On December 11, 2013, we visited Baden, a hot spring town in Switzerland. The natural hot spring water at Baden contains sulfur, is 46.5°C with a pH of 6.43, and is used in both drinking and bathing therapies. In addition to the hot spring, the hotel spa contains a massage parlor for medical massage, relaxing massage, cosmetic massage, or various other types of massage. Previous studies have reported a preference in about half the Swiss population for hospitals that offer complementary and alternative medicine. Also, acupuncture, manual therapy, and massage are frequently used in such facilities. Medical Center Baden has both a medical department and a therapeutic department. In the medical department, medical doctors practice manual medicine (manuelle Medizin) and in the therapeutic department, physical therapists (Physiothera-peuten) practice various kinds of physical therapy (Physiotherapie) such as manual therapy (manuelle Therapie), kinetics (funktionelle Bewegungslehre), biomechanics, respiratory therapy, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, and electrotherapy/ultrasound. Medical massage therapists (medizinische Masseure) in the therapeutic department practice various kinds of massage including classic massage, manipulative massage, reflexology, connective tissue massage, manual lymphatic drainage, and Fango (a type of pelotherapy). These divisions indicate that the practices of massage and manual therapy in German-speaking Switzerland are sorted and named individually by the stimulated anatomical tissue and by type of functional and physical stimulation. In contrast, Japanese manual therapy, Anma massage therapyis holistic and based on the patient’s subjective physical and mental state. These are characteristic features of Eastern Asian medicine, which tends toward whole-body, individualized treatments.
Background and aim: In recent years, individual care designed for the needs of the elderly has progressed in long-term care facilities in Japan, but the bathing care, especialy its frequency and time, is yet to be satisfactory. In the previous study by the author into the bathing care time in such facilities, however, there were some facilites that carried out bathing care before bedtime (“night bathing”), while most facilities provided bathing care only during daytime. The purpose of this study was to examine how such facilites (“nursing homes”), which seem to have a high awareness for the individual care for the elderly, have managed to offer night bathing and what changes had occurred because of that. Method: We conducted an interview-style survey with three administrators of nursing homes where night bathing was done. We recorded the interviews and transcribed them. We sorted out the answers regarding bathing care from the three nursing homes into six categories. We examined the preparations for night bathing and changes the administrators observed among the elderly and the caregivers after they started night bathing, and grouped the similar items. Results: In order to provide night bathing to the elderly, the surveyed nursing homes modified not only the bathing care system but also the overall care system and the caregivers’ working hours. Night bathing care was carried out with bath lifts or as ordinary bathing, with one caregiver bathing one elderly. Administrators believed that providing night bathing helped to meet the bathing care needs of the elderly and improved their sleeping conditions and quality of life. They also thought that the caregivers improved the quality of their care and raised their awareness toward understanding the importance of individual care. Discussion and Conclusion: The results suggested that night bathing at nursing homes leads to a wider range of bathing time choices to the elderly which leads to respecting their lifestyles and their individual needs.
Objectives: Radon (222Rn) is a noble gas and a component of water in many hot spring spas. The Hot Springs Law and the Guideline of Analytical Methods of Mineral Springs (revised edition) of Japan classify springs containing 74 Bq/kg or more of radon as “hot springs” and those with radon levels exceeding 111 Bq/kg as “medical springs”, also called “radioactive springs”. Komono Town, one of the foremost spa and health resort destinations in Mie Prefecture, is the site of many radioactive springs. For the purpose of regional vitalization of this area through radioactive springs, it is necessary to confirm the safety and effectiveness of their use. To evaluate the exposure dose due to radioactive spring usage, it is important to measure radon concentration in air, especially in high-humidity air such as in bathing rooms. Methods: The concentration of radon in air was analyzed using an activated charcoal detector (PICO-RAD; AccuStar Labs) with a desiccant (Drierite; 8-mesh anhydrous calcium sulfate; W.A. Hammond Drierite Company, Ltd.) and a liquid scintillation counter (LSC LB-5; Hitachi Aloka Medical, Ltd.). A DPO (2,5-diphenyloxazole) + POPOP (1,4-bis- (5-phenyl-2-oxazolyl)-benzene) toluene solution (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd.) was used as a liquid scintillator. Activated charcoal detectors were set up in and around the radioactive spring facilities. Results and Discussion: In a radioactive spring facility, radon concentration in air in the bathing room and changing room were relatively high at about 50 Bq/m3. In the corridor on all floors and at the entrance, these values were approximately 10-30 Bq/m3, indicating that radon in hot spring water diffuses into the air and spreads within the facility. Outdoors, radon concentration was 12.5 Bq/m3 at a campsite near the discharge point of the radioactive spring. Exposure dose is calculated under the assumption of a two-day stay, during which the visitor will use the bath for several hours. The results obtained show that the exposure dose at the hot spring facility is lower than the exposure dose from daily environmental radiation or medical devices. These conclusions are considered sufficient to confirm the safety of the hot spring facility.