Clinical effectiveness of laser acupuncture: a systematic review

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2008 Dec;1(2):65-82. doi: 10.1016/S2005-2901(09)60026-1.


The use of laser light as an alternative to needles to stimulate acupuncture points has been promoted for almost three decades. However, there has been no systematic assessment of the evidence to support the effectiveness of this form of acupuncture to date. A systematic review was therefore undertaken of RCTs evaluating laser acupuncture as a primary intervention. Relevant studies (n = 18) were identified using computer-based literature searches and selected hand searches. Evidence was found to support the use of laser acupuncture in the treatment of myofascial pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting and for the relief of chronic tension headache. Laser acupuncture would appear to represent an effective form of acupuncture for the management of these conditions and could be considered as a viable alternative to more traditional forms of acupuncture point stimulation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / instrumentation
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Pain Management
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome