Laser needle acupuncture was developed at the Universities of Graz and Paderborn in Germany in 2000 and is a central therapy in many European clinics. Laser needle treatment employs fine optical fibers to deliver highly concentrated laser light, allowing for the simultaneous stimulation of multiple points painlessly and non-invasively.
In addition to laser therapy’s well known effects to promote biological function, regenerate tissue, reduce inflammation and alleviate pain, the high intensity of laser needles has been documented to produce physiological effects similar to those of traditional metal needles. Laser needles may be used as a stand alone treatment and also combined with traditional acupuncture and other methods. To learn more about the effects of laser needle acupuncture, see Lasers and De Qi.
At the Center for Cooperative Medicine we are studying the effects of laser needle therapy in the treatment of pain using Laserneedle-Touch, a 4th generation, German system.
Orthopedic and Physiotherapeutic Indications
Orthopedic conditions which may respond positively to laser needle treatment include cervical syndromes, coxarthritis, epicondylitis, fibromyalgia, gonarthrosis, lumbar syndrome, Morbus Bechterew, osteoporosis, periarthritis humerus scapularis, polyarthritis, spinal syndromes, rhizarthritis and tendinitis.
Besides pain relief, the regenerative effects of the laserneedle irradiation on bone and cartilage may be of particular importance. Osteonecrotic bone has been documented to be regenerated by direct laser needle irradiation (Morbus Ahlbäck, Morgus Osgood Schlatter). What is exciting is that laser needle irradiation has been shown to enhance significantly the metabolism of osteoblasts, cells which lay down new bone – without influencing osteclasts, the cells which resorb old bone. As a result, the equilibrium of bone production-reduction may be shifted to favor the bone formation side of the equation, and increased mineralization as well as stabilization and strengthening of cartilage with enhanced synthesis of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans has also been found.
How may laserneedles may be applied for these indications?
- Laserneedles may be placed along the affected articular gap or osteonecrotic area.
- Treatment may be administered for approximately 30 minutes x 15-20 visits with 2-3 treatments per week.
- 5–20 treatments may induce long-standing, regenerative effects.
Needles are important for each kind of acupuncture. The intensity of the stimulation from the new HED (High Energy Density) laser needles has been shown to have biological effects similar to those of metal needles and, in addition, have a broad range of photobiostimulative effects. The cerebral and peripheral effects of laser needle acupuncture have been scientifically investigated in studies and articles published in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. The design of laser needles and the new laser needle touch systems has evolved based upon scientific data and clinical experience. Acupuncture treatments with laser needle touch are completely painless, side-effect free and very popular for children and adults
Due perhaps to the two-fold nature of stimulation (laser photobiostimulation + acupuncture-like effects), some clinicians and at least one research study comparing laserneedles and classic metal needles have proposed that the former produce superior results. Just as in traditional acupuncture, multiple laser needles can be placed and stimulated simultaneously. Points chosen can be in accordance with classical acupuncture. One may achieve good therapeutic results in the treatment of low-back pain, joint pain, soft tissue injuries, osteoporosis, respiratory and neurological disorders and in many other conditions.
Each laserneedle channel may be individually programmed with Nogier, Bahr and Reininger therapeutic or diagnostic frequencies.
A particular approach in pain therapy is to employ low-frequency Transcutaneous Optical Nerve Stimulation (TONS) In this case, the laser needles are fixed on the painful area and activated in the low-frequency modulation mode. (2Hz-100 Hz). In addition producing analgetic effects thought to be similar to those of TENS (electrical nerve stimulation), laser irradiation induces an increase of cellular energy in the target tissue by increased ATP synthesis, greater oxygenation and enhanced capillary blood flow.
The beneficial effects of red/infrared laser irradiation in diabetic ulcus cruris and other therapy resistant conditions have been well documented in the phototherapy research in wound healing.
A new therapeutic approach combines the additive effects of red and blue laser light and contains three components:
- Laserneedle irradiation of the surrounding area with four red LASER NEEDLES to increase the arterial, venous and lymphatic circulation in the area around the ulcus.
- Direct, bichromatic irradiation of the ulcus with the KOLINA Spot, equipped with 3 red LASER NEEDLES and 1 blue laserneedle, to eliminate any staphylococcus contamination in the wound and to enhance the metabolism of fibroblast cells.
Longstanding, completely therapy resistant ulcus cruris venosum, treated with KOLINA spot. Patient, m, 56 y, healing process after 4 treatments within a period of one week
Modern laser needle phototherapy in skin disorders is based on evidence from dermatological research. Affected skin areas may be irradiated simultaneously with blue and red laserneedles of high energy density. The effects of the red laser radiation in the skin are well known, increased cellular energy (ATP synthesis), improved microcirculation of blood and lymph and enhanced oxygenation and effects on metabolism during the non-specific irradiation of the skin tissue. In these ways and others, red laser light improves the overall regenerative capacity of the skin.
Blue laserneedle radiation (405 nm specifically) has considerably different biological effects. At sufficient energy densities, immunological and anti-bacteriological effects are induced. The immunological effects are the inhibition and reduction of Langerhans cells and IgE + Langerhans cells, the inhibition of dermal mast cells and the inhibition and reduction of T-Lymphocytes. The activity and number of T-lymphocytes, which are infiltrated in the skin is influenced and decreased directly by the 405 nm radiation. A decrease of bcl-2 proteins after radiation, which acts as apoptosis inhibitor, has been reported in the literature.
405 nm blue laser irradiation has strong antimicrobial effects on poryphyrins-based bacteria such as Proprionibakterium acne, Staphylococcus aureaus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Due to its specific immunological and anti-bacteriological effects, combining blue 405 nm laserneedle radiation with red or infrared biostimulative wavelengths may be near ideal to treat dermatological conditions which may have an infectious component such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, vitiligo and acne vulgaris.
In contrast to the established UVA1 phototherapy which employs ionizing radiation, treatment with 405 nm is completely UV- free (e.g. all possible carcinogenic risks are eliminated!). In particular for the treatment of children, 405 nm radiation is safe, side-effect free, even for longer treatment times.
Biological skin rejuvenation by integrative laser treatment. New, non-invasive method, based on a patented laser-comb, which emitts trichromatic laser light (red, blue and infrared)
- Step One: Hyaluronic acid filling and cross-linking of the molecules by 4 color laser comb
- Step Two: Phytotherapy to induce the formation of new collagen 1 and Elastin
- Alternatively: photodynamic therapy to invcrease the number of collagen 1 fibres in the dermis.
Periodontosis and periodontosis prophylaxis
Periodontosis and Periodontosis prophylaxis by effective and non-invasive elimination of porphyrin-based bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia without any added chemicals – just by blue laser light! Efficiacy may be almost 100 %, due to the strong Soret-Band Absorption of blue photons in the bacteria.
Noninvasive Pain therapy
The stimulation of trigger-points and acupuncture points by KOLINA-dental leads to an increased release of neurotransmitters due to a specific activation of the pain centers in the hypothalamic area.
The pain-inhibiting effects are persistent and pronounced.
The application of KOLINA needles for analgetic treatments does not require any additional qualification, simple graphic instructions allow successful treatments after few exercises.
- Nausea and vomitting
- Post-surgery pain treatments
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Relaxation treatments
The advantages of the painless laser needle treatments can be felt in particular in the treatments of children. The painless and side-effect free character of laser needle micro therapies is essential in pediatrics. The children experience laser needle acupuncture and laser therapy as pleasant and efficient methods. Accompanying medications for inflammatory conditions, joint diseases or skin diseases with antibiotics can often be reduced significantly.
Inflammations of the ear and Enuresis (Treatment and fotograph: R.Klowersa, Berlin)
Osteochondrosis dissecans and Bronchitis / Asthma (Treatment and fotograph: R.Klowersa, Berlin)
Acute and chronic Tinnitus – the laserneedle-music therapy
The laser needle method of treatment of tinnitus was developed in clinical studies in collaboration with Univ. of Heidelberg (Germany), Graz and Innsbruck (Austria). It combines three aspects:
- Repair of lesions of the cochlea and of the inner hair cells by direct, high intensity red laser irradiation of the inner ear and mastoid.
- Induction of alterations in the prefrontal cortex and in the limbic system( these areas are relevant for the consolidation of the tinnitus) by stimulation of relevant acupoints
- Simultaneous acoustic masking by relaxing music therapy.
Treatment is recommended to be repeated 3 x per week in the first two weeks and then reduced to 2 x per week in the weeks 3, 4 and 5. A course of therapy is 20 treatments.
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