Nice review of physiology and research underlying laser acupuncture. I’ve kept away from it since I worry about potential dangers. I still don’t feel comfortable using it, I tend to be old school and a late adopter in many ways.
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2019 Jun 1;31(3):164-168. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1343. Epub 2019 Jun 17.
Laser Acupuncture: A Concise Review.
- Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
- Department of Pain Medicine, Shenzhen Nanshan People’s Hospital, Guangdong Medical University, Shenzhen, China.
- Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.
Background: Laser acupuncture (LA)-the use of nonthermal, low-intensity laser irradiation to stimulate acupuncture points-has become more common among acupuncture practitioners in recent years. LA is promoted as a safer pain-free alternative to traditional acupuncture, with minimal adverse effects and greater versatility. However, little is known about the mechanism of action of LA, laser characteristics, and effectiveness of LA therapy. Objective: This concise review of LA describes basic parameters and procedures, potential mechanisms of action, and the current evidence for its clinical efficacy. The article also highlights the need for more robust research on LA that can be translated into evidence-based clinical practices. Conclusions: LA has many features that make it an attractive option as a treatment modality, including minimal sensation; short duration of treatment; and minimal risks of infection, trauma, and bleeding complications. Future studies with high-quality methodologies, ample sample sizes, and consistent and reproducible laser parameters are critically needed to increase understanding and establish potential future clinical applications.