Celebrating One Year
The Holistic OT columnists look back on last year’s highlights and ahead to 2014

By Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L and Mandy Lubas, OTR/L & RYT
Originally published on ADVANCE Magazine on January 8, 2014

Download this article as a PDF. 

We are celebrating one year of the “Light on Holistic OT Column” in ADVANCE Magazine! Thank you first and foremost to ADVANCE for allowing us to continue to share our holistic wisdom and knowledge with the OT community. We thank Jill Glomstad, former editor of ADVANCE for OTs, who first gave us this opportunity to write regular articles highlighting this emerging specialty in OT practice after we received such positive response from our article, Holistic Occupational Therapy: Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an Emerging Specialty Practice Area in the Profession. 

We thank all of our readers and fellow OTs who are embracing, learning, and integrating holistic mind, body, and spirit health, wellness, and prevention approaches into their OT practices.

Holistic OT Highlighted in 2013

In 2013, each month we highlighted holistic healing and preventive approaches that can be integrated into OT practice. We reported on relevant research, shared inspirational stories, encouraged you to integrate these approaches in your practice, and explored continuing education opportunities. Here is a recap of the articles and topics we wrote about in 2013.

“Holistic OT.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/Light-on-Holistic-OT.aspx

“Power of the Mind in Healing: Relaxation can positively affect our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health all the way to the genetic level.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/The-Power-of-the-Mind-in-Healing-2.aspx

“Yoga: A Catalyst for Health & Well-Being: This ancient practice teaches life balance to facilitate peace, good health and harmony with the greater whole.” http://health-information.advanceweb.com/To-Your-Health/Articles/Yoga-A-Catalyst-for-Health-Well-Being.aspx

“CAM: Not So Alternative Anymore: Holistic healing research supports efficacy in OT practice.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/CAM-Not-So-Alternative-Anymore.aspx

“What is Guided Imagery? OTs can tap a person’s inner wisdom for health, healing and wellness.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/What-is-Guided-Imagery.aspx

“Energy Flows Where your Attention Goes: Energy healing: An ancient science in modern times to enhance OT practice.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/Energy-Flows-Where-your-Attention-Goes.aspx

“Teachable Moments: Holistic education in the OT profession continues to evolve.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/Teachable-Moments.aspx

“Two Sister Sciences: Ayurveda and yoga work their way into mainstream medicine.” http://occupational-therapy.advanceweb.com/Columns/Holistic-OT/Two-Sister-Sciences.aspx

We heard from hundreds of OTs, OT students and retired OTs, from all over the world, excited to see and be a part of this growing trend in OT practice. We love reading and receiving all of the comments, e-mails, and phone calls from all of you. We are blessed with all of the support you have provided us in getting the word out there about holistic occupational therapy.

The passion that we have for holistic occupational therapy has opened up so many doorways to reach our fellow OTs. We presented at webinars, taught continuing education courses, and supported our fellow OTs through holistic OT monthly calls, online via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the new HolisticOT.org website.

The HolisticOT.org site was created in 2013. This is a resource for all OTs who are interested in, practice, or would like to practice holistic approaches. It is also a place for those seeking holistic OT services to learn about the OTs who can serve them or their loved ones. It is a place for OTs to find out about upcoming education resources for continuing education and professional development or list their holistic OT courses. OTs can join the Holistic OT Directory (http://holisticot.org/holistic-services-directory). Visit the HolisticOT.org website at http://holisticot.org.

Not only will we continue to write for ADVANCE, but we continue to shine the light by presenting on this emerging trend at colleges and universities, through educational courses, and conversations within our communities, at the workplace, and to our family members that OT is a profession where “holism” is our home.

Holistic OT to be Highlighted in 2014

Holistic OT topics we plan to cover in 2014 are spirituality and healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, craniosacral therapy, acupressure, qigong, meditation, emotional freedom technique (EFT), nutritional/lifestyle modifications, yoga therapy/structural assessment, Panchakarma, Traditional Chinese Medicine, ayurveda, restorative yoga, listening and sound therapies, and how to integrate these holistic approaches into OT practice.

The topics we bring to the OT profession are near and dear to our hearts through years of education, study, and practice with our clients and our own self care. As practitioners we are continuously educating ourselves on the latest research in the holistic approaches that we integrate into the OT scope of practice. What we write about is through first-hand experience and hours of training in order to share this emerging trend with all of you.

We will continue to shine a light on holistic occupational therapy to inspire those who are interested in incorporating mind, body, spirit approaches in their scope of practice.

What are Your Holistic OT Goals for 2014?

What intentions do you have for your holistic OT training, education, and practice in 2014? Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word often used in yoga, meaning will, purpose, or determination. To make a sankalpa is to set an intention. It is like a New Year’s resolution with a yogic twist. We encourage you to take some time over the next few weeks to look inwardly by writing in a journal, meditating, or contemplating on what your goals are for beginning or continuing to integrate holistic approaches into OT practice. When phrasing your Sankalpa, you can create a short sentence or phrase to manifest what you’d like to attract. Be careful not to set limitations based on fear. For example, instead of “May life bring me only happiness and joy this year,” consider “May I be happy and open to what life brings me.”

Health care is expanding as more and more health care professionals are being trained in and are integrating holistic approaches into their practices as research continues to demonstrate how these approaches can enhance health and well-being. Be a part of the growing holistic practice area in health care.

What do you want to learn, to teach, or integrate into your own life for personal development and self transformation? How does this make you feel? What is pulling at you that wants your attention? Listen to your inner wisdom, and enhance your personal satisfaction while helping your clients in new ways that you may not have known were possible. We urge you to create the vision within yourself that you can manifest, and shine the light on holistic OT for yourself, your clients and your fellow colleagues.

To connect with other OTs interested in and practicing holistic approaches and to learn more, visit the http://holisticot.org website and join the e-mail list to receive updates on holistic OT. Please “like” our Holistic Occupational Therapy Facebook Page and join the conversation online at the Holistic Occupational Therapy Group page on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and join us once a month for our Holistic OT phone conversation. We look forward to connecting with you!

Emmy Vadnais teaches and practices energy healing and several other holistic mind, body, spirit healing techniques. She teaches health care professionals how to integrate holistic approaches in to their practices. She is in private practice in St. Paul, MN and can be reached at [email protected], www.emmyvadnais.com or www.holisticot.org.

Mandy Lubas is a holistic occupational therapist and graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT, Kerala Ayurveda Academy as an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, and Kim Valeri’s YogaSpirit 200 and 300 hour teacher training program. She is completing 1,000-hour trainings toward becoming a yoga therapist. She is certified in sensory integration and listening therapies and is working toward her certifications in Craniosacral Therapy through Craniosacral Therapy Alliance with Don Ash, PT, CST. She works at Braintree Rehabilitation in Lynnfield, MA, and works as a consultant for a private school. She can be reached at [email protected] or www.beyoga4life.com

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