Updated 10/7/23; Originally Published 1/15/23
Imagine if you could see the health and functionality of your blood vessels, brain, heart, liver, joints, and more.
Imagine if you could see where blood flow is high or low.
Imagine if you could see where your immune system is spending lots of time and resources creating inflammation in an attempt to heal.
You can. All without being touched. It is called a Thermogram. If you are near La Plata, Maryland, you can schedule your thermogram right here at Zen and Vitality!
- What is Thermography?
- Thermography Vs X-Ray and MRI
- What Does a Thermogram Tell You?
- Your Unique Thermal Print
- Cold Spots in the Body
- Hot Spots in the Body
- Up Trends and Down Trends
- What to Expect During a Thermography Scan
- Thermography and Breast Imaging
- Inform Your Wellness Lifestyle with a Thermogram
- Additional Reading and a Video!
“Anyone with a chronic condition is typically inflamed at some level. So my job is to then navigate and figure out what is causing it. Because when you get to the root of inflammation, you don’t have to treat the diseases directly. I don’t really treat Diabetes. I don’t treat Alzheimer’s. I don’t treat heart disease. I don’t treat cancer. I simply change the biology of the body to normalize function, reduce inflammation, and as a side effect these things go away.” ~ Dr Mark Hyman
What is Thermography?
Thermography is a 60+ year old non-invasive, radiation-free technology that uses a special heat-sensitive camera to create images showing the temperature map of your skin. Thermography images allow you to see your “hot spots” and “cold spots” in fine detail in addition to measurements of how hot and how cold the spots are. Blood flow to the skin is controlled by cardiovascular activity through your capillaries and by your sympathetic (stress) nervous system. A thermogram shows you the inner workings of your body.
When your body’s blood flow is evenly distributed throughout your body, the temperature variations you feel match fairly well with the temperature variations seen in a set of thermography images. Low blood flow areas will appear as “cold spots”. High blood flow areas will appear as “hot spots”. Yes, we all have places on our body that “run warm” but that is not what thermography tells you! Thermography images will show you the cold spots and hot spots that are hiding inside you.
Thermography Vs. X-Ray and MRI
You are probably familiar with common medical diagnostic tests like X-ray and MRI. An X-ray uses high energy radiation to create an image of your hard, dense areas like bones and teeth. An MRI uses low energy radio waves to “talk” to the water in your body and create an image that includes soft and hard tissue. These imaging methods show your personal anatomy. Structures, shapes, and forms within the body are the focus of the image. X-rays and MRI are used to visualize a change of structure of the body. A funny thing is that you can not tell from looking at an X-ray or an MRI if is the person is alive or dead.
Thermography is different. Anatomy is not the focus of a thermogram. Thermography creates images that display the physiology of the body – how it works and how “alive” it is. Medical doctors use thermograms to provide both early detection of disease states of the body and progress in healing the body. In the Functional Wellness world, we use thermograms to identify places in the body that are struggling to maintain optimal function. In our efforts to support the self-healing and self-regulating abilities of your body, thermography offers a new window into the body’s current state.
What Does a Thermogram Tell You?
Your Unique Thermal Print
Each one of us has unique biometric features such as fingerprints, iris patterns in the eye, and your thermal pattern. Your thermal pattern, once identified through your set of 2 baseline scans, should remain consistent throughout your lifetime. Your thermal pattern changes when the internal workings of your body changes – for good or bad!
Cold Spots in the Body
Cold spots are places that have poor blood flow or poor function of your nervous system. These are places of stagnation where healing is slow, sensation is low, cellular detox is slow, and the body can not self-repair. Are your cold spots too cold? Cover too much of your body to feel better not older?
Hot Spots in the Body
Hot spots are places where:
- blood flow is rich
- heat is being produced from your inflammatory response to a localized injury
- fast growth is occurring
- your immune system is fighting an infection
- you are in pain according to your sympathetic nervous system
- you are healing a recent injury or surgery
- your lymph flow is blocked
- potential problems are brewing!
Most bodies have a nice symmetry to them which we use to understand the data offered by a thermogram. If you have a hot spot in one calf muscle and not the other, why? What is causing this asymmetry and how much difference is there between the two sides?
While it is true to that you only have one stomach and one liver, you can see asymmetries in the temperature map around the different portions of each organ. If you see that half of your liver is inflamed, could this be contributing to your high cholesterol? Yes!
Up Trends and Down Trends
When you compare a thermogram taken now to one taken previously, trends can be seen. If they look essentially the same, you have done a great job of maintaining your state of health and function. The question might be – is maintenance enough for you? Could you be healthier?
If you see upward trends (less hot spots in problem areas, less cold spots), you are coming into balance and getting healthier! Upward trends are associated with a confirmation that whatever your Wellness Lifestyle has been – it is working for you. You can assess for yourself if you want to make additional lifestyle changes in order to make larger strides towards wellness and away from disease.
If you see downward trends, now is the time to act! Down trends indicate an area of concern that has grown in scale or a new issue to ponder since your last scan (e.g. decreased blood flow, more inflammation in areas where there should be none, the hot spots got hotter, etc).
What to Expect During a Thermography Session
Thermography sessions are typically held in rooms with controlled air flow and low lighting since the infrared cameras do not work well in the presence of sunlight. You will need to expose your skin on the areas of your body which you want imaged. Breast thermography will involve a bare torso. A session to image your entire body is best done wearing a thong to minimize the amount of skin unavailable to the camera.
Your certified thermographer and her special camera will be 6-7 feet away from you; no physical contact is needed. A session often takes about 30 min depending on how much of your body is imaged. Depending on your thermographer, you might be able to see the images immediately, before you receive the report associated with your images being reviewed by doctors training in reading thermal images.
Thermography and Breast Imaging
While the leading cause of death in women is cardiovascular disease, breast cancer is a fear and concern for many women and the men who love them. If Mammogram Day is not your favorite day of the year or you are concerned about the radiation exposure from mammograms, read on!
The typical screening option for breast tissue is a mammogram which is believed by many cancer researchers and doctors to cause more body damage and harm than body benefits. A mammogram is an x-ray that exposes women to radiation all focused on her breast tissue while the breast is intensely compressed and stressed. A mammogram looks for lumps or masses of tissue that are harder and denser than it should be. If you are one of the many women with dense, lumpy breasts or estrogen dominance you are likely sent for a second mammogram almost every time – doubling your radiation exposure! If a mammogram finds a lump, additional testing is needed to determine whether you have a calcification of the breast tissue, a growing tumor, or breasts with character! (Special note: Did your Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis show excess calcium in your soft tissues – like your breasts?)
Thermography offers a radiation-free tool to see how the cells inside the breast are actually working – their physiology. Your thermogram will reflect any inflammation inside your breast tissue (and the entire body) with no radiation, no squishing your breasts between heavy, cold, metal plates, and no re-test requests. In addition to the breasts themselves, thermography shows the connection between breast tissue, blood flow, lymphatic system activity, relevant organs, and nearby tissue.
In Europe, thermography is a valued tool for breast health because it offers a window through which we can see the very beginnings of problems that often take years to see in a mammogram. This means you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle in order to easily return to a state of fabulous health!
For many women, thermography is the best or only choice. Other women combine the information from a thermogram, ultrasound, and a mammogram to support their health goals.
Inform Your Wellness Lifestyle with a Thermogram
There are lots of ways to use the results from your thermogram to guide your Wellness Lifestyle Choices.
- Trouble in your sinuses? Perhaps you need to address the integrity and function of your mucus membranes that line your sinus cavities.
- Do you see a lot of heat near a previously damaged tooth? Is that old root canal infected and spreading slowly through your brain and body? Perhaps you should talk to your holistic or biological dentist.
- Is your liver warmer than it should be? How about supporting blood flow into and out of the liver? Detoxing heavy metals that tend to get stored in your liver? Supporting bile flow?
- Do you have inflammation in your major blood vessels? Perhaps it is time to support a more anti-inflammatory diet that also supports the pliability, structural integrity, and strength of your blood vessel walls.
There are so many “things” you could do to “be healthy” but which ones do you need? Thermography’s usefulness at guiding you closer to a state of long lasting health is incredible!
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Additional Reading and a Video!
- These two lovely Tennessee ladies recorded a whole body thermography session – no nudity in the video – so you can better understand the process and benefits https://youtu.be/8ga7Ec2OiWQ