The present study, involving synthetic towels with and without specific chemical components, aimed to compare the thermal and moisture retention effects of complete bed baths. The subjects were 16 male college students who received complete bed baths using synthetic towels with and without specific chemical components by the standard protocol on different days. The assessment indices were the core and surface skin temperatures, heart-rate variability, moisture/oil contents and pH of the skin, blood pressure, scores of Profile of Mood States-Brief Form Japanese Version (short version of the POMS-J), scores of wakefulness, and level of relaxation based on the Visual Analogue Scale, and the Likert scale was used to assess the texture of towels. For both types of towel, there were significant decreases in wakefulness experienced by the subjects following cleaning and the mean scores for the three question items of the short version of the POMS-J, and there were significant increases in the level of relaxation, core temperature, and skin temperature at the precordium. When using towels with chemical components, the skin temperature of the right forearm temporarily decreased immediately before the end of cleaning, but there were no significant differences between the 2 types of towel, and they had a similar moisture retention effect at that point. However, immediately after cleaning, towels with chemical components temporarily showed a higher moisture retention effect, as the moisture content significantly increased.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the modulatory effects of hand bath on autonomic nervous system. For that, we tested hand bath on both high sympathetic and high parasympathetic conditions respectively, which induced by experimental intervention. Participants are all healthy volunteers. In the high-sympathetic condition, the hand bath suppressed the sympathetic activation by mental arithmetic task. On the other hand, the hand bath activated sympathetic activity under the parasympathetic activated condition by rest. These findings indicated that the hand bath has modulating effect on autonomic nervous system by suppress the sympathetic activity under high-sympathetic condition, and by activate the sympathetic system under high-parasympathetic condition respectively.