Updated: Mar 19, 2022
You might be thinking... OT, Occupational Therapy, what is that? Is it like Physical Therapy? Occupational Health and Safety? Career counseling? You're close, but not quite! Keep reading to learn more about the origins of OT, OT theories, and how seeing an OT can enhance your life!
Similar to Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) is a part of the broader field of rehabilitation medicine, an area of medicine dedicated to helping individuals recover after an injury, illness or traumatic event. Though most people have heard of PT, and perhaps even seen one, few really know what OT is all about!
At it's core, OT is all about function!
That's right, though your Occupational Therapist might be impressed by your ability to lift 50lb weights, or meditate for 20 minutes/day, they will likely ask you whether this is helping you do the things you want and need to do. For example, they might say something like, "That's great you are able to lift 50lbs, has this helped you do what you need to at work?", or, "Nice work meditating for 20 minutes/day, has this helped you better manage your stress and anxiety?". If the answer is yes, then fabulous! We've reached our goal. If the answer is no, we might have a bit more work to do.
Why? You ask. Because it's ALL about function!
Just like the popular phrase, "Function over fashion", it's important to be able to do the things we want and need to in life. As such, your OT will suggest and support you to engage in functional, therapeutic activities that will help you develop skills and abilities relevant to what activities or occupations you want to be able to perform. We like to leave the strengthening and stretching to the PTs, Chiropractorss, and Kinesiologists- they've got you covered there! Instead, your OT will collaborate with you to identify areas in which you'd like to improve your performance through guiding you to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and surmount barriers to achieving them.
Think of it this way, if you're able to lift 10lb weighs 10 times, but can't lift heavy boxes at work from the ground up, how well are you able to tasks at work or home that require this movement? Or, if you're meditating for 30 minutes a day but still find yourself anxious and unable to concentrate, how effective is that meditation in giving you peace of mind as you go about your day-to-day activities? Might there be other approaches you could take in addition to the meditation to help you with your symptoms? These are all questions OTs ask themselves when working with patients, always keeping your function at home, work, and in the community in mind!
In summary, there are lots of ways that OT can help you, including but not limited to helping you get back to work, a hobby or leisure activity you enjoy, housekeeping/home maintenance tasks, and personal care activities. If you think an OT assessment might be right for you, contact us via the 'Contact' tab to ask any questions you may have, and book your 1-on-1 appointment today!
Note: Katie also offers group classes (walking group, arts & crafts, yoga, cognitive training, and strength training) as well as Home Equipment Assessments (privately or WCB funded) during which she will recommend adaptive equipment to assist you with personal care, housekeeping, and home maintenance tasks!