The results obtained from a survey of balneal treatment and medical researches made at Hanezawa Spa in Yamagata Prefecture are summarized as follows. 1) Visitors to this spa vary in age, include both sexes in equal number and are, by far, farmers. 2) Visitors are mostly from the local area and surrounding villages and towns, 70% of whom come to the spa for recreation and 20% for therapeutic treatment and recuperation. The figures mentioned here greatly depend upon the time this survey was made, and it is quite probable that the number of visitors for balneal treatment should always be much larger. 3) In this survey, short-time visitors are largest in number, coming to the spa for recreation. Long-time visitors come there for balneal treatment. Visitors are mostly those with diseases of the digestive organs and those with the skin diseases. 4) The larger number of visitors bathe four to five times a day and about 40% of them drink hot-spring waters. Because of the presence of a large number of short-time visitors, the effect of balneal treatment and bathing reaction could not be made clear. 5) Only 4.4% of visitors came there under doctor's directions. 6) Observation of the effect of drinking hot-spring waters on the excretion of gastric juice revealed that it has power to neutralize acid in the stomach and to control the excretion of gastic juice. Such should naturally be the case because this spa is of alkaline muriated spring. 7) With a view to find the effect of drinking hot-spring waters at this spa, examinations were made of renal function. The results obtained from the dilution tests show that the urinary excretion has been delayed and the power of dilution has declined. It is advisable, therefore, that visitors should see whether they are afflicted with the diseases of kidney or circulatory system before they resort to drinking hot-spring waters at this spa.
Our overall surveys of medical consultations for balneal therapy and of balneal curation at the Namekawa Spa, Yamagata Prefecture may be summarized as follows. 1) The Namekawa Spa is one in the Iegatayama Spa family located in the border of Fukushima and Yamagata Prefecture, which is saline hydrogen sulphide spring in character. There is only one hot-spring inn in this resort (Fukushimaya Inn). It is rich in natural scenery, without the atmosphere of an amusements center and isolated from the wordly things. It is purely a spa for balneal treatment. 2) The larger number of visitors to this spa are from within the prefecture, especially from the towns and villages around the spa, but, because of its nearness to Fukushima Prefecture, quite a number of visitors are from this prefecture. The visitors are mostly farmers, especially those of advanced age. Half the visitors have been at the spa before and many of them are in the habit of revisiting the spa year after year. 3) A majority of visitors come to the spa for therapy of diseases and for recuperation, which shows that this spa has the character of balneal therapy.
Section 1: Organ distribution of 59Fe following percutaneous absorption of iron by bathing. The lower half of the body of the mouse was placed in a 500ml beaker containing 150ml of bath water (pH 10) and 200μc of 59Fe at 37°C for 30 minutes, The animal was fixed by tying to a wire netting during the bath so as not to drink bath water. Five mice were used in the same experiment. Following the bathing, the animals were washed to remove contaminated 59Fe on the skin and then sacrificed by decapitation immediately after, at 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours after bath. Immediately after decapitation, blood was collected from the neck as much as possible and liver, spleen, kidney, muscle and vertebral bone were removed. The radioactivity of each organ was measured in a scintillation counter with dry combustion method. The radioactivity was detected in various organs such as blood, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle and bone. These results provide evidence of the percutaneous absorption of radioactive iron into the body. Section 2: The effect of serial bathing on the concentration of 59Fe in organs following percutaneous absorption, gastrointestinal administration and intramuscular injection. Acid springs from our Balneotherapeutic Institute and distilled water were used for bathing in this experiment. Test animals were divided into 4 groups, that is, group 1 received bathing for 2 days, group 2 for 4 days, group 3 for 7 days and group 4 for 14 days. The animal was placed in a bamboo tube of which one edge was covered with wire netting. The lower half of the body was soaked in the bath water at 37°C for 10 minutes every day during the experimental period. Animals received no bathing were used as control. On the day following last bathing of each group, the absorption experiment of 59Fe were carried out. It was shown that a variety of result due to individuality was obtained in the first 7 days of serial bathing, and “Habitual Phenomen” or defence mechanism was seen in the groups treated with the serial bathing of 14 days. Section 3: Autoradiography of the skin bathed in the bath water labeled with 59Fe. One part of the skin of the animal bathed in the bath water labeled with 59Fe was excoriated and applied to the autoradiography. In this experiment, Fuji Autoradiographic Plate for stripping method was used. The autoradiogram showed that the highest concentration of radioactivity was found in the epidermal portion and the density became decreased gradually as approaching to the corium. From this experiment, it was demonstrated histologically that radioactive iron in bath water was absorbed percutaneously into the body.