Kootenay Health Centre       
Naturopathic Doctor: 250-426-5228 ext.4 Chiropractor: 250-489-3200 ext. 2 Massage: 250-489-3200 ext.3
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What is Thermography?

Thermography measures body heat that is constantly radiating away from the surface of the skin. The skin is an organ that breathes, exchanges gases with the environment, cools us as well as keeps us warm.  This process is called thermoregulation and is done by a part of the nervous system called the sympathetic system that regulates blood flow in the skin.


Past Mistakes

Historically, thermography has been promoted as an early cancer detection test. Thermal Analysis has been presented to the patient as a method of determining the actual risk of malignancy. This is simply an inappropriate use of the technology. There is no test that can detect cancer or any other degenerative disease before it has reached its recognizable, documented late stage of development, where disease management is the only treatment option.


Appropriate Use

Thermography’s best us is its inherent ability to detect subtle, vascular and physiological changes that, if left unattended, may become, over time, a degenerative disease.  It is powerful tool that can tell the doctor much about areas of inflammation or lack of blood flow that occur when there is muscle spasm, nerve compression and spinal degeneration.  This information can then be used to direct laser therapy, massage and chiropractic care.


Prevention… the New Medicine

One of the principles of Naturopathic Medicine is Prevention and thermography is an excellent tool in the practice of preventive medicine.  In our clinic we use thermography as an adjunct musculoskeletal assessment tool to help us identify areas of increased and decreased skin temperature (and hence blood flow) so that we can more accurately direct therapeutic laser treatments, massage and chiropractic care.  

Thermography is not a stand alone diagnostic tool and is never used as such in our clinic.

Healthy breast tissue is seen as symmetrical and without any sign of inflammation or increased blood flow.

The breast on left has signs of inflammation as seen by the two red areas just above the nipple.  This image warrants further investigation and close monitoring.  Note the breast on the right has no red areas - this is considered normal.

This thermogram shows a man who is having back pain with increased radiation of heat along the spine and the shoulder blade.

Thermography will show varicose veins that are sometimes not visible on the surface of the skin.  Thermography detects areas of increased blood flow and areas of inflammation which show up on the screen as areas of white (hottest) and red.

This thermogram show a picture of the right side of a person's head and neck.  Note the red areas on the side that highlights the possibility of underlying carotid artery inflammation and the need for further investigation.
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