I remember reading the quote from Leonardo DaVinci “where there is life, there is heat” on a wall somewhere in a Las Vegas Bikram’s Yoga studio. The words soon found me again in an article about “thermography,” or thermal/heat imaging, one branch of infrared imaging science. In the article, Australia’s foremost expert on infrared photography, Dr. Alan Smith of the Melbourne School of Engineering, commented, “I continue to be amazed at the scope of this technology and how it is being used. I believe thermography has a role to play in industry, defence and even in medicine.”
He explains that thermography can detect injury and disease-causing inflammation, which has already been applied to thoroughbred racehorses. In 2010 a BioCytonics newsletter expounded that thermography could accurately detect a pregnancy from day 1 of conception, a far more advanced pregnancy detection than anything we’ve seen yet. It can also expose some potential birth defects to predict potentially fatal premature delivery, allowing doctors the chance for early treatment, and otherwise ill-fated preemie babies another chance at life.
The prolific health news author and veteran osteopathic physician, Dr. Mercola, took some serious heat from the FDA in 2011 for promoting thermography as a “revolutionary,” non-invasive means of screening for breast cancer. And he doesn’t stand alone. Another notable, Dr. Christiane Northrup, was harshly criticized after speaking on national TV from Oprah’s throne room in support of thermography for early detection of breast cancer instead of mammograms.
So why all the heat about thermography, and how can it hold a candle against the established mammography?