Patients do not naturally become bedridden, it is caused by having them lie in bed for long periods of time.
It is acknowledged that human physical and psychological capabilities can deteriorate when they are not utilized. Even for healthy people, if they spend long time lying on the bed, muscle power is rapidly reduced and many symptoms are developed.
It use to be common practice, to prescribe patients a long rest in bed in order to recover. However, in other countries like America, they had a different approach. They have said that it is important to raise the body even in the early stages.
There must have been a lot of criticism. There are risks like salivary aspiration and fracture in old people with osteoporosis.
On the other hand, in many cases patients improve their capabilities by raising their bodies after a long bedridden state. And now, it has become widely known that disuse syndrome is developed by having patients lie in bed for too long.
Our body constantly makes subtle adjustments to maintain its equilibrium against gravitational force.
This is very important for our bodies. It maintains muscle power, moves the joints, and also stimulates bones to be strong. Another thing is emphasized. It is important for the weight of the head to be firmly supported by the spine. There are many cases where the sitting position improved disturbance in consciousness in a couple of days.
When you stand, your feet are positioned lower than your head. Such a condition stimulates heart activity and helps blood circulate in the body. In addition, the thorax can move easily inhaling more air into the lungs. And it is said that brainstem is stimulated by sensing body’s center of gravity. Furthermore, balancing the body in sitting position plays an important role in brainstem activity. The brainstem is an essential part of your everyday activities, it maintains proper activities of organs and to transmit signal to the limbs.
As a well known example, there is a story about astronauts in a gravity-free state. They cannot walk nor even stand when they come back to the earth with gravity after staying for only one week in space without gravity. In order to prevent such a situation, they keep exercising in space.
The longer the body stays in bed the less stimulation it gets from gravity, hence the less muscle power, the less movable joints, the more brittle bones, the less mental activity, and more problems in swallowing. This can lead to many diseases like muscle weakening, muscle atrophy, joint contracture, osteoporosis, cardiopulmonary insufficiency, hypotonia caused by standing, drop in mental activities (progressing to dementia), bedsore, urinary infection, congested pneumonia and many more.
Considering the facts above, you may realize that patients do not naturally become bedridden, but it is caused by having them lie in bed for long periods of time.
In that sense it is very important to sit on the wheelchair or on something so that the head is firmly supported by the spine.
Exercising the joint through the full range of motion is not enough to mitigate the significant loss of motion if the patients remain at prolonged bed rest. The joint does not work unless utilizing muscle to stand on own feet.
Sitting on the wheelchair makes knees, hips and ankles bend to a right angle. Vibration forms tension in the joints and it prevents conditions such as equinus feet. Also, the gravity will naturally unfold elbows that were contracted during lying condition. At the same time it enhances back muscle strength and forces to use neck muscles. Just by travelling in wheelchair it stimulates the mental state. Therefore, it is supposed to be a very effective rehabilitation.
Dr. Toshiaki Hase, the Chief of Kiyone clinic
He graduated medicine at Okayama University in 1979. After service at Katsura hospital in Kyoto, Central hospital in Kurashiki and Tamashima central hospital in series, he opened Kiyone clinic in November 2005. And he runs it until now.
He specializes in cardiovascular care assimilating Kampo medicine into his practice. It is his policy to give treatments considering the minds of patients and their family.
He has been supporting a social welfare corporation “Bethel”. (http://bethel-net.jp/) He is also one of the most active supporters for Snow White project.
He is now planning along with other volunteers a lecture event inviting over 1000 people to talk about this project on December 8th, 2012 in Okayama prefecture.
Web site of Kiyone clinic