Does cold laser really stimulate acupuncture points?
Austrian and German scientists, reporting in the journal Medical Acupuncture asked this question, using fMRI on 231 healthy volunteers to compare the cerebral effects of both forms of acupuncture. Almost identical brain stimulation patterns and physiological responses were observed for both needle and laser acupuncture for the points tested. Has laser acupuncture been proven effective? “In some ways, the evidence may be even better than for regular acupuncture,” Steadman said, “The greatest thing about cold laser acupuncture research is that the patient can’t tell if the laser is on or not, which allows for clean double-blind placebo controlled studies.” Controlling for placebo is a notoriously difficult problem with needle acupuncture because “sham acupuncture” still involves the insertion of needles, causing physiological effects beyond mere placebo. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial concluded that “laser acupuncture can provide a significant benefit for children w