Seven continuous days of balneotherapy was applied to 17 patients with psychosomatic disease or neurosis at Sukawa Spa in Iwate prefecture. Several physiological parameters (e. g. blood pressure, heart rate, T wave amplitude of ECG, plasma catecholamines, and CVR-R) were measured before and after that therapy. Subjective symptoms were also surveyed through a questionnaire and the correlations with the changes in such physiological parameters were studied. The subjects were divided into the effected group and non-effected group according to the evaluation of therapeutic effect. Physiological paramenters other than plasma catecholamines tended to converge into a constant direction during the balneotherapy. While the physiological paramenters of the effected group tended to converge, those of the non-effected group did not show a trend. These results suggest that therapeutic effect of balneotherapy on psychosomatic diseases and neuroses is based upon not only the psychological effect of the environment of a hot spring but also the biological effect of non-specific alterative action of autonomic nervous system due to hot spring bathing itself.
A cutaneous electrical stimulation (CES) was applied to the skin over the left and right anterior tibial muscles of eight normal subjects, and the effect on reaction times (RTs) of finger extensions on the left and light hands was studied. RTs of fingers of both hands decreased significantly after receiving CES on the left while RTs of fingers of the right hand only decrease after receiving CES on the right. These results suggest that the left and right CESs differ from each other in the effect on behavioral alertness. If it is assumed that the pain relieving effect of CES is generated via the central arousal mechanism, this finding is critical in clinical application of the CES for relieving pain.