The premise of the lamp is that the far infrared (below visible light) emissions increases microcirculation and loosens fascia to accelerate the natural healing processes of the body. The TDP lamp is a therapeutic substitute for moxibustion, a traditional Chinese therapy, and is used by acupuncturists and Asian bodywork therapists.
The components are typically a rolling base, vertical pole, electronic timer (mechanical or digital), spring arm, and head. The components of the head are what makes the TDP lamp different from other far-infrared heating devices. The head consists of a wire cage, a heat reflector, an electrical heating plate, insulator, and a mineral plate. It is the mineral plate which is the unique element. The heating element operates at about 870 °F (466 °C), and the lamp emits far-infrared radiation in the 2–50 micrometre range. Based on black body radiation, all heating elements that are operating at 870 °F will emit the same light spectrum.
The mineral plate is a proprietary formula of 33 trace elements, although the actual formula, specific mineral forms, and amounts of each of the materials used in manufacturing is secret. Twenty-six of the elements represented have been revealed by various manufacturers. They include: aluminum, antimony, arsenic, barium, boron, cadmium, calcium, carbon, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, tin, titanium, zinc, and zirconium. The iron plate is 0.5 to 1.5 millimeters in thickness and provides stability and protection for the more fragile mineral layer, and distributes heat evenly on the plate. The remaining seven elements are suspected to be bismuth, germanium, lithium, potassium, rubidium, strontium, and vanadium, although verification has not been available.
History of invention
TDP is an acronym for "Teding Diancibo Pu" which loosely translated means special electromagnetic spectrum.
The TDP mineral lamp was invented in China in 1978 and exhibited at the 1986 Zagreb International Fair in Yugoslavia in competition with 560 inventions from 18 countries by the inventor Gou Wenbin. It was also exhibited at the 1986 Brussels Eureka World Fair for Invention.
The story told about the discovery of TDP mineral lamp therapy begins in a black clay factory in rural China, where in spite of a work environment where workers were exposed to extremes of cold, wet, and heat, they had a very low incidence of illness. Upon further investigation, the differentiating factor was determined to be the beneficial far-infrared radiation from the hot clay. Analysis of the clay and later experimentation led to the development of the medical device now known as the TDP mineral lamp.
The first company to export these lamps to the United States was the "Sacred Crane" brand. The TDP lamp was patented in China in 1992 and was granted the Medical Apparatus and Instruments Certificate by the China State Medicine Bureau.
The company who holds the Chinese patent has been unable to successfully enforce the patent, which has resulted in approximately twenty-three manufacturers selling their versions of the TDP mineral lamp. The Chongqing Silicate Research Institute (CSRI) is the Chinese patent holder, and sells the lamp under the trademarked names "Changle" and "Gou-Gong." The North American importation of Gou-Gong lamps by C&H International in Houston, Texas ceased in June 2007.
Treatment usually consists of bare skin exposure in the affected area with the lamp positioned 12-18 inches from the body. Length of self-treatment for a single condition is typically 15–30 minutes (not longer than 45 min.), 1 or 2 times a day, for 7–10 days. More weeks of treatment are acceptable under direction of a doctor. The patient should feel warmth but position the lamp to avoid scalding. Skin temperatures should not be allowed to exceed 130 °F (54 °C).
Contraindications and safety
Patients with neuropathy are warned that the inability to accurately feel the temperature of the treatment may result in accidental burns. Infants or persons who cannot communicate when treatment is too hot should also avoid treatment. Treatment in areas with surgical implants (metal, silicone, pacemakers, etc.) should be avoided because of the risk that these foreign materials may absorb and hold heat at a different rate than living tissue, accidentally causing internal burns. Pregnant women, people experiencing fever, otitis media, splenitis, ophthalmic diseases, varicose veins, open pulmonary tuberculosis, serious arteriosclerosis, and with bleeding tendencies should avoid TDP mineral lamp therapy. People with hypertension should not use the TDP Lamp on their head. When using on the head, protection of the eyes is required so they do not become dry.