To clarify possible involvement of hot spring bathing in the occurrence of acute myocardial infarction and cerebral infarction at Kusatsu, its effects on blood pressure, heart rate, plasma cortisol and hematocrit were examined in 9 healthy young men. Abrupt increase in systolic blood pressure was observed immediately after starting a 3-minute 47°C or a 10-minute 42°C hot-spring bath. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were abruptly decreased one minute after completing either 47°C or 42°C bathing. The heart rate was increased gradually after the start of either 47°C or 42°C bathing and was decreased gradually after the completion of either 47°C or 42°C bathing. It was considered that the plasma Cortisol level was increased 15 minutes after starting 47°C bathing and the hematocrit was increased 15 minutes after starting 42°C bathing. We have already reported that fibrinolytic activity was decreased and platelet function was activated by 47°C bathing. Taken together, it is suggested that the mechanism of the occurrence of thrombotic diseases after hot spring bathing may be explained by considering transient changes in blood pressure, heart rate, blood viscosity, fibrinolytic activity and platelet function induced by hyperthermal stress.
In this study, 10 healthy students were subjected to experiments. They bathed in plain hot spring water and hot spring water with 2% Togol mud at 39°C for 10min at an interval of 1 week. No difference in the change rates of pulse rate and blood pressure was observed between the two types of bathing. Forehead and oral temperatures decreased slightly after bathing in plain hot spring water. However, after bathing in hot spring water with Togol mud, the forehead temperature tended to be higher than that before bathing while the oral temperature increased significantly after bathing. Skin surface temperatures on the chest wall, left instep, and right forearm increased significantly after both types of bathing. Changes in the skin temperature after bathing in hot spring water with Togol mud tended to be greater than those after bathing in plain hot spring water. Eight out of 10 students felt warmer after bathing in hot spring water with Togol mud. These findings suggest that bathing in hot spring water with Togol mud is useful for medical care.
A total of 422 patients who were hospitalized in the Division of Rehabilitation, Kusatsu Branch Hospital of the Gunma University Hospital from 1986 to 1996 was analysed with respect to the patients' sex, age, place of residence, disease, complications, day from onset to admission to our hospital, days of treatment in the hospital, outcome, reason to receive rehabilitation, persons who took care of the patient, and family members. Of the 422 cases, 262 (62.1%) were 65 or more years old. 193 patients (45.7%) were residents of Kusatsu, and 143 patients (33.9%) were from outside Gunma Prefecture. With respect to diseases, cerebral diseases had the highest percentage (148 cases, 35.1%) and 277 (65.6%) cases had complications. The mean days of treatment in the hospital were 73 days. Hot-spring bathing was used for rehabilitation in 351 (83.2%) cases, resulting in improvement of clinical symptoms and quality of life in almost all cases. As to reason to receive rehabilitation in our hospital, 202 (47.9%) came of own will, 79 (18.7%) were recommended by doctors of other hospitals, and 68 (16.1%) were emergency admissions. Most patients lived alone or had only one family member of an old age and 83.2% of the persons who took care of patients were female family members. Many patients still wanted to receive rehabilitation even long after the onset of their impairment. These findings suggest that hot-spring bathing is effective for rehabilitation of various kinds of diseases. Although it has been found that many patients came to our hospital from various areas in the country expecting to rehabilitation using hot-spring water, it is difficult to follow up on them and to contact their family members for instructions.
We studied the effects of bathing in warm water on cerebral blood flow (CBF). Seven healthy male volunteers were subjected to experiments. The subjects were bathed in warm water at 39°C for 20 minutes in a sitting position immersed up to the neck. Each subject received two CBF examinations: one under normal conditions and the other after taking a bath mentioned above. There was an interval of at least seven days between the two examinations. To measure CBF, we used the Patlak plot method with technetium-99m ethyl cysteinate dimer (99m-Tc ECD). To examine CBF after bathing, 99m-Tc ECD was injected within 10 minutes after bathing. Brain perfusion index (BPI) and regional CBF (rCBF) were used as indexes for evaluating CBF. The body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, arterial oxygen and carbon dioxide pressure, and hematocrit were also measured. Wilcoxon's signed rank test was used for statistical analyses. The following were observed: 1) BPI increased significantly after bathing (p<0.05). 2) rCBF in the cerebral cortex, particularly in the frontal lobe, tended to increase after bathing (p<0.05). No definite changes were observed in the cerebellar cortex, caudate nucleus, or thalamus. 3) The body temperature and pulse increased significantly after bathing. No definite changes were observed in blood pressure, arterial oxygen and carbon dioxide pressure, or hematocrit. From the above, we conclude that bathing in warm water causes the cerebral blood flow to increase in healthy subjects.
Since hydrogalvanic baths have been used for treatment various diseases have been claimed to be positively influenced by the so-called Stanger-bath. Its analgesic properties are generally accepted. It is also common practice to use “ascending” direct currents (cathode near the head, anode near the feet) for the stimulation and the reverse polarization (“descending”) for the relaxation of the patient, although there are hardly any controlled studies on this issue. In three test series “ascending” and “descending” Stanger-baths were compared. The effects on the autonomous nervous system, on the reaction time, on the concentration capability and on the subjective state of relaxation and well-being were evaluated in healthy volunteers. In none of the trials there was a significant difference between “ascending” and “descending” Stanger-baths. The data do not confirm the common practice to use “ascending” Stanger-baths for stimulation and “descending” Stanger-baths for relaxation.