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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 965095, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/965095
Research Article

Application of a Heat- and Steam-Generating Sheet Increases Peripheral Blood Flow and Induces Parasympathetic Predominance

1Tokyo Research Laboratories, Kao Corporation, 2-1-3, Bunka, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-8501, Japan
2Department of Pharmacology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1, Kitasato Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan
3St. Luke’s College of Nursing, 10-1, Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0044, Japan
4Kitasato University, 5-9-1, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8642, Japan

Received 15 November 2010; Accepted 16 February 2011

Copyright © 2011 Yoshinao Nagashima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To promote the practical application of a Japanese traditional medical treatment, such as hot compresses, we developed a plaster-type warming device consisting of a heat- and steam-generating sheet (HSG sheet). First, we tested its effects when applied to the anterior abdominal wall or lumbar region of women complaining of a tendency towards constipation. Application of the sheet to either region produced a feeling of comfort in the abdomen, as assessed by a survey of the subjects. The significant increases in the total hemoglobin observed in these regions suggested an increase in peripheral blood flow, and significant increases in the HF component on ECG and in the amplitude of gastric motility suggested parasympathetic predominance. We concluded that application of the HSG sheet improves the peripheral hemodynamics and autonomic regulation, induces a feeling of comfort in the abdomen, and provides a beneficial environment for the improvement of gastrointestinal movements.