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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2013, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (5): 314-319.doi: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013044

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

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

Hiroshi Kugea,b, Hidetoshi Moria, Tim Hideaki Tanakaa(), Kazuyo Hanyuc, Tateyuki Morisawac   

  1. a. Department of Health, Faculty of Health Science, Tsukuba University of Technology, 4-12-7 Kasuga,Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki, 305-8521, Japan
    b. Department of Anesthesiology, Osaka Medical College Hospital, 2-7 Daigakumachi, Takatsuki-shi,Osaka, 569-8686, Japan
    c. Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba-shi,Ibaraki, 305-8572, Japan
  • Received:2013-02-23 Accepted:2013-07-15 Online:2013-09-10 Published:2013-09-15


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.


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.


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.


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.

Key words: Thermography, Skin temperature, Massage, Hot-stone, Pilot study

Figure 1

The exact locations of the frames with anatomical landmarks Arbitrary frames used to analyze skin temperature of lower limb: A: Anterior aspect of lower leg frame (referred to as Lower Leg in the text); B: Anterior aspect of ankle frame (referred to as Ankle in the text); C: Dorsal proximal aspect of foot frame (referred to as Proximal Foot in the text); D: Dorsal distal aspect of foot frame (referred to as Distal Foot in the text). Anatomical land marks used to create arbitrary frames: a: Inferior border of the patella; b: Highest point of the medial malleolus; c: Highest point of the lateral malleolus; d: Medial border of the patella; e: Lateral border of the patella; f: Medial aspect of the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint; g: Lateral aspect of the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint; h: Midpoint between b and f; i: Midpoint between c and g; j: Distal end of the 1st phalanx; k: Distal end of the 5th phalanx."

Figure 2

Flow of participants of the study"


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