Laser and Electro-Laser Acupuncture

Laser acupuncture is a part of laser therapy. As it is clear from the term, it is a therapy method with application of laser light on acupuncture points. Acceptance of laser acupuncture has encountered difficulties in the western countries, because neither laser therapy nor acupuncture are considered to have been scientifically proven methods of therapy. On the other hand both laser therapy and acupuncture are considered acceptable methods of therapy in Russia and countries of former USSR . Moreover, only medical doctors or nurses with special training are allowed to treat patients using laser therapy and acupuncture. It is understandable why laser acupuncture is also much more popular in Russia , than in other countries.

Interactive acupuncture charts!
Learn about some acupuncture point indications!

The idea of applying warming light to acupuncture is not new. Moxa-therapy (moxibustion) - the method of influencing acupuncture points with distant or local heat - is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. Studies showed that during moxibustion non-coherent infrared radiation of different wavelengths influences the skin. The spectra and intensity of infrared radiation during moxibustion depends of amount of ashes. Thermal effect is stronger in case of contact version of moxibustion. Modern equipment makes old therapy mode more precise and easier to use.

The basic equipment used for laser acupuncture is the same as for laser therapy. The difference is the size and shape of the laser beam. Acupuncture points are quite small (1 mm in diameter), so light-guides for laser acupuncture should be also small. Acupuncture points are very sensitive to external influences, including light, so light output of laser device should be limited (in the range of 1 - 5 mW for red laser). Mainly red and infrared lasers are used for laser acupuncture.

Electro-laser therapy Electro-laser probe for ELAPS (633 nm)

Learning of traditional needle acupuncture is a difficult task and it can take several years. Not only exact location of acupuncture point, but also the angle of insertion of a needle into the skin should be determined correctly to achieve the best treatment results. The light distribution in skin is close to a sphere. That makes it easier to reach acupuncture point with light. Red light irradiation is suitable for the majority of points, for deeper points infrared laser light is more advantageous. But even then, correct location of acupuncture point is still an important issue. Laser technology does not give tools for finding acupuncture points, but electrotherapy equipment can be used for that. Some laser acupuncture systems have incorporated an electro-acupuncture point detection unit into the equipment. It can improve noticeably the therapy results. But those units can operate independently from main laser unit. In addition, different probes are required to locate points with electricity and to treat with laser light.

Combined electro-laser acupuncture systems are having significant advantage by giving chance to influence different nerve ending and accordingly to stimulate different structures in the brain. As a result, the short-term but fast effects can be observed after applying electric impulses to acupuncture points, and long-lasting effects can start later after applying laser light. As a result of application of electricity and light together completely new treatment effects can be observed, which are not possible to achieve with any other method (needle acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, laser acupuncture) separately.

Dr Makela in 1982 proposed the idea to find first acupuncture point and to determine its functional condition by electro-acupuncture unit, then to treat the point with combine influence of light and electricity and then check again condition of the point to determine the sufficiency of the therapy. In 1983 the first working prototype of HeNe laser baser electro-laser acupuncture therapy was developed. It took some time to determine the most adequate parameters of light brightness, modulation, as well as frequency modulation, voltage, amperage of electric current. Within more than 20 years extensive experience has been collected in the therapy of different conditions starting from back pain and infertility to therapy of multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Contact Prof. Anu Makela, MD., PhD, Doctor of Biochemistry, Doctor of Electrophysiology, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine for more details about training courses and lectures (mainly in Finland ).

ELAPS system is a further development of the system with a possibility to apply not only 633 nm red light (which is equal to wavelength of HeNe laser), but also laser and LED light of different wavelength of visible and infrared band as well as different additional LED cluster and laser probes.

Learn more about:

Low Level Laser Therapy Introduction
Low Level Laser Therapy in Details
Laser Blood Irradiation