2019 Volume 82 Issue 2 Pages 59-69
【Background and Objectives】The visitors who suffered from skin diseases and underwent hot-spring cure at Toyotomi Hot Spring were speculated to have been affected by the vicious cycle of heavy stress and aggravation of skin conditions. I, in collaboration with the Toyotomi Fureai Center, investigated whether the hot-spring cure at Toyotomi Hot Spring reduced stress in these visitors.
【Methods and Results】This study was conducted from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2018. The data were analyzed from the questionnaire that had been administered to the 115 visitors before and after hot-spring cure at Toyotomi Hot Spring.
A reduction in total stress was reported by 108 of 115 (93.9%) visitors. The average of the total stress scale after hot-spring cure had significantly reduced compared to the scale before cure (P < 0.001). The 108 visitors additionally rated the effect of the different factors contributing to stress relief. The effect of the Toyotomi Hot Spring water dominantly contributed to stress reduction (P < 0.001).
The visitors answered a questionnaire including 29 items in 6 categories (vigor, impatience, exhaustion, insecurity, depressive mood, and body complaints) of the stress check recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan. A reduction in stress levels after hot-spring cure was observed in all 6 categories (P < 0.001).
Of the 115 visitors, 105 (91.3%) had actually felt an improvement in their skin condition. The total stress scale of visitors whose skin condition improved after hot-spring cure was significantly lower than that of visitors whose skin condition had not improved (P < 0.01). The score for reduction in stress levels of visitors whose skin condition had improved was significantly higher in categories of vigor, depressive mood, and body complaints (P < 0.05).
【Conclusion】The stress of visitors with skin diseases was significantly reduced after hot-spring cure at Toyotomi Hot Spring by the dominant effect of the hot-spring water. Their stress reduction seemed to be closely associated with the improvement in skin condition. More studies with objective evaluations may help elucidate the mechanisms of the hot-spring cure, which can break the vicious cycle of heavy stress and aggravation of skin conditions.