5 Minute Thermal Pattern Analysis and Health Perception
John Hart, D.C.
Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ May 3, 2007 ~ Pages 1-6
Introduction: Thermal pattern analysis is thought to be a health outcome for vertebral subluxation-centered practice. The theory is based on the notion that a healthy nervous system is one that is dynamic enough to allow for adequate adaptive responses to environmental challenges, and that when interference to this adaptation occurs, malfunction at some level occurs. This malfunction, although not necessarily perceptible, should be nonetheless measurable. Traditional pattern analysis consists of data obtained from different days. Some doctors however might wish to determine in a shorter time frame whether the patient is in a subluxation pattern. This study uses thermal readings taken 5 minutes apart and attempts to determine if their pattern or lack of is related to the health outcome of health perception.
Methods: Fifty-one student volunteers were scanned twice, 5 minutes apart, using a digital thermographic instrument (TyTron C-3000) on either one, two or three visits. The participants were then divided into groups according to the number of visits they achieved. The instrument produces three lines or channels: one each for the left and right sides of the spine, and a middle or delta channel, representing the difference between the two sides. A thermal pattern calculator (TPC) was used to provide a percent of similarity or pattern between the thermal scans. Participants completed the SF-12 health survey following the second scan on each visit. The survey provides composite scores for physical and mental health perceptions. The TPC percents were compared to corresponding SF-12 composite scores to see if a relationship existed between these two health outcomes.
Results: For participants’ first visit, the left channel TPC percent showed a moderate, significant, and inverse correlation with physical health perception (r = -0.417, p = 0.002). Also for this group, there was a significant decrease (p = 0.04) in physical health perception with participants having a left channel TPC percent greater than 79.5. For participants achieving three visits, their first visit showed a moderate, significant, and inverse correlation between the left channel TPC percent and physical health perception (r = -0.400, p = 0.01). This Group’s third visit showed a moderate, significant, and inverse correlation between the right channel TPC percent and physical health perception (r = -0.510, p = 0.002). The Group’s second visit showed a small, significant, and direct correlation between right channel TPC percents and physical health perception and this finding is not consistent with pattern theory. The Group’s third visit also showed a significant decrease in physical health perception in right channel TPC percents greater than 79.7 (p = 0.03). These findings, except for the Group’s second visit, are consistent with pattern analysis theory.
Conclusions: The majority of significant findings (five out of six) are consistent with pattern theory. The first and third visits showed significant findings consistent with pattern analysis theory. In particular, participants having a left channel TPC percent of 79.5 percent or greater, or a right channel TPC percent of 79.7 or greater, experienced decreased physical health perception. These findings may serve as the beginning of establishing protocols for obtaining thermal readings as well as guidelines for their interpretation.
Key Words: Thermal pattern analysis, chiropractic, SF-12, health perception