Can Laser Acupuncture Improve Memory?
I was surfing the internet and came across an article extolling the benefits of Laser Acupuncture. The headline caught my eye since I have a sister-in-law that is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are the critical nuggets from the article:
“Traditionally, acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles into acupoints. But now, thanks to advances in the use of lasers, even those who get queasy at the thought or sight of needles can benefit from acupuncture.
Rather than needles, laser acupuncture uses low-energy lasers at specific wavelengths to influence the flow of energy at the acupoints. So far, practitioners are finding that the positive effects mirror those of traditional acupuncture. And research has begun to show some interesting and novel uses for laser acupuncture.
In one study out of Thailand, researchers tested laser acupuncture on rats with chemically induced memory impairment to determine if this could be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.2
The researchers treated the rats with laser acupuncture at the HT7 acupoint once a day for 14 days for 10 minutes each day. (HT7 is the pathway to the heart and is linked to emotional issues such as excessive anxiety and worry. HT7 stimulation has also been researched for its link to improved learning and memory.)
Memory assessments on the rats were conducted several times throughout the trial, and researchers monitored the changes in multiple markers and enzymes, including malondialdehyde (a marker for oxidative stress) and superoxide dismutase and catalase (enzymes that are an important antioxidant defense mechanism).
They found that the laser acupuncture enhanced superoxide dismutase and catalase activity and significantly suppressed acetylcholinesterase activity in the hippocampus area of the brain. Acetylcholinesterase is responsible for the breakdown of acetylcholine, one of the many neurotransmitters in the autonomic nervous system. Damage to the acetylcholine-producing system in the brain causes memory deficits, especially those commonly seen with Alzheimer’s.
1. World Health Organization. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js4926e/5.html.
2. Sutalangka C, et al. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2013 Oct;6(5):247-51.
Are you using Lasers for Acupuncture yet?
Clearly, this study is limited…but the fact that they are using lasers and acupuncture points is encouraging. With such an innocuous treatment method we’re certain to see similar human studies soon.
It’s time to spread the word about Laser Acupuncture! Talk about this in your Blog, on Facebook, in your Groups and of course with your patients. People who have been hesitant to see you because of their needle phobia need to know this is a VERY effective option!
The best lasers are designed to tonify (red 635 nm) or sedate (blue 450 nm) the acupuncture points. They are affordable, reliable and effective.