Background: Bathing is an important behavior for keeping the body clean and is one of the habits of daily life. Among other things, bathing is regarded as a means of relieving fatigue, refreshing oneself, benefiting health, and improving sleep. As such it can be considered a health-maintaining activity. Apart from a previous study by the authors, there has been very little research on the relationship between home bathing habits and health. Objective: The aim of this study was, therefore, to clarify how physical and mental health relate to daily bathing in the home, particularly the habit of full bath immersion. Method: The participants were 198 employees of a quasi-drug manufacturing company and their family members who could and cooperated in the present study. The study was conducted as a self-report survey from October 1-30, 2010, with questionnaires being distributed to and collected from subjects before and after this period. Participants were asked about their sex, age, frequency of bathing per week, frequency of use of bath additives per week, temperature of bath water, bathing duration, and water level when in the bath, health, and sleep quality. Health was assessed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) inventory, and self-rated health and quality of sleep were assessed using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Results: Among bathing habits, the group with a high bath frequency had significantly low scores for tension-anxiety and depression-dejection mood scales, and significantly high self-rated health. In the present study, self-rated health and quality of sleep were significantly better in the group who frequently used bath additives. In the full bath group, Fatigue score was significantly low and self-rated health and quality of sleep scores were significantly high. Discussion and Conclusion: Taking a full bath frequently and frequent use of bath additives are bathing habits that increase physical and psychological health in the middle-aged.
Waon therapy uses a far infrared-ray dry sauna, which is evenly maintained at 60°C and differs from the traditional sauna. The patients were placed in a 60°C sauna system for 15 minutes, in which the deep-body temperature has increased by 1.0 to 1.2°C. Then, after leaving the sauna, they underwent bed rest with a blanket to keep them warm for an additional 30 minutes. All patients were weighed before and after the therapy, and they drank some water at the end of Waon therapy to compensate for weight lost due to perspiration and prevent the dehydration. We have previously reported that Waon therapy improves the cardiac and vascular endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and the limb ischemia and symptoms in patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans (ASO). As underlying molecular mechanisms, we demonstrated that Waon therapy upregulates nitric oxide (NO) and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), which would improve vascular endothelial and cardiac function in TO-2 cardiomyopathic hamsters and augment ischemia-induced angiogenesis. In order to investigate the mechanism of Waon therapy, we examined the effect of Waon therapy on heat shock proteins (Hsp) in failed myocardium and ischemic limb. Hsp are stress response proteins that can be induced by stress signals, including thermal stimulation. Hsp function as chaperones to assist with protein folding in order to protect cells from protein denaturation or cell death under stress conditions. In TO-2 cardiomyopathic hamsters, the cardiac expression of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4HNE), a marker of oxidative stress, was decreased in the 4-week Waon therapy compared to untreated hamsters. Also, the cardiac expressions of Hsp 27, Hsp 32 and manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD), which reduce oxidative stress, were significantly upregulated by the 4-week Waon therapy compared to untreated hamsters. In addition, Waon therapy upregulated Hsp90, which contributes to the activation of the AkteNOSNO pathway, and induced angiogenesis in mice with hindlimb ischemia. However, Waon therapy did not increase the expression of Hsp70, Hsp60, Hsp32 and Hsp27 in the same model mice. The thermal stimulation with Waon therapy upregulated specific Hsp isoforms depending on different organs and diseases. The specific function of Hsp induced by Waon therapy is suggested to play an important role in improving cardiovascular diseases.
Objective We examined the effects of low frequency electro-acupuncture therapy (EAT) on young women who suffered from‘Hie’symptoms, which were judged according to the national normal value of bodily pain (BP) scores from a ”Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form-8 Survey“ (SF-8). Subjects and Methodology The experimental subjects were 20 women (mean age: 21.2 years old; range: 18-26 years old) who exhibited symptoms of ‘Hie’ symptoms (vasomotor dysfunction) and whose toes’skin temperature increased or showed a different reaction between right and left during a postural change test. A stainless steel acupuncture needle (length: 40 mm; diameter: 0.2 mm) was inserted approximately 15 mm deep at SP6 (Sanyinjiao, Saninko). EAT using an active electrode (the needle) at SP6 and a reference electrode (surface electrode) at the lateral-anterior aspect of the lower leg was applied at a frequency of 1 Hz for 20 minutes. The therapy was provided one session per week for a total of five sessions. Effects of the therapy were evaluated by using an original questionnaire (‘Hie’diary), which consisted of six categorical of 14 symptoms (including of‘Hie’) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of‘severity of Hie’. Moreover, changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) by acupuncture were evaluated by using the SF-8 Standard Edition. Results Subjects were grouped according to their SF-8 BP scores before the therapy: 12 subjects (L group) whose scores were less than the national normal value (42.75 points), and eight subjects (H group) whose scores were more than the national normal value. For both groups VAS levels showed no statistically significant changes, but for the L group the total score of 14 symptoms significantly decreased after the second therapy session compared with scores before the therapy. Moreover, the statistically significant decrease in the total score lasted for one month after the therapy had been finished. Compared with before therapy, the score of ‘vitality’ (VT) significantly increased for the L group one month after the therapy, and those of BP and ‘mental health’ (MH) significantly increased for the L group just after and one month after the therapy. Conclusions EAT at SP6 on young women with ‘Hie’ symptoms (vasomotor dysfunction) contributes to improvement in overall condition and health-related QOL, and it is occluded that the effect of the EAT was high, because HRQOL was low (the score of BP was low).
Among lots of lifestyle factors thought to be related to the Japanese health status, bathing in hot water, utilizing onsen (hot spring) facilities, and drinking green tea are very special in Japan. With this study we aimed to determine the contribution of these lifestyle factors to Japanese health condition estimated by self-rated health (SRH), sleep quality and rest, and stress level as the dependent variable. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted of 5,000 residents in Shizuoka prefecture aged≥20 years in 2011. Using unconditional logistic models, odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for several factors that were considered to affect SRH. The lifestyle habits of bathing in hot water every day, utilizing onsen facilities often, and drinking green tea a lot showed a strong association with good SRH. Bathing in hot water was also related to lower perceived stress. In conclusion, the promotion of daily bathing in hot water, utilizing onsen facilities often, consuming a lot of green tea examined in this study may help to enhance people’s own perception of their general health. It is possible that these lifestyle habits may contribute to good health status of the Japanese.