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Difference between the effects of one-site and three-site abdominal hot-stone stimulation on the skin-temperature changes of the lower limbs

Journal of Integrative Medicine
DOI: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013044
  • Thermography
  • Skin Temperature
  • Massage
  • Hot-Stone
  • Pilot Study


Objective To determine whether any difference exists in the skin-temperature responses of the lower limbs to hot-stone application relative to one-site and three-site abdominal application. Methods Twenty-five female students participated in experimental sessions after a random allocation: 14 participants received a hot-stone application on the umbilicus, superior-umbilicus, and inferior-umbilicus regions (hereafter referred to as the three-site stimulation group); and 11 participants received the hot-stone application on the umbilicus region only (hereafter referred to as the one-site stimulation group). Heated stones were applied for 9 min to participants in both groups. Four arbitrary frames (the lower leg, ankle, proximal foot, and distal foot regions) were created in order to observe and analyze the skin temperature of a lower limb using a thermograph. Observation periods were as follows: before hot-stone stimulation, immediately after stimulation, and 5, 10, 15, and 20 min after stimulation. Results There was a significant offset interaction of distal foot skin temperature between the groups. The left-side distal foot skin temperature increased at 15 and 20 min following the three-site abdominal hot-stone stimulation. The right-side distal foot skin temperature increased immediately and at 5, 10, 15, and 20 min following the three-site abdominal hot-stone stimulation. No significant change in distal foot skin temperature was observed following the one-site stimulation. Conclusion Lower-limb skin temperature was altered following hot-stone stimulation applied to the abdomen, and the one-site stimulation and three-site stimulation yielded different distal foot skin-temperature reactions.

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