Laser acupuncture does not improve menopausal symptoms

K.A. O'Brien, E. Varigos, C. Black, P.A. Komesaroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Acupuncture is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms and other gynecological conditions. Laser acupuncture, more accurately named "laser acupoint stimulation," has the advantages of being noninvasive, reproducible, and convenient. A few studies of conventional acupuncture have suggested a beneficial effect in treating menopausal symptoms. This study sought to investigate the effectiveness of laser acupoint stimulation in relieving symptoms associated with menopause. METHODS: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 40 women experiencing active symptoms of menopause. Outcome variables were numbers of diurnal and nocturnal flushes and symptom score, determined using a previously validated scale. 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. Participants received either active or placebo treatment on a fortnightly basis for 12 weeks. The acupoint selection in both groups was individualized to each participant, selected from a set of 10 acupoints. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the active and placebo treatment groups in numbers of diurnal or nocturnal flushes or in nonflushing symptom scores. CONCLUSIONS: 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. © 2010 by The North American Menopause Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-641
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture
  • Hot flushes
  • Laser acupoint stimulation
  • Menopause
  • acupuncture
  • adult
  • aged
  • article
  • circadian rhythm
  • clinical article
  • clinical effectiveness
  • clinical trial
  • controlled clinical trial
  • controlled study
  • double blind procedure
  • female
  • hot flush
  • human
  • laser
  • laser acupuncture
  • menopausal syndrome
  • outcome assessment
  • randomized controlled trial
  • treatment duration
  • treatment response
  • Acupuncture Analgesia
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health


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