This study examined the effect of hot-spring bathing (40 to 41°C) on salivary secretion and salivary secretory IgA (sIgA) in healthy volunteers. Ten volunteers (10 men, average 33.6±9.3 years old) bathed in a hot-spring for 10 minutes. Saliva samples were collected before bathing, during bathing (from 5 to 7 min), and after bathing using the Saxon test. The saliva flow rates and sIgA concentration were determined and then the sIgA secretion rates were calculated. The saliva flow rates increased significantly during the bathing (p<0.02) and decreased after bathing. The sIgA secretion rates during bathing were significantly higher than those before and after bathing (p<0.02). The increases in saliva flow rates and sIgA secretion rates during bathing were considered to indicate the improvement of local immunity in the oral cavity and thus considered to be useful for preventing upper respiratory tract infections.
In recent years, the number of patients with respiratory disease has been increasing. In this study, pathophysiological characteristics of asthma in the elderly were discussed in relation to the action mechanisms and the clinical efficacy of spa therapy. In the action mechanisms of spa therapy for asthma, improvements of subjective and objective symptoms and ventilatory function, decrease in airway resistance, improvement of hyperinflation of the lung, and suppression of hypersecretion were observed in direct action of the therapy. Furthermore, improvement of depressed function of adrenocortical glands, psychological relaxation, and antioxidant action (increase in SOD activity) were found in indirect action of the therapy. Characteristics of asthma in the elderly was expressed as weak allergic reaction, decrease in ventilatory function, DLco and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, increase in residual volume accompanied by weak bronchoconstriction, and suppressed function of adrenocortical glands, which are beneficial for clinical efficacy of spa therapy. Thus, spa therapy is more effective in elderly patients than in younger patients.
Objective: This study evaluated the effect of acupuncture treatment on the blood pressure in the elderly based on measurements using the ambulatory blood pressure monitoring method (ABPM). The relationships between the psychological health status and the status evaluated by an oriental medical questionnaire were also examined. Methods: The subjects consisted of 15 elderly females aged 75[±6]. A model TM-2421 (A & D Co., Tokyo, Japan) was used for ABPM. Blood pressure was measured before the acupuncture treatment, at the end of the treatment, and one month after the treatment. The average systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse rate (PUL) were measured over 24 hours, daytime and nighttime; the hyperbaric index (HBI); and the circadian rhythm were measured by the cosinor method. Subjects were divided into two groups, hypertensive and normal groups, using JNC7 (daytime 135/85mmHg, nighttime 120/75mmHg) as the reference. Subjects were also asked to answer the questions in the Cornell Medical Index (CMI) and Meiji Oriental Medical Score (MOS). Acupuncture treatment was applied twice a week over two months, a total of 18 times, with the aim of improving the blood pressure, psychological status, and chronic pain syndromes. Results: Of the 15 subjects who participated in the recent study, six were in the normal blood pressure group and nine, in the hypertensive group. Averages of both SBP and DBP measured over 24 hours, daytime and nighttime exhibited a uniform decreasing trend at the end of the treatment. In the hypertensive group, the average nighttime DBP showed a statistically significant difference. A significant decrease in the HBI was detected in the hypertensive group at the end of the treatment. CMI results indicated that the subjects who were rated abnormal tended to be more normal at the end of the treatment. The oriental medical status evaluated with MOS also indicated an improvement as a result of treatment. Conclusion: Acupuncture treatment was considered to effectively decrease blood pressure and improve the psychological status and chronic pain of the elderly.
Purpose Half body bathing is popular among young women as well as elderly people. As a matter of fact, it is reported that half body bathing has a smaller burden than whole-body bathing from the point of physical influence. To clarify the relation between bathing habitude and health maintenance, that is, as an approach to general understanding the physiological effects by repeating bathing stimuli, the physiological changes by continuing half body bathing were studied. Methods Half body bathing was repeated for 4 weeks in healthy female subjects (N=10, age: 30.1±4.8, height: 160.4±6.1cm, weight: 55.6±7.0kg, body mass index: 20.9±1.6kg/m2, mean±SD). Bathing was performed for 30 minutes and 3times a week, with a level of epigastrium without immersing arms. Changes of blood flow and energy expenditure were measured during bathing at 0W and 4W. Results and Discussion By continuing bathing, blood flow increased more rapidly and higher during bathing, in addition, resting energy expenditure increased by 200kcal/day with a significant difference. From these findings, it is assumed that repeated half-body bathing enhances the increase of blood flow through repeating thermal stimuli, which leads to elevated basal metabolism.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)-enriched water, one of the Japanese pharmacopeias, has been used as an alternative thermotherapy to treat the intractable diabetic skin diseases. However, few scientific researches on the physiological effects of CO2-enriched footbath have been reported. Fifteen males (aged 22-52, 31±10) took part in this study after providing their written informed consents. They took three kinds of footbath (plain water, CO2-enriched water and control without water) at 38°C for 30min in random sequence. Their core temperature from oral and tympanic membrane, cutaneous blood flow, tissue hemoglobin concentration at the cerebral frontal cortex and trapezoid muscle, systemic blood pressure, heart rate variability, salivary IgA, comfortable feeling with face scale were measured before, during and after footbath. CO2-enriched footbath showed significant physiological effects on the systemic and peripheral circulation. Local (under water) cutaneous blood flow, and tissue blood flow of the frontal cortex were significantly higher than in the plain water footbath. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate in CO2-enriched footbath were also lower than those in the plain water footbath. Heart rate variability of CO2-enriched footbath showed an decrease of LF/HF ratio and more HF/(LF+HF) ratio than that of plain water footbath. These parameters indicated lesser stress for the heart in CO2-enriced footbath than in the plain water footbath. The relaxing effect of CO2-enriched footbath was also indicated from the results of face scale and salivary IgA concentration. All of these results supported that the CO2-enriched footbath was less stressful and more relaxing, and had more physiological effects on the local systemic and cerebral circulatory system and autonomic nervous system than plain water footbath.