Featured Image: Comb Jelly (Mnemiopsis sp.)
Dear Pain Matters blog readers,
External laser therapy is used to exert various biological/cellular effects in the body including:
- Stimulation of various acupuncture points (via noninvasive, painless Laserneedle acupuncture); and
- Treatment of local damaged areas within the tissue. Local laser therapy may be done for pain management, rehabilitation and regeneration of damaged tissue.
External laser therapy uses various laser wavelengths (i.e. colours) to penetrate different depths and tissues beneath the skin including:
- Infrared laser (800 – 900 nanometers, ‘nm’; 810 nm, may be used) – 5 to 7 cm depth below the skin;
- Red laser (630 – 680 nm; 658 nm may be used) – 2 to 3 cm depth below the skin. Red laser can increase cellular activity and blood circulation as well as stimulate immune cells, fibroblasts and mitochondria, leading to regeneration and improved healing including wound healing;
- Green laser (532 nm) – 0.5 to 1 cm depth beneath the skin. Green light is largely absorbed by haemoglobin in the red blood cells; and
- Blue laser (405 nm) – 1 to 2 mm depth only. Blue laser light has anti-inflammatory effects.
External laser therapy can be applied via:
- Single point lasers. Only one point and 1 wavelength can be used in single point lasers; or
- Laserneedles. Up to 12 multi-channel lasers/points including different wavelengths/colours/power outputs may be used at the same time (e.g. Weberneedle system, Lasershower).
External laser therapy may treat various painful medical conditions including:
- Spine syndromes/back pain;
- Rheumatoid diseases;
- Tendon inflammation;
- Migraine/headache; and
- Trigeminal neuralgia
(Michael Weber MD).
A study involving laser acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia patients reported an average Pain Scale of 4.4, post-laser acupuncture (compared to an average Pain Scale of 8.5, pre-laser acupuncture).
Further improvements occurred when laser acupuncture plus intravenous laser was offered to fibromyalgia patients (i.e. average Pain Scale of 2.9, post-laser acupuncture plus intravenous laser, compared to 8.9, pre-treatment).
- Laser acupuncture; and
- Laser acupuncture plus intravenous laser
were more effective for pain management than medication alone (6.8, post-medication, versus 8.7, pre-medication) and metal needle acupuncture (6.0, post-treatment, versus 8.5, pre-treatment) in fibromyalgia patients (Wieden).
(For more on intravenous laser, please refer to:
I urge all interested readers to read Chapter 4 called ‘Rewiring a Brain with Light’, in Norman Doidge’s 2nd book, ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing’. This book provides an excellent introduction into phototherapy (i.e. low level laser therapy; LLLT) (Doidge, 2016).
Scientists have recently shown that humans (including the human eye and brain) may detect and perceive a single photon (Tinsley et al, 2016). This is very interesting as it shows the sensitivity of the human body to the biological (hence potential healing) effects of natural light including its visible wavelengths from 400 to 700 nm (blue to red) and invisible wavelengths from 800 to 900 nm (near infrared).
Whilst relatively new (and undergoing further research), external laser therapy and Laserneedle acupuncture may be useful for reducing pain in many chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia.
Dear Pain Matters blog readers, if you would like to get in touch with Dr Michael Weber and his team, please email Martin Junggebauer on:
Martin is an integral member of Dr Michael Weber’s team, and he will be sure to assist you with your enquiries.
“Sedare dolorem divinum opus est”
“It is divine to alleviate pain”
Galen, 130-200 C.E.
(1A) Michael Weber MD
Laser in Pain Therapy and Rehabilitation
(1B) Michael Weber MD, Robert Weber, Martin Junggebauer
Medical Low Level Laser Therapy – Foundations and Clinical Applications (2nd Edition, June 2015)
(1C) Michael Weber MD, President of International Society for Medical Laser Applications (ISLA)
International Society for Medical Laser Applications (ISLA)
(1D) Michael Weber MD, Thomas Fussgänger-May MD, Tillman Wolf MD
“Needles of Light”: A New Therapeutic Approach
Medical Acupuncture (2007); 19(3)
(1E) Michael Weber MD, Zulia Frost MD
Multi-Laser Needle Acupuncture and Laser Blood Irradiation Therapy – Clinical Application of Biological Laser Therapy (Pages 1-50)
Other Papers, Articles and a Blog by Fred Kahn, MD FRCS(C):
(2) Wieden, Torsten E. (MD Anaesthesiologist, Special pain therapy)
Fibromyalgia in Pain Therapy – Mechanisms and Treatment Options in Laser Therapy
(3) Pryor, Brian A
Class IV Laser Therapy – Interventional and Case Reports Confirm Positive Therapeutic Outcomes in Multiple Clinical Indications (2009)
(4) Class IV Laser Therapy – Case Study Reports (Pages 1-39)
(5) Litscher G, Rachbauer D, Ropele S, Wang L, Schikora D, Fazekas F, Ebner F.
Acupuncture Using Laser Needles Modulates Brain Function: First Evidence From Functional Transcranial Doppler Sonography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Lasers Med Sci. 2004;19(1):6-11.
(6) Norman Doidge MD
The Brain’s Way of Healing – Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity (Chapter 4 – Rewiring a Brain with Light)
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group (26 January 2016)
(7) Blog by Fred Kahn, MD FRCS(C), LLLT Specialist
(8) Tinsley JN et al
Direct detection of a single photon by humans.
Nat. Commun. 7:12172
doi: 10.1038/ncomms12172 (2016).