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Laser Acupuncture

Laser Acupuncture

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, the principles for which were proposed in the early 1900s by Albert Einstein. Theodore Maiman produced the first operational laser in 1960, based upon a Ruby crystal that produced (visible) red light at 694nm [1]. The type of laser used in therapy, in this case LA, a category of Laser termed €˜low intensity laser’ is used and the spread of €˜low intensity laser therapy’ began during the late 1970s & 1980s in Western Europe, Asia and America.


There are 3 major components to a laser treatment device:

  1. a lasing medium, where the laser output of light exits
  2. an electrical supply unit or battery
  3. Control unit, where an on/off switch etc, is found.


Stimulation of acupuncture points is determined by a number of parameters, the parameters of stimulation is defined by both the machine used, and the user.

The parameters are:

  • Wavelength. This is measured in nanomeyres (nm) and is defined by the diode fitted in the treatment probe which is usually fixed on manufacture.
  • Radiant Power density. Power output is measured in milliwatts (mW) which is also dependent upon the diode used. This parameter can be maximized by use of a contact€ technique, which shall be outline later.
  • Energy. Is a simple measure of dosage of energy delivered during the treatment and is specified in Joules (J). This aspect is defined by the operator and is essentially a function of the irradiation (stimulation of acu-point) time. The greater the time of irradiation, the greater the dosage.


The principle of application for LA is very straightforward, and it is:

The further the treatment head is from the target tissue, the greater will be the spot size and the lower the density of photons on the tissue surface. For a given irradiation time, the further the head is from the tissue, the lower will be the dosage. This type of laser is designed to be used in firm contact with the skin and if manual pressure is also applied, the effectiveness of the irradiation shall be enhanced obviously.

Laser stimulation may be used to affect in any acupuncture treatment in conjunction with any other traditional techniques or it may be used on it’s own. Laser stimulation is particularly suited:

  • For the treatment of nervous patients or children
  • For the treatment of sensitive points eg. REN-1
  • For the treatment of auricular points
  • As an alternative to invasive procedures in clients who carry HIV or hepatitis.[2]

[1] Acupuncture and Related Techniques in Physical Therapy, G. David Baxter, Churchhill Livingstone, 1997, NY

[2] Acupuncture and Related Techniques in Physical Therapy, G. David Baxter, Churchhill Livingstone, 1997, NY