The acupuncture meridians represent the flow of corporal energy which contains the acupuncture points. Laser acupuncture is a form of acupuncture stimulation by the use of laser. Thermographic images represent the propagation of heat in micro-environmental systems. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of thermographic images to document the changes on the small intestine meridian (S.I.M.) when submitted to laser acupuncture. Another important issue regards to the analysis of the flow direction if it is upward when stimulated by acupuncture points. For the execution of this work, a laser acupuncture pen was used in points of the meridian in the S.I.M. Two healthy male volunteers were selected (18 and 60 years old, respectively), and doses of 576,92 J/cm2 with low-power infrared laser equipment with a wavelength of 780 nm in the SI.3 and SI.19 points were applied. An infrared thermal camera was used to measure the temperature of the S.I.M. during the 6 min laser acupuncture pen stimulus. When the laser acupuncture of both volunteers was conducted in the SI.3 point, it presented hyper-radiation of the hemi face in the same side, far from the application site. When this was applied in the SI.19 point, hyper-radiation in the same point and temperature lowering at the end of the meridian were observed. The laser energy caused thermal changes along the path of the S.I.M., distal, and proximal at the same time, proving the existence of the S.I.M.
Keywords: Acupuncture meridian; Infrared thermography imaging; Laser; Laser acupuncture; Temperature.