The purpose of this study was to eliminate factors of accidents during Japanese style bathing of the elderly. We investigated the age-related changes in cardiovascular and thermoregulatory function in response to the bathing at 40°C. We measured the blood pressure and the heart rate using an automatic spygmomanometer, the skin blood flow at the forearm using laser Doppler flowmetry, the tympanic temperature using a thermistor, and the sweat rate at dorsum manus using the ventilated capsule method during bathing at 40°C for 20min in 10 aged (73.5±8.4, mean±SD) and 10 young subjects (19.8±1.8). Aged subjects failed to maintain a stable blood pressure during the immersion in the bathtub. While the heart rate during the bathing significantly changed in the young subjects, no change was observed in the aged subjects. Skin blood flow, tympanic temperature, and sweat rate increased during the bathing for both in the aged and the young subjects, though with smaller changes among aged subjects. These findings suggest that the adaptability of cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions to heating and hydrostatic pressure during Japanese style bathing decreases with age.
A patient with atopic dermatitis who presented muscular weakness of lower extrimities and tetany due to severe hypokalemia, hypocalcemia and hypomagnemia was described. The hypokalemia and hypomagnemia were caused by pseudo-Bartter's syndrome due to persistent dehydration, and the hypocalcemia was caused by pseudohypoparathyroidism due to hypomagnemia. The persistent dehydration was considered to be resulted from long-term and long-time bathing. Thus, adequate supply of water and electrolytes may be necessary in long-term balneotherapy.
To evaluate the effects of acupuncture on the immune system, the leukocyte, monocytes, lymphocyte and lymphocyte surface markers, CD2, CD4, CD8, CD11b, CD16, CD19 and CD56 in the peripheral blood of seventeen healthy volunteers were counted. The leukocyte above CD+ cell counts significantly increased after acupuncture. The results indicate that acupuncture may regulate the immune system and can increase the activity of cellular and humoral immunity and NK cell. According to the percentage of lymphocytes or granulocytes, volunteers were divided into two types, those with more than 70% of granulocyte were recognized as G type and those with more than 40% of lymphocyte were divided into L type. Interestingly, before and after the treatment of acupuncture, the number of granulocytes and lymphocytes had a negative relationships. Namely we found an increase in the lymphocytes as well as a decrease in the granulocytes in the G type. On the other hand in the L type, we found an increase in the granulocytes and a decrease in the lymphocytes. Therefore we suggest that acupuncture can enhance the activity that maintains the balance of the immune function.
We have simultaneously proved that cell populations taking charge of immunity in human peripheral blood can be regulated quantitatively by acupuncture. Now we investigated the effect of acupuncture qualitatively on cytokine production by lymphocyte cells in human peripheral blood. The number of IL-1β, IL-4 and IFN-γ containing cells, which are closely associated with macrophage, humoral immunity and cellular immunity respectively, were measured by FACScan. We found a significant increase in IFN-γ containing cells after acupuncture. According to this result together with previous results, the enhancement of CD4+ and CD56+ cell counts, the treatment of acupuncture can promote the activity of cellular immunity as well as NK cell.
We investigated the relationship between Karoshi (death due to overworking) and bathing. Three apparently healthy persons seem to have died of karoshi during bathing. All three pesons had complained of a severe fatigue and poor physical condition. We estimated that the thermal stimulation and hydraulic pressure during bathing would further injure the auto-nervous and endocrine systems that had been ruined by severe overwork. We also estimated that these injuries would cause Karoshi by means of lethal arrhythmia or acute coronary syndrome. Our study suggests that the cases of sudden death during bathing include the cases of Karoshi.
To clarify the effects of Silver Spike Point (SSP) therapy on the autonomic nervous function, we evaluated changes in the peripheral circulatory function by second derivative photoplethysmogram (SDPTG) on 22 workers exposed to hand-arm vibration. We also examined the responses of the autonomic nervous function using the coefficient of variation of R-R interval (CVR-R), total number of white blood cells (WBC), and the ratio of granulocyte (GC) and lymphocyte (LC) as indexes. As a result, we observed improved peripheral circulation due to the SSP therapy, in which the average pulse rare (PR) tended to decrease, CVR-R was not significantly changed by the therapy, and WBC and LC were significantly decreased by the therapy. The 22 subjects were divided into two groups (low-value group, 8 subjects; high-value group, 14 subjects) according to the data of CVR-R revised using Fujimoto's method. In the low-value group, PR tended to decrease, and SDPTG-index and c/a tended to increase. In the high-value group, on the other hand, CVR-R and LC tended to decrease and WBC significantly increased. In conclusion, SSP therapy enhanced the parasympathetic nervous function and improved the peripheral circulatory function in the parasympathetic-nervous-function-impaired the group (low-value group). Furthermore, it suppressed the parasympathetic nervous function without affecting the peripheral circulatory function in the parasympathetic-nervous-function-enhanced group (high-value group).