Can you tell me what is laser acupuncture?

Laser acupuncture is the use of a low-level laser beam to stimulate an acupuncture point. The laser is used instead of an acupuncture needle. It is painless and noninvasive. Penetration into the surface of the skin is very shallow (reportedly about 0.8 of one millimeter).

A small red-beam laser pen is used. The device is similar to the red-beam laser light using in scanners at airports and grocery stores. According to research done by acupuncturists at Harvard Medical School, it is safe for home use.

Laser acupuncture is being used for a wide range of conditions such as low back pain, nonunion fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and wound healing. It may also be used with acute injuries and for muscle relaxation.

This is a fairly new device. The Food and Drug Administration lists low-level laser therapy as a form of Biostimulation laser. Based on clinical data, it has been cleared for use in the temporary relief of pain. The FDA has not approved or recommended its use for other conditions.

Rose H. Goldman, MD, MPH, et al. Acupuncture for Treatment of Persistent Arm Pain Due to Repetitive Use. In The Clinical Journal of Pain. March/April 2008. Vol. 24. No. 3. Pp. 211-218.



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