The Uses of Thermography to Maintain Wellness
Arteries dilate, blood flow increases and capillaries become more permeable in the presence of chronic inflammation, which causes heat in the body. Although we may not be able to see it on the surface, internal temperature changes are the earliest indicators of disease and dysfunction. Fortunately, inflammation, which makes us aware of issues that we might not otherwise acknowledge, can be detected by thermal imaging. This harmless and painless screening tool uses digital infrared heat map technology to detect potential disease and pinpoint pain and injury sites. A thermal fingerprint with a spectrum of colors that indicates an increase or decrease in the amount of heat emitted from the surface of the body sets a thermogram apart from ultrasound and X-rays.
Thermal imaging is sensitive to variations in the vascular, muscular, neural and skeletal systems. Physiological (functional) changes can occur seven to 10 years prior to anatomical (structural) alterations, allowing for a rapid clinical diagnosis of problems, often before symptoms appear. According to Kim Lemons, owner of Suncoast Thermal Imaging, in Cape Coral, and Taryn Kean, owner of Southwest Thermal Imaging, in Bonita Springs, the logic of using thermal imaging to create a history of physiological changes that occur over time is why more women and men are scheduling a full-body thermogram as a part of a proactive prevention and wellness approach to health.
“X-rays, ultrasound and mammography show the internal structure of the body, but miss things such as active inflammation, which is an aspects of all illnesses, particularly cancer. A thermogram, which doesn’t use any radiation, provides valuable information to justify additional testing by a physician,” says Kean. This is why individuals that want to know if they have potential health issues before they manifest into full-blown symptoms use a thermogram to monitor their health, particularly those with a history of disease in their family. “Rather than ordering an extensive battery of expensive tests when the physician sees an area of abnormal sensitivity, they can order specific tests,” advises Lemons.
A full-body thermogram, which starts just below the brain, extends to the feet. In the skull, sensitivities that could be indicators of allergies, sinus problems, TMJ, gum disease and infected teeth are detectable. Scanning the neck can reveal inflammation in the carotid arteries, as well as the functional levels of the thyroid and immune system. “A recent client had imaging done three months apart. The color in the immune area had changed, indicating her immune system was suppressed. She had been sick with the flu in-between appointments,” says Lemons.
Screening the body cavity can be beneficial for noting sensitivities that may indicate heart problems, osteoporosis, arthritis, herniated discs and lung dysfunction. In the abdomen, where irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease occur, thermography can pick up high-sensitivity areas. Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, bursitis, varicose veins and poor circulation are also detectable, along with nerve compression and neuropathy in the feet. Lemons and Kean agree that when these conditions are addressed early on, restoring health is much more likely.
For prevention, Lemons and Kean recommend a full body scan every two years and a breast scan annually. They suggest thinking of a thermogram as a finger pointing to a potential health problem that needs to be addressed.
Southwest Thermal Imaging is located in the Sunshine Plaza & Professional Center, 9148 Bonita Beach Rd., Ste. 202, in Bonita Springs. For more information, call 239-949-2011or visit ThermalClinic.com.