In Japan, the Hot Springs Law and the Guideline of Analytical Methods of Mineral Springs (revised) classify springs containing 74 Bq/kg of radon as “hot springs” and those with radon levels exceeding 111 Bq/kg as “medical springs” called “radioactive spring”. Radon is a noble gas that easily diffuses in air. This study evaluates exposure dose due to radon when using a radioactive spring at a spa in the Toriido area, Komono town, Mie district, Mie prefecture. After bath water was supplied through a pipe from hot spring storage tanks to bathtubs, only 5.3-18.0% of radon remained in the water. Two days later, only 0.3-0.4% of the radon remained in the bath water due to radioactive decay and diffusion into air being increased by bathing and recirculation filtering. The calculated effective dose from bathing in radioactive hot spring was 2.8-12.0 nSv, and that from drinking radioactive hot spring water was 5.1-23.3 nSv. To determine the total effective dose from use of the hot spring facility that may effects on human health, it is necessary to analyze radon concentrations not only in the water but also the surrounding air.
Objective: Snapping finger is the result of gliding disorder of the superficial and deep digital flexor tendon and the flexor pollicis longus muscle tendon at the synovial and ligamentous tendon sheath (A1 pulley). In this study, acupuncture was performed at the A1 pulley of the affected finger to determine its effect on pain during snapping and the degree of the snapping phenomenon. Methods: Acupuncture was performed on 19 fingers of 15 patients. No control group of untreated patients was included in the study, and the same acupuncture treatment was used for all of the patients. The acupuncture needles were inserted in the radial and ulnar sides of the flexor tendon (left inserted for 10 min) at the A1 pulley of the affected finger. Treatment was performed a maximum of 5 times (once every 5 to 7 days). Before and after each treatment, the pain during snapping and the degree of the snapping phenomenon were evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS) ranging from 0 mm (no symptoms) to 100 mm (intolerable symptoms). Symptoms before the first treatment and before the fifth treatment were compared to determine the degree of change, taking a 50% improvement as the criterion for judging whether there was an improvement or not, and the relationship between improvement or lack of improvement and the duration of the disorder was examined. Results: VAS evaluation showed a significant improvement in pain during snapping and the degree of the snapping phenomenon with scores before the first treatment and before the fifth treatment of 57.1±22.2 (mm, mean±SD)→26.0±29.8, 61.2±23.1→26.1±27.6 respectively. VAS evaluation directly after the first treatment also showed a significant improvement in pain and the degree of the snapping phenomenon with scores of 40.8±19.6 and 44.3±23.9 respectively. Furthermore, by the fifth treatment, pain and the snapping phenomenon were observed to have completely disappeared in 4 and 6 fingers respectively. In patients showing an improvement in pain and the snapping phenomenon, the duration of the disorder was significantly short. Discussion: It is unlikely that acupuncture had an influence on the degeneration and thickening of the ligament tendon sheath. Improvement in the snapping phenomenon is thought to be the result of acupuncture treatment changing regional blood flow and thereby exerting a favorable influence on inflammatory swelling. The alleviation of pain during snapping is believed to be the result of improved flexor tendon gliding as well as the involvement of acupuncture in activation of the pain inhibitory system. Since no control group of untreated patients or sham treatment group were included in the study, the possibility of a placebo effect influencing the results cannot be completely excluded. However, because a difference was observed in the efficacy of the treatment depending on the duration of the disorder, the view is that acupuncture at the impaired A1 pulley could be effective treatment for snapping finger when the main cause is inflammatory swelling of the synovial membrane of the tendon sheath and when the duration of the disorder is short.
Case Report: The patient was a 70-year-old man with a chief complaint of impaired consciousness. He had visited a hot spring in Yamagata Prefecture. While he was bathing in a hot spring, he lost consciousness and nearly drowned. There was no eye witness. Other guests discovered him floating in the bathtub. He was not breathing and received chest compression by a guest. Subsequently, the patient resumed spontaneous respiration. When the emergency medical team arrived, and Japan Coma Scale (JCS) was 300 and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was E1V1M1. The patient was transported to our hospital, and JCS was 200 at admission. Plain chest x-ray and CT imaging revealed infiltrative opacities in the bilateral lungs, suggesting pneumonia. Head CT imaging was unable to identify the underlying cause of loss of consciousness and showed no hypoxic changes. He continued to have impaired consciousness after arrival at the hospital, and it was determined that he had postresuscitation hypoxic encephalopathy. He was immediately treated with cerebral hypothermia. Midazolam was used for sedation, fentanyl for analgesia, and vecuronium for prevention of shivering. In the emergency room, the patient underwent gastric lavage with cold water and infusion of cold fluid. An Arctic Sun® was placed on the patient after admission to the ICU. A target body temperature of 34°C was reached approximately 4 hours after arrival. His temperature was maintained at 34°C for 24 hours and warmed to 36°C in the next 48 hours. Lung disorder caused by aspiration of hot spring water was treated with antibiotics (tazobactam/piperacillin and azithromycin) and positive-pressure ventilation by a mechanical ventilator. This treatment prevented the lung disorder from increasing in severity. Sedation was discontinued after the body temperature was warmed. Subsequently, the patient’s state of consciousness was improved to the premorbid level, and he eventually was able to return to his normal life. Discussion: When patients nearly drown in a hot spring, their body temperatures are often elevated because they have been in hot water for a long time. Their body temperatures must be lowered quickly to a target level using various cooling methods. Immunity is lowered in a hypothermic state, and pneumonia will inevitably develop due to aspiration of hot spring water. Thus, appropriate management is necessary, including the use of antibiotics. Conclusion: Cerebral hypothermia was effective for postresuscitation hypoxic encephalopathy caused by near drowning in a hot spring.
In recent years, because the dry skin problem has become very common, it is getting the more important to preserve the barrier function of the skin. Although protecting the skin against water loss is one of the representative factors of its barrier capabilities, there is no report until now about the relationship between daily use of bath liquid and the moisture-keeping capacity of the skin. In this study we examined how the skin condition can be improved after 14 straight days of employment of our bath liquid ‘Ulmore®’including Polyquaternium-10 and several moisturizing ingredients. Polyquaternium-10 is a Cationized Cellulose and is widely formulated in shampoos and hair conditioners. We found that the application of Ulmore® for 10 or 14 days significantly maintained sratum corneum water content (SCWC) and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) compared with the placebo application. This result suggests that this is because our bath liquid covered the stratum corneum and protected the skin from water loss caused by the environmental factors like low humidity. Thus we conclude that daily use of the bath liquid has a beneficial effect on skin moisture.
Introduction: Chloride hot springs have been suggested to have a high thermal retention effect, with various beneficial effects on health. However, the efficacies of such hot springs for preventing arteriosclerosis and improving blood flow have not been scientifically verified. We investigated flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) as an index of early arteriosclerosis before and after hot spring bathing to study the effects of chloride hot spring baths on the blood vessels. Subjects and methods: The subjects were 17 healthy adult men and women with an average age of 63 years. The Qua I THERME natrium <sodium> chloride hot spring in Maebashi City, Gunma prefecture, Japan, was used. Measurements were conducted before and 1 h after bathing. Results and discussion: The mean FMD values in all subjects increased significantly 1 h after in comparison to the values before bathing. The FMD values increased in women, but not in men. Body Mass Index (BMI) was 25 or higher in five cases, among which one cases showed a decrease in FMD% after bathing. Hot spring therapy was shown to increase nitric oxide (NO) levels and expand the vascular smooth muscles temporarily. The results also indicated inhibition of platelet agglutination, smooth muscle propagation, leukocyte adhesion and active oxygen production accompanying bathing, which may lead to improvement of vascular endothelial function.