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Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – Perspectives – REAL Health

Kimberly Burns Sensory Intuition

Complementary Therapies Are An Invaluable Tool For Wellness

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a Pain Management/Wellness Practitioner who provides consultations about self therapy techniques that can be done at home. I am a huge proponent of complementary therapies, because they work, both for me and for my clients. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), complementary therapies refer to those utilizing a nonmainstream approach together with conventional medicine.

When someone’s illness or disease is managed solely by physicians and prescription drugs, they may be setting themselves up to becoming dependent on synthetic chemicals. Often, these chemicals can result in detrimental side effects or carry potentially life threatening dangers! Complementary therapy is intended to address the whole person and not just the symptoms of illness. In some cases, these therapies could help someone get off and stay off medication. When you begin to understand how complementary therapies can contribute to wellness, you’ll ask yourself: “Why aren’t I using them?”

Complementary approaches include mind/body practices like massage, acupuncture, meditation, relaxation techniques, manual lymph drainage, movement therapies, tai chi and yoga. These mind/body modalities are geared to the whole person, and unlike traditional medicine, are not just aimed at reducing or eliminating the symptoms.

I feel like I am able to help people with pain relief because I’ve done it for myself. I began my holistic search for better health and wellness while putting myself through school to become an occupational therapist. I myself am always trying different methods to ease whatever particular pain of the day I may be experiencing. Some days I like heat, and other days I like cold therapy. Some days I use taping to keep my muscles where they belong, and some days I use stretching to soften my tense muscles and to maintain my range of motion. No one single modality is right for everyone. What works for me may not work for you.

Having just fully come to the realization that I am in a disease process that is not going away, I know there are no quick fixes. Sometimes I try new things with no success, but sometimes it’s a matter of combining therapies and committing to them that helps me to see great benefits. When I slack off my own complementary therapies, I can really feel the difference. My anxiety goes up, I can’t sleep. All my aches and pains are ten times worse. This tends to happen when I let work and personal matters get in the way of my dedication to my health.

I named my business Sensory Intuition because I believe there’s great value in learning to hear and feel what your body is trying to tell you. I specialize in teaching techniques to people to help them manage chronic pain and edema. Lymphedema, for example, is poorly understood and many doctors and therapists do not have advanced knowledge of the disease and will overlook it as “just swelling”, and that it will go away with a cold pack and elevation of the affected body part. Chronic edema has serious effects on mobility, range of motion and activities of daily living.

Many people are put off by complementary therapies because they can be expensive. And if you don’t limit your focus to finding one or two that are the most effective, it can indeed be costly. But if you devote a bit of time and research into finding the ones that best suit you personally, you can develop your own home care plan that is specifically tailored to you and to your unique health status. Every single person has different needs, and you are the only one who knows where you have pain, how much pain it is, and what helps to reduce your experience of it.

The people who benefit from the types of therapies I instruct include those with chronic swelling and pain caused by genetics, injuries, or simply wear and tear. People who suffer from autoimmune disease like arthritis or those with a rotator cuff tear can benefit from complementary therapy.

If you are looking to find a way to reduce pain and become more in control of how you feel on a day to day basis, I recommend some research into which complementary therapy or therapies might work in conjunction with your current treatment. Listen to your body and see what it is asking for! One change in your approach or your mindset will not change the world, but one change can lead to more changes. And the goal is for all the modalities, medications, therapies, etc. to work synergistically with each other to propel you to a new level of wellness.

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Kimberly BurnsKimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with 14 years’ experience working with clients ranging from infants to the elderly. She has always had passion for wellness and what she could do at home for herself to manage pain and delay disease processes. Her recent certification in Lymphedema Therapy has provided her further incentive to focus her business around preventing disease and halting its progression. Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT – (215) 499.0444 – SensoryIntuitionInc@comcast.netwww.SensoryIntuition.com.

Copyright © 2015 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
Links to this article are encouraged

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