Nowadays lasers are widely used in therapy and diagnostics. They
have been adapted to many medical procedures ranging from surgery,
oncology, physiotherapy, dentistry, dermatology and biostimulation. The
non-invasive nature of laser biostimulation have made lasers an
attractive alternative in Medical Acupuncture at the last 25 years.
Unfortunately, there is still an uncertainty as to whether they work or
their effect is just placebo. Although a plethora of scientific papers
published about the topic showing positive clinical results, there is
still a lack of objective scientific proofs about the biostimulation
effect of lasers in Medical Acupuncture.
The properties of acupuncture points, considered here as small
localized biosources (SLB), have been extensively studied over the past
50 years. Research has shown SLB to be small area body regions, which
exhibit unique, electrical, physiological and anatomical properties
(e.g. high density of gap junctions, relatively low impedance etc.).
They are considered to form groups, each group being arranged along a
line, called meridian and related to an internal organ [1-4].
SLBs appear to be highly sensitive to mechanical, thermal, electrical
or electromagnetic stimulation and are found to take place from the
epidermis to a maximum depth of 2 cm [5-8].
It has been shown that with proper laser wavelength, intensity and
collimation, low-level laser energy could be effectively delivered to
SLB up to a 10 mm beneath the skin surface .
The objective of this work was to design and build a low cost
portable laser device for effectively stimulation of SLB without
exciting sensory nerves, and to find out a suitable method for
objectively evaluating its efficiency. The attempt to define the
optimal device parameters was based on the SLB properties, data about
existing devices for low level laser therapy and on preliminary
measurements performed in our laboratory. The latter suggest that the
effect of SLB stimulation is also dependent on the polarization of the
coherent emission in addition to its intensity, wavelength and
modulation frequency. Therefore the device should provide a
polarization adjustment, wide range of modulation frequencies, precise
power settings and to have minimum size and cost.