Impact of radon and combinatory radon/carbon dioxide spa on pain and hypertension: Results from the explorative RAD-ON01 study.
Mod Rheumatol. 2018 Feb 16;:1-22
Authors: Rühle PF, Klein G, Rung T, Tiep Phan H, Fournier C, Fietkau R, Gaipl US, Frey B
OBJECTIVES: Therapies with low doses of radon have beneficial effects on patients suffering from chronic painful degenerative and inflammatory diseases. We already showed that this is accompanied by systemic immune modulations. We here focus on pain reducing effects of very low doses of radon by adding carbon dioxide water and its impact on heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure and free radicals.
METHODS: 100 patients receiving radon spa (1.200 Bq/l at 34°C or 600 Bq/l, 1 g/l CO2 at 34°C) were monitored before and at three different time points after therapy. Individual pain perception was analyzed and the capability to process radicals. At each time point the hypertensive patients (n = 46) were examined over 24h for blood pressure and HRV.
RESULTS: Long term pain reduction was observed in the majority of patients. A modulation of superoxide dismutase was identified, presumably representing a priming effect for lowering radiation stress. Further, lowering of blood pressure, especially in those patients who additionally received carbon dioxide, was seen. Radon did in particular impact on HRV implying lasting relaxation effects.
CONCLUSIONS: Radon/carbon dioxide spa efficiently reduces pain. In particular, patients simultaneously suffering from painful and cardiovascular diseases should be treated by combination of radon and CO2.
PMID: 29451048 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
The health impact of residential retreats: a systematic review.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Jan 10;18(1):8
Authors: Naidoo D, Schembri A, Cohen M
BACKGROUND: Unhealthy lifestyles are a major factor in the development and exacerbation of many chronic diseases. Improving lifestyles though immersive residential experiences that promote healthy behaviours is a focus of the health retreat industry. This systematic review aims to identify and explore published studies on the health, wellbeing and economic impact of retreat experiences.
METHODS: MEDLINE, CINAHL and PsychINFO databases were searched for residential retreat studies in English published prior to February 2017. Studies were included if they were written in English, involved an intervention program in a residential setting of one or more nights, and included before-and-after data related to the health of participants. Studies that did not meet the above criteria or contained only descriptive data from interviews or case studies were excluded.
RESULTS: A total of 23 studies including eight randomised controlled trials, six non-randomised controlled trials and nine longitudinal cohort studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies included a total of 2592 participants from diverse geographical and demographic populations and a great heterogeneity of outcome measures, with seven studies examining objective outcomes such as blood pressure or biological makers of disease, and 16 studies examining subjective outcomes that mostly involved self-reported questionnaires on psychological and spiritual measures. All studies reported post-retreat health benefits ranging from immediately after to five-years post-retreat. Study populations varied widely and most studies had small sample sizes, poorly described methodology and little follow-up data, and no studies reported on health economic outcomes or adverse effects, making it difficult to make definite conclusions about specific conditions, safety or return on investment.
CONCLUSIONS: Health retreat experiences appear to have health benefits that include benefits for people with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, various cancers, HIV/AIDS, heart conditions and mental health. Future research with larger numbers of subjects and longer follow-up periods are needed to investigate the health impact of different retreat experiences and the clinical populations most likely to benefit. Further studies are also needed to determine the economic benefits of retreat experiences for individuals, as well as for businesses, health insurers and policy makers.
PMID: 29316909 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The Effectiveness of a Stress Reduction and Burnout Prevention Program.
Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2016 11 18;113(46):781-788
Authors: Stier-Jarmer M, Frisch D, Oberhauser C, Berberich G, Schuh A
BACKGROUND: Chronic psychological distress appears to have increased in recent years, mainly among the working population. The data available indicate that mental and behavioral disorders, including burnout syndrome, represent not only a personal problem for those afflicted, but also a serious public health issue. This study aimed at evaluating the effects of an outpatient burnout prevention program in a mono-center health resort setting.
METHODS: Adults experiencing an above-average level of stress and thus being at an increased risk of burnout were randomized either to the intervention group (IG) or the waiting control group (WG). The 3-week program included stress management intervention, relaxation, physical exercise and moor applications. The primary outcome was change in perceived stress (PSQ) at 6 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes included burnout symptoms, well-being, health status, psychological symptoms, back pain, and number of sick days. Participants were examined at baseline, post-intervention (3 weeks) and after 1, 3 and 6 months.
RESULTS: Data from 88 adults (IG=43; WG=45) were available for (per protocol) analysis (mean age: 50.85; 76.1% female). Participants in the IG experienced significant immediate improvement in all outcome measures, which declined somewhat during the first three months post-intervention and then remained stable for at least another three months. Those in the WG did not experience substantial change across time. For the 109 randomized persons, results for PSQ were confirmed in an intention-to-treat analysis with missing values replaced by last observation carried forward (between-group ANCOVA for PSQScore at 6 months, parameter estimator for the group: -20.57; 95% CI: [-26.09; -15.04]). Large effect sizes (Cohen's d for PSQ: 1.09-1.72) indicate the superiority of the intervention.
CONCLUSION: The program proved to be effective in reducing perceived stress, emotional exhaustion and other targets. Future research should examine the long-term impact of the program and the effect of occasional refresher training.
PMID: 27989278 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]