I am interested to get feedback on this. If we can suspend the debate about what acupuncture is and how effective it is for a minute …. it is my observation that a wide range of laser devices are used in acupuncture. Red* and near infrared*, 1mW to 500mW.
It is well documented that laser can inhibit as well as stimulate cellular function (read more here). Dose ranging studies and dose-rate (fluence rate) studies have been performed and we find that the thresholds for stimulation are quite low (at the target tissue level) and that they are in the range 5 – 30mW/cm2 (though this depends on what method of beam measurement was used by the original authors)(read more here)(and more here).
I would expect that the same wavelength, dose range and dose-rate issues will be true for acupuncture but do not recall seeing anything published. A quick glance at Pubmed finds 407 articles witeh the words Laser Acupuncture (click here to see) but zero return when the terms dose rate, dose range or fluence rate are added to the search.
We need dose rate studies and even more research with ineffective outcomes to help identify what actually works.
*(typically 632.8 and 660nm for red and 810nm – 830nm + 904nm)