Who uses it today?
Acupuncturists worldwide, and anyone desiring the benefits of this infrared heat device for self-care. Best for tight muscles, injuries, pain relief, increasing immunity, and faster wound healing. Often used over areas of the back, shoulder, knee, ankle, and to warm up cold feet.
The alchemical make-up of the black clay plate has been found to have healing properties when placed near the skin and heated by the element in the lamp. Scientific research studies have been done using the same type of clay, in a form like the Therma Wraps we’re used to here. It’s been proven to relieve back pain when combined with heated and placed near to the skin. See the link to the study at the bottom.
What does it feel like?
Very, very warm. Always situated a safe distance away, but close enough for the heat to penetrate. Usually placed over the needles, if you’re low back is being treated the lamp is placed over and it gently heats the needles, increasing the effectiveness of acupuncture. You may feel the warmth penetrating at the acupoints. The skin may develop some redness and warmth, which will fade after treatment.
When did we get one?
We’ve had one since first opening the clinic. It’s been considered one of the essential therapies often added to an acupuncture treatment since the beginning of our training. Introduced by our teacher Dr. Yan Lu, a skilled ‘doctor’ from Harbin, China. He specializes in the treatment of pain. With an acupuncture style similar to trigger point or dry needling therapy, he adds electro-acupuncture, Tuina Chinese medical massage, and TDP therapy all in one treatment. This maximizes the reduction of inflammation, increase in endorphins, and optimally moves stagnant blood for better circulation. He’s well known for the success of his treatments, particularly for pain management.
Has it been proven?
In one 2006 Canadian study using the same substance as is used in TDP lamps, in a heated wrap rather than a lamp, it was proven an effective treatment for low back pain. It concluded, “infrared (IR) therapy has been developed, which has shown improved wound healing, relief of arthritic knee pain, increased endorphin levels and bioactivation of neuromodulators” Please see the link to the study below.
Where did it come from?
The wonder of the TDP lamp goes back to a tale of clay miners in China. The story says that miners who regularly handled this black clay, experienced faster healing of their injuries and skin, as well as a reduction in arthritic pain. Then clay was studies and found to contain 33 trace elements. It was developed into healing device to be by Chinese inventor Gou Wenbin, who won first place for his exhibition at 1986 Zagreb International Fair in Yugoslavia.
Gaining recognition thereafter throughout the world, it became used and trusted to heal and relieve over 100’s of chronic conditions. Since 1988 it’s been approved by the FDA. Called the ‘Miracle Lamp’ in China thanks to it’s invisible light and effectiveness as a healer. It’s function is indicated in the meaning, TDP is an acronym for “Teding Diancibo Pu” which loosely translated means specific electromagnetic spectrum. Specifically, in the 2-50 meter micro range it is the highest, or hottest end of the infrared radiation spectrum, which makes the temperature of the lamp head about 870 F.
I’ve read that NASA used TPD technology in spaceships, but haven’t found anything to back this up! NASA with Quantum Devices, developed a different infrared device though. Originally to grow plants in space! it’s now effective at treating side effects from chemotherapy and pediatric brain tumors. The device is called a HEALS (High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate), or WARP 75 and uses LED light cells. It’s similar to the TDP but uses high emissivity mixed with low. I’m not clear on the temperature, or if heat is felt from the HEALS device.
What is infrared light?
It was discovered by William Herschel when he noticed a warmer light at end of the spectrum after red. Infrared light is heat which can be felt but not seen by the naked human eye, with only night vision goggles or infrared cameras. A fire is infrared heat that is so hot we can see it. Infrared light is also the invisible mechanism by which your TV remote works.
The sun emits infrared waves to earth which are reflected off of snow or ice, or absorbed into the earth. The absorbed infrared light warms the atmosphere as well as life in the environment. This heat actually drives the bioregulation of our body’s cellular functions. Since we are 70% water the relationship with infrared heat and water is so intimate, it clues us to how deep infrared therapies go. Additionally, infrared heat is on the bio-spectrum so it’s matching our bodies temperatures and is ideally absorbed. This at least partially explains the deep penetrating nature of infrared heat technologies such as TDP, and their ability to promote microcirculation.