I’ve been debating getting acupuncture done to help alleviate some pain I’ve been having on and off in my shoulder for years now. Do you know the reason why I haven’t gone yet? I’m afraid of needles! And I’m not alone.
Roughly 100 million Americans suffer from some sort of chronic pain, and the number one reason they avoid getting treatment is fear of pain.
Yet there’s hope… laser acupuncture.
Laser acupuncture has been clinically applied since the 1970s, and is widely used in Eurasia, and rapidly gaining in popularity here in North America.
Unlike lasers used for surgeries to burn or lacerate, these low-level lasers don’t emit heat and is completely painless. Also, because there’s no breaking of the skin as there is with traditional acupuncture, there is zero risk of infection.
Laser acupuncture has shown to be just as effective as its needle counterpart in terms of treatment for ailment such as:
· Addictions to alcohol, food, and drugs
· Anxiety and depression
· Chronic & Acute Pain – injuries, migraine, headache, arthritis, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, toothache, tennis elbow, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia
· Digestive issues – irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers
· Female reproductive – menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods, infertility, menopausal symptoms.
· Respiratory – asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, sore throat, laryngitis, the common cold and flu.
Acuputure in general has been proven to improve on the overall quality of life and health in patients. It balances the body’s energy systems to improve adaptation to stress, improve mood, boost immune function, and increase blood circulation throughout the body.
We’re often guilty of creating these imbalances through our lifestyles, be it diet, emotional matters, or repetitive negative thoughts. Acupuncture helps to balance these energy systems through the meridians and acupuncture points.
These points tap into the body’s energy flow to heighten it and put things back in balance again. They move stagnant energy, which is called Qi, within the body. By simply moving the Qi, it can resolve and improve painful and inflammatory conditions and while positively effecting mood and hormones.
One downside however to laser acupuncture is that while laser therapy significantly reduces patient trauma, the effectiveness of this modern approach is often limited to exterior points, such as the hands, feet, and ears. The acupressure points often respond to laser treatment, but deeper points, such as abdominal points, don’t usually profit from this approach. This is because the majority of lasers used cannot penetrate beyond 0.19 inches.
With that being said, if you suffer from chronic pain that is debilitating and have shied away from acupuncture due to fear of needles, you might want to give laser acupuncture a shot. Studies indicate that over 85% of those who have tried laser acupuncture to relieve chronic pain have found relief through this modern approach to ancient Chinese acupuncture. Talk to your chiropractor about this type of pain-free treatment to see if it’s an option that might work for you.
Rindge, D., “Laser acupuncture and musculoskeletal pain,” Acupuncture Today, February 2003;
Rindge, D., “Laser acupuncture and respiratory disease,” Acupuncture Today, February 2005; http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=30028
Anderson, S., “Laser acupuncture: The new miracle healing method,” Insiders Health web site; http://www.insidershealth.com/article/laser_acupuncture_the_new_miracle_healing_method/2697