Cold Laser Therapy And Smoke Cessation

Submitted by: Timothy Bogert

This purpose of this article is to describe the use of Low Level Laser Therapy or Photobiomodulation as described by the current FDA label or under the supervision of a medical professional in an off label manner to significantly reduce or eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms that are experienced during the period of cessation from addictive substances including nicotine.

The therapy intervention devices to be used are handheld, non-invasive, red and infrared, low energy, non-heating therapeutic lasers (class 3b lasers). These lasers are low power lasers and have been determined non-significant risk devices and have been given pre market approval by the Department of Health & Human Services. Cessation Therapy incorporates the use of this device to apply low level laser light to specific points of the body for treatment of sympathetic dystrophy and adjunctive use in the temporary relief of the associative pain and discomfort related to the withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking.

The results of research studies that have been conducted in many diverse populations within the United States and Europe, over the past 20 years, have overwhelmingly established that there is a definite relationship between addiction and the elevation of serotonin, endorphin, nor epinephrine, dopamine and other endogenous opiate-like peptides during nicotine and other substance abuse.

Dopamine produces pleasure and a desire to repeat the behaviors that caused its presence. The increased levels of opiate-like peptides in the ventral tegmental region of the brain reinforce the addiction process. It has also been determined that elevated levels of these same chemicals are present during the ingestion of addictive substances such as the nicotine found in cigarettes, and that the absence of these chemicals during cessation (when an individual quits smoking or using products containing nicotine) are the main cause of withdrawal symptoms experienced by individuals who are trying to stop using the substance.


There have been many studies, most of which have been published in Laser Therapy clinical practice and scientific background , 2002. The conclusions are that Photobiomodulation is an effective method of safely introducing Photons of light to the body by means of low level lasers (or cold lasers). In the Shear (859) study the excitation of serotonin via laser light pulses, gave results that indicated serotonin is photo chemically transformed as a consequence of four-photon absorption to a photoproduct that then emits in the visible region via two-photon excitation. A minimum bound for the two-photon emission action cross-section was observed at 830 nm. This shows that serotonin levels significantly increase because of the introduction of photons to cellular tissue.

Additionally, low power or cold laser used in encephalin and endorphin synthesis in 1988 showed these levels drastically increased due to photon stimulation. It was determined in 1993 Honmura, A. et al. 13:463 that low level laser use releases not only endorphins

due to the ability to relieve pain in spite of the use of naloxone. Consequently, other endogenous opiate-like peptides are released as well.

The finding that serotonin and endorphins are present in acupuncture treatments is written in the study publications in the Journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, case report Integrated approaches to Addiction by Dr. Nash, R. MD.

By comparing the available data, it has become apparent that Photobiomodulation or cold laser therapy causes greater stimulation yielding higher levels of serotonin, endorphin and other endogenous opiate-like peptides, and also causes them to be manufactured for an extended period of time, more so than traditional acupuncture methods, the basis for this can be found in studies that suggest that the efficacy of acupuncture depends on an intense course of therapy.

It is apparent that these chemicals provide significant relief of the symptomatic dystrophy and other physiological effects of withdrawal symptoms. With these chemicals present the need to ingest addictive substances to generate them is non-existent and the withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and urges to ingest nicotine, body pain, headache, difficulty concentrating, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, anxiety, cognitive impairment, and increased appetite are either dramatically reduced to manageable levels or completely eliminated.

Based on hundreds of clinical trials, Photobiomodulation by the use of a low level laser or cold laser has very few contra-indications, has proven to be safe in humans, will cause a long term release of these chemicals and is much more effective than other available methods of stimulation.

About the Author:

Laser Quit Smoking


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