Hi - What type of laser is suitable in general acupuncture on the ears, hands, elbows and knees, in a case where you are trying to avoid a needle due to the patient being on blood thinning medications (cancer) and a concern about infection (even tho needles are sterile and single use) due to a weakened immune system? I am licensed to use a medical laser for cutting soft tissue (diode)but am new to acupuncture and am currently a student in the Medical Acupuncture for Professionals program at the university of Alberta in Canada. Can someone advise me as to the type of laser, color, wattage, wavelength, continuous or intermittent pulses, etc? I was told by my mentor that almost any kind will work, but just not to spend more than about $200 or so on it. Advice, please! Sincerely, Peter
Acupuncture with lasers is arguably not acupuncture and acupuncture without understanding the underlying theories of Chinese Medicine and applying it correctly with proper differential diagnosis is definitely not acupuncture. Accordingly I cannot give much information about laser use.
My only purpose in writing is to dispel the misleading information in your post. Properly applied there would never be a time to not use acupuncture in patients with blood thinning medicines, cancer, or weakened immunity. All of those conditions and underlying factors properly diagnosed and treated can be helped with Chinese Medicine.
This is not a west vs. east statement at all so I don't want it to be taken that way, it's just science - and it's important to not mislead people with fear arising from misinformation.
All that said, some fully trained acupuncturists do incorporate lasers use into their treatments and someone may respond directly with an answer to your question. From my understanding, the following information must be kept in mind when choosing a laser within acupuncture:
Use Class IIIb lasers - no higher than 500mW (higher may lead to burns)</li>
Stay in the redbeam range - 600-700nm and in the near infrared range 800-1000nm</li>
Some consider therapeutic results start at 4cm joules per cm square - so the aperature diameter should be considered as well.</li>
This will of course vary slightly depending on the points you are using (body location) the weight of the patient, the underlying diagnosis from a Chinese perspective, etc.
Thank you for your response.
I do understand your comment about needles being safe, however, in this case, it is a patient undergoing cancer chemotherapy who has already lost a portion of a foot and the other leg above the knee.
He is on blood thinning medication, and, is at risk for infection from any source by a weakened immune system.
Whether you are "right" or "wrong" makes little difference to the oncology team. Maybe it should, but it doesn't. The physicians say NO WAY to acupuncture needles, no matter the sterility, no matter the depth, no matter the placement. Not in this patient. And that's where the discussion ends! Period! That is why I asked about using the laser...which they will "allow".
Not disagreeing with you...just telling you how it is with TCM versus Western Medicine in North America...in this particular case.