way to engorged the lemon blood, use a lot of energy.

00:22:25:08 – 00:22:43:06

Steven

That energy creates lactate that lactate, even in small amounts, sends a signal to the brain and then it produces a hormonal response, therefore keeping the body strong and resilient. That’s a long, long answer to your question. Sorry.

00:22:43:08 – 00:23:09:20

David

Thank you. So I see there’s there’s really sort of four areas that I see ca2 currently being used, and this is what led to confusion in my mind about, you know, process and stuff. First thing was there was this ten year study from 2004 to 2014 with something like 12,000 older people in Japan. So this is a very large study, a lot of data there.

00:23:09:22 – 00:23:14:18

David

Well, tell us, what did they find there?

00:23:14:20 – 00:23:40:14

Steven

So the goal was the initial goal was is conscious, safe? You know, can we put bands on people’s arms and legs and let them do what Dr. Sato envisioned them to do? That was the number one goal initially, and they found it was safe. That’s why out of those 12,000 people, they had over 2000 of their test subjects who are cardiac are undergoing cardiac rehab.

00:23:40:19 – 00:24:00:21

Steven

So they had had a heart attack, they had had a stroke, they had had some form of of heart disease. And they figured if we can prove that K2 is safe for people undergoing cardiac rehab, it would follow that it was safe for most other people. And so the first goal was just to establish the safety of it.

00:24:00:23 – 00:24:28:04

Steven

What were the was the equipment and the protocols safe for the population? The answer there was unequivocally yes. Then the second goal was how effective is it? Like, what are we trying to do here? There were many studies, hundreds of studies actually. And initially the the Japanese, when they looked at this project and they looked at it through the lens of the 22nd Century Medical Center.

00:24:28:06 – 00:25:03:05

Steven

So this was a project that the Japanese government, the hospitals, private industry looked forward 100 years. How can we keep our population healthy and strong 100 years from now? Well, when the Japanese demographic experts looked 100 years in the future, they saw a extraordinarily old population. And so one of the things that they did is they understood that a lot of older people fall, they fall, break their arm, break their hip, and then become hospitalized.

00:25:03:05 – 00:25:31:15

Steven

And they they undergo a lot of they create a lot of medical costs. So one of the one of the very important parts of Katsu was how do we prevent older people from falling building muscle, enabling someone who, if you trip or you stumble, are you walking upstairs, downstairs, what have you Do They have the leg strength in order to catch themselves.

00:25:31:15 – 00:26:03:22

Steven

Do they have the leg strength to go up and down stairs? To go down a street? So it’s part of the initial studies was does cuts to build strength in older people. And there was another an available. Yes in that they were testing people between most of the people who are cardiac rehab obvious were over 50 and they were taking groups anywhere from 10 to 20 people having a control group, having experimental group.

00:26:04:00 – 00:26:31:11

Steven

One group uses cuts to one group doesn’t use cuts to do the same movement, try to control the factors. And then they came up with the fact that, wow, the people who are doing cuts who have significantly higher growth hormone levels, have significantly higher adrenaline beat endorphins and a variety of other molecules. As a result of cuts, and that is leading up to building up of muscle strength.

00:26:31:13 – 00:26:54:16

Steven

They had another group of tests where they found that it actually increased the blood circulation. And for those people with neuropathy, if you have the right pathway and you can’t feel your feet, then it’s very easy to fall. So as this ten year project went on, they were looking first at safety, then the efficacy Was it could it build muscle, could it make people stronger, more resilient?

00:26:54:16 – 00:27:01:15

Steven

Was in improving blood circulation. And those were all Yes, yes, yes.

00:27:01:17 – 00:27:25:19

David

Okay. So now we have the use case. Is older, possibly elderly people, decreasing the likelihood of sarcopenia and their cardiovascular systems are becoming more robust because the heart is having to work harder, even though they’re not doing much and the capillaries are becoming more flexible. I get that right there.

00:27:26:00 – 00:27:55:01

Steven

Actually. Their heart is having to work less hard and their capillaries are becoming more flexible. So a lot of yeah, so a lot of people, for example, after you know, it doesn’t happen overnight after let’s say three to 6 to 9 months, then their resting heart rate comes down and a variety of other things, they’re able to walk up two flights of stairs without getting out of breath.

00:27:55:02 – 00:28:01:23

Steven

These these are the sort of practical things that the research was looking to prove to test improve.

00:28:02:01 – 00:28:26:12

David

So now I’m going to go to one of the other use cases that I’ve seen on this, which is the other extreme athletic performance. So these are people like the US ski team or first responders or pirates here uses these and then Greenfield does and they’re doing hard stuff. And I’ve done hard stuff with cancer bones on. It’s not comfortable.

00:28:26:14 – 00:28:30:21

Steven

Yet. Yes, it’s not.

00:28:30:23 – 00:28:48:17

David

So why what’s the benefit to to somebody who’s because now we’re on the other end of the expect spectrum, Right. So, yes, Yes. We have somebody who’s a highly trained athlete and they want to use these for purposes of increasing athletic performance hypertrophy something like that. How is that working?

00:28:48:19 – 00:29:15:00

Steven

Okay, so so let’s just let’s take hypertrophy for for example, let’s let’s take just an athlete who wants to get stronger. It could be a college football player who wants to enter the NFL combine, become a professional football player. It could be a high school student who wants to play in Division one basketball. It could be a track athlete who simply wants to get faster or run further, faster.

00:29:15:02 – 00:29:55:14

Steven

So in all of those cases, when you use the bands and either your arms or your legs, you can actually lift less heavy with the same results. So what does that do? A That significantly reduces the likelihood of injury. It reduces any kind. It reduces the likelihood of overuse injuries. So if I’m a I’m an athlete and I’m doing a lot of bench press or shoulder press or any kind of movement, if I can do that with less weight but get stronger strength conditioning coach would say use less weight.

00:29:55:16 – 00:30:15:16

Steven

If on the other hand, I’m trying to get faster, I’m trying to perform either on a ski race or running race or a semi race, and I need to move faster. What cuts does is I can put the bands on and instead of and I’ll use I’ll use the case of a swimmer because I’m a swimmer I’m familiar with that.

00:30:15:18 – 00:30:44:05

Steven

Instead of swimming let’s say 2 hours hard every day, really stressing the body. You could put the bands on and reduce the amount of hard training that you do. Why? Because when you do cut through with the bands on as you experience it is intense. It is extraordinarily intense, and we refer to that as race pain. A lot of coaches understand the concept of race.

00:30:44:05 – 00:31:19:13

Steven

Pace Okay, I want to run a mile under 4 minutes. I have to maintain, you know, a certain pace to do that in combat mission there is race pace, but at the end of the race, there is race pain where a skier, a runner, a rower, a boxer, it doesn’t matter. They get to the point where this this is the separation between the gold medalists and the silver medals, where somehow this person blocks out that pain and goes through that pain threshold.

00:31:19:15 – 00:31:48:20

Steven

When you’re working with Cottew, you can do that on a daily basis in every workout. So you don’t fear the race pain, you understand it, you accept it, but you don’t have to push yourself as far as long as you do in a race you can do in this case of, let’s say, the miler instead of doing mile repeats or 800 meter repeat on and on and on, and building up to a very intense race pain threshold.

00:31:48:22 – 00:32:22:14

Steven

Now you could do much shorter distances or much fewer distances with the cuts on that is creating the same level of race pain. So on the other end of the spectrum, you could use K2 for as intense and vigorous exercises that you need to for your particular sport, but you’re reducing that amount of time in that amount of time and distance, which over the course of a of an athlete’s career will actually be very beneficial.

00:32:22:16 – 00:32:25:18

Steven

So those those are the two examples.

00:32:25:20 – 00:32:45:22

David

So we have an athlete. One benefit is he, you know, becomes accustomed to a high degree of pain and he can deal with that. He’s getting the hormonal response and then he’s also getting the VO2 max stuff. So he’s getting more efficient because his capillaries are more flexible, correct? Right.

00:32:46:00 – 00:33:01:23

Steven

He’s getting these logical benefits with less time training and he’s getting the psychological benefits of that competitive mindset that every champion needs to have.

00:33:02:00 – 00:33:24:21

David

And with these bands, there are several ways that you can use them. So you can, through different pressure settings, low, medium, high, or you can customize it, or you can have constant pressure. Yeah. So when these folks are doing this, are are they doing maybe we should talk about the cycling too, because I think that’s important. Is it 30 seconds on and ten off?

00:33:24:23 – 00:33:51:17

Steven

Yes. With with our newest products, you can actually customize. So the bands inflate. And our standard protocol is it inflates for 30 seconds and deflates for 5 seconds. That’s our standard. Okay. Okay. We further develop that because different sports have different requirements and they just take a 100 meter dash sprinter versus a marathon runner. There is a two completely different athletes.

00:33:51:17 – 00:34:11:04

Steven

Their body types are different, they train differently. And so we extended the ability or we we customize the ability for athletes if they’re a sprinter or marathon runner to utilize cut suit in different cycles. So but our standard is 30 seconds on 5 seconds off in the cycle mode.

00:34:11:06 – 00:34:14:17

David

And there’s also constant mode, which is.

00:34:14:19 – 00:34:41:17

Steven

Where the bands inflate and they stay inflated. So we use that constant mode in very limited situations. So for example, it could be a baseball pitcher, it could be a golfer taking swings or a NFL football player throwing the football. It could be a soccer player practicing kicks. It could be a water polo player practicing passes or shots.

00:34:41:19 – 00:35:08:16

Steven

So it could be a boxer or MMA fighter practice using certain moves. It could be a pianist or a person playing the cello, the violin, you name it. That is working on a very specific element of their sport or performance. It could be a dancer, an Acrobatic Cetera. They’re working on a very specific part of their sport for a very short amount of time.

00:35:08:20 – 00:35:32:10

Steven

And in those cases we inflate the band to a constant pressure and they’ll do something that the track runner will practice their starts. The javelin thrower will practice the javelin thrower in a very short amount of time for more sustained workouts. You want to use the cycle mode, but for very specific movements you can use the constant mode.

00:35:32:12 – 00:35:39:08

David

I want to go back to the older folks in Japan. They’re using this on cycle mode at a at a very low pressure.

00:35:39:10 – 00:35:42:04

Steven

Correct. Very low pressure and.

00:35:42:06 – 00:35:44:05

David

Getting virtually the same benefit.

00:35:44:07 – 00:36:17:09

Steven

Actually, what they’re doing is they’re actually gain a better benefit because as you age, you’re just producing less, you know, you’re producing less everything from adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen, you name it. And so what we found again, which was non-intuitive, was you put the pressure lower. You put that what we call time under tension. You put that length of time that you’re doing the cycle more and you’re gaining a greater hormonal response.

00:36:17:12 – 00:36:38:09

Steven

That’s what we have found, which it did make sense until we looked at the data, we looked at the science. You go off that that is the case. That is what we’re doing. So and that felt perfectly in line with the original premise was how do we keep older people? How do we keep an aging population as healthy as possible?

00:36:38:11 – 00:37:00:19

Steven

And so when we were saying, hey, this is gentle, it’s convenient, and it’s easy to do those three things to the ears of someone who’s 70, 80 and 90 are sweet, they’re perfect, convenient, easy to use and gentle, you know, sign me up. Was that was the response in Japan?

00:37:00:21 – 00:37:17:09

David

Because we’re talking like non-intuitive and I find everything about this to be just contrary to my thinking. Yeah, the the tests on the blood flow in the foreheads of women. Tell us a little bit about because this blows my mind.

00:37:17:11 – 00:37:49:00

Steven

Yes. So one of the so there were two applications that that really started to blossom in Japan and one was what we called Katsu walking, where people would just put the bands on and just go for an afternoon walk at evening stroll. And they were seeing great benefits. I you know, I’m stronger, my legs are, are, are. I can see the musculature on my legs for, for a man who is 80 years old or a man who’s 50 years old, this is this is remarkable.

00:37:49:02 – 00:38:29:04

Steven

The second boom that we had in Japan. Again, the cardiologist, Dr. Sato, that wasn’t their focus, but that’s what the consumers saw was what we called catsuit beauty, and that was bands being used on the arms. And it doesn’t matter where you go in the world, but skin beauty is quite prized and we were seeing all of these studios open up that was focused on cuts of beauty for women and then the the practitioners there, the cuts, the specialists there didn’t didn’t care what the science was.

00:38:29:06 – 00:38:54:13

Steven

They were saying that the women who are using cuts in this certain protocol were swearing by their skin health. And that is incredibly important for any woman, any man. Of course. But, you know, when you’re 50, 60, 70 and 80, and a woman feels that her skin is getting better, is glowing, it it’s a gold mine. I don’t mean that in a financial sense.

00:38:54:13 – 00:39:24:06

Steven

I mean, it is in they they were so happy. So one of the projects that we did is we put cuts of bands on older women. They were over 60 to the control group. We put them on their legs. Pressure on, pressure off, pressure on, pressure off on our standard cut to a cycle mode. And then we measured their blood flow on their forehead and it increased again.

00:39:24:07 – 00:39:46:22

Steven

What was it? We were putting cuts on their legs and their celebrity blood circulation was improving. And again, that was it was great to see. So then we went back to those practitioners who were were focused on cuts, who beauty. And we said, well, now we have the scientific reason. This is why your patients are swearing by this.

00:39:46:22 – 00:39:54:21

Steven

And and that was one of the outcomes unexpected, non-intuitive outcomes of cancer.

00:39:54:23 – 00:40:00:06

David

What’s the protocol that they’re using? How many cycles each time that.

00:40:00:08 – 00:40:29:18

Steven

Yes. So that I forget that study was done it was well over ten years ago anyway. So once we understood the scientific principles about that, then we actually went back to the practitioners and said, What? What are you doing? It’s very simple, putting the bands on their arms, doing the cut cycle mode, making sure that the user was very well hydrated.

00:40:29:18 – 00:41:08:12

Steven

So they were, you know, taking up a bottle of water or whatever their chosen liquid was, and they would drink that doing the cut cycle, pressure on, pressure off and then doing face exercises, literally face exercises. So they would do the Japanese vowels. So in Japanese it’s a e, I all you really using the muscles of their face in an exaggerated manner as the cuts was on, then doing head rotations and different other upper body movements.

00:41:08:12 – 00:41:38:03

Steven

And this was this is remarkable. My wife, my sisters do it to this day. And, you know, it’s not going to eliminate wrinkles. That’s not the case. What we found was if you can keep the underlying capillaries underneath your skin as robust as possible, that is going to make your skin. And you’re basically exercising, you know, your jaw’s your your, your neck, etc..

00:41:38:03 – 00:42:09:13

Steven

And now there’s a variety of exercises they do. There’s things that you hold in your teeth and it goes up and down and you’re holding it. So really that the marketplace is taking over. We’re just provide the bands, the applications of this cut’s beauty are very are very simple, just doing face exercises. And you know, the funny thing this is I just tell my wife and her friends who do this, I said, just talk.

00:42:09:15 – 00:42:35:16

Steven

Put the bands out and just talk with each other. That’s you talk, smile, laugh, and you’re doing that. So we call this double stacking and you don’t actually need to go to a gymnasium or a specialized Kotzebue t clinic. You can, if you want, for one on one attention, but just put the bands on your upper arms. Do this as you’re talking and enjoying a conversation with your friend.

00:42:35:18 – 00:42:42:13

David

And how long does what we’re talking? 10 minutes. An hour a day? What? Yeah, What are we doing?

00:42:42:15 – 00:43:06:20

Steven

What? What we found. Ideally, you do that toward the end of your day, so at the end of your day, and then in the perfect scenario, an hour before you go to bed. And the reason why is what we also found in all of this research is that when you take off the bands, there’s about a 12 minute delay in their hormonal response.

00:43:06:22 – 00:43:38:01

Steven

So, you know, you’re using the bands either vigorously or gently. One of the other. And whether you use it vigorously or gently, based on our studies of actually taking blood samples during and after the the K2 sessions, we found that the hormonal response peaks about 12 minutes after we take off the bands. But then it continues. So the hormonal response continues for a few hours.

00:43:38:03 – 00:44:20:05

Steven

If you’re having a robust hormonal response and as you’re sleeping, this is ideal because you’re not, why is it up? And it’s much more efficient for you to be asleep in a in a in a recovery mode. And that’s what that’s what our bodies are doing. It’s in a recovery mode. And you want and at the time when you’re asleep and you know, your visual cues are zero, your body is totally relaxed, that is an ideal time for these hormones to be flowing through your body because that they they don’t have any they’re not preoccupied by the things to use it in.

00:44:20:05 – 00:44:23:12

Steven

Very simple.

00:44:23:14 – 00:44:34:20

David

That’s right. I would saying you would keep you up. But actually what deep sleep is, is when I believe your pituitary secretes all this growth hormone to repair your body. So that. Yes, that would make sense.

00:44:34:22 – 00:45:00:10

Steven

Yes. Yes. Now, now, keep in mind, if you do this, let’s say you you put on the bands and your wife is there doing the catsuit beauty protocol and you go, Well, I want to do some pushups and burpees. What’s your fight it? She’ll go to bed and have this nice sound sleep and you’ll go to bed and all this adrenaline in your body and you’ll be keep, you’ll be up.

00:45:00:10 – 00:45:14:14

Steven

So we do caution people, don’t do vigorous exercise with K2 before you go to bed, because one of the things that you’re going to produce is adrenaline, and you don’t want to be producing adrenaline when you’re trying to sleep.

00:45:14:16 – 00:45:37:22

David

There’s some people out there who say, take a very hot sauna before bed, but I find it hot sun of such a sympathetic activator for me. I can’t go to sleep. I can only do like the sauna, like the ladies I can do. It is like four or five or. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so I sidetrack the the other interesting thing about these is the recovery.

00:45:37:22 – 00:45:46:23

David

So someone who’s had a hard workout or they’re sore for some reason they can be used for recovery. What, what’s the recovery protocol with these.

00:45:47:05 – 00:46:15:04

Steven

Okay So and, and in general cuts are we we we have three buckets that people can use them for and one is athletic performance which we discussed. Another is rehabilitation that could be in it after an injury or after surgery. And the third is recovery. Recovery is actually our biggest use or application of cuts, especially amongst competitive athletes.

00:46:15:06 – 00:46:41:02

Steven

It could be a college athlete, a professional athlete, Olympic athlete. It could just be someone who is a weakened warrior and they just went for a hike, a long hike over the weekend. And so what we do here is we put the bands on, sit down. No. Or sit down or lie down, whichever you prefer. Watch TV, listen to music, whatever you want to do, put the bands on, enable the bands to inflate and then deflate.

00:46:41:02 – 00:47:15:15

Steven

Inflate and deflate when it deflates that of blood that had been engorged in your limb during that five sick. Or at least it washes out. And as it’s washing out there is taking that metabolic waste that he had just built up during some of vigorous exercise or intense competition. And so a lot of our athletes who do multiple events in any given day, it could be an Olympic athlete who does the preliminaries in the morning and then the finals in the evening.

00:47:15:17 – 00:47:44:17

Steven

It could be a tennis player who has a singles match in the morning and then a doubles match in the afternoon. It could be a college athlete, track and field. They’re swimming and they have a dual me where they race three different races in the course of two or 3 hours. So all of these examples are when the athlete has done something intensely, has in the process of their warming down, they they do warm down, but they still have accumulated lactate in their muscle.

00:47:44:19 – 00:48:08:01

Steven

They put the cuts bands on 30 seconds on 5 seconds off. And during those 5 seconds off the metabolic waste because the bands essentially act as a slight dam. When the dam is opened, the flesh goes away and they’re able to reduce the amount of lactate in their muscle very effectively.

00:48:08:03 – 00:48:23:03

David

And in this case we would it would be limb specific. So for instance, your legs are sore from something, you wouldn’t put them on your arms, you would put them on your legs because you want that, that, that release of the dam in the in the limb that we’re talking about. Correct.

00:48:23:08 – 00:48:56:09

Steven

Correct. And the good thing about a lot of these athletes are they’re actually slightly sore, slightly more sore on one side or the other. It could be a tennis player or a pitcher, baseball pitcher. They’re using they’re if they’re right handed, they’re using their right side more than their left side. And so with the catsuit product, you can actually put on our newest two product, you can put a higher pressure on the limb that you use the most.

00:48:56:11 – 00:49:07:13

Steven

If you put a higher pressure that the in the engorgement is greater and therefore when you release the wash is faster.

00:49:07:15 – 00:49:12:15

David

And you’re also going to be getting the growth hormone response.

00:49:12:17 – 00:49:36:04

Steven

During this naturally and the growth hormone is yes and yet that’s something where when you have some kind of micro trauma in your muscle fibers and that’s literally a hormone that can go and help repair that micro trauma. So it could be as something is it could be a power lifter, it could be a bobsledder, it could be a rugby player who’s actually stressed their muscles so much.

00:49:36:09 – 00:49:57:14

Steven

They have what the equivalent does of muscle soreness. And you want to repair that muscle soreness, which are little micro trauma in the muscle fibers as quickly as possible to go to the next game or to get to the next workout in as high as readiness as possible.

00:49:57:16 – 00:50:22:01

David

I find this fascinating how we’re going from, you know, competitive rugby player to elderly people in Japan and it’s this it’s the same device. It’s used pretty much the same way. And you’re getting this variety of benefits. I don’t want this to sound a Katsu commercial, but it’s this is actually what bothered me about when I first got them.

00:50:22:01 – 00:50:28:18

David

It was like, I don’t understand how all this can be true at the same time.

00:50:28:20 – 00:51:01:14

Steven

Yeah, and that’s our problem as a company trying to educate the public and users how varied it can be used. And we see it all the time when, when someone buys our product because they tore a muscle or broke a bone, they’re using it for that. Then they get on the field of play and let’s say they don’t use the they don’t use the equipment because they associate rehabilitate station with Katsu and then they may hear, oh, my my teammate uses it too, but she isn’t hurt.

00:51:01:14 – 00:51:36:13

Steven

Why is she using it that way? And then that’s where we have to go back. So when a product like this, its underlying principles and protocols are all the same, the underlying human physiology, anatomy mechanisms are all the same, but the applications are slightly different and that’s why we have different pressures, different modes, and it’s that teaching of those modes and those pressures that that has been challenging to us and, and that’s why we have a new user.

00:51:36:16 – 00:51:45:00

Steven

It, it takes time for that information to be able to be taught and to be understood.

00:51:45:02 – 00:52:04:04

David

And I just want to touch on the pressure thing. So this is something that I found really interesting in our in our conversation, how you pointed out that the amount of benefit from going from low pressure to high pressure is quite small. It’s the low pressure is where you’re getting the vast majority of the benefit from.

00:52:04:06 – 00:52:35:15

Steven

Correct? Correct. So so what we mean there is when the bands inflate, let’s do that. I’ll just let’s say the inflation for a maximum at high is 100. And let’s say the inflation rate for the low is 80 and medium is 90. Let’s just use those rough figures when we’re doing 80 versus 100 from our capillary perspective, there’s not that much difference.

00:52:35:17 – 00:53:11:00

Steven

There’s not that much difference. Now. There is difference if you’re doing movement. So if you are my 88 year old father, he does it while he’s reading the newspaper. He does it while he’s watching, you know, the L.A. Dodgers or Los Angeles Chargers. And so that’s when he does it. He uses the same gentle pressure, low pressure, medium pressure, high pressure as Dr. Peter Attia does, or Ben Greenfield or any of our NFL users or Major League Baseball users do it except when they’re doing it.

00:53:11:00 – 00:53:34:22

Steven

They could be doing much more vigorous. So my father is sitting there using the same pressure, same equipment, same protocols, sitting on his couch watching TV because he’s 88 years old and he doesn’t want to go to 24 hour fitness. But then you have an NFL player, an Olympic athlete, using the exact same equipment, exact same pressure, exact same protocols.

00:53:35:03 – 00:54:05:08

Steven

But their movement is different. They’re moving faster, they’re jumping higher, they’re running further. And so it’s that movement that can be the differentiator between a lot of hormones or fewer hormones. But because if you’re 88 years old, even an incremental increase on a daily basis of hormones leads to a significant lifestyle difference over the course of several months.

00:54:05:10 – 00:54:29:05

Steven

And so that’s why most of our users are older, because they see what this is easy and convenient to do. And I’ve seen benefit over time. A competitive athlete is different. They’ve got a they’ve got a specific time frame, a window of opportunity. And so they need to maximize everything. But the underlying principles, the pressures are all the same.

00:54:29:07 – 00:54:46:14

David

And this is just one of those things that really intrigued me. I like anything that, you know, will improve life long. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about here, like a better quality of life for longer. That’s noninvasive. Like this.

00:54:46:19 – 00:55:15:12

Steven

Yeah. When I was studying under Dr. Sato in the cardiologist, I mean, I saw things that I couldn’t even imagine using bands and comatose people using bands and people sleep a palsy, arms, quadriplegics, people with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries. I mean, they were using stuff with people that you wouldn’t think would ever touch bands like this, but they were seeing great benefit.

00:55:15:14 – 00:55:42:09

Steven

They were also using it here. Dr. Sato Also, you know, we went to see professional baseball clubs, Olympic wrestlers, Olympic volleyball player, etc. Those are the same. But it was really satisfy to take someone who is very weak or disabled amputees, someone who’s had a stroke, to take those people and literally build the muscle or increase their their functional strength.

00:55:42:11 – 00:56:08:05

Steven

So something as simple as a woman who’s had a car accident and then being able to put on mascara or makeup or a man who who, you know, he can’t even lift his arm to wash his head or hair, you know, and getting those people to be able to hold a hairdryer or brush their hair or, you know, walk up and down stairs.

00:56:08:05 – 00:56:43:10

Steven

We’ve had professors who’s who’s had rheumatoid arthritis who said, Steve, before this, I never was able to write on the whiteboard. I had to I had to give my lecture sitting down and I had to prepare so I couldn’t write as I normally did. And now I’m writing on a on a whiteboard. I mean, that is where Dr. Saturn’s vision really is so valuable to me because I love helping these people and and teach them how something that’s gentle and convenient can really improve their quality of life.

00:56:43:12 – 00:56:49:10

David

Remarkable. How would so if people were more interested in where would they go?

00:56:49:12 – 00:57:18:00

Steven

There’s two things you could do. One, you could just go to our website, which is Katsu k a tsu. Some people confuse it with Katsu, the pork cutlet kind of Japanese dish, but it’s k a etsy.com and many people probably have heard of that. The Japanese term shiatsu, she means hand and also means pressure. Cut to K means additional and A2 means pressure.

00:57:18:00 – 00:57:35:07

Steven

So Katsu is that word simply means additional pressure, which is what the bands are doing. So you can go there and then we give free webinars twice a week and people just listen. And that information is is on the website Super.

00:57:35:09 – 00:57:48:00

David

Steve, thank you so much for your time today. It’s a pleasure getting to know you. These bands I think are amazing. They’re so simple. My Western brain had a lot of trouble wrapping, wrapping around what went on there.

00:57:48:02 – 00:58:13:01

Steven

Yeah, and that’s why I think when Dr. Schott that when he first met me and I said, Dr. Sato, is there something I could read and study as you teach me? And he shook his head and I was like, What? He doesn’t have a And I said, Why? He goes, Oh, it’s all up here. So I had to take what he had developed in Japanese and translated to English.

00:58:13:06 – 00:58:35:07

Steven

But there was so much there that even now I must admit we have a lot of information and sometimes it’s not that intuitive. And so if anybody has any questions, they could they could write us, they could look at our webinars and and hopefully I can share something of benefit to people out there.

00:58:35:09 – 00:58:37:16

David

Steve, thanks so much today.

00:58:37:18 – 00:58:38:14

Steven

Okay, bye.

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

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