Using Medical Thermography for Prevention and Wellness
Apr 30, 2013 02:36PM
● By Linda Sechrist
What do thermography and the 450-foot long iconic Hollywood landmark sign have in common? The answer—the sophisticated security system used to monitor activity around the famous sign includes a thermographic camera, which uses infrared energy to see trespassers in total darkness. This type of technology, which is also used by firefighters to see through smoke, as well as to find people and fire hotspots, was originally developed for military use during the Korean War (1950 – 1953). Today, complex thermographic cameras are used in numerous fields such as medicine, where acupuncturists, chiropractors, Doctors of Oriental Medicine (DOM) and integrative physicians find it very effective for assessing the body.
As a result of searching for non-invasive cutting edge equipment and advanced health technology in body scans that reveal cellular level statistics, life energy patterns and other wellness systems, Bob Hertz, a computer scientist and co-owner of Psy-Tek Subtle Energy Testing/Research Lab added Thermography to the existing laboratory equipment. “Many of today’s alternative health practitioners, who are focused on helping their clients achieve optimal health, can’t order tests such as X-rays and MRIs,” says Hertz, who along with his partner, Mary Clark, a psychotherapist and energy healer, created a laboratory where they could send clients. Now practitioners use the images that the sophisticated equipment produces to help their patients understand what is happening internally and energetically.
Medical thermography is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that allows the examiner to quantify changes in skin surface temperature. It has largely been used in the U.S. as a preventive application for early detection of breast disease. Although this is the most common use of digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI), which converts infrared radiation emitted from the skin surface into electrical impulses that are visualized in color on a monitor, thermography’s uses and benefits in medicine are becoming far more widespread.
The visual image that graphically maps body temperature is called a thermogram, and its spectrum of colors indicates an increase or decrease in the amount of infrared radiation being emitted from the body’s surface. Because a normal body shows a high degree of thermal symmetry, subtle abnormal temperature asymmetries that relate to dysfunction can be easily identified. For example, full body DITI is helpful in monitoring thermal abnormalities present in health conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and other autoimmune diseases. It can also help to determine thyroid dysfunction, even when all thyroid levels are within normal levels in a patient’s blood work. A thermography scan is also helpful in detecting arthritis, inflammatory pain, artery conditions such as stroke potential, and vein conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.
“A pattern of hypothermia (cool areas) over T1/T2 (the first and second thoracic vertebrae) in a thermogram indicates autoimmune dysfunction, but cannot determine if there is hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. This pattern, often seen in patients that also suffer from symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, is helpful in confirming a suspected diagnosis and monitoring a patient’s response to treatment,” says Taryn Kean, a level III thermographer certified by the American College of Clinical Thermology and owner of Southwest Medical Thermal Imaging in Bonita Springs, Florida. According to Kean, as the patient improves and the body returns to more normal thermal symmetry, the hypothermic pattern will be reduced. Conversely, if the patient is not responding to treatment or is regressing, the pattern will either remain the same or the temperature differentials will increase and the pattern will become more pronounced.
Thermography fills a gap. X-rays, ultrasound, and MRIs are all tests that provide information on the structures found within the body. DITI, on the other hand, is the only imaging technology at this time that is capable of showing physiological changes and metabolic processes. Since medical doctors analyze the images and report on their findings, this method is gaining in popularity as a tool for prevention and wellness as well as early detection, which allows an individual to take corrective measures and make lifestyle changes, such as diet or nutritional changes, stress reduction.
Carol Chandler, a DOM and owner of Med-Hot Thermal MyLife Preventive Imaging, in Lakeland, Florida, has been using whole body thermography for 13 years. “I have never used it just for breast screening but I have used it to help me learn as much as possible about my patients so that I can develop the most effective treatment strategies for them,” says Chandler. “For example, since I need to treat the right organ to get the right result, I use a thermographic image to helps me pinpoint a digestion problem. I can see from the image if the problem originates in the liver, stomach or intestines.”
Chandler points out that western allopathic medicine doesn’t appreciate the full intelligence of the skin, the body’s largest organ and the body’s central communications hub. “The communication interconnections among all bodily systems come together at the skin, which has the information and the thermography device can tell us the whole story complete with metabolic processes and physiological changes. Because it’s without radiation risk, it can be used more frequently to follow a patient from their initial health challenge to their return to health,” notes Chandler.
Research shows thermography can “spot” temperature variations of potential problem earlier than other testing methods used today. It is safe because it avoids any X-ray radiation risk. It is a non-invasive procedure since no touch or compression is involved, and that makes it more private and more comfortable for clients. It is also the least expensive test method.
Thermal imaging screening tests are acknowledged by the FDA. It is not a stand-alone test, and does not replace mammography, which is also recommended for breast screening tests. Thermography is a tool that can provide valuable, early, and possibly life-saving information.
Psy-Tek Subtle Energy Testing/Research Lab, 740 Garden View Court, Ste. 209, Encinitas 92024. Call 760-733-6000 or visit Psy-Tek.com.