Infrared Thermography: Messages from the Skin’s Surface
Thermography is a highly sensitive study of the largest, most intelligent and most available organ of the body: the skin. Many have seen the multi-colored images generated by thermography tests, but with little awareness of the wealth of information revealed.
The U.S. 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.” Simply put, the definition covers every inch of the body, and allows thermography a supplemental place with recognized diagnostic tests, e.g., x‐ray, mammogram, MRI, CT, etc. In fact, because the FDA specifically identifies thermography as an adjunct to mammography, anyone who has ever had a mammogram may also have a thermogram.
Thermography analyzes skin temperature changes on the surface of the body. This may sound simple, but 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 but not limited to 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 non‐verbal communication about our health that we can often see, even with our naked eyes; color changes can indicate a lack of oxygen, trauma, and 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 with our eyes. 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!” and this invisible warning can be detected with an infrared device.
Thermography, or infrared imaging with its heightened sensitivity, allows us the ability to observe the body in the process of prioritizing problem areas for self-healing, and guides us to investigate these health clues with greater focus.
Today, people are more actively engaged in their commitment to stay healthy. Thermography is proving to be a useful, safe and inexpensive tool which anyone can include for personally monitoring their health.
Carol Chandler, D.O.M. Doctor of Oriental Medicine, is a board member of the International Association of Medical Thermographers. Lisa Mack, CCT, HHC is the owner of Lisa’s Thermography and Wellness with testing locations in New Jersey and New York. For information, call 855-667-9338. IAMTonline.org. LisasThermagraphyAndWellness.com.