With improvements in infrared camera technology, the promise of reduced costs and noninvasive character, infrared thermal imaging resurges in medicine. The paper introduces a new technology of functional infrared imaging, thermal texture maps (TTM), which is not only an apparatus for thermal radiation imaging but also a new method for revealing the relationship between the temperature distribution of the skin surface and the emission field inside body. The skin temperature distribution of a healthy human body exhibits a contralateral symmetry. Any disease in the body is associated with an alteration of the thermal distribution of human body. Infrared thermography is noninvasive, so it is the best choice for studying the physiology of thermoregulation and the thermal dysfunction associated with diseases. Reading and extracting information from the thermograms is a complex and subjective task that can be greatly facilitated by computerized techniques. Through image processing and measurement technology, surface or internal radiation sources can be non-invasively distinguished through extrapolation. We discuss the principle, the evaluation procedure and the effectiveness of TTM technology in the clinical detection and diagnosis of cancers, especially in their early stages and other diseases by comparing with other imaging technologies, such as ultrasound. Several study cases are given to show the effectiveness of this method. At last, we point out the applications of TTM technology in the research field of traditional medicine.