Cutting off blood flow to a limb is called occlusion. When a limb’s blood flow is occluded there is no blood flowing in OR out of the limb. Reasons to occlude a limb would be for surgery or for emergency medical treatment.
While there are forms of blood flow restriction training that use occlusion, KAATSU is not one of them. KAATSU is unlike other methods of blood flow restriction training. KAATSU BFR bands are engineered to gently reduce the venous flow of blood from your limb back to your heart, resulting in MORE blood in your limb while maintaining blood flow. They are specifically designed not to cut off blood flow (occlude).
If you see someone online claiming they’re using KAATSU and they’re also claiming that it’s occlusion training, they are definitely not using KAATSU protocols for proper and safe KAATSU training. When used properly KAATSU Air Bands will not occlude. Even when used improperly they are designed to not occlude. There is a study from another occlusion training company that says they could not get the KAATSU equipment to occlude despite their best efforts. We take that as a testament to the inherent safety of KAATSU equipment.
I hope this answers the question of whether KAATSU cuts off blood flow. If you would like more clarification, please read through the other FAQs about KAATSU, or leave a question in the comment box below.