The immunological effects of spa bathing and its influence on the systemic performance were studied in 15 patients with stomach or colon cancer who had received operations and were treated by lentinan. Ten patients were treated by spa bathing and five patients were not treated. Immunological performance was assessed in terms of white blood cell count, lymphocyte count, surface markers of lymphocytes, natural killer activity and immunoglobulins. There were no significant differences in immunological parameters between the bathing groups and non-bathing group of patients. The systemic performance improved in the majority of patients of the bathing group and became more aggravated in the majority of patients of the nonbathing group. The results of this study suggest that spa bathing is beneficial, not harmful, to the systemic performance of patients with cancer.
In patients with myocardial infarction (MI), anginal attacks, reinfarctions or sudden deaths occur occasionally during or after bathing. Therefore it is important to know well about influence of bathing on cardiac function. In this study we examined hemodynamic indices by means of Swan-Ganz catheter and blood flow pattern with Doppler echocardiographic method in comparison with cardiac events (CE) during and after admission. Forty-nine patients with MI (mean age 58.9 years) were examined, including 14 patients with extensive anterior MI, 12 with anterior, 17 with inferior and 6 with anterior and inferior MI. Bathing was carried out at supine position in a tap water at 42°C during 5 minutes in the Hubbard tank. The patients was classified into two groups, one with CE (Group A), and the other without CE (Group B). Hemodynamic indices by means of Swan-Ganz catheter, peak velocities of blood flow (PV) at left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) and blood flow pattern at left ventricular inflow tract (LVIT) with Doppler echocardiographic method were studied in comparisons. Seven of 49 patients had CE (2 cases with sudden death, 2 cases with reattack of MI and 3 cases with heart failure), and 2 of theses 7 cases had CE during bathing (one with sudden death and the other with reattack of MI). Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) increased from 4.0±2.7mmHg to 12.5±4.6mmHg in Group B, while in Group A marked increases in PCWP on bathing were noted from 3.9±1.2mmHg to 18.1±4.8mmHg (p<0.001) and significant high level was maintained during bathing. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) in Group A also increased during bathing significantly compared with Group B. Six of 13 patients (46.2%) with decreased PV at LVOT and 3 of 8 patients (37.5%) with markedly increased A/R at LVIT on bathing had CE, which was noted at the higher rate compared with those with increased PV and without markedly increased A/R (each, p<0.001, p<0.05). In Group A, severe heart failure on admission into coronary care unit was significantly noted much (p<0.001), physical work capacity was lower in exercise tolerance test by bycyle ergometer and left ventricular ejection fraction was lower (26.9±6.1% vs 56.1±16.6%, p<0.001) with significance in cardiac catheterization, suggesting cardiac dysfunction. In conclusion, bathing should be carried out carefully in patients with markedly increased PCWP or mPAP, with decreased PV at LVOT and with markedly increased A/R at LVIT.
Although it is known that acupuncture works to normalize the digestive function. Details of its mechanism are still unclear. It is estimated, however, that gastrointestinal hormones such as gastrin play an important role in controlling smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrin also facilitates the secretion from the stomach and pancreas. Therefore the effects of acupuncture on digestive function were examined by observing the serum concentrations of gastrin, amylase and lypase in 39 human volunteers who had been fasting and resting since the evening of the day before (the acupuncture group). Acupuncture needles were inserted into the “Rokou (H64)” (right) and “Shou-sannli (H610)” (right) at 9:00 a.m., and electrical stimulation with 1-Hz square wave pulses was applied to these needles for 30min. Blood samples were collected from the basilic vein of the left forearm of every subject before and 60 and 120min after the start of acupuncture stimulation. Blood samples were also taken from seven subjects of the control group, in whom no acupuncture needles were inserted. The sera were separated immediately and frozen until they were measured. In the acupuncture group, significant increases in gastrin, amylase and lypase were observed after the acupuncture stimulation. In the control group, however, no significant increases in gastrin, amylase or lypase were noted. These results suggest that the effects of acupuncture on digestive function are mediated by gastro-intestinal hormones such as gastrin. In other words, the increase in gastrin following acupuncture may stimulate the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and facilitate the production and secretion of amylase and lypase.
Physiological effects of local bubbling during bathing have been evaluated from three series of experiments. In the first series, four male subjects bathed for 6 minutes. and their chests were exposed to bubbling at rates of 13, 20 and 45l/min. Water temperature (Tw) was initially controlled to 37 and 42°C, and then adjusted by the subjects to optimum Tw. In the second series, four male subjects bathed in 39°C water. Four sites (chest, back, lower back, and shin) were exposed to bubbling at rates of 8, 13l/min and the rate of 8l/min alternating with the rate of 13l/min at second intervals. In the last series, four male subjects bathed in 39°C water and two sites (chest and lower back) were exposed to bubbling at rates of 13, 33 and 46l/min. Blood pressure, heart rate, rectal and skin temperatures, minute ventilation were monitored on each occasion. Subjectively determined optimum Tw was about 39°C in the case of initial Tw of 37°C, and was 41°C in the case of initial Tw of 42°C. Systolic blood pressure decreased while heart rate and minute ventilation increased during bathing. Physiological variables changed significantly when chest and lower back were exposed to bubbling at the rate of 33l/min. The increase in rectal temperature after bathing is likely proportional to the decrease in skin temperature at the lower extremities. It is, therefore, suggested from these results that local bubbling to chest/back may be most effective when the rate of bubbling is controlled in the range of 20-35l/min at Tw of 39°C.