I LOOKED like a traffic light turning from amber to red.
The top of my body and neck was a cauldron of red and, on first glance, it looked like I was about to blow my top.
Fortunately my head and face was a little cooler – demonstrated by large swathes of green – and the long slash of red down my spine was also to be expected.
This was my first experience of thermal imaging, a modern way to check someone’s general health, without the need to be invasive, give blood or other bodily samples.
As part of Bodyworks’ Full Body Check Up I spent a morning having my entire body catalogued from top to tail, before the images were sent off to a team of American radiologists to analyse.
“It’s part of our ‘whole body’ approach,” explains Estelle Mitchell, who set up the clinic on the Costa del Sol in 2004.
“I liken it to switching the overhead lights on rather than using a torch.”
She continues: “And best of all, there is no radiation, as used in X-rays or CAT scans, no claustrophobia (as with MRI), and no pain, as with PET scans and endoscopies.”
The Consultant Physiotherapist, who trained with the RAF three decades ago, is particularly keen on the method, as it helps to screen issues in the lymphatic system and for nerve pain.
“This is difficult to see in other tests and often helps to identify ‘persistent’ pain that is resisting treatment elsewhere,” she continues.
The useful general health guide gives an overall picture without any side effects and the images are always taken under specific set conditions for consistency.
Using thermal imaging the body is checked for issues and problems in major organs, muscles, nerves and arteries.
First of all though, Estelle conducts a detailed consultation with the patient exploring health issues and any factors that may cause current or future problems.
In my case, recent headaches may be because of worsening eyesight, as well as, perhaps, to do with a car crash I suffered in the Middle East two decades ago.
And, hey presto, the results entirely backed up my concerns showing deep red, and most importantly, a white spot in my left tear duct.
The ‘Thermographic Interpretation’ explained that my headaches were probably stemming from tension building up in the neck and shoulders and possible dental inflammation in my jaw.
While my lymphatic and immune system was a little out of kilter and would benefit from treatment, my images showed that I was mostly in the clear for cardiac issues moving forwards.
I was also in need of a serious alignment of my body and to learn how to run, and even walk, better.
“You are clearly tense in your back, which is not an uncommon finding,” explains Estelle.
“You also have nerve issues around your neck, which could be to do with your car accident. The body remembers even if you forget.”
Fore more information, visit the Bodyworks website HERE