Measuring the Bodily State of Fear

Excerpt from Chapter 9 - Your Body

3. Extremities' Temperatures. We humans possess a fear response that causes us to withdraw blood flow from the extremities during times of fear. This happens not only during obvious times of fear, but also during times when we are covering over or denying our fears. The more we cover over and hide our inner fears, the cooler our extremities will be. This response happens rather quickly for current fearful situations and is also present long-term to reveal our overall levels of inner tension.

Tools available to measure extremities' temperatures have improved dramatically in the past few years with the advent of moderately priced infrared thermometers, which cost about $40USD. These devices typically read 1,000 temperatures a second, as one moves the device over the skin; the highest reading is then displayed. It usually takes about one second to get this peak reading.

I have done a few measurements on others' fingertips; the average result was about 91F. As I stated earlier, my own fingertip temperatures are usually around 97F (very warm hands). For accuracy, I suggest taking six readings and using the highest three readings that are within .2F of each other. (Because of small fingertips and large infrared device aperture, the readings will sometimes be significantly low).

Note: the infrared thermometer is a winner for taking children's (and adults') temperatures. A quick scan over the forehead and "it's done!" Many who see the device in operation for the first time want one immediately.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Three natural thinking patterns predominate in this culture. While as individuals we can change these patterns, we tend to have a favorite pattern that becomes automatic in many circumstances. Each of these patterns has pluses and minuses. Awareness of your favorite pattern can lead to lessening of the minuses associated with it."