The comfortability and safety on resort were investigated in terms of resort environments focusing on atmosphere temperature. With regard to the comfortability, first, a discomfort index (DI) defined with atmosphere temperature and relative humidity was demonstrated to be associated with indicators of autonomic nerve activities derived from heart beat variability at the level around DI-70 which was classified into the category of “comfortable for most of people”. Secondarily, it was suggested that the index could be available to evaluate comfortability for given time courses at different resort points with an example of its hourly average in 24 hours a day for a representative month in each season. With regard to the safety, first, stroke incident rate of each month was associated with monthly average atmosphere temperature when the relationship was analyzed using around ten thousands patients data for 7 years from the community-based stroke registration for in Toyama prefecture. On top of that, it has been demonstrated that the atmosphere temperature on one and two days prior to the stroke development was independently effective on the risk of cerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoidal hemorrhage development with the adjustment for patient's sex and age, calendar year, season, relative humidity and atmosphere pressure. Secondarily, morning raise in blood pressure was affected by the room temperature (10°C and 25°C). The lower temperature the more raise in blood pressure.
Temperature dependent systematic circulatory changes by the pure thermal action were studied by means of footbath, which can neglect hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy. 14 healthy adult females (32±6 yeas old) took footbath at 38, 40, 42°C and control footbath after providing the written informed consent. The experiments started corthe permission of protocol of this experiment by the Ethical Committee of International Research Center for Traditional Medicine. They took footbath after 10 minutes' rest in a sitting position. Each footbath was 30 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes' rest. The same subject participated in the studies four times at the same time of the day before lunch. These experiments were in a random order four days apart each other except during menstruation periods. Their systemic circulatory changes and autonomic nervous balance calculated from FFT analysis of the R-R variability were monitored by the automatic sphygmomanometer, impedance cardiography and ECG, and their cerebral circulatory changes were monitored by the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and the Transcranial Doppler (TCD), and skin circulation was measured by the thermographic changes of the face and hand. Their subjective comfort was assessed by the face scale every 5 minutes. The results showed that their cardiac output and blood pressure increased, and tissue blood flow of the M. Trapezius and the skin temperature of both hand and face increased in temperature dependent manner. Simultaneously LF/HF or HF power changed depending on the temperature. Regarding cerebral circulation, total blood volume of the surface of the frontal lobe was suspected to be increased, however, elevation of PI values indicated an increase of the intracranial pressure. The same systemic and autonomic nervous changes of footbath were reported in full body bath. Considering the subjective comfort, the appropriate duration of footbath for healthy persons may be 20-25min at 38°C, 15min at 40°C, 10min at 42°C. Circulatory activation by footbath may support the clinical utility of footbath for the safe care of aged people who may be drawn in bath tub. High PI value at 42°C footbath which means high intracranial pressure may cause the accidents during lethal hot bathing.
Drinking of hot spring water containing sulfur or sodium bicarbonate is reported to be beneficial for diabetic patients. In the present study, sulfur spring water and water from simple thermals were chosen to examine their effects on glucose metabolism. Eleven volunteers including eight type 2 diabetic patients and three healthy subjects drank hot spring water from Kawayu Onsen (K-O, acid alum vitriol hydrogen-sulfide springs, pH1.98), and another six patients from Asukano-yu (A-Y, alkaline simple thermals, pH8.9). Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed after drinking tap water (200ml) or K-O spring water (5 times diluted) at a week interval (short term effect). Increments in plasma glucose levels were significantly lower (p<0.05) with predrinking of spring water than those with pre-drinking of tap water. To know the long term effect of drinking, patients drank K-O water twice daily for 4 weeks or A-Y water twice daily for a week. Hemoglobin A1C levels decreased significantly (p<0.05) by drinking K-O water and the levels of 1.5-Anhydro-D-glucitol increased by A-Y water (NS). From these findings, it is suggested that drinking hot spring water from K-O and A-Y is beneficial for diabetic patients if they have no contraindications for drinking these kinds of spring water.
It is believed that one of the principal effects of negative air ion is refreshing human psychological condition. Negative air ion can be observed in natural environments such as forest, fountain, and hot spring. In order to elucidate scientific reason of psychological effects by negative air ions, quantifying psychological effects will be important. Healthy sixteen examinees (8 young candidates around 20 years, 8 old candidates around 60 years) are tested by SRS-18, blood pressure, questionnaire, and electroencephalogram. SRS-18, blood pressure, questionnaire was performed before and after experiment. Electroencephalogram was continuously measured during whole experiment and used for emotional spectrum analysis method (ESAM) calculation. Experiment was divided into three conditions (initial normal condition, negative air ion boosted condition at middle concentration, after ventilated condition) and three phases (accommodation, rest, calculation) at each condition. At young group, excessive negative air ions increased human psychological concentration which is calculated by ESAM. At calculation phase, psychological concentration has a positive correlation with psychological stress (correlation factor 0.505). Otherwise at old aged group, no significant change was observed. It shows that sensitivity of negative air ions at old persons will be reduced. It also suggests that human sensitivity for negative air ion decreases with aging. At rest phase of young group in negative air ion boosted condition, elementary emotions are balanced at ESAM. This shows that balancing among four elementary emotions is related with psychological effects of negative air ions.
The purpose of this study was to examine how constitutions, blood profiles, knee and back pain, and the psychological state of middle-aged and elderly women were influenced by comprehensive health education that consisted of instructions in appropriate ways of bathing in hot springs and education on lifestyle and exercise. Of the middle-aged and elderly female residents in village A in Nagano prefecture, 266 underwent health check-ups in August and September 2002. Fifty-six of these women voluntarily participated in this study, and were divided into an intervention and a control group randomly. Finally, the intervention group and control groups consisted of 22 and 26 subjects, respectively, who were considered suitable for study purposes. The intervention group received comprehensive health education once a week for 3 months (total 11 times) between the latter part of September and the middle of December. For the comprehensive health education, subjects participated in hot spa bathing in a salt spring for 20 minutes in all (two 10-minute periods), and lifestyle education and exercise, including stretching, walking, light sports, dietary instruction, etc., during 60-minute sessions. After the series of comprehensive health education was completed, the following improvements were noted in the intervention group. As to blood profiles, the plasma level of uric acid significantly decreased from 4.4±1.1mg/dl to 4.1±1.1mg/dl (p<0.05) and the arterioloscerotic index decreased from 2.85±0.90 to 2.68±0.83 (p=0.07). The intensity of lumbago expressed on a visual analogue scale significantly decreased from 23.5±28.4% to 14.2±21.5% (p<0.01). The intensity of psychological tension decreased from 45.3±6.3 points to 43.2±6.0 points (p=0.06). The mean number of comprehensive health education sessions attended was 9.9±1.4 (range 7 to 11). The number of improvements implemented with regard to a healthy lifestyle significantly increased (p<0.05). Behavior of the subjects in the intervention group appeared to have changed towards a desirable lifestyle. The results of this study show that even intermittent and brief health education combining “hot spa bathing and lifestyle education and exercise” is effective to maintain and improve health of middle-aged and elderly women.
Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is an important rheumatic condition accompanied by synovial inflammation. Numerous leucocytes are recruited and their migration to the inflamed arthritic joints is mediated by adhesion molecules such as E-, P-, and L-selectins. We measured the serum selectin values in OA patients undergoing Mud Pack Treatment (MPT) or treated with anti-inflammatory drugs to test whether the effect of the treatments may be monitored by the level of serum selectins. Materials and Methods: 50 OA patients were randomly divided into Group A (30 patients undergoing MPT) and Group B (20 patients receving 50mg diclofenac twice daily p. o.). Blood samples were collected from both groups before and after the treatments to test serum E-, P-, and L-selectin by ELISA methods. Results: In Group B sE-selectin level showed a significant increment after the drug assumption. In Group A, a significant increment of sL-selectin after MPT was evident, while sP-selectin level did not present any significant variation. Discussion: The study indicates that MPT and diclofenac are able to influence different adhesion molecules in OA patients. The combination of these two treatments may constitute a safe and effective anti-inflammatory therapy in rheumatic diseases.