Spirituality and Intuition in Occupational Therapy

Spirituality and Intuition in Occupational Therapy



if you're an occupational therapy practitioner a fieldwork student working with older adults let me tell you a little story about how the Learning Lab membership could help you be a more confident competent creative and downright more effective evidence-based practitioner imagine you're sitting at your computer on a Monday morning trying to figure out what to do with your patient to be effective client centered that let's be honest we just want to have a little bit more fun except you did that thing again you went down the rabbit hole and spend all your time digging around on Pinterest and googling and you actually never really found what you're looking for again so you end up logging into the lab finding the exact treatment idea you're looking for printed off the patient handouts and even popped over to the exclusive group just to get some more feedback happy you're going to get back to doing do what you want to be treating patients and are relieved by the thought that you don't have to waste your time energy sifting through other information that may or may not be evidence-based what's the bottom line the Learning Lab is full of occupational therapy treatment ideas resources assessments and support like nothing you've seen before so join the learning lab today at seniors flourish comm backslash learning lab welcome to the seniors flourish podcast where it's all about helping occupational therapy practitioners disrupt the norm by throwing away the rainbow art and being the best you can be when working with older adults welcome everyone to the seniors flourish podcast my name is Mandy Chamberlin I'm an occupational therapist and welcome to the show today we're gonna be talking about intuition and spirituality and occupational therapy with my fellow online OD friend Emmie badness so welcome it ma I'm glad you're here today thank you so much for having me it's an honor and a pleasure oh my gosh this is gonna be a really great topic because I am going to learn a lot because I fully admit this is not my strong suit and so I love being able to talk with people who owe it's their passion right and so I'm excited that you are able to share that with us so I'm really glad you're here how's your day so far good weekend wonderful I'm doing great yeah it's uh I'm in Minnesota that it's springy we've got some tulips coming up and yeah life is good you know I figured you were in Minnesota because I could hear the accent Minnesota I know I will I'm originally from North Dakota so okay we're bonding over the Upper Midwest accent here yeah well sweet smooth does for everyone we'll say some oats and about oh yeah I do a lot of oh yeah anyway so I love it I love it so let's just start you have so much to share I'm so excited let's just jump in and let's um talk about your ot journey how you kind of found out II and what you're kind of briefly what you're doing today cuz you're you have a lot going on girl it is it is true there definitely is to be I have I'm one of those people who have a lot of interests and curiosity which is probably what why I became an OT in the first place yeah we like a lot of Occupational Therapist journeys when sort of scoping out the healthcare professions once we realize we want to help people it's like okay what profession do I want to do for me so I graduated in 1996 from st. Catherine University here in Saint Paul Minnesota and I decided to apply to ot school because you know I did want to help people interestingly when I look back I was just reflecting on this the other day that I actually did have some leanings toward like naturopathic medicine but there weren't any schools local here and I just didn't want to relocate at the time and the most holistic profession I knew about at the time was occupational therapy and I really loved the blend of the mind body spirit connection and I really loved the creative aspect of it so yeah that's how I got that's how I chose to do that oh wow and so let's just talk a little bit about what you're currently doing an OT practice sure so yes so I'm in private practice I have been in private practice cumulatively for about 15 years and my ot journey has been you know a winding road curvy high peaks low value primarily because of just how I've what I've been drawn to so I actually specialize in integrative health wellness and prevention and I teach continuing education classes to healthcare profession professionals and I do have a private practice seeing clients children and adults and I do work with seniors as well and yeah so that's an integrative health is really a broad term on the National Center for Complementary integrative health they have a great website if you want to learn more I'm also been championing Integrative Health and occupational therapy practice and I created a website and a social media which is how we've connected the whole ot community at holistic ot Dorgan so I am supporting occupational therapists to bring in integrative health into their practice and I'm grateful to connect with so many other therapists because in my journey what's formerly been known I mean it's now being called integrative health integrative medicine holistic health but it's been formerly people might have heard of it as complementary alternative medicine or alternative medicine and so as we've seen more efficacy of many of these approaches they have become more integrated you know like yoga meditation they're getting more integrated into mainstream healthcare and so there's really a need for healthcare professionals to be educated and gain the skills because there's so many great ways that these approaches can help you know the Jayco is put out that they're looking for non pharmacological approaches to pain for example and so these integrative health approaches many of them can bring down pain and anxiety and stress levels naturally and so and I'm just passionate about getting it out to as many people as possible because I've seen it in the hospital setting and my own private practice and skilled nursing acute care benefit people tremendously oh I love that journey how did you decide or to really integrate integrative health into your practice good question so when I was a new ot I did work in a skilled nursing facility and when I graduated you had to have about five years experience to really work in a hospital and work in a true rehab setting and so I was gaining experience in a skilled nursing facility and I love older people but I think what was happening for me at the time is that I didn't get to see some of those successes that you would typically see in a true rehab setting of people actually being able to go back home I was really doing end-of-life care which I I'm a big fan of that and I think there's a strong spiritual component with that but it wasn't just that it was that there the productivity standards were so high and I think I was really young and naive and just new you know new to the profession and ice quite simply burned out very early on I had learned from it's interesting from a couple physical therapists about something called energy healing and I thought wow this is fascinating you know so I did like this two-hour after work continuing at class one day and they were talking about how you can impact somebody's health without physically touching them and I thought well this is fascinating there's these pts who are very you know we think of physical therapists you know they tend they they're physical therapists they tend to be very physically oriented and and wouldn't we need physical therapists and so I was became more interested in studying that and I actually took a break from working as an OT and I started taking classes in something called Qi Gong medical Qi Gong energy healing at a health and wellness center just around the corner from me where I was living at the time and I absolutely loved it and it works on the meridians of acupuncture and I there was an opening I started working the front desk then I became the office manager of this holistic health and wellness clinic that I was the first one in the Twin Cities had opened in the 1970s and so I really got a huge integrate excuse me education on learning about what's now integrative health and so I I then went to massage school because I recognized how much stress impacts people and in fact I and that was the other piece when I was working in the skilled nursing facilities I thought you know I really I really want to help people not have to have these debilitating strokes I really love to have people not have to suffer from being compromised with their activity level and tolerance by having a heart attack I really want to help people not have to have their limbs cut off or go blind because of diabetes and I wanted to prevented a side of healthcare which I learned about an OT school but when I got out I realized I couldn't really do so that was also why I left the skilled nursing facilities because quite frankly I felt like I was part of the problem in health care we now know that 75% of chronic conditions can be prevented through lifestyle choices making healthier lifestyle choices that research has come in folks like Dean Ornish who has been studying you know cardiovascular health joel fuhrman I just I had the pleasure of speaking with dr. Wayne Jonas who was the first director of the office of alternative medicine and so I went on this journey basically of exploring more integrative health approaches and then I became an integrative medicine practitioner when I worked in the what's now called the penny Gorge Institute for Health and healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis which at the time was a world leader through the brave well collaborative which was set up by penny George and her husband who is a former CEO of Medtronic so they ceded the money for our salaries and we worked with patients in the hospital who were suffering from pain and anxiety who were not responding to medication so these are people who you know really we were all over the place just had heart surgery back surgery even worked on women care you know before people women on bed rest and what happened was is that we were getting good roots such good results that they brought in a researcher and I was part of a research study showing the efficacy of these approaches things like massage therapy energy healing I'm also nationally trained in reflexology music therapy these different approaches and in 15 to 20 minutes we were often able to statistically significantly get the numbers down so that people could cope they could heal use less pain and anxiety medications and in some cases go home more quickly oh I know when you especially when you can see the changes you know what I mean like you can you can you can see it that those are the things that I'm just like like that keeps that curiosity it's like how how can i integrate this more into my own practice so that's I love that stuff yeah and pain is such a huge problem these days and the opioid crisis you know a lot of these approaches can really help with pain reduction pain management and even getting to the root of what's causing the pain and we now know that often psychological or emotional pain can go in with physical pain as well you know so going back to that time when I was new in this and really you know my eyes wide open learning all about holistic health and chiropractic and herbs and supplements and nutrition and all these things that true holistic perspective is when I saw through the Qi Gong training which means energy movement it comes from China's traditional Chinese medicine mmm I was trained to actually work on the meridians and positively get the energy flowing without using my hands physically touching somebody without using an acupuncture needle but that's what acupuncture does it works on the meridians so it's it's another way of working with the energy system and we were taught not only to provide the Chi emission so Chi being the life force or the energy channeling universal energy to the person we were also taught how to meditate and positively cultivate and get our energy more flowing and more healthy because that energy so in the meridians of acupuncture acupressure they actually connect to the organs within the body and so I was learning a lot about meditation and having a lot of great experiences and my intuition really grew at that time and then I also met a woman Betty on earth wine who became my intuition and spirituality teacher and I started training with her because I started hat I was a person which we all we all have capabilities or we all do have our intuition and I think it's something that is sorely needing to be cultivated with people so can trust it more and also having sort of sometimes referred to as paranormal experiences or psychic experiences that these are actually according to Dean Radin who is the chief scientist at the Institute of noetic Sciences they're actually very common experiences for people not many people will talk about them although we do see them in religion you know people talking about praying to God or their God or hearing you know communicating with angels or what-have-you deities and so forth and so in that context it's very normal and so that intuitive peace really served me because I was an occupational therapist and I you know went to school and loved what I was doing but I didn't quite know how do I go forward when I see all these new ways to help people and so it was really my intuition that I was taught to listen to I was taught various exercises and actually meditation is one of the main ways to cultivate intuition and through those darker times in my life having had really experienced burnout early on having my own symptoms of anxiety depression maybe even a little bit of PTSD or trauma around that experience it really helped me heal that and it also helped me to know and navigate what choices to make going forward in my life but also professionally as a healthcare provider to make the best choices when you know what I was doing and even what I'm doing now I think is still considered by a lot of people knew it started become more accepted I mean yoga and meditation is more mainstream and Reiki is getting energy healing is getting more popular aromatherapy I just saw that there's an essential oil company that just got a contract I believe with Blue Cross to bring it aromatherapy um and so it's happening and I'm grateful that I've been a part of helping bring this forward but it it hasn't I don't want to say this because it hasn't been as accepted it's been something that I've just kind of had to listen to my own inner knowing my own inner guidance you know connect with my own spirituality to support me going when I haven't always had that externally yeah yeah and it's just like you were talking about the mainstream it's definitely becoming more aware and in once once it becomes more aware then there's more research and it just you can integrate it I feel like a little bit more not more successfully but necessarily I think more there's a little bit more quote by in on for some people who are more skeptical the lab let's just let's let's back up a little bit and talk about like how do you define intuition or how do you define spirituality and how do they kind of like how are they intertwine how do they go together sure yeah yeah um I just want to also add that I feel like intuition has actually helped me to have a more personal experience with my spirituality um and so I just want to before I forget that piece yeah I mean I think that intuition some of the definitions that you might see is that it's being able to know something without quote conscious reasoning without maybe logical understanding and so as OTS you know we know about interoception and you know all the senses that we have and so intuition is really something that we can perceive that goes beyond just logical thought and so I think that you know my my vision is that intuition would be taught in the schools and in universities as much as logic courses are taught now I don't think they're mutually exclusive in fact I think they can both work together and I think we need both but I think that it's a skill that an inherent ability that we're all born with that is often underdeveloped and mm-hm you know it's a simple example is like no you know hearing the phone ring and you immediately know who it is or you have a dream about something or someone and you call that person and say hey I had this dream and you're in the street and you were really feeling sad and down how are you today your friend is like you know what I'm sad and down thanks for calling yeah you know so it's those little things that that that we have that knowing within us that you know that we can't say as a B and C and I think that since our you know there's been a lot of development in more Science and Technology which is important I think some of these natural abilities have have been sort of pushed aside and I think that with the struggles that our world is going on with an ecological crisis and all of the fighting that the more that people can connect back with their inner knowing intuition trust that that that can support us going forward it can also cultivate a sense of compassion for yourself and others and how I think it connects with spirituality is that it very much can help a person to connect with their own truth their own you know belief system and when we get into an intuitive state it's very connected to our heart you know people say follow your heart that's also another way to think about intuition I'm being able to connect with love and that state of grace and compassion and so a simple way to connect with intuition is just to take a breath in and out focus on your heart connect with a feeling of love and compassion and then begin to shift into that higher consciousness awareness which I actually think is our true selves you know it's interesting because the a very definition of intuition or spirituality and I'll get to a little bit about spirituality in just a moment it's sort of that it's maybe beyond that you know I guess a certain sort of is a definition of spirituality is its connecting with something Beyond or higher than ourselves which I actually think is ourselves and that we just have sort of lost touch with that by not being as connected to nature and so forth and the Latin root word for spirituality as spiritus which means breath wind air soul or psyche and obviously spirituality is very personal to everybody I'm not here to say what I think people should think about spirituality but certainly I'll throw out some some words here and and just kind of listen for yourselves on what you feel it is but it's certainly conveys a personal meaning free for each of us and it can be you know a connection with something greater or maybe our true selves and it can also is something that maybe can give us more meaning and purpose in life which is very rooted in what ot is all about there's actually a little definition I just like to read that's from the OT practice framework and it says that spirituality is the personal quest for understanding answers to the ultimate questions about life about meaning about relationship with the sacred or transcendent which may or may not lead to or arise from the development of religious rituals and the formation of community hmm you know it's always one of those things um that we know that sometimes that we should be addressing did you know what I mean like we're like okay Oh T's were quote holistic we should be you know like making sure we ask about all sorts of areas of life let it be you know ATL's iadls but then everything including spirituality some of those uncomfortable you know topics maybe for some people or sexuality or you know like it's trying to look at the first person holistically but in its Eve its inner practice act is something that we should be addressing why do you think that sometimes it's not something we address or you know I'm just like why isn't it something that we are focusing on or making it just a part of our natural maybe evaluation because you know a lot of us as you know or not in private practice or this you know integrative health is not our you know main focus of practice so how why aren't we doing this like we should haha good question you know I certainly I certainly don't know for sure but we're asking I'll give you some of my impressions and by the way you know whether and ot practices or is trained in it has skills and an integrative health or various integrative health components spirituality I think is something that absolutely is oaties I think it's good to at least touch upon yeah value yeah I su beginning of working with somebody and yeah I think I mean my personal opinion well a couple thoughts I think that occupational therapy is such a broad profession that I think that it to encompass everything that we should you know tick the boxes on everything to evaluate somebody confirm hides feel cumbersome that being said I think we can do that and I think that it doesn't have to be complicated it can be very as simple as what are your spiritual or religious practices if any mmm-hmm are you sad you know just kind of like the Canadian occupational performance measure we has a great evaluative tool how satisfied are you you know with your performance with that do you have anything that you would like to improve upon around that there and so I think that the other piece is is that a couple things I think that ot has gotten very relegated to just basic activities of daily living yeah in a lot of clinic settings are you know more of your traditional health care settings versus like private practice or outpatient or community based and I think that's good but I think that what's happened is it culturally in healthcare you know the pts and nurses the physicians we can sort of get pigeonholed into just ticking the boxes on dressing grooming bathing feeding are important and I certainly respect that however there is research that if a person does have their spirituality addressed that they can have better health outcomes there can be better rapport between you as a clinician and your clients it could open up a way for a person to touch into their values and beliefs where they can draw strength from so that they can actually engage in those activities of daily living in a more meaningful way and so you know when we think about why do people engage in spiritual or religious rituals or practices you'll probably get varied responses but most people want to feel a greater connection they want to feel loved they want to feel that they have a power and ability they want to feel safe and so these are all really critical factors when we're working with somebody who you know maybe just had a spinal cord injury mm-hmm you know whatever they're dealing with you know they're coming to us as most ot's know because they probably just went through a traumatic experience and that's probably still ongoing they might be facing another surgery they're at if they've had a stroke thread a risk for another stroke and things of that nature the other piece that I think my ey spirituality is not often addressed by occupational therapists like you mentioned sexuality I think is because there is such has been historically in some places now here in the u.s. we do have you know we do have more of a support around practicing our beliefs but there's literally been wars over religions and spirituality there have been groups who have tried to co-opt and say that these other groups are bad because they don't believe the same the way that that group believes land has been stolen in the name of certain deities or gods and religion and so I think it really brings up a potential uncomfortable place for people just like how I think we need to be culturally sensitive and respectful of others I think we need to be with religion and spirituality and I think quite frankly not everybody is I think of some hardcore judgements of other groups of people not all people but I do see that happening and as clinicians we need to be neutral be non-judgmental and also I think that health care professionals you know this is true for a lot of things that we share with others is that we practice what we preach you know if you're not clear and what your sexual orientation or identity is how comfortable are you going to be working with a client about their sexual identity or sexual sexuality or what-have-you in the clinic um same with religion or spirituality if you're not nothing you have to be crystal crystal clear but I think that it's maybe a good idea to explore within yourself what are your beliefs and even if somebody identifies as being atheist it's important to respect what somebody else believes as supportive in their life because it is very real for them and it can be a place that they can draw on for strength mm-hmm yeah I think it's one of those things like I also I think it's one of those things sometimes that if it's one of those like along the lines of not feeling like you know what to do like you you're trying to be like neutral but then someone's talking about maybe a spiritual this or a religion that you have like no context of and so it's almost like you don't even know what to say or how to you know support them should you just feel like okay and that's why I think some of those like open any questions that you suggested are really are good because it kind of opens though it opens the door for them to express how they feel or what what did what did they use in their lives but then also I don't feel like it's like okay I'm gonna open the door I'm gonna ask about this and they're gonna talk about something that it's very unfamiliar to me and then I don't know what do I do with that information do you know what I'm saying yeah sure and I think sometimes those are the things where it gets a little uncomfortable you're like okay I'm you know I know this is something that's important to people and I want to make sure I'm I'm touching on it but it's like what what do I do with the information that they're giving me and they're sharing with me and that they obviously need so yeah you know do you have any suggestions on that yeah I do I think that's a really good point absolutely and right so I think as practitioners as whenever were there's an area I mean we're all learning right I'm stalling away I'm still learning you know forever be learning you know take a class and yeah I can definitely give you some suggestions here now there's a the center for spirituality at the University of Minnesota has a spirituality and health care module for for providers and so if you can if you want to google that you can check that out and I that's where some of these suggestions I have here where I got this resource from and so um you know I think it is just asking so sure so once you get information about what's happening for a client around this you know just like anything when we are not aware then of something that might help a person maybe they could help educate you or you could find other resources around the particular religion our spiritual practice or find resources and other people to help them with whatever their goals are around it but some simple questions that don't even have to get into certain religious or spirituality beliefs could be very simple you know you cuz your client could be struggling with questions of why am i sick right what's the purpose or meaning of my painters offering will I live or die and will you respect my beliefs and so I think you know a question could be something like what are your sources of hope strength comfort or peace you know because it could be animals do that for them it could be going out in nature hmm I mean it might not be a particular organized religion right and so I was asking those questions you know so it's maybe finding if it is nature for the client you know are they able to get in nature as much as they want or do they have a goal to get back in nature is there an activity that they'd like to do in nature they're not able to do now and so that could build maybe a longer-term short-term goal and your plan of care um some other questions could be what are your spiritual beliefs or religious practices are you part of a religious or spiritual community what spiritual practices do you find most helpful personally do you meditate or pray what gives you meaning or purpose in life I mean that's a big one right at the big mats I mean that these are just simple questions that can open up and really a great you know I think it's a great conversation starter and rapport builder with your client and I'm also a big believer that our clients come to us for a particular reason meaning that I think that we also learn I learn in every therapeutic session and encounter with the person I'm serving so by having these discussions I think you can also grow as a person yourself which is really a beautiful part of being a practitioner as well and then the other thing you could ask is would you like support connecting to your spirituality or religious community if they have one and are there any specific practices or restrictions I should know about and providing your health care great questions you know I think the other thing is like people are really open to in general what I have found over the years people are really open to helping you learn right they if it's an important part of their life like they a lot of times are really excited about you know sharing something with you so those some of those questions about you know specific practices or restrictions are important for you to know but you know most people don't find it like awkward or uncomfortable they're like this is just though this is me and this is what I need and it's a little bit more a little more uncomfortable usually usually on the practitioners side versus the person that you're asking I mean I think these people are like yeah you're asking this not me to share that and I you know I certainly don't want to have anybody get the impression that I think that you should address this if you're not comfortable I think I think it's good to ask do you have any spiritual or religious practices is there anything that I should be aware all right you know I've worked together I think that's a very basic question important yeah you know not having my client intake what gives you meaning or purpose in life because you know that is really powerful to to see what motivates them and with really depressed people you can actually really spot depression easily because they're they might really not have much to say in that department about meaning and purpose in life and you might be able to help them regain meaning and purpose in life because I used to rent an office at a grief center and whenever anybody goes through any significant loss or grief which most of our clients are in the process of our half or and are in the fear of having even more is that their values and their beliefs come up to be re-examined or something that they might have believed prior they questioned it and so there there probably there's a saying and a broken heart is an open heart so here we are with somebody who's going through probably a hard time in their lives and you have the opportunity to help them get in touch maybe in a more deep way into their sold and they ever had before you know and then everybody's different not everybody's gonna want to do that but it's an opportunity that you can at least scratch the surface on and see if they want to explore more and the other pieces absolutely I mean if you're in a hospital setting you know and you're part of a team you might prefer to refer them over to pastoral care but at least you've gotten the conversation started and because it is a huge component of a way that a person can heal be well and prevent disease yeah no that's exactly right because you know depending on where you're working and how are your doing home health right or you're in maybe a smaller facility where they may not have like clergy or some kind of pastoral guide to help that I mean having that conversation open and then you can help them find the resources they need maybe they need you know they have someone that they know that would be good connection that they haven't reached out to because they are going through such a big I mean these life-changing processes you know and you know being able to cope and if that is an important area of their life and it's one obviously very important for us to address that and help help our clients the best that we can and looking at them holistically right and it makes me think of you know with the the population you know as people well if somebody has a car accident or they have a some type of health you know maybe their heart stopped in surgery maybe they were resuscitated you know near-death experiences also occur or something there's something called spiritual transformative experiences where they've maybe had a visitation by a former loved one or they've had a near-death experience or they recognize that as their health is changing that they are going to be transitioning from this incarnation in this life here on this earth and that they might be thinking about how that transition is gonna go and there's actually I believe that people who are more accepting that they are going to die meaning leave this physical body and wherever we go or maybe it's the end or maybe where we go after actually do better with the transition of death than those who are have not accepted that they're going to die meaning that people who have not accepted it tend to can have it's not not I I can't say unequivocally everybody will right this will happen right I just some of the experiences I've had that if if they haven't looked at their spirituality or what that means to die or how to you know how to have a good death if you will Hospice is also really important in palliative care with that that that there might be some more suffering that doesn't need to be there in that right you know by actually you know we don't and our culture at least here in the United States it's not something that people talk about very often it is death and I think that that's something that is important to discuss and you know so that could be another Avenue of exploration and working with your clients is you know asking them if they've had any type of you know what any spiritual experiences or you know and see what they have to share and just again notice if there's a doorway into that and follow it you know your client will lead you on where they're comfortable going it's so true our job is really just to like open those little doors and listen I think you can learn so much you can learn so much from your clients that way absolutely and I just want to share really quickly to again this I believe this came from the University of Minnesota as well so Howard Cline Bell he has his PhD and he did psychological counseling and pastoral care for over 30 years and he found that there are seven spiritual hungers that humans have in common and they are healing and empowerment of love renewing times of transcendence vital beliefs values priorities and life commitments inner wisdom creativity and love of the unique transpersonal spiritual self awareness of our oneness and spiritual resources to help heal Wow vii I you know I never thought of it like that way but it it does make sense isn't it yeah I mean I think I don't remember who it was but I think that like somebody found there was even like a god gene you know we're wired you have that desire for something you know greater or even finding that I mean that's where I'm such a fan of intuition whether a person considers it you know prayer or what have you you know depending on everybody's beliefs but you know that's what yoga is about with Samadhi it's being able to connect with your small I with the bigger I you know or like the collective consciousness of how we all really are connected and can be in that and that oneness together but recognizing I mean I grew up going to Catholic Church and my parents divorce so I stopped going when I was about a teenager adolescent teenager and when I when I met my spiritual teacher intuitive teacher it really taught me how to have that spiritual connection that I didn't really sense when I went to the big Cathedral I love the cathedral here in st. Paul Minnesota philippa the Twin Cities go it's it's gorgeous the times that I felt that was when we would shake hands and say peace be with you and there was one particular prayer that also would help me to connect with that but otherwise I really felt disconnected from it and so I think that you know exploring our spirituality our connecting with our own inner wisdom our own inner knowing and intuition can strengthen that within ourselves personally to help us stay well have less suffering have more meaning and purpose in our life and support others to do the same oh absolutely I think it just wants once you start exploring your own spirituality you're just more comfortable with the whole topic in general I think you know what I mean and in water do you have any suggestions on some ways that if someone's kind of like looking to explore that what are some ways to do that good question the probably there have been books written on yes you know I guess for me I would just suggest you know what are you interested in is there a particular you know again I think it's going back to what gives you meaning and purpose in life so I think that's really significant in fact Wayne Jonases book how healing works he says that 80% of our healing or health or wellness comes from within us meaning it directly goes back to our own beliefs are what gives us meaning really what's formerly been known as a placebo response so there's a lot of power in that I would say that if you have any particular you don't have to but if you have any leanings toward any religious practices or if you're always like I've always wanted to kind of learn about Buddhism and do with them or what is what is Judaism all about or what is mysticism what really you know is this particular religion or that particular religion what are they all about and so I would encourage you to explore them and I'm doing that I mean I'm I've been on the journey myself I consider myself to be I respect really all paths to me I feel like there's universal truths in all religions or spiritual practices and that's why I'm such a fan of intuition because I feel a lot of them are actually wanting you to connect back within your own heart within your own love and compassion and an inner knowing in that regard and be kind you know be loving be kind to one another the other piece I think is is that because meditation has so many health benefits and one of them is actually connecting you to your spirituality whatever that may be for you personally that that can help you explore it so if you haven't developed a meditation practice I would encourage you to I would highly highly encourage you because there's great research on how meditation can lower stress it can I mean gosh we even know that it can it can lower pain it can induce the relaxation response it can help with the negative expression of genes where diseases can be negatively expressed and there's even research doctor who Benson who coined the term the relaxation response he has a great book called the relaxation revolution and he talks about how regularly inducing the relaxation response with what he calls the remembered wellness of capitalizing this is for somebody who's who's had like a health condition of how you were when you were well that you can actually reverse the negative expression of your genes and in some cases people are reversing diseases and so that book is actually full of research studies on that so that's where it's like it gets very multi-dimensional with these techniques is that it doesn't just serve one purpose it can help people and truly a holistic way and so by you know yeah there's there's meditation apps I actually teach courses in meditation I have a YouTube channel that has some free meditations up I would encourage anybody you know who's getting into it I think it's good to have a teacher or at least you know touch base with somebody around your meditation practice because you can kind of you know just to help navigate and also so that you continue on the path with it but it can be really simple and through that process what happens is that you start to feel and experience more moments of quiet more moments of peace which is why I think so many people love being in nature because I think that that's where we really connect with that that greater all within and without and then through that process I think you'll discover that your own flavor that works for you of spirituality religion will come to the surface for you I love that I love that because because I think what people think of if the meditation is kind of like foreign to them they think it's what you think of meditation isn't always exactly what it is do you know what I mean it doesn't have to be this it can be but it doesn't have to be this you know seated like leg crossed eyes you know what I mean like it doesn't have to be this thing that I think sometimes people who are exploring it are looking into it feel like it is if does that make sense at all I mean growing up in the Upper Midwest I mean I don't I didn't know anyone I didn't know anyone that meditated or even talked about it or what that even means do you know what I'm saying and so it it's I like having like maybe a leader or someone are going through process or taking a course like you know like you've done or that you pride and things like that because I think there's a lot of people who might be interested in it but they don't really know what it looks like or what it can look like I'm just finding that sense of peace and focus focusing that attention how that hope can help you in day to day I know it's like it's like when I started kind of like exploring like what does it really mean cuz you hear you know friends and I'd be like you know meditating in the morning or doing their thing and you're like oh man I wish I could do that like you just feel like that is nothing I cannot do this I understand I used to be like what and now I have a morning meditation prayer you know my exercise yoga I have my like my routine that I do because it sets the tone for the day and I've also heard my life you know I work for myself you know I don't have to do the commute to Minneapolis like I was doing so you know I have a natural organic garden where you know I work from home so I've created my life but I don't think you have to have that but if it is a goal heirs to it you know to do that you can set your own goal or intention there's a lot of power in that of what you want to have happen in that and also you know you're right I mean there's so many different forms of meditation you're right it is focus attention you know sometimes I think the deterrent that happens for people is they think well I just can't quiet my mind well you know don't worry about that because you just need to have a know a latitude and bring your attention back what you're focusing on and even if that happens a hundred plus times and it will happen um it'll happen less often in time in different days we'll you know you'll have different experiences with it and so yeah and the other thing I just want to mention is that yoga because it's gotten some more pot so much more popular I just had the great fortune to interview dr. arlene Schmid who is really the top research on our profession on Yoga for rehabilitation sciences and when you you know Yoga can help with you know so many physical you know mind/body/spirit all these aspects but what happened when after a person does the asanas of the physical postures you start to develop that meditative state of consciousness and so meaning that when by holding the poses or following your breath are doing the pranayama breathing or doing this in the shavasana which is the corpse pose at the end where you rest and really let the yoga integrate you're actually training and there's research that there's neuro neurocognitive changes happening that can increase attention and memory and help you with decision making and outlook in a sense of well-being and then it does trickle down to the physiology of blood pressure heart rate you know even all the way to the genetic level and so that's why you know these approaches are so powerful and you know definitely can help with spirituality but they also help you in all aspects of your life and meditation can be not only enhance your activities of daily living and ability to participate or help your clients with that but it can be its own ADL in and of itself that's a really good way to look at it I never honestly never really thought about it that way but I yeah good because I mean I work with that in my life I'm like well why is this just considered I mean I think it's changed now with the new ot with complementary health approaches an integrative health position paper by OTA but I think a few versions back I think they considered some of these approaches like meditation as a preparatory method to other activities but it really you know the other thing like mindfulness is so popular that mindfulness is something that you can practice you know seated or you can actually engage in it throughout your daily activities well and if it's part of someone's everyday routine if they go through you know do some like you were talking about how you kind of have your little routine of meditation in the morning anything like that that is that's your that's an occupation so you know it's like brushing my teeth just hardcore it's just part of your day and so that's why it's really important to ask about people's routines and habits and you know in addition just to the basic adls and iadls because those are the things sometimes I think we miss and that if that is something that's an occupation to our clients that's something that we need to be addressing so I love love love this conversation I think I could talk all day about this I'm actually I'm pretty sure I knew and I loved it and I'm so I'm so grateful that I have created my professional practice around a lot of this these topics because it is very rich and rewarding and it keeps deepening my life and my practice daily as well well why don't you talk a little bit about how people can connect with you and maybe your website a little bit so people can find out more sure yeah so I have two websites um my my own private practice is just my name so it's Emmy Vadnais calm and then the holistic ot community website is holistic ot org and I put out you know a lot of different articles there's blogs I have videos a YouTube channel that has various meditations I also have a podcast healing connections and for any any occupational therapists who are interested in Oh teen Integrative Health there's a lot of great information on holistic ot org there's also a private group on Facebook holistic occupational therapy there's over 3500 OTS around the world and students and retired Oh teas yeah there's great content and I would love to hear from all of you and I think it's I'm grateful for this opportunity to share this content with you Mandy thank you so much for getting it out to the folks who follow us of course I think it's like I love listening to different people's perspectives and getting that information out because integrative health is just growing and I feel like it's just having another avenue of you know integrating that into our practice to help our clients to the best of their ability so thank you so much for being with me today and being with us and sharing your knowledge and spreading the ot love so thanks so much Emmie thank you everyone and until next time do you feel like you're navigating the o2 world without a map not feeling confident or competent in your day-to-day treatments and struggling to apply your knowledge clinically and be sure to check out the seniors flourish Learning Lab membership it has all the treatment ideas patient handouts clinical resources community support and a mentorship you need to succeed join today at 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