Laser Acupuncture for Voice Problems
The Voice Research Laboratory of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong has recently completed a research project to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating voice problems. A total of 187 patients with voice problems participated in the project between 2005 and 2010. Most of them are female teachers, social workers, reporters, housewives and administrative officers. Results show that acupuncture is effective in improving the vocal functions of patients.
The Voice Research Laboratory is now conducting a new research on the effectiveness of laser acupuncture on voice problems. The principle of laser acupuncture is to stimulate acupoints with low-level current. Laser output of wavelength 808nm will be used in this research for treatment. The advantage of laser acupuncture is free of discomfort, and the side effects of medications and vocal fold surgery can be avoided. It offers a good alternative for individuals with voice problems who are afraid of needles.
The Voice Research Laboratory is now recruiting individuals aged 20 to 55 with voice problems (e.g. vocal fold thickening, vocal nodule, vocal polyp and chronic laryngitis) to participate in the research. A total of 12 laser treatment sessions scheduled to two times weekly will be offered. Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners will stimulate each of the 5 acupoints over neck and limbs regions for 30 seconds. Hence, as compared to traditional acupuncture, laser acupuncture is safe, painless and quick. This programme also includes six thorough assessment sessions in between and after treatment to monitor the vocal functions of participants.
Up till now, 150 individuals have been recruited. Limited places are still available to those diagnosed with chronic voice problems by an Ear-Nose-Throat doctor. The programme is free of charge. Participants have to pay $400 deposit which will be refunded upon completion of all treatment and assessment sessions. The programme will end in June 2013.