The effects of spa therapy for asthmatics with a long history of cigarette smoking were studied, compared with the effects for those without smoking history. 1. Of 22 patients with smoking history, 15 (68.2%) had definite efficacy of spa therapy (4 had marked efficacy, and 11 had moderate efficacy), and the residual 7 had slight or no efficacy. In contrast, of 36 patients without smoking history, 29 (80.6%) had definite efficacy. The effects of spa therapy for asthmatics were significantly higher in never-smokers than in ex-smokers. 2. A significant increase in the production of IgE antibodies, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and the generation of leukotrienes B4 (LTB4) and C4 (LTC4) by leucocytes was observed in ex-smokers compared with never-smokers. 3. The frequency of patients with a positive BAST against inhalant allergens was larger in subjects with slight or no efficacy than in those with marked or moderate efficacy in never-smokers, but not in ex-smokers. 4. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness was significantly increased in patients with slight or no efficacy than in those with marked or moderate efficacy both in ex-smokers and never-smoker. 5. The generation of LTB4 was more increased in subjects with slight or no efficacy than in those with efficacy both in ex-smokers and never-smokers, however, the differences were not significant. 5. The generation of LTC4 tended to be more increased in subjects with slight or no efficacy than in those with efficacy in never-smokers, but not in ex-smokers, although these were not significant. The results suggest that an increase in the production of IgE antibodies, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and the generation of LTB4 and LTC4, which might be influenced by cigarette smoking, affect the effects of spa therapy for patients with asthma.
We report one case where contrast bathing produced a remarkable effect on RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) that occurred without trauma. The subject was a 58-year-old woman. Her chief complaint was the painful right upper extremity. She had gastric catarrh in her medical history and was being treated with internal medicines. Since about March 2003, the chief complaint developed with no trauma. She received medical treatment (pain killers) in another medical office, but the symptom did not improve. She subsequently visited our hospital on August 12. Because we observed aberrant aching, swelling, cutaneous chromatotropism, and articular contracture of the right hand as well as bone atrophy on roentgenogram, we diagnosed her as having RSD and began treating her with contrast bathing (4min at 40°C, 1min at 15°C x 4 sessions) and range of motion exercises (active, passive) on August 14. Swelling went down in one week, thumb opposition was enabled in one month, and grip recovered to 8kg in three months after the beginning of the treatment. Since the patient was satisfied by such improvement and was able to perform normal daily life, she is now receiving rehabilitation mainly consisting of range of motion exercise. Finally, we report that we applied contrast bathing to RSD that occurred without trauma and obtained good results. We consider that contrast bathing is simple and easy and, therefore, it is effective for patients who are highly motivated toward the treatment.
The purpose of this study was to determine if Moxibustion stimulus influence on the circulation in the sacral area. In the first phase of this study, the influence of indirect Moxibustion stimulus (using‹SEN-NEN-KYU›) on the amount of blood flowing to the sacrum was investigated using laser Doppler Perfusion Imager PeriScan PIM II. Significant increase in the amount of blood flow in radial directions were observed around the area where Moxibustion was applied. Immediately after the stimulus, significant differences in the amount of blood flow were observed within 2.5cm to the right and left and 1.5cm above and below the stimulated spot. With increasing time after the Moxibustion stimulus, the amount of blood flow gradually decreased concentrically returning to the original state over time. However, the amount of blood flow at the Moxibustion spot was significantly higher than the original state 32 minutes and 52 seconds after the Moxibustion treatment. Increased blood flows to pressure ulcers area induced by Moxibustion stimulus are considered to restrict or arrest the progress of pressure ulcers (according to Stage I of the International Association for Enterostomal Therapy (IAET) classification) on in-home care.
We evaluated the clinical effect of acupuncture treatment on 21 patients with Arteriosclerosis Obliterans (ASO). Severity of ASO was grade I in one case, II in 17 cases, III in two cases, and IV in one case (Fontaine classification). Mainly low-frequency electroacupuncture was applied to inpatients two to four times per week and to outpatients, once or twice a week. Effects on claudication distance (ICD), pain, coldness, and Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI) were assessed on inpatients by comparing the status before starting treatment with that before the acupuncture treatment at the 17th visit. We also assessed the thermograph and plasma calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) of the lower extremities. Improved warmth, increased intermittent limping distance, and relief of pain during walking were observed in patients of grade I and II (Fontaine classification of severity). No improvement of symptoms was observed in patients of grade III and IV. No change in ABPI was observed in any patient. Surface temperatures in the peripheral extremities were significantly elevated from 15 minutes after insertion of the needles until 15 minutes after removal. A significant increase in plasma CGRP was observed immediately after the treatment. These findings suggest that acupuncture treatment may be effective for some symptoms of grade I and II ASO and that improvement of peripheral circulation via vascular dilatation may be involved in the mechanism of action.
We report a clinical study conducted to investigate the effects of Electric Field Therapy (EFT) generated by HEALTHTRON on the stiffness in the neck and shoulder area. In Japan, most cases of stiffness in the neck and shoulder area are caused by painfully hypertonic muscles due to various causes such as cervical damage, mechanical stress, disordered cutaneous sensation and psychogenic stress. Internal disorders can also be significant causes of the painful stiffness in the neck and shoulder area. Subjects were 62 outpatients with chief complaints of stiffness in the neck and shoulder area. Informed consent was obtained from each subject. The patients with organic and/or pathological changes in the muscloskeletal system, mental disorder, or internal disease were not included in this study according to the exclusion criteria for feasible focus in hypertonic muscles. The present study consists of two comparisons, 1) standard treatment in our clinic vs. additional HEALTHTRON, by observing the visual analogue scale (VAS) of stiffness in the neck and shoulder area and general condition, lymphocyte percentage in peripheral blood, blood pressure, and 2) HEALTHTRON alone vs. direct-contact electric stimulation (DCES) alone by observing circulatory blood in the trapezium, and the changes of autonomic nervous activity by heart rate variability (HRV). Results of the first research revealed that the stiffness in the neck and shoulder area was improved more quickly by additional HEALTHTRON than by the standard treatment, according to the results of VAS analysis. The general conditions were also improved in the patients treated with the additional HEALTHTRON. The lymphocyte percentage was increased by the addition HEALTHTRON, which suggested that parasympathetic nerve get a predominant position. The average blood pressure in the hypertensive patients in both groups was decreased after the treatment in this investigation, but blood pressure did not change in the patients with hypotension. The second research found that the blood circulation in the trapezium increased in each group treated with HEALTHTRON or DCES; however, the differences between two groups were not statistically significant. No changes in activity of the autonomic regulation were observed in the patients treated with DCES from an analysis of HRV. In contrast, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems were activated by HEALTHTRON, according to HRV analysis. These results suggest that EFT (HEALTHTRON) are effective for treating stiffness in the neck and shoulder area, and improve the status of the autonomic nervous system.
We examined the effects of superficial and deep acupuncture on the neck and shoulder stiffness. The aim of this study was 1) to clarify whether muscle hardness and surface EMG under slightly flexed neck position are useful as objective index of the muscle tone 2) to compare the effects of acupuncture in different depths (superficial and deep) on the muscle hardness, surface EMG and deep hemodynamics. 10 healthy subjects participated. Two modes of acupuncture, deep muscle stimulation and subcutaneous acupuncture insertion were performed at the neck and shoulder. Both of the superficial and deep acupuncture were left for 10 minutes. As a result, there was a good correlation between muscle hardness and surface EMG under slightly flexed neck position (p<0.01). The integrated EMG was significantly decreased by the superficial acupuncture (p<0.05). On the other hand, muscle hardness was significantly reduced by both of the superficial acupuncture and deep acupuncture (p<0.05). Furthermore, the oxyHb was increased by the superficial acupuncture (p<0.05). These results suggested that the superficial acupuncture has a greater efficiency than the deep acupuncture on neck and shoulder stiffness under slightly flexed neck position.