The main role of an occupational therapist is to facilitate the maximum amount of independence for the clients function in daily activity skills. Unlike a physical therapist, who looks at range of motion and strength, an OT will also look at factors that challenge the client’s independence, such as emotional well-being.
Holistic occupational therapy is an emerging field that incorporates alternative therapies into its practice. Holistic OTs use mind-body-spirit modalities to treat the whole person, not just the presenting symptoms. Some therapies include aqua therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and craniosacral therapy (holisticot.org).
A holistic occupational therapist (HOT) can work in any setting—mental health, geriatric, outpatient or pediatric. The primary role is to work in a traditional therapy environment and yet offer creative holistic solutions and techniques to help the client reach his goals. Holistic Occupational Therapy is based on methods to support the body’s innate ability to heal itself and assist people physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Craniosacral therapy is a popular gentle-touch practice used by occupational therapists that balances out the cerebrospinal fluid from the cranium (skull) to the sacrum (pelvis). As an occupational therapist who does craniosacral therapy, I have seen so many people be helped when the medical community failed to help them using traditional medicine. By understanding the role of emotional health in physical health, we can achieve a greater health benefit than ever before.
Chana Levin is a licensed occupational therapist who specializes in craniosacral therapy for babies, kids and women. She can be reached at 201.281.8704.