How Thermography Can Benefit Your Health
One of the things that I love about functional medicine or integrative health, is that we focus on fixing the base-level problems that contribute to illness.
The reason I love this approach is because, for many people, they’re never given answers as to why they’re sick.
They just know they are sick and they want answers, but typically they’re just given a pat answer and maybe some medication.
That approach is far from ideal.
And this is one of the reasons I am interested in thermography.
Thermography isn’t a well-known medical practice, and I hope to change that both with this article and by getting patients to use it for their health improvement.
In this article, I’ll show you how thermography works and also show you when it is a good idea to use it in your health journey.
Thermography won’t cure you of anything, but it’s a great tool to use to help attack illnesses long before they become a problem.
What is Thermography?
Many of you are familiar with procedures like mammograms and ultrasounds. Well, thermography is a non-invasive screening process that is quite similar to those tools and we (medical practitioners) like to use thermography to complement mammograms or ultrasounds.
What’s different about thermography when compared to more traditional imaging techniques, is how it focuses on changes in the body's surface temperature to make assessments about what’s going on.
The technique of thermographic imaging is based on the principle that every human being has a unique thermal signature.
When the body is abnormal, the tissue may generate more heat, which can be detected by thermography. You can think about it like this. If you twist an ankle and swelling takes place in that location, it generally feels hotter than the surrounding skin.
That’s inflammation at work, and that heat is the signature of injury (and healing). With a thermography screening a similar methodology is employed.
Thermography relies on a small camera that a technician uses to take surface-level temperature readings of the body.
The results are then analyzed by a medical provider to identify any abnormalities or changes in the body's temperature.
Perhaps the best-known version of thermography is breast thermography, which is different than a mammogram.
However, thermography can also be used to scan other areas of the body for abnormalities. This can be particularly useful for identifying inflammation, congestion, sinus issues, thyroid issues, and lymphatic drainage throughout the body, among other things.
Is Thermography Safe - And What Will it Detect
I’m partial to using treatments and tools of health analysis that are as safe as possible and that’s why one of the biggest advantages of thermography is that it is a safe and non-invasive option.
There aren’t that many preventative care tools around, and for something at this level of technology to do no harm is a huge win in my opinion.
Despite what you might assume, there is no radiation involved in thermographic imaging, and technicians don’t need to insert anything into the body to get their readings.
This makes it an ideal choice for patients who may have concerns about the safety or invasiveness of traditional imaging techniques.
The frequency of thermography screenings will depend on the patient's individual needs and medical history.
For most patients, a screening is recommended every six months to a year. Think about it as a checkup at the mechanic to “see what’s going on under the hood.”
However, in special cases, such as patients with a history of cancer, screenings may be recommended more frequently.
This can help to identify any changes or abnormalities in the body at an early stage, which can lead to better outcomes and an increased quality of life.
While thermography doesn’t make a diagnosis, what it can do is allow for the detection of developing cancer cells at an earlier stage, making it a valuable tool for medical professionals in identifying early signs of physiological changes in the body.
According to Tammy Kohlschmidt, a certified clinical thermographer at Thermography for Health New York in New York City, this testing has a wide-ranging basis for application.
In her office, they use it for predicting whether a person has TMJ, or gum and sinus issues. They analyze images to detect things like liver distress, infections, cancer, and more.
“Though Kohlschmidt is quick to point out that, when thermography detects them, they’re not diseases yet. Rather, thermography picks up the signs that a dysfunction is developing, which might in turn become a disease. As she says, “Oftentimes, our dysfunction starts years before we feel it.”
This is why I believe thermography will start to be used more and more in the future, and why it could be a game changer for how people live.
Imagine being given a crystal ball and being told you will get sick from X in the next 5 months…it would be a huge blessing to you as you’d be able to attack an illness before it got worse.
Thermography is kind of (and I do use this modifier appropriately) a crystal ball. It can’t tell the future, but it could clue you in on your future. It’s also an inexpensive procedure to get you some advanced notice about things that may happen to your body.