Acupuncture is a type of alternative therapy involving the placement of tiny, hair-thin needles into certain pressure points on the body to relieve a variety of conditions and is considered one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine. Millions of individuals each year find acupuncture to provide relief for a surprisingly broad range of symptoms some including treatment of menstrual and menopausal symptoms, to manage pain, to ease the side effects of chemotherapy, the symptoms of fibromyalgia, migraines, and to strengthen the immune system. All which are proven to be an alternative to prescription drugs.
Afraid of Needles: How about Laser?
In contrast to needle acupuncture, the Laser is noninvasive and can be a more feasible treatment for young and elderly patients or those who are afraid of needles. Typically, patients do not feel any sensations when a low-light laser is used although it has been reported that some patients experience a tingling or “light touch” sensation.
Treatment outcomes in multiple published studies have shown good effects of laser acupuncture for the following conditions: hiccups, bed wetting, weight loss, post-operative nausea and vomiting, pain control, surgical anesthesia, dental anesthesia, carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, and stroke-related paralysis just the same as use of needles.
From a comparison, the greatest advantage of laser acupuncture is that it’s completely painless and its effectiveness is enhanced because laser acupuncture allows you to treat points you otherwise might not be able to treat, due to patient age, sensitivity, or fear. In addition, Laser acupuncture is recommended for patients who are at greater risk of developing infections because of conditions that affect their immune system, such as diabetes, or chemotherapy treatment as breaking the skin with even small needles can leave them vulnerable, making traditional options inappropriate for their need.
How to Choose?
Still wondering about acupuncture? Neither treatment will take you away from your life for a long period. Generally, a laser therapy treatment lasts five to ten minutes. If you opt for an acupuncture treatment, it takes a bit longer, but generally less than an hour. Neither treatment is known to cause any side effects. These treatments tend to be safe for most people, and with either method, a practitioner will evaluate you first to ensure the procedure is safe for you.
Both methods are available at Beyond Health and Wellness with Dr. Aaron Bardwell ND, DC, MSOM.