Occupational therapy is defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as “the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of enhancing or enabling participation in roles, habits, and routines in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings” (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014).
Occupational therapists are trained to consider the relationships among people, their valued activities (sex, school, family, sports, work, household management, etc.), and the environments around them. Occupational therapists often work with people after neurological injury (stroke, concussion, traumatic brain injury) or orthopedic injury to help them get back to the activities that are important to them.
Occupational therapists can help improve their motor skills needed to perform daily tasks. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping disabled individuals to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from neurological or musculoskeletal injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes to be able to do the activities that are important to their independent living.
Occupational therapy at MOTI begins with an Initial Evaluation during which the Occupational Therapist (OT) will determine the patient’s goals and develop a personalized plan of care to guide the person towards those goals. Plan of care will likely include therapeutic exercise programs to improve your daily activities; and your therapist will progress your exercise programs as tolerated. Additional services may include recommendations for adaptive equipment and patient education for use of equipment.
Occupational Therapy and Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor disorders are multifaceted and affect a person’s function in many ways; pain with sex can affect relationships, bladder and bowel problems can affect the way someone travels around their community (cruising from bathroom to bathroom, avoiding areas where there are no bathrooms), and chronic pelvic pain can affect engagement in different activities including exercise and work. Since occupational therapy practitioners are trained to address issues which have multifaceted etiology and impact, pelvic floor disorders are a natural practice area for the field of OT.
MOTI’s occupational therapist is Dr. Nancy Wong. Nancy’s holistic clinical approach utilizes compassionate communication and client collaboration throughout the treatment process. With a background in yoga therapy, mindfulness meditation, and bodywork, clients can expect individualized treatment using modalities including functional movement training, neuromuscular reeducation, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapy including trigger point release, Barral’s Visceral Manipulation, soft tissue manipulation, connective tissue manipulation, scar tissue massage, and myofacial release. Nancy is also trilingual in Spanish, Cantonese, and English.