Repeated application of stimulus induces the state of adaptation, both specific and non-specific to that particular stimulus. Non-specific adaptation implies an increased ability of the body to maintain homeostasis in stress conditions irrespective of stresses, which has been known as the so-called cross adaptation. Balneotherapy is considered to be the non-specific stimulation- or adaptation-therapy, utilizing several environmental stimulus including hotspring bathing, climatic change and physical exercise. Purpose of the therapy is to recover and increase patient's tolerance for stressors in daily life. We have studied physical exercise training to demonstrate its beneficial effects in patients undergoing major surgical procedures. More than 200 patients, 90% of them were over 60 year of age, were subjected to the study. Preoperatively, physical fitness of the patients was estimated by test exercise using the principle of Harvard step test. Patients with poor physical fitness were subjected to preoperative exercise training consisted of ergometer pedalling or out-door walking. Physical fitness was significantly improved in 90% of the exercised patients. No undesirable side effect of the exercise training was noted. The results suggestive of clinical significance of the exercise training were as follows: I. Operative risk of the patients with pre-existing cardiac abnormalities seemed to be detectable by the exercise test and could be improved by the exercise training. 2. Lowered pulmonary functions due to sedentariness in elderly patients were improved after the training. The training was also effective in increasing work capacity of the patients whose performance had been thought to be limited by pulmonary diseases. The incidence of postperative pulmonary complications was tended to be reduced by the pre-operative exercise training. 3. Exercise training in the patients with hepatic cirrhosis improved their physical fitness and subjective well-being without showing any adverse effects on liver function tests. Diabetes associated with hepatic cirrhosis was significantly improved by of training short period in most of the patients studied. These results may indicate the significance of the adaptation therapy in improving the quality of life of the patients with incurable chronic disabling diseases.
Influence of sulphur hot spring water upon wound healing of rat skin was studied. To provide local inflammation, croton oil was injected intradermally into a previously shaved area of rat abdominal skin. Those rats were taken bath with sulphur hot spring water at 37°C for 10min a day, every second day. The increased ratio of hexosamine to hydroxyproline was observed in skin necrotized with croton oil at 4th day, because of increases in hexosamine and decreases in hydroxyproline concentrations with inflammation. After that, hexosamine and hydroxyproline concentrations of necrotic skin returned to control, uninjured levels in 10 days. In bathing with sulphur hot spring water, changes in hexosamine and hydroxyproline concentrations of necrotic area did not alter to bathing with deionized water and to non-bathing of rats. Although influence of bathing with sulphur hot spring water was examined on glutathione metabolism in rat liver and kidney, it was observed that reduced glutathione concentration, and GSH-reductase, GSH-peroxidase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase activities unchanged in liver and kidney for the bathing period of 14 days.
The effect of oral administration of sulphur hot spring water on chronic liver damaged rat was studied. The liver damaged rats were produced by injection of carbon tetrachloride (150l of CCl4 per 100g of body weight) twice a week. Sulphur hot spring water was administrated ad libitum as drinking water throughout experimental period. At 40 and 88 days, rats were sacrificed for histological and biochemical examinations. When tap water was administrated to CCl4-poisoning rats for 88 days, extensive vacuolar degeneration of parenchymal cells were observed in liver. While in administration of sulphur hot spring water, there were mild vacuolar degeneration in parenchymal cells of liver. Although GSH content and GSH-peroxidase activity of liver unchanged in CCl4-poisoning, and were unaffected with administration of sulphur hot spring water, GSH-reductase activity increased with administration of sulphur hot spring water for 88 days. The increased lipoperoxide and hydroxyproline in liver with CCl4-poisoning were slightly lowered by administration of hot spring water. In plasma, furthermore, LDH, GPT and GOT activities which increased markedly by CCl4-poisoning decreased strikingly by administration of hot spring water at 88 days. Whereas ALP, CE and LAP activities little changed by CCl4-poisoning, and were scarcely affected with administration of hot spring water. Among other plasma components, though total cholesterol and cholesteryl ester levels decreased by CCl4-poisoning, those levels were not sustained with sulphur hot spring water administration.
Three essential factors of the sympathetic nervous functions, sympathetic nervous tone (β-, α-secretion), adrenoceptor sensitivity (β-, α-sensitivity) and adrenergic manifestations, were assessed integratedly by the sequential administration of specific adrenoceptor agonists and blockers. The examination procedures were designed to provide all parameters under the blockade of the autonomic regulation without affecting the basic sympathetic nervous functions. Decrease in β- and α-secretion associated with the increase in β- and α-sensitivity in patients with diabetic neuropathy, idiopathic orthostatic hypotension and cervical radiation myelopathy were exactly compatible with the autonomic dysfunctions of them and convinced the validity of the methods. Synchronized firings of the sympathetic nerves of the cardiovascular system and harmonized regulation of the adrenoceptor sensitivity were shown by the positive correlations between β- and α-secretion and between β- and α-sensitivity, respectively. Negative correlations between “secretion” and “sensitivity” over wide ranges of these parameters suggested that the concept of denervation hypersensitivity was not specific for patients with organic autonomic neuropathies but was commonly avairable for usual subjects in proportion to the sympathetic nervous tone of the individual subject.
The influence of cutaneous electrical stimulation (CES) on reaction time (RT) was examined in 8 normal subjects. CES, wherever applied, generally increased RT, and only affected the pre-motor component of RT. Compared to RT without CES, a stronger effect of CES on RT prolongation was obtained from the skin over the antagonistic muscles, a weaker one from that over the agonistic muscles and a moderate effect from the skin of nonresponding part of body. Possible neurophysiological mechanisms of these phenomena were briefly discussed.
Since 1974 facilities such as so called “Radon Center” have been established one after another and widespreadly used in Japan. But until now no definite scientific data were available concerning their beneficial or injurious effect on health or diseased state. Therefore following surveys were carried out on bathers (female 25 cases, male 25 cases) of so called Radon Centers. Radon concentration of bath water was about 0.1 Mache u. The water temperature was between 35°C and 41°C. The duration of bath was between 10 and 15 minutes. Including the bathing time, time of stay in the bathroom was about 20 minutes in total. The bathroom was made airtight and the air was circulated. Atmospheric Radon concentration of the bathroom was mostly between 2 and 3 Mache u. (1-4 Mache u. occasionally). Measurement of blood pressure was done before and after bath. Blood count, urinalysis, and blood chemistry examination were carried out before, 2 weeks, 7 weeks, and 8 weeks after serial baths. Laboratory examinations were as follows: Urinalysis (glucose, protein, occult blood, and urobilinogen), blood count (hemoglobin, erythrocyte count, leucocyte count, and hematocrit), chemical analysis of serum (GLT, GPT, LDH, alk. p., total bilirubin, creatinine, urate, urea N, total cholesterol, anorg. P., Ca, total protein). Furthermore CRP, RA test, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were investigated on the patients of arthritis. Subjective complaints such as backache, joint pain, and neuralgia were improved in 19 cases (38%) out of 50 cases. There were no definite changes in blood pressure including 5 cases of hypertension. Glucosuria (3 cases) showed no change. Improvement in CRP test was proved in half of the 12 cases. But majority of arthritic patients have been treated by drugs simultaneously. No significant effect was observed on hemotopoietic organs as shown by blood count. From urinalysis and blood chemistry examination, no injurious influence of “Radon bath” on renal function was recognized. Liver function tests with exception of alkaline phosphatase (Al-Pace) showed no definite change. The Al-Pase activity elevated after 2 weeks of serial baths in 28 cases, including a slight increase. But the elevated Al-Pace levels showed rather a recovery after continuing the serial baths through 4 to 8 weeks. To further clarify the cause of elevation in Al-Pase activity, isozyme pattern was investigated in 12 cases with abnormal Al-Pase activity. Al-P5 was proved in 8 cases and Al-P- appeared in 2 cases, which would not be found normally. No control study using plain water bath was carried out in this survey. Further test subjects had variable disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, senile osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, etc. Therefore no definite relationship between weak Radon bath and Al-Pase elevation was established by this survey and further investigation will be necessary to draw final conclusion.
The effect of the extracts of herb drugs in hydrotherapy was studied by recording skin surface temperature, intramuscular temperature, finger tip pletysmography and impedance pletysmography which were measured before taking the testee into the Hubbart tank containing 0.003% of B. H at 40°C for 10 minutes and at proper period until 2 hours after finishin the hydrotherapy. The control study was done in simple water-bath in the same method. 30 testee were used for the test. Results were as follows: 1. Skin surface temperature of B. H group showed 0.6-1.1°C higher than that of the control until 2 hours demonstrating significant difference. 2. Intramuscular temperature of B. H group showed 0.4-0.8°C higher than that of the control until 1 hour demonstrating significant difference. The difference in temperature however after 2 hours was not sifnificant. 3. The wave height of finger tip pletymography of B. H group was higher in significant difference, and presented 61% higher peak than the control at 50 minutes later. 4. IPG means blood flow of lower extremity, and then the wave peak height of B. H group showed significant difference against the control, especially the difference was the largest at 60 minute later. We may conclude that the extracts of herb drugs in hydrotherapy played a role to promote blood circulation, suppress pain, relax the muscular tone, depress itching, make feel at home, keep the skin moisture and wash off the dirt well.
Spa Lu Shan has simple thermals and Spa Chung Hwa has radioactive hot springs. Patients in the above two spas are mainly working people who suffer from chronic diseases. Hospital charges are paid by the government. At the spas in China, complex therapy is given. namely balneotherapy combined with acupuncture and other physical therapies.