Laser Therapy vs. Acupuncture

May 29th, 2015

Laser therapy (often referred to as laser acupuncture) is the pairing of ancient acupuncture with modern technology.  Many of the same areas will be treated with either method for quitting smoking.

I am often asked about the differences between laser acupuncture (at Alpha Lifestyle Center of Birmingham) and traditional acupuncture (needles).  I believe needles are an effective way to treat many conditions, including nicotine addiction. However, some distinctions should be made when comparing the two methods for quitting smoking.

Not all individuals experience pain with needles, but some do. Not all individuals are afraid of needles, but some are. Advantage: laser therapy, because it is completely painless. Our customers only feel the gentle pressure of the probe against their skin.

Additionally, the tip of the laser probe is bigger than the tip of a needle.  A larger tip makes it easier to hit a target whereas the small tip of a needle requires accuracy. This is not a concern for an experienced acupuncturist using needles.  But you will want to do your homework.

How is our program only a single visit compared to multiple visits with an acupuncturist? Physics! Light energy travels. The relaxing effects of light energy are longer lasting. The effects of light energy are believed to outlast the physical withdrawal period.  This is why only one visit is usually required to quit smoking.

To be fair, I DO believe that needle acupuncture produces an intense relaxation effect. But, the effect is shorter-acting and therefore requires multiple visits to quit smoking. Laser therapy typically requires just a single visit. So even if a long commute is necessary, Alpha may still be more convenient.

Finally, laser therapy is just ONE component of our Smoking Cessation program. Traditional needle acupuncture relaxes the body to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Our program goes beyond that.

Alpha Lifestyle Center of Birmingham addresses physical AND psychological withdrawal. We offer a comprehensive approach to nicotine addiction.  We also have Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist on staff. The appointment is split equally among education, laser treatment and behavior modification.  Our customers leave their appointment equipped with the tools to support immediate and long-term success.

Acupuncturist specialize in acupuncture. Alpha Lifestyle Center of Birmingham specializes is nicotine addiction. This is probably the greatest distinction between the two.


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