What is an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) support you to gain health, well-being and independence through engagement in meaningful occupation.
Core skills of OTs are to analyse the physical, sensory, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and environmental aspects of your everyday activities.
Evidence shows that using your body and mind to connect and interact with people and the world through meaningful activity can change how your brain works:
- reducing pain and distress,
- increasing your capacities, and
- increasing energy, pleasure and joy.
OTs apply individualised, evidence-based mind, body and sensory techniques, and adapt environments to your daily life and situation.
These techniques help you to feel comfortable, restore health and increase your capacities, so that you can do what you love.
Occupational therapists are AHPRA registered health professionals.
Who might need an OT?
If you, or your child have functional capacities that have been interrupted by chronic ill health, trauma and/or delayed development, seeing an Occupational therapist can help you.
What conditions can an OT treat?
Occupational Therapists are trained to treat people with physical and mental health conditions. These conditions can be a result of illness and disease, trauma or developmental delay.
How can an OT help with chronic pain? Or fatigue?
Occupational therapists help people with chronic pain and fatigue through:
- providing education about body systems,
- teaching calming techniques, and
- helping people to slowly and safely return to function.
Applying knowledge and strategies in everyday life changes how brains work, reducing pain an easing fatigue over the longer term.
What is sensory modulation?
Sensory modulation uses everyday sensations to change your level of arousal and help you to feel better. We have 8 senses which can make us feel more alert, less alert, or just right:
- Body movement and awareness of the body in space
- Internal body sensations related to emotions
Occupational therapists may provide sensory processing assessment with questionnaires or interview which identify your unique sensory processing pattern. These patterns can change in different environments, particularly when a person has experienced trauma.
The occupational therapist will then create a sensory diet with you: helping you to identify and practice key sensory experiences which help you to feel safe in your body, calm and able to focus or energised according to what you want to do, and where you are.