Thermography measures the infrared radiation (heat) which emits from the surface of the body. Thermography assesses physiology (function), not anatomy (structure), the way traditional screening methods such as mammography, ultrasound, or MRI do. Thermography is radiation free and requires no compression or contact to the body.
Radial nerve damage (hypothermia)
Breast cancer (hyperthermia)
Areas of abnormality and/or pathology within the body will be observed as either hot or cold depending on the metabolic activity. Most pathological processes demonstrate a form of increased heat (hyperthermia), while neurological processes demonstrate excessive cold (hypothermia). An ultra-sensitive thermal camera and a sophisticated computer are used to convert the infrared heat emitting from the surface of the skin into electrical impulses that are visualized in color, known as a thermogram.
The thermogram is then interpreted by a team of doctors known as thermologists who provide a detailed report of results and recommendations. The technology of thermography has been utilized for decades and can detect physiological changes at a very early stage. When used as an adjunctive screening process, thermography provides the early detection necessary to implement preventive lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise and stress management.
Inflammation at the cervical spine
Following chiropratic adjustment
The body in a normal healthy state has a high degree of thermal symmetry (even on both sides). Because everyone’s thermal fingerprint should stay stable over a lifetime, it is only when pathology of some type develops that asymmetrical patterns emerge. When used as a screening tool thermography can allow the visualization of the most subtle temperature differences. It is the asymmetry seen on a thermogram that assists in identifying suspicious areas and aids in the earlier detection of disease.
An abnormal thermogram identifies areas of the body with variations in vascularity or metabolic activity as shown by temperature changes. Areas of variation can indicate active inflammation, pathology, sources of pain, or injury. The identification and localization of an abnormality may require further diagnostic screenings. Some areas, however, may be of no clinical significance and are merely showing normal body function for an individual.
The Importance of a Thermography Follow-up
Thermography views vascular change and is intended to monitor health over time which should not change substantially from year to year. A baseline will be established when comparing the initial screening to all future screenings. It is of the utmost importance that all the recommendations listed in the thermography report are followed closely.
The images on the left were taken July 2013. A 3 month follow up screening was recommended by the interpreting doctors. The client neglected to adhere to the recommendations and the condition significantly worsened over the 5 month period, as can be seen in the image to the right taken in December 2013. There were several factors present that alerted doctors that a pathological process may have been forming.
Thermography can be used as a whole-body approach to wellness because a thermogram can pinpoint abnormalities at times, even before the body’s sensory organs can identify them. Therefore, the establishment of a baseline representing your unique thermal pattern allows for the comparison of changes over time, and the is the greatest benefit of thermography.