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Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI)

“In whatever part of the body excess of heat or cold is felt, the disease is there to be discovered.”
                                                                                                         Hippocrates (460 -375 BCE)

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The roots of Thermography, or heat differentiation, are ancient, dating back to the time of the pyramids. A papyrus from 1700 BC documents the association of temperature with disease.

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By 400 BC, physicians commonly employed a primitive form of Thermography: they applied a thin coat of mud to a patient’s body, observed the patterns made by the different rates of mud drying, and attributed those patterns to hot and cold temperatures on the surface of the body. 

The first attempt to measure heat came in the second century AD with the development of a bulb “thermoscope” by Hero of Alexandria. In the late 1500s, Galileo invigorated the science of measuring temperature by converting Hero’s thermoscope into a crude thermometer. Others followed over the centuries, developing more sophisticated devices and introducing improvements which have become standard today — for example, the mercury thermometer and the use of Fahrenheit and Celsius scales to measure temperature. A breakthrough in Thermology, as it was then called, came in 1800 with a major discovery by Sir William Hershel, King George III’s Royal Astronomer. Experimenting with prisms to separate the various colors of the rainbow, Hershel discovered a new spectrum of invisible light which we now know as infrared, meaning “below the red.” As a natural effect of metabolism, humans constantly release varying levels of energy in the infrared spectrum, and this energy is expressed as heat. Hershel’s discovery made it possible for devices to focus on measuring infrared heat from the human body.

Today, modern systems provide high speed, high resolution imaging coupled with state-of-the-art computerized digital technology. This results in clear, detailed images captured by certified technicians for qualified physicians to interpret. Thermography is now recognized and valued as a highly refined science with standardized applications in Neurology, Vascular Medicine, Sports Medicine, Breast Health, and many other specialty areas.

At the Asklepion Centre for Tibb, we call thermography a “Health Discovery Tool” and we consider it to be a very important part of a preventive wellness program. By accurately measuring temperature regions and identifying thermographic patterns, thermography detects inflammation, often long before symptoms may be felt or eventually diagnosed with an actual disease. 

HOW IS THERMOGRAPHY DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TESTS?

 

Thermography is a test of physiology that studies the functional aspect of the body.  It can detect subtle changes related to inflammation, blood flow and nerve conduction safely and without the use of contact, dyes or radiation.

Radiography, CT, ultrasound, MRI, etc. are anatomical tests that study structure.  They utilize radiation, soundwaves or magnetic fields to recreate an image of the structures inside the body.

Thermography is not a replacement for structural tests because it provides a different set of information.  But it is an important adjunctive test that can help with diagnosis, clinical correlation and often, it can even help solve “mystery pain”.  In many cases, thermography can provide information that no other test can provide as efficiently or as affordably.

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HOW THERMOGRAPHY IS FINDING THE MISSING PIECES IN MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS…

  • It is sensitive to metabolic changes not detected by standard anatomical testing
  • It is sensitive to subtle variants allowing for a wide range of applications
  • Its graphical representations of physiological evidence can serve as “biofeedback” for patients
  • Thermography is an affordable means of full body imaging free of radiation and contact
  • A Full body scan could help evaluate cause and effect and monitor physiological activity for:

• Chronic headaches
• Trigger points
• Referred pain
• Inflammatory pain
• Chronic unexplained pain

• Nerve damage
• Nerve impingement
• Neurovascular compression
• Biomechanical dysfunction
• Biomechanical stressors

• Vascular irregularity
• Peripheral circulation
• Dental and TMJ
• Lymphatic congestion
 more clinical apps…

Does thermal imaging hurt?
NO.  Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is a non-invasive test. There is no contact with the body of any kind, no radiation and the procedure is painless.

What are the benefits?
Thermography is a test of physiology that studies the functional aspect of the body.  It can detect subtle changes related to inflammation, blood flow and nerve conduction safely and without the use of contact, dyes or radiation.  It can be used in sports medicine, injury evaluation, rehabilitation, monitoring chronic disease and much more. Thermography is not a replacement for structural tests because it provides a different set of information, but it is an important adjunctive test that can help with diagnosis, clinical correlation and often, it can even help solve “mystery pain”.  In many cases, thermography can provide information that no other test can provide as efficiently or as affordably.

Thermographic screening of the breast offers the opportunity of earlier detection of breast disease that has NOT been possible with breast self-examination, physician palpation, or mammography alone.  DITI is a very sensitive and objective physiological test of abnormalities in the breast and as such is an extremely valuable and important adjunctive test with regard to early detection of breast pathology.

How is the imaging done?
DITI is performed using sophisticated medical infra-red cameras, a clinician simply captures infra-red images, or “thermograms” of the body or region of interest (ROI). The digitized images are stored on a computer at the Asklepion Centre. Significant asymmetries can indicate a physiological abnormality. This may be pathological (a disease) or it might indicate an anatomical variant.

What happens after the imaging is done?
An encrypted report will be available for your electronic viewing/printing and/or a color report will be printed and mailed per your permission and instructions.  These reports are designed for use by professionals, not for self-diagnosis.  If you do not have a professional to go over the report with you please schedule a free post report consultation so that we can help you understand the results and provide you with referrals and resources.  DITI detects the subtle physiologic changes that accompany pathology, whether it is cancer, fibrocystic disease, an infection or a vascular disease, then the physician can plan accordingly and lay out a careful clinical program to further diagnose and or MONITOR the patient until other standard testing becomes positive, thus allowing for the earliest possible treatment.

If a suspicious (positive) DITI breast examination is performed, the appropriate follow-up diagnostic and clinical testing can be ordered. This may include mammography and other imaging tests, clinical laboratory procedures, and nutritional and lifestyle evaluation.

Do I have to keep track of my baseline and/or annual thermograms?
No.  All patients thermograms are kept on record at the Asklepion Centre for Tibb and form a baseline for all future routine evaluations.

These restrictions are advised to prevent overheating of the body and to limit increased blood flow and circulation to areas of concern. Keep skin stimulation to a minimum prior to your scan to obtain the most accurate information.

Four days prior to scan:
Avoid prolonged sun exposure or tanning booth. Sunburn would preclude the exam.

Within 24 hours of your scan:
No mechanical treatment or stimulation; this includes massage, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, TENS, physical therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, hot or cold pack use. No exercise or strenuous physical activity.

The day of your scan:
Avoid caffeine. Do not wear heavy jewelry. Wear loose clothing.  Do not stimulate the skin by rubbing with lotions, shaving or applying roll-on or stick deodorants. Spray deodorants are acceptable.

Four hours before your scan:
If you are using anti-inflammatory medications, please do your best to avoid taking these drugs before your examination: Aspirin, Advil, Aleve and Ibuprofen.

Two hours before your scan:
No smoking.

One hour before your scan:
Do not bathe/shower just before your appointment as this may stimulate the skin.

Other considerations:

Please bring your completed intake form with you or arrive a few minutes early to fill them out.

You are welcome to bring a companion or partner to be present at the examination.

Do not schedule your Thermogram during menstruation or within 2-3 days before the start of your cycle. Estrogen stimulation and circulation are highest during those times.

It is best to wait until you have stopped nursing for at least three months before getting a Thermogram. The exception is if you are having problems that suggest an infection or mastitis. Thermography can be very helpful under these circumstances.

If you have had a biopsy or lumpectomy it is best to wait at least three months before establishing/re-establishing a baseline.

 

ABOUT THE EXAM:

There is no contact, no radiation and no contrast agents are used.  The room temperature will be cool and you will be seated or standing in front of the thermal camera for imaging.

Prior to imaging you will be asked to disrobe for the areas being imaged and a gown will be provided for you to wear while you recline or lie on a cooling bed and the thermographer goes over your history and notes with you.  Time will be allowed both before and during the exam for your skin’s surface temperature to equilibrate.  Once the areas being imaged have cooled, the thermographer will have you move to a seat in front of the camera.  You will disrobe the areas being imaged.  For breast thermography you will need to place your hands on the top of your head for imaging.  Please let your thermographer know if you have any limitations with raising your hands above your shoulders.

 

What do the colours mean in the Thermogram

As you can see the colours vary between white and black. White is the hottest region and black is the coldest. If you view the diagram to the left  (hover over with mouse to magnify) each organ within the body is connected to an area of skin (Head’s Law).

If an internal organ has excess heat either sanguine (hot & moist) or choleric (hot & dry) it will appear on the thermogram as white/red.

If the thermogram shows green/yellow it indicate “normal” body temperature.

If the thermogram show blue/black the internal organ has a deficiency of heat – phlegmatic (cold & moist) or melancholic (cold & dry).

The temperature (or colours) should be symmetrical on either side of the body. As this is a test of physiology it will detect “dis-ease” long before anatomical changes (pathology).

Thermal Diagnosis and Treatment

There are some similarities between the Hippocratic and Western Medicine diagnoses and treatment.

It is true that Hippocrates is considered by  Western Medicine Practitioners (WMP) to be the “Father of Diagnoses” however Hippocrates used the tempero-humoural paradigm as opposed to Western Medicine using “Disease Names”.

Let me explain this further. When you visit your WMP you present with symptoms (subjective expression), the WMP looks for signs (objective expression), adds a dead blood test, few other anatomical scans and arrives at a disease name – the diagnosis.

Of course this disease doesn’t exist – its just a name for a bag of signs, symptoms and tests. A name has to be derived for the WMP to recommend a drug or even worse – surgery.

As Hippocrates raised medicine above the level of superstition and witchcraft by introducing the diagnoses of temperament, humour and quality imbalances he we heralded as the first to use diagnostic protocols. Actually the Babylonions had been using this system of diagnosis hundreds of years before…… and this system continued for 2500 years after Hippocrates in the Western medical culture.

It changed when Western Medicine took away the patient’s identity and reduced everything to inappropriate cellular, metabolic, genetic and microbial  activity.

 

Thermographic scanning (DITI) is a physiology test procedure to help with the overall diagnoses of the patient’s “dis-ease”. Additionally it can be used as part of a preventitive program (in China you only pay your doctor when you are well. If you become ill you don’t pay him because he is not doing his job properly).

Combing the results of the interview with the patients Osteopathic Evaluation, Thermal Scan, Live Blood Analysis and Autonomic Response Testing we arrive at an understanding of the Humoural Imbalance causing the “dis-ease”. This, in present terms, relates to a “Regulation Imbalance”

 

How does a Thermogram help with diagnosis and treatment?

Your body is equipped with vents that release excess heat. Organs, glands, nerves, etc. all contain places that vent. A Thermologist can tell by the locations, size and color, which vent is releasing excess or less than normal amounts of heat. In return, we can tell if there is a humoural imbalance leading to disease.

Like all imaging machines Thermography is used in conjunction with physical examination and other biological tests. A diagnosis is NOT made from a thermographic scan.

The thermographic scan is supported by interview, pulse/tongue diagnosis, Live Blood Analysis, structural assessment and the 7 factors of Autonomic Response Testing.

Treatment follows the medical paradigm of Hippocrates which is based on the imbalance of the FOUR humours – Sanguine (hot & moist), Choleric (Hot & Dry), Phlegmatic (Cold & Moist) and Melancholic (Cold & Dry)  …. see humours

For instance, if the liver region was venting too much heat (the thermogram shows more heat over the liver area then the corresponding point on the opposite side of the body) the treatment would be to cool it.

This can be achieved by localised hijama, spinal adjustment and A.R.T. to assess imbalance in the 7 factors of disease, prescription of appropriate natural remedies and Tibb lifestyle changes.

The fact that thermography is a test of physiology and not anatomy changes in the humoural imbalance can be readily assessed by thermography during the course of the treatment.

The Asklepion School & Clinic