The present study was carried out on mice and rats to examine the effects of running and swimming on immune responses, particularly IgE antibody and hemagglutinin (HA) production. In the experiment with running mice, four-week old mice were divided into four groups. The first group of mice started running at the age of four weeks (E4 group), the second group started running at the age of seven weeks (E7 group), the third group started running at the age of 10 weeks (E10 group), and the fourth group was a control that received no treatment. In the experiment protocol, each group was subjected to running exercise until the age of 13 weeks. Each group of mice was forced to run at a speed of 15m/min on a flat floor with no slope for 60min a day. In the E4 group, IgE antibody production was suppressed without affecting HA production. In the E7 and E10 groups, neither IgE antibody production nor HA production was affected. In the experiment with swimming rats, seven-week old rats were divided into two groups: the swim group and the control group. The swim group was forced to swim for five days for three 15-min sessions a day loaded with an iron ring weighing 3% of the body weight. The control received no treatment. In the swim group, IgE antibody production was suppressed without affecting HA production. From these results, it might be concluded that running exercise and swimming exercise from early childhood will provide favorable influences on some asthmatic diseases by suppressing IgE antibody production.
We observed peripheral circulation in patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy in order to quantify the effect of spa therapy on peripheral neuropathy. The peripheral circulation was observed using thermography and Laser-Doppler blood flowmetry. Thirteen patients with a mean age of 71.9 years (range of 59-82) suffering from diabetic neuropathy with coldness, numbness, neuralgia in their feet or walk disturbance, and 11 patients with a mean age of 72.3 years (range of 60-84) suffering from lumbago, were examined by the methods. The blood flow, mass and velocity were measured by a Laser-Doppler blood flowmetry, after pre-loading with hot water at 36°C for 5min (hot loading), and after cold loading with cold water at 20°C for 5min. Thermographic results were analyzed quantitatively by calculating a recovery ratio as: Recovery ratio=[Total counts of thermography (Pixels) over 27°C after cold loading] ÷ [Initial counts over 27°C after hot loading]×100 (%). The recovery ratio in diabetes mellitus was between 0-93.5% (mean=46.8%), whereas the recovery ratio in lumbago was between 0-91.3% (mean=41.3%). The blood flow in patients with diabetes mellitus was 1.11-5.36 (ml/min/100g tissue), (mean=2.44), the blood mass was 85-255 (mean=155), and the velocity was 0.447-0.784 (mean=0.591). The blood flow in patients with lumbago was 1.18-3.82, (mean=2.19), the blood mass was 89-195 (mean=144), and the velocity was 0.464-0.8 (mean=0.615). The recovery ratio and blood flow in patients with diabetes mellitus were correlated, r=0.62 and p<0.0002, as the recovery ratio and blood mass were correlated, r=0.59 and p<0.0001. However the blood flow and the velocity in these patients were not correlated, r=0.11. The recovery ratio and blood flow in patients with lumbago were not correlated, r=0.02, but the recovery ratio and blood mass showed some correlation, r=0.38. The recovery ratio and the velocity in these patients were correlated, r=0.64 and p<0.005. The blood flow in patients with diabetes mellitus was greater after hot loading (mean=2.89) than after cold loading (mean=2.44). The blood mass in patients with diabetes mellitus was greater after hot loading (mean=180) than after cold loading (mean=155). However, there was no significant change in the velocity after hot loading (mean=0.572) compared with the velocity after cold loading (mean=0.591). It was revealed that patients with diabetes mellitus with low recovery ratios in thermography had low blood flow and blood mass in their peripheral circulation. Patients suffering from lumbago had different peripheral circulation compared with diabetes mellitus. Spa therapy was effective on diabetic peripheral neuropathy as the peripheral circulation improved with hot water at 36°C
We performed electromyographic observations of M. deltoideus, M. biceps, M. triceps brachii, and extensor and flexor muscles of the right forearms of four healthy males (22.3 years old average) during various exercises of the right upper extremity on ground and in water. All electromyographic activities were examined through integral analysis. During exercise in water, the proximal part of the upper arm showed a significantly lower electric discharge than that for the exercises on the ground (p<0.05). Furthermore, forearm muscles showed significantly higher electrical discharge than that for the same exercise on the ground (p<0.05). We investigated the effects of therapeutic exercises in water in a temperature-adjusted pool on 15 female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (average 48.0 years old, Stage 2.3, and Class 1.9). The respiratory function, dorsal muscle power, power around a knee, grasping power, elasticity of the trunk and lower extremities, Lansbury index, and Japan Orthopedic Association's judgment score for rheumatoid arthritic knees were improved significantly (p<0.05) after an eight-week course of therapeutic exercises in water (two session a week). The result of a psychological test showed that their mental conditions were significantly improved (p<0.01) by therapeutic exercises in water. No aggravation of inflammatory reactions was observed in serological examinations before and after the exercise. We concluded that therapeutic exercise in water was an effective treatment method for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
We executed an acupuncture therapy to 62 lumbar spinal canal stenosis cases who were diagnosed by CT, MRI photo state and clinical symptom and examined the result. The 36 men and 26 women in this study had a mean age of 67.3 years. An acupuncture was executed by aiming to give an effect to the soft tissues and a blood circulation around the area where the stenosis was recognized then pierced facet joint closely and deeply and gave an electric acupuncture stimulus. 14 cases were very good and 17 cases had good results according to the JOA score. No cases worsened. We concluded an acupuncture treatment was effective for treating lumbar spinal canal stenosis.
Walking exercise in forests, referred to as “shinrin-yoku, forest-air bathing and walking, ” has been attracting attention as a method for promoting mental and physical health utilizing the environment and topography of forests in the recent time. Walking exercise in forests has characteristics arising from the natural environment and topography of forests with beautiful trees, twittering of birds, and favorable fragrances of woods, etc. However, scientific verification of such specific effects is necessary in order to make walking an authentic method to health promotion. This study intended to physiologically investigate it from physical and scientific point of view. For this purpose, we determined chronological changes in energy consumed in walking exercise in forests with a portable oxygen intake measuring device, on the basis of data on the respiratory and circulatory systems such as heart rate and the amounts of ventilation and oxygen intake. The results suggested that the changes in these parameters showed the movement correlated with the changes in topography of forests, including the inclination and demonstrated that selection on the resting locations was related to the comfortable rhythm of walking. Furthermore, it was indicated that exercise loading to living body tended to increase in association with increases in the upward inclination, resulting that the energy consumed in walking was less though the amounts of exercise loading to lower limbs tended to be very large at a download inclination of 36.0 degrees or larger. This demonstrative study suggested that to determine chronological changes in physiological loading conditions related to the walking route was effective to establish promenades in order to perform comfortable and effective forest bath.