April is OT Month

So as you know if you’ve read my biography I am an Occupational Therapist (OT). Most of the time when I tell people what I do for a living I get, “That’s cool…so what is that exactly?” Since April is OT month I decided to write this post to share some of the reasons why I seriously LOVE my profession.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapist is a health and rehabilitation professional. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems. Occupational therapists use the “occupations” of self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to increase independence, enhance development, and/or prevent disability. To achieve these goals occupational therapists may also adapt the task or the environment. (Source)

Where Do Occupational Therapists Work?

OT’s can work in many different settings. They work with children at school to assist with activities such as handwriting or socializing with others. They work in communities helping adults with brain injuries or disabilities re-integrate into the community or be able to function independently at home. They also work in special settings such as hand therapy clinics or spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers. The list goes on, as these are just a few examples of where you can find an OT.

Personally I have always enjoyed working with adults. I currently work in skilled nursing facilities with geriatric patients who have difficulty completing their activities of daily living (eating, dressing, bathing, etc) due to a physical or cognitive decline. Through the use of therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, cognitive retraining and neuromuscular re-education I am able to help my patients become stronger and more independent so they can ultimately return home or to a lower level of care. As an OT I work to make changes to the person, enviroment or occupation in order to ultimately increase health.

OT model Image Source OT model PEO

5 Reasons I Love My Job

  1. It’s Rewarding!
    It’s the best feeling ever to watch others make positive changes in their lives! The most rewarding part of my career is seeing a patient get stronger and healthier so that they can do the things they want to, or need to, do on their own.
  1. Different Settings
    The job description of an OT varies greatly depending on where they work and with what population. Since there is so much variety you can always find new places or different career paths to take, which prevents burn out and increases job satisfaction.
  2. Client Based Practice
    A big part of being an occupational therapist is helping patients do the things that THEY want to do in life. By having your client be an active participant in goal setting and treatment planning you achieve better outcomes and more effective therapy, as people are able to work towards goals that are important to them. For example, I had a man once tell me that his goal was to be able to play golf again by the spring, although we needed to work on strength and tissue healing we were able to create a customized treatment plan to make sure that he could do the things he needed to do to get back out on the golf course!
  1. Treating the ‘whole person’
    Working as an OT I have learned the importance of treating the whole person (mind, heart and body) rather than focusing on just the physical aspects. By being able to adapt the task or the environment you can make things that may of seemed impossible a reality. For example,  through training clients how to use assistive technology and adaptive equipment people with spinal cord injuries can lead full and productive lives despite their physical limitations.
  2. Perfect combination of creativity, science and problem solving
    By using all three of these skills OTs are able to make meaningful changes in someone else’s life. I love that there is room for some creativity because sometimes the solution isn’t always black and white! For example, I love using whatever I can find at the dollar store in order to make adaptive equipment for my patients to use at home, most of the time it’s the simplest gadgets that make the biggest difference! The possibilities are truly endless!

If you have any other questions about how an Occupational Therapist can help you be sure to send me an email or check out http://www.aota.org/ for more information.

This post was inspired by Christie at MamaOT.com . Check her out! She is a pediatric OT and has an awesome blog full of advice and resources for those who care for or work with young children!

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Guest Blog Post

I just want to say a quick thank you to Jessica at http://fitmama4life.com for featuring my blog post on Diastasis Recti today! So great to meet other women and Mom’s out there who can be supportive and appreciative of each other’s work! Also, really glad we can get this info out there and help other pregnant and postpartum mamas all over. It helps that she was such a pleasure to work with as well 🙂

Make sure to check out her blog and IG page (@_fitmama4life) .


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Before you read…

Disclaimer: I’m an evidence based writer, if you are looking for creative writing I’m afraid you won’t find much of that here!  If you ever need clarification or you have questions please comment and I will be happy to help! Also, enter your email on the side to get notified of new posts. Please remember all advice and recommendations that I make are based on my own experience and research. A blog is not a replacement for medical advice. Everyone is unique so check with your healthcare professional before engaging in any physical activity or following any of my recommendations!  Thanks, happy reading!

FOLLOW ME on instagram @fitmamasb and find me on facebook (Fit Mama Santa Barbara) for the latest posts about fitness, health, food, giveaways and of course some baby spam. 😉

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Finally got the website up and running! Huge success! It still needs lots of tweaks but I have learned so much throughout this process, 1) websites are hard work! and 2) youtube and google are by far the greatest resources, I cannot believe the wealth of information that you can find on the internet. In one night I learned how to replace the seal on my washing machine, compared reviews on cloth diapers, and learned how to put sliding pictures on my site. Amazing. So, welcome to my blog! This blog will serve 3 purposes
1) Share my day to day experiences
2) Share health and wellness tips tailored to my client population
3) Share my progress with my pregnancy and after birth weight loss routine.
Now for my first official blog post, a little about me, where I came from and why I’m here!


My name is Natasha, I am a little bit of a lot of things as I’m sure you will realize as time goes on. I am an Occupational Therapist, for those who don’t know exactly what that is (which is a lot of people, so don’t feel ashamed!) it’s similar to Physical Therapy but different. The way I describe it to my patients is that we often do a lot of the same things, exercises, therapeutic activities, education, but with different goals in mind. The goal of an OT is to help people regain their independence with the everyday activities. Depending on the client population these activities change quite a bit! With my elderly patients these include bathing, toileting, eating, etc, and with my pediatric patients it can be things such as rolling, crawling, handwriting, and playing. Here is a great article that helps explain it a little more if your interested! Click here!

So, that is what I do professionally, but I like to think I’m a little bit different. I’m not here to treat my clients as an OT, but it does serve as a great educational background and influences my training style, which is why it is important to mention. I have a strong passion for fitness and have maintained a healthy lifestyle pretty much my entire life! Growing up I was an active and healthy child, I did every activity that my parents would allow, ballet, swimming, cheerleading, volleyball, soccer, you name it. Naturally, I decided to go into Kinesiology. I started university when I was 17 years old and have been hooked ever since. The human body fascinates me! I have been a personal trainer since I was 18, nearly 10 years now, and love seeing my clients get the results they deserve for their hard work and dedication. It’s that same high that I get with my patients when I see them achieve their goals through therapy. Throughout school I had always taken a particular interest in health promotion and disease prevention. I completed my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Canada, where the healthcare system is very different than it is here. Health promotion encourages people to take their health into their own hands and work to prevent disease, illness and injury before it happens. This not only benefits the person but the entire healthcare system in general. Working in California the past 3 years I have come to realize that this isn’t necessarily the case. In the United States healthcare professionals thrive off people being sick. There are hardly any jobs as an OT in which I help people take care of themselves BEFORE something happens, but rather the highest paying jobs are those in hospitals and nursing homes to help care for people AFTER something happens, which sometimes could have been prevented with proper education and preventative care. I will most likely write a more in depth article about this in the future, so I will try not to get on a rant right now but to sum it up this is why I decided to start my own business and use my knowledge and expertise to help others. Through education, commitment, and hard work I feel I can help you, my clients, to reach your health and wellness goals, whatever they may be. I will help you achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent injuries, illness, and decline in the future! I guess that pretty much summarizes how I came about being a trainer, and hope that you can share in my excitement as I take on this new business venture. Stay tuned for my next post!
In fitness and good health,

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