What is Thermography… Really?
Have you ever heard of thermography or infrared imaging for the human sciences? If not, this is an opportunity for an astonishing discovery about the human body. If you have heard of thermography, this may offer you a new respect and awareness for what it really offers.
Thermography is a highly sensitive study of the largest, most intelligent and most available organ of the body: the skin.
The FDA accepts the following indications for use: “Thermography is intended for use as an adjunct to other clinical diagnostic procedures for quantifying and screening of differences in skin surface temperature changes.” Simple and so complete… It covers the whole body.
- Thermography is not a stand-alone diagnostic tool. (thank goodness… there should always be more than one test for any diagnosis).
- Thermography can be used with any other unspecified tests. That could be x-ray, mammogram, MRI, CT, etc. In fact, because the FDA identifies thermography as an adjunct to mammography, anyone who has ever had a mammogram should also have a thermogram!
- Thermography analyses skin temperature changes on the surface of the body.
Are you thinking “only the skin?” Here’s the good news about the skin:
Central Processing Unit
The skin is like the body’s central processing unit; it’s a communication hub that functions as an interactive, bi-directional network of interconnections, sharing information between all systems, including the neurological, immune and endocrine functions and pathways. The skin has the information, and thermography functions as the monitor, measuring and evaluating the metabolic signals and telling the story as it happens.
The skin offers us non-verbal communications about our health that we can see with our naked eyes; color changes can indicate a lack of oxygen, trauma, exposure to chemicals, radiation, hot and cold conditions, embarrassment and stress. It also betrays signs of alcohol and tobacco abuse. These signs, along with visible skin disorders are often a sign of morbidity or advanced damage, even psychological disorders. Thermography, however, gives us a different, more telling look at the skin that we cannot see!
The skin is constantly experiencing dynamic change. Change that emits from the body as subtle voltage variations, and thermography is the interface offering another set of eyes for the invisible, unique non-verbal communication. Not only is the skin a recipient of signals, it also produces hormones that are released into circulation. Even before the patient or provider is aware, the skin is already shouting: “THERE ARE ISSUES HERE!”… But we can see that otherwise invisible warning only with an infrared device.
The human body is miraculously programmed to maintain and heal itself… as long as we don’t abuse it. Thermography, or infrared imaging with its heightened sensitivity, allows us the ability to observe the body in the process of prioritizing problem areas so we can ask the question and see the answer to: “What are you DOING?” We can then investigate with focused guidance.
Whether we realize it or not, we unconsciously look at people’s skin to evaluate their general health. Now we can intentionally and uniquely observe the skin for that very purpose. So you see, thermography is not just a device that sees heat, it is also an exciting observer of our most intelligent, revealing, dynamic and familiar organ: our skin.
If you are a believer in Mindful Wellness, we invite you to discover the unspoken communication revealed by clinical infrared thermography.
Carol Chandler, D.O.M.
Doctor of Oriental Medicine
International Association of Medical Thermographers