The Power of Prevention
Another informative month goes by, feeling empowered with tools and simple advice to enhance ‘wellness’ and hopefully prevent dis-ease. Does awareness and empowerment go hand in hand? Surely to be informed allows us make our own choices to enhance our health and wellbeing.
We have spoken previously of how to monitor the effect of stress, the environment and dietary habits on our body with practises such as Reflexology. Although not diagnostic this will certainly help to highlight our body’s systems that are weakened by any of the above. Another natural way that we are alerted to dis-ease is the inflammatory reaction. Stress, dehydration, stagnation or congestion all need to be addressed and so the body through this uncomfortable reaction alerts us to the stress in the mind or body that needs fixing.
This brings me on to a new way to be informed of how the body is managing; with images and a report to help monitor changes in the future: thermal imaging. In certain applications thermal imaging is shown to provide objective measurement of temperature changes that are clinically significant. (PubMed 2012)
To demonstrate how interesting the scans can be, when I went for the body imaging I happened to have an inflamed thumb. This showed up exceptionally well on the thermogram as one would expect but what wasn’t evident to the naked eye but was apparent on the image was the inflammation/infection spreading up the veins of my forearm that did appear four days later.
Infrared thermal imaging of the skin has been used for several decades to monitor the temperature distribution of human skin. Abnormalities such as malignancies, inflammation, and infection cause localized increases in temperature which show as hot spots in an infrared thermogram. Even though it is nonspecific, infrared thermology is a powerful detector of problems that affect a patient’s physiology. It had declined in medicine probably because of the continued reliance on first generation cameras.
But the transfer of military technology for medical use has prompted a reappraisal (PubMed1998) of infrared thermology in medicine. If thermographs are captured under controlled conditions, they may be interpreted readily to diagnose certain conditions and to monitor the reaction of a patient’s physiology to thermal and other stresses. Some of the major areas where infrared thermography is being used successfully are neurology, vascular disorders, rheumatic diseases, tissue viability, oncology especially breast cancer.
Even in (PubMed1983) it was described as a valuable complementary method in breast examination, with the paper reinforcing the fact that it is not a suitable screening method on its own. However, the results of control investigations of 200 females who were reexamined for at least two years showed no change in the thermographic pattern in 87.5% of them. In 10.5% the change in thermogram was believed due to pathological changes and in such an instance the paper suggests mammography should be carried out at this stage.
After the basic examination that included clinical investigation, mammography and thermography when the follow-up thermographic pattern was identical with the first, no mammography was deemed necessary. This schedule permitted a reduction in irradiation without reducing the security of diagnosis.
I know that this won’t be for everyone but I did like the concept of having a picture of how my lifestyle was affecting my health. The lady that took me through the whole process also mentioned some easy ways to address and improve areas of stagnation and congestion evident from the images.
She recommended bras with no underwire – I’ve found these are much more comfortable!
Consider no antiperspirant – use a flannel and soap instead to keep fresh.
Rebounding – a new form of bouncing on a mini trampoline to support the lymphatic system that helps combat inflammation when it occurs. Please check with your medical practitioner before trying this if you are on medication or have problems with balance.
Wishing you a continued sunny, happy, healthy summer.