Thermal imaging or thermography is a very powerful tool that is just emerging in all different kinds of applications from medical science to pest control to warfare. Being able to detect temperature differences and visualize those with color is an easy way to identify areas of anomalies, dysregulation, or dysfunction.
We have a pest service at Neighborhood Nutrition and our bug guy was spraying the other day. He noticed my thermal camera and commented on it. Apparently pest companies use thermal imaging to identify termites in walls. A termite colony will show up cooler than the environment that surrounds it. So it stands out in a thermal image as an area of coolness and can be used to "look into" walls to identify colonies. You can use a thermal camera to photograph gas processing plants, oil refineries, thermoelectric plants, and many other industrial instances for leaks by looking for hot and cold places in and on pipes.
When it comes to humans a thermal imaging camera is a powerful tool. They are yet to be "blessed" by the FDA and so they cannot yet be used to diagnose disease. However, they certainly can be used to give indications of things and areas of concern. Breast cancer and its identification using thermal imaging is the one area where the FDA has shown some inclination to allow thermal imaging to diagnose. The FDA is behind here as the quality and resolution of cameras have improved dramatically in the last 10 years and the FDA has just not yet considered these far more powerful tools.
When it comes to evaluating a client's health and health status, for me, thermal imaging is a baseline tool. There is a lot of information that stands out as obvious as you analyze images. Again, I am not a physician and thermal imaging is not a diagnostic tool, however, it is easy to identify areas of inflammation and point these out to a client. For instance, someone may have back issues and a thermal image is a great tool to bring to your chiropractor as he can tell EXACTLY where the area of insult is. Cancer shows up as heat on a thermal image and very easy to circle that area and suggest a client head to their oncologist with a copy of the image. Areas of muscle stress and inflammation show up as heat and areas of muscle atrophy, nerve issues, and lack of blood flow show up as cool.
The easiest thing to identify with thermal imaging is bacterial infection. I use the word "bacteria" to describe what could be a virus, a fungus, or a bacteria. When infected with certain kinds of bacteria, the bacteria will use our lymphatic systems to proliferate using a substance called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS will also cause inflammation as it is released. On a thermal image this shows up as lymphatic heat. In some cases this will cause the belly button to be super hot, or the fingernails. Bacterial infection is very common and I see it in some form in almost every female I image.
Why thermal imaging matters can be illustrated by this story. We recently had a client who we will call Lisa. Lisa had a car wreck about 12 years ago and broke her neck. She had some nerve issues but recovered nicely to the point where she could mow her own lawn and was mobile with little to no difficulties. Several years ago she started to decline for no apparent reason and now cannot walk without a walker. While far from "conclusive", when we thermal imaged her we saw a very active spine. We did see a lack of blood flow and coolness in one of her legs. We also saw alot of lymphatic heat which would indicate a raging bacterial infection. The "hope" for her is that her neurological decline could be tied to a bacterial infection rather than some decline in nerve function due to her neck. The thermal image would support both nerve damage, but also nerve function in her spine, so hard to tell until the infection can be addressed.
If you have a health savings plan, we can get your thermal imaging scan paid for by your plan. If you don't have a plan, we are the most skilled and least expensive thermal imaging clinic between Dallas and Oklahoma City. Give us a try and see what thermal imaging is all about!