Laser Acupuncture in Your Practice: What you Need to Know
Even practitioners with the best needling skills have trouble attracting patients who are afraid of needles. Do you have options in your clinic for these patients? Fear of needles is very real and will often cause potential patients to reject even the idea of acupuncture treatment. Often you will hear many people say, "Acupuncture? Nobody's going to stick a bunch of needles in me!"
Laser acupuncture is practiced widely throughout Europe and Asia and is quickly gaining popularity in the United States, though it still remains confusing to some practitioners. Deciding which type of laser to use and how to use it are the primary questions with which many practitioners struggle. To help you come up to speed and make the right decisions, here's a primer on laser acupuncture.
Advantages to Using Lasers
Perhaps the greatest advantage of laser acupuncture is that it's completely painless. This is a great way to attract patients to your clinic who may have needle phobia.
Most patients feel nothing at all during laser acupuncture. Occasionally I hear of patients who feel something, but it isn't something they can describe really well. I believe they are feeling an energetic shift in their body. Some even describe an energetic sensation propagating along the meridian being treated.
You've already done the hard part by diagnosing and deciding which points to use. With laser treatment you simply light up the point for a number of seconds, depending upon the power and output of your laser, and then move on to the next point. It's fast and easy. We're talking seconds in comparison to needle retention time, which may be 20 to 30 minutes.
Because you are not breaking the skin—there is zero risk of infection. A couple of summers ago I volunteered my services at a summer camp for kids with cancer. The organization had concerns about the legal issues involved in treating kids with needles, so instead I used lasers and experienced great results.
Laser acupuncture is also effective and often shown to be as effective as needle acupuncture for a variety of problems. 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.
This is especially effective for chronic-pain patients. Keeping movement in the channel between treatments helps chronic-pain patients to heal faster.
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