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

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April Is Occupational Therapy Month!

What Can Occupational Therapy Do For You?

By Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists provides the following definition of Occupational Therapy: “Occupational Therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational Therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.”

When we hear the word “occupation”, we almost automatically think of something related to the work people do to earn a living. In Occupational Therapy, the word occupation refers to any of the many activities people do on a daily basis that occupy their time and have meaning to them. The occupations of infants include sleeping, eating and exploration activities; for children occupations include learning to care for themselves, playing and school life. Adolescent and young adults are preparing to manage tasks of life independently. Occupations of adults include employment, home management, care of others, leisure, and as we get older, accommodations to changes in personal and physical capacities. Occupational Therapy teaches life skills.

Education for an Occupational Therapist (OT) requires at least a master’s degree. Occupational Therapy Assistants work under the supervision of an OT and require two-year associate’s degree with coursework in biology, psychology and kinesiology. After that there is continuous education required by national and state associations to legally practice. There are also many specialties to choose from with an Occupational Therapy career such as, lymphedema therapy, hand therapy, sensory integration, orthopedics and many more! It is a practice deeply rooted in science and is evidence-based, meaning that the plan designed for each individual is supported by data, experience, and “best practices” that have been developed and proven over time.

With training in physical and psychosocial development and disorders, Occupational Therapists look at the whole person, body and mind. How the disease or diagnosis, is interfering with the person’s ability to function and participate in the activities they enjoy. What physical, mental and/or emotional strategies are needed to redesign their lives.

Let’s say that you love cooking yet you are having shoulder pain or limited arm movement. Activities like reaching overhead, getting pans out from the cabinets below, and mixing and stirring can be a difficult and daunting task making the activity less enjoyable and reducing your participation in your occupation of cooking. An Occupational Therapist can work with you to reduce your pain, improve your shoulder movements, educate on coping or relaxation strategies, personalize exercises, and modify your environment to suit your ability.

Any person, from young children to older adults, who experiences an inability to participate in meaningful activities, may benefit from Occupational Therapy services. An Occupational Therapist can provide treatment and education on a variety of conditions such as arthritis, fibyromyalgia, swelling, lymphedema, repetitive strain injuries, pain, spinal cord injuries, fractures, learning difficulties, autism, attention deficit disorder, developmental delays, stroke, an injury sustained during a fall, and many other conditions.

Occupational Therapy is a challenging and fascinating job combining creativity and problem solving with the ability to make practical, meaningful changes in a person’s life.

Contact an Occupational Therapist today and get to know how to make your life more satisfying.

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Kimberly BurnsKimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with over 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
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