by Dr. Carla Garcia, D.O.M.
As news of the Corona virus continues, several news stories have featured articles about the use of thermal scanning in airports. There are several international airports that employ digital infrared thermal scanners to help detect viruses: https://tinyurl.com/tekm6g3. The U.S. quadrupled the number of thermographic scanners in airports in early 2020.
The above video offers a brief explanation of how thermography detects heat that may relate to fever and viral infection. The handheld thermal scanner in the video, is accurate to 1/10 of a degree. At the Thermography Center we use a digital infrared scanner that is accurate to within 1/100 of degree.
Thermography has many health applications but the most widely utilized is in breast imaging. Thermography is essentially looking for heat or fever in the breasts that may indicate an infection, lymph congestion, possible estrogen dominance or new blood vessel growth. New blood vessel growth also known as neovascularity or angiogenesis is of particular concern because it can indicate the presence of a tumor. Although thermography is not considered to be specific to location, it is highly sensitive to changes in temperature and provides early detection of dysfunction.
Breast imaging was the most common use of clinical thermography, but more recently full-body scans outnumber breast scans. The breast scan includes images of the upper chest, breasts and underarms (a minimum of 6 to 8 images). The full body scan images the head/neck, breast/chest, abdomen, back, arms and legs (minimum of 25 to 30 images). Thermography allows us to be proactive about our health. Areas of heat are often associated with some degree of inflammation. Areas of cold may correlate with a lack of circulation or nerve dysfunction. It is easy to assume that areas of heat are the focus of thermography, but in actuality areas of cold are also indicative of dysfunction. Heat can be an indication for an inflammatory process. Cold is often indicative of chronic dysfunction. The easiest way to understand this is “cold is old”.
Most of us have been the subjects of thermal imaging whether we realize it or not. Airports use it every day to check people for elevated temperatures. This is confirmation of its safety and value. The Thermography Center has specialized in thermal imaging for more than 20 years and we have imaged thousands of patients who use the information to make lifestyle changes or seek further evaluation. 505-271-6608, www.ThermographyNM.com.