Laser acupuncture is more than needle replacement

Laser acupuncture is more than needle replacement

Laser acupuncture in the treatment of depression, temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and asthma in children: new studies document its effectiveness.

Up until now, research into laser acupuncture has focused on whether its effectiveness is equal to that of conventional needle acupuncture. During the past ten years, numerous studies on this comparison have appeared using modern neurophysiological and neurobiological methods with whose help it was possible to measure evidence-based effects of needle and laser acupuncture.

While most studies on needle and laser acupuncture concede that they have effects that do not compare to those of any other type of intervention, there are hardly any studies on potential differences in effects, and the number of controlled studies on the indication-specific effectiveness of laser acupuncture is also small compared to those examining acupuncture with metal needles.

Here we present three current clinical studies and a review which solely look at the indication-specific effectiveness of laser acupuncture:

Depression: laser acupuncture rendered significant clinical and statistical results in the reduction of objectively measured depressive symptoms (RCT 2013)

The clinical study from Australia was conducted with 47 patients suffering from severe depression (major depressive disorder, DSM-IV). Treatment consisted of laser acupuncture for four weeks (2x/week: LIV 14, LIV 08, CV 14, HE 07, KI 03) and another four weeks of laser acupuncture with only one treatment per week with an acupuncture laser (intervention) and a placebo laser (sham laser) respectively.

The patients in the study group exhibited clinically more significant improvements of their depressive symptoms than those in the control group (HAM-D; QIDS-CL: Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology) after eight weeks. In a follow-up after three months, the QIDS scores (here based on information provided by the patients themselves) remained significantly below the baseline.


Temporomandibular disorder (TMD): laser acupuncture provides faster and greater pain relief (RCT 2013)

The clinical study reached the conclusion that patients suffering from TMD who receive an occlusal splint experience greater pain relief and remission of symptoms if they additionally receive laser acupuncture treatment. The therapy was performed once a week for three months (ST 06, SI 19, GB 20, GB 43, LI 04, LIV 03, EX-HN-03).


Asthma in children: no evidence exists that laser acupuncture is not an effective therapeutic method

The review did not conduct a meta-analysis, as the clinical and methodological differences between the selected three 3 RCTs were too great. While one RCT reached a positive result, two crossover RCTs did not lead to any significant results.


Asthma in children: low-intensity laser acupuncture can constitute safe and effective treatment (RTC 2013)

The study evaluated the healing progress of 50 asthmatic children who were treated with laser acupuncture 10x within a period of one month. It concluded that this constitutes an effective and safe method: 92% of patients showed significant improvement, on account of which it was possible to cut the steroid dose (inhalation) in half and discontinue the dispensation of short-acting B2 agonists (SABA).

If you changed the language here, the page seems to be empty. Please go back to the archive overview and click again on the selected article.