Although acupuncture is considered to have normalizing effects on the physical metabolism in addition to analgesic action, the precise mechanisms of its action are still uncertain, it is also widely applied to treatment of arthralgia. In this study, effects of acupuncture on 18 patients with knee osteo-arthritis (OA) were examined using gas analysis of the synovial fluid. Acupuncture needles were inserted into the “Zusanli” (F6 9) and “Xuehai” (F1 10) of the involved side and electrical stimulation with square wave pulses at 1Hz was applied through the needles for 30min. Two ml of synovial fluid was sampled from the knee joint using a heparinized syringe before and after the acupuncture, and partial pressures of CO2 (PCO2) and O2 (PO2) as well as pH of the samples were measured immediately by a gas analyzer, ABL30 (Radiometer, Copenhagen). Base excess (BE), total CO2 density (TCO2) and bicarbonate density (HCO3) were calculated from these values using the equation of Siggaard-Andersen. After the acupuncture, a significant (p<0.05) elevation of PO2 in synovial fluid was observed, but no significant change was observed in PCO2, pH, BE, TCO2, and HCO3. A significant (p<0.05) negative correlation was seen between the elevation of PO2 and lowering of PCO2 (r=0.4682). These results suggest that acupuncture may increase the local blood flow around the joint and thus may stimulate the metabolism and replacement of gas in synovial fluid. From the above, it is suggested that acupuncture is useful for treating arthralgia such as osteo-arthritis.
We studied the effect of bath products consisting of sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulfate on living subjects when these products are used with herbal ginseng extract as a trial for a new bath product; changes in dynamic circulation were used as indicators. Experiments were conducted from December 1990 to February 1991 on 20 subjects consisting of healthy male adults (35.6±8.9 years). Two types of bath products were used. One consists of sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulfate and the other was the combination of the former with ginseng extracted by alcohol. Twenty five grams of each product was dissolved in 200 liters of water. As indicators of dynamic circulation, skin surface temperature on thorax, abdomen, dorsal side of hand and dorsum of foot, volume of blood flow in leg skin (on tibia), deep body temperature in frontal region and right calf, electrocardiograph, blood pressure, and the volume of the pulsewave in the right index finger and big toe were measured. After the experiment, each subject's opinion was gathered through a questionnaire. The experiment was performed in an air conditioned room (26°C and 50% humidity) with bathing at 41°C for 10 minutes. The value of each indicator was measured before bathing and 15, 30, 45, and 60min after bathing. Although no significant differences in measured values were found between the two kinds of bathing, we observed faster decrease in skin temperature and faster lowering of blood flow rate in the ginseng bath group as compared with the control group. We also noted a decreased difference in pulsewave height between upper and lower extremities after bathing in the ginseng bath group, but not in the control group. This response was observed solely in the ginseng bath group because a significant increase in pulsewave height occurred in the big toe while no increase is observed in the fingers in contrast to the control group. Faster decrease in blood flow rate in the skin and increase in pulsewave height caused by the exposure to the same temperature imply increased heat conducting distance and interruption of heat transfer from deep areas to the skin. We therefore conclude that ginseng bathing is effective in keeping the body warm. The results of inquiries after bathing indicated that many subjects felt that ginseng bathing tended to warm their bodies. As a result of using ginseng extracted by alcohol with bath products consisting of sodium bicarbonate and sodium sulfate, differences in peripheral vessel resistance between extremities tended to decrease after bathing. We consider that this is due to the improved general circulation throughout the whole body.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the effect of warm water bathing (40°C) of the hand on the psychologic sweating measured in the opposite palm. The subjects were 2 males and 4 females, aged 38±10 years (26-58 years). The psychologic sweating was estimated by the apparatus developed by Sakaguchi et al (Sakaguchi, M. et al BME 26: 213, 1988). The room temperature was 27 to 28°C and the relative humidity was 60 to 70%. The sensor was attached using adhesive tape on the right palm. Then the psychologic sweating was measured after deep respiration, mental arithmetic, hand grip, bathing in warm water of 40°C at the level of left wrist. The results showed that the mean values of palmar sweating were 15.6 for deep respiration, 16.8 for mental arithmetic, 15.5 for hand grip and 0 for warm water bathing. Above results suggest that local water bathing of moderate temperature induces a decrease of psychologic sweating, probably due to relaxing effect of the cerebrum.