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YOUR PROBLEMS: Can laser doc help disabled?; LETTER OF THE DAY.

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

CAN you tell me more about a French laser treatment I've read about for the disabled?

It was set up by Dr Albert Bohbot in France. My brother, who is wheelchair-bound, would like to attend his clinic as a patient.

VDR Bohbot's technique, laserpuncture, is generating attention across Europe as a treatment for spinal cord injury and related disabilities.

Laserpuncture combines elements of acupuncture and laser therapy. Both have shown potential for restoring some function after spinal cord injury.

Early in his career, Dr Bohbot became interested in acupuncture's potential for treating a variety of disorders.

With the help of scientists at one of France's leading engineering colleges, Bohbot developed a sophisticated electronic instrument that substituted an infrared laser light beam for acupuncture needles, combining ancient and modern healing techniques.

Using his device Bohbot has treated more than 50 people with spinal cord injury, most of whom were at least a year post-injury. He claims more than 60 per cent have had substantial improvement.

A laser beam is directed toward ten acupuncture points for two minutes each. In response to the stimulation, the patient often feels sensations below the injury level.

Sessions are backed up by more traditional physical rehabilitation therapy - at home or in the clinic. The overall aim is to restore function such as walking with leg braces, using walkers or parallel bars and riding a stationary bicycle, and it may be effective.

For example, in one study, 15 of 31 subjects with spinal cord injury (at least three years post-injury) had some improvement in movement after the spinal area surrounding the injury site was treated with a laser for six hours a day for 21 days.

Although use of lasers to stimulate acupuncture points is not new, Bohbot has developed and refined this technology and directed it towards paralysis.

The power and frequency of the infrared energy can be adjusted to fit the patient's therapeutic needs.

Central to his therapy is a network or matrix of more than 300 acupuncture points he claims to have discovered that relate energy meridians to spinal cord segments.

He believes that stimulating energy flow through this network can restore function. It's early days and much more testing is necessary. However, I'm sending you the details of Bohbot's clinic in the village of Sens Beaujeu, 180 miles south of Paris
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 10, 2002
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