Second Opinion Magazine
What’s Going On?
By Shawn R. Seuferer, Certified Clinical Thermographer, Thermography of Wisconsin
Whenever you come in for a thermography screening, you are given a fair amount of paperwork to complete, including health questionnaires and HIPAA forms. The thermographer then goes through the same list of questions with you for clarification and to capture new information, fill in any missing information, and note any updates in symptoms and treatments, even if the information does not seem to apply.
Our bodies are complex and all systems are interrelated. Therefore, complete and accurate information is needed by the thermologists and doctors who interpret the images and provide the written report:
Symptoms provide clues about any dysfunction
Dates of treatments, doctor visits, illnesses, surgeries and injuries are important as they may affect the images
Any therapeutic treatment should be noted—dental work, light therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, infra-red sauna, etc., can affect the nervous system
Pharmaceutical medications and therapeutic supplements may affect the body’s temperature regulation
Familial history is recorded because of the potential for disorders and dysfunction to be passed down to the next generation
Why is all this documentation so important? Well, blame the autonomic nervous system and its control of the body’s response to stress.
The autonomic (think “automatic”) nervous system, which is the part of the peripheral nervous system (nerves which branch off the spinal cord), controls the involuntary functions of the body, such as your heart rate, respiration, digestion, blood pressure, and sexual arousal. It is comprised of two main divisions: the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic (PNS) nervous systems.
As a quick review, the SNS controls your body’s “fight or flight” response, and the PNS system controls your body’s resting, digestion and sexual arousal. The number one job of the sympathetic system is to control your core body temperature by either increasing or decreasing the blood flow to the skin.
The body is in a constant state of balance, or homeostasis, and the skin is an important part of that temperature regulation process. Thermography, which measures the skin surface temperature, is a very sensitive test of the presence or absence (stress, dysfunction and disease) of homeostasis.
When the documentation supports the thermal images, the thermologists can provide a better interpretation and written report which, in turn, provides the patient and care practitioner better information for support and treatment.
And that is why the thermographer wants to know what is going on.