Acupuncture/ pressureMenopause

Laser acupuncture fails to improve menopausal symptoms

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms. Yet, its value is controversial, as summarized here and here.

Now, researchers at Victoria University Faculty of Health, Engineering, and Science, in Melbourne, Australia, studied the effectiveness of laser acupoint stimulation.

First, the details.

  • 40 women experiencing symptoms of menopause were randomly assigned to a treatment group for biweekly treatment over 12 weeks.
    • Laser acupoint stimulation
    • Placebo treatment
  • Acupoint selection in both groups was individualized to each participant, selected from a set of 10 acupoints.
  • A laser acupoint stimulation device was altered to produce identical flashing lights whether or not the laser was operating to allow for a placebo (“laser off”) control.
  • The numbers of diurnal and nocturnal flushes and the symptom score were recorded.
  • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

And, the results.

  • There were no significant differences between treatment groups in numbers of diurnal or nocturnal flushes or in nonflushing symptom scores.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Laser acupoint stimulation chosen from a fixed set of acupoints is no more efficacious than manual stimulation with an inert laser probe in altering menopausal symptoms.”

A PubMed search revealed no other similar studies using laser acupuncture to treat menopausal symptoms.

8/7/10 15:15 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.