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What is Occupational Therapy? – A Little Nutrition

What is Occupational Therapy? – A Little Nutrition

Are you looking for ways to improve your everyday life and wellbeing? Occupational therapy might be able to help.

Occupational therapy is a form of care focused on enabling individuals with physical, sensory, mental health, or cognitive challenges to engage successfully in activities of their day-to-day lives – called ‘occupations’. Whether it’s taking better care of yourself, stress management, getting back into the swing of working again, or just being able to enjoy leisure time more easily – occupational therapy helps people find joy and meaning through meaningful occupation. And that’s just the start! Let’s explore what this therapeutic practice can do for your overall wellbeing.

Pediatrics: What are child and youth occupations?

Childhood occupations can be categorized into the following:

  • Self-care, including feeding and eating, dressing, grooming, toileting, and sleep
  • Productivity, including academic-related activities (attending class, completing homework), and chores (cleaning, organization) 
  • Leisure, including social (making friends, participating in community events, interacting with family), and play (sports, games, hobbies) 

For children, OT plays a crucial role in their overall development. It helps them develop essential skills such as fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sensory processing. Through playful activities and targeted interventions, occupational therapists assist children in reaching important developmental milestones. They focus on enhancing their cognitive, social, emotional, and self-help skills, setting a strong foundation for success at home, school and beyond.

What can Occupational Therapy help with?

Some of the common areas we support both adults and children include:

  • Executive Functioning (including organization, attention, planning, impulse, flexibility, problem solving skills, and more)
  • Pain management
  • Energy conservation
  • Stress and anxiety reducing skills
  • Sensory processing 
  • Improving social skills
  • Self-regulation
  • Mindfulness 
  • Improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills
  • Burnout recovery 
  • Time-management 
  • Goals planning 
  • Occupational balance
  • Increasing self-esteem and confidence 
  • Daily routine, structure, and planning
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Selective sensory eating (picky eating) and expanding accepted/ preferred foods. 
  • Fine and gross motor skills 
  • Handwriting

How Occupational Therapy can help with mental health? 

Occupational therapy extends its benefits to individuals struggling with mental health issues. Occupational therapists work with people experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions to develop coping strategies, manage stress, and improve overall well-being. They incorporate therapeutic activities into their sessions, such as sensory-based strategies, mindfulness exercises, and stress management techniques, to promote emotional regulation and enhance quality of life.

Who may benefit from Occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is a dynamic and diverse field that offers countless benefits to people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a child with developmental delays, an adult recovering from burnout, or neurodivergent looking for affirming support, OT can make a significant impact on your life. Some of the people we support include: 

  • Autism: Receive tailored support that recognizes and builds on individuals unique strengths, intense interests, and abilities, fostering self-confidence and enhancing capacity in life.
  • Neurodivergence/ ADHD’ers: Receive affirming personalized strategies and support to improve focus, organization, sensory differences, time management, and social skills.
  • People with sensory processing differences: Individuals, who struggle with processing sensory information and need strategies to manage their unique sensory responses.
  • Individuals with mental health needs: Those dealing with mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, benefiting from strategies to manage daily life and improve emotional well-being.
  • Developmental delays: Receive customized interventions that foster growth in fine and gross motor skills, cognitive abilities, social interactions, and daily living skills, thereby supporting them in reaching their developmental milestones.
  • Learning disabilities: Support for enhancing cognitive functions, fine motor skills, and organizational abilities.
  • Behavioral concerns: Work with interventions that promote desired behavior, enhance self-regulation, and develop coping strategies, aiding in interpersonal relationships and everyday functioning.
  • Individuals experiencing stress: Those suffering from home or work related stress, needing assistance to improve their wellbeing. 

What can be accomplished through Occupational Therapy?

Some of areas that OTs work on include:

  • Developing organization and planning skills to support academics and work.
  • Learning sensory and coping strategies to support emotional regulation.  
  • Developing mindfulness and sleep hygiene techniques to support individuals after injury, illness or burnout. 
  • Teaching energy conservation techniques for individuals with chronic illnesses to manage fatigue.
  • Improving attention and focus and social skills to support interpersonal relationships. 
  • Enhancing children’s play skills to promote social interaction and cognitive development.
  • Working on skills needed to interpret and respond to visual information, crucial for reading, writing, and spatial awareness.
  • Encouraging participation in hobbies and recreational activities that contribute to a balanced and meaningful  life.
  • Improving fine motor skills to develop handwriting and use of utensils during meals.
  • Learning self-care tasks, such as getting dressed and brushing teeth.

In conclusion, occupational therapy is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to help both children and adults alike in many different ways. It can help with physical, emotional, and mental health. It can provide assistance for those with cognitive impairments or disabilities. And it can even be used to make sure all children reach their developmental milestones. Occupational therapists help their clients attain the skills they need to do everyday activities more independently and successfully — whatever those activities may look like for the individual. If you think you might benefit from occupational therapy services or know someone who might, please do not hesitate to contact us or book an appointment with our occupational therapist. We are here to help our clients find a way back to an independent and enjoyable life!


Book online: https://alittlenutrition.janeapp.com/#/discipline/26/treatment/306

Phone: 204-515-7466

Email: [email protected]

Megan deCruz, Occupational Therapist is ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS! *Both in person at our Winnipeg clinic or virtually online.