Holistic Occupational Therapy

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Holistic Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a science-based health and social care profession that assists people of all ages and abilities in overcoming barriers to living their daily lives. We assist you in creating the life you want at home, in the workplace, and throughout all aspects of daily living – what we like to refer to as your “occupations.”

An occupational therapist’s primary duty is to assess and treat individuals with physical or mental disabilities or other health conditions that restrict their abilities to engage in occupations they enjoy. They may also work with children with special needs to support their learning and social development.

An occupational therapist’s training and education are founded in anatomical, physiological, and psychological principles to promote optimal functioning in an individual’s physical and psycho-social environments. This client-centered approach to treatment puts emphasis on the person, their occupation, and environment. It strives to maximize use of skills and strengths while cultivating self-esteem, self-efficacy, and a sense of achievement through doing, being, and belonging in chosen occupations, routines, and contexts.

Holistic occupational therapy (CHAIH) is an emerging practice within occupational therapy that incorporates complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches into its scope of practice. CIH utilizes holistic practices such as yoga, meditation and other mind-body therapies to promote overall wellbeing. The American Occupational Therapy Association even recently issued a statement supporting this trend within their profession.

A holistic approach to occupational therapy not only benefits the clients involved, but it can also have a beneficial effect on the entire team that treats the patient. While keeping the client at the center of everything we do, having a strong working relationship with other members of our team helps enhance communication and results.

One of the most effective and popular ways to incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy (CIH) into an occupational therapy session is through essential oils. Many therapists have discovered that aromatherapy has a calming effect on the nervous system, leading to sleep, reduced agitation or improved concentration. Scents like lavender, orange, chamomile and rose have all been known to help calm patients with dementia while improving moods as well.

One way to incorporate CIH into an occupational therapy practice is by offering alternative therapies like reflexology, acupuncture or massage. Many OT educators have implemented these approaches into their programs with positive results for patient outcomes.

Community-based programming is another area of increasing interest for OTs. This could involve working in schools, promoting health and wellbeing among families or advocating for inclusive community environments. Such efforts could range from providing early parent training to developmental screenings for young children or providing tips on wellness and prevention to adults.

In addition to offering holistic occupational therapy in a clinic setting, OTs can be employed as consultants by businesses or school systems to address employee workplace safety and productivity. In this role, an OT will assess the working environment and make recommendations to enhance or modify it so employees are able to perform their jobs more safely.

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