To examine the effects of lower-front leg tactile stimulation, we conducted two experiments with 14 healthy male university students. For the single-stroke test, tactile stimulation was applied by hand to a 15-cm region of the lower leg at three different velocities (0.3, 3.0, or 30.0cm/s). The subjects rated the extreme stroke velocities as less pleasant than the 3.0cm/s velocity, which aligns with optimal velocities for exciting C-tactile afferents. The repeated-stroke test included the same subjects and stimulus site ; however, two stroking velocities were applied using a randomized crossover method. The subjects received 20 minutes of tactile stimulation at either 3.0 or 0.6cm/s and subsequently scored pleasantness and mood changes. Both velocities resulted in significantly decreased tension, anxiety, and heart rate. For the 3.0-cm/s group, a direct relationship was detected between pleasantness scores and heart-rate reduction. Our results imply that the velocity of lower-leg tactile stimulation influenced the correlation between the pleasantness score and heart-rate reduction. We discuss the possibility that the correlation observed at 3.0cm/s may be explained by excitation of C-tactile afferents.
There are numerous reports of people describing the positive influences they have received from others as “encouraging” in the process of restoring their mental and physical health. The importance of encouraging others is often mentioned, but the content is not always clear. The purpose of this study was to clarify the factors and processes of encouragement from others in the process of recovery from a difficult mental and physical state, and to consider appropriate encouragement. Episodes of encouraging experiences in the mental and physical health recovery process collected through open-ended questionnaires and interviews which were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach (M-GTA). As a result of the analysis, 27 concepts, 8 categories with 2 top categories were generated. Therefore a result chart and story line were developed. It was found that the process of encouragement requires contextualization and methods on the part of the encourager, and that the recipient of the encouragement has bodily sensory arousal and positive cognition. Encouragement was considered to be one of the social supports that enhances the quality and resilience of interpersonal relationships. Encouragement is an important attitude and method to promote the recovery of mental and physical health of subjects. The results of this study suggest that it can be used as a reference in the field of mental and physical health scientific support.