I am a duly qualified Occupational Therapist fully registered to practice in the Province of Ontario. I am a member of The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and hold registration with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. I obtained an Honours Bachelors of Science with a Major in Psychology in 2002 from York University and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2004. I regularly attend courses and seminars to keep my education and skill set current.
After graduating from the University of Toronto in 2004, I worked at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute outpatient neuro-rehabilitation until 2011 where the vast majority of my caseload experience included the assessment and treatment of persons with acquired brain injuries, stroke and Multiple Sclerosis. Rehabilitation focused on facilitating clients to be as independent as possible in the areas of self-care, home management, community living, productivity and leisure through a client centered remediation and compensatory approach. I then worked as an Occupational Therapist with FunctionAbility Rehabilitation Services from 2011 until October 2016 carrying out in-home and community based assessments and treatment for individuals suffering from spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and complex trauma resulting from automobile collisions. In 2016, I started Empowering Mind and Body Ltd. offering Occupational Therapy and Yoga Therapy Services.
I have been regularly practicing Yoga since 2006. In 2014, I completed a 200-hour Yoga teacher certification at Balanced Life Yoga in Ajax Ontario and then went on to complete Yin and restorative Yoga training, Pain Care Yoga and an 800 Hour Yoga Therapy Certification Program at Yoga Therapy Toronto. During my Yoga Therapy training, I led a 10-week Yoga Therapy group at Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS) for 6 people living with the effects of brain injury and presented my case study work on Yoga for Brain Injury. I have gained experience using the tools of yoga therapy for clients with varying severity and complexity of symptoms including but not limited to headaches, double vision, sensitivity to light and noise, decreased balance, foot drop, pain, decreased sensation, dizziness, fatigue, poor sleep, decreased range of motion, strength and coordination, increased spasticity, difficulty following instructions, decreased memory and attention, impulsivity, disinhibition, emotional lability, anxiety, depression, PTSD and delusions. If the client has a desire to participate in Yoga, I meet them where they are at in their recovery and their unique experience living with a brain injury and empower them to use the tools of Yoga to improve their quality of life.
I continue to have regular contact with my Yoga Therapy teachers in a mentorship program for ongoing learning and development. Yoga is a 5000+ year old practice and it’s offering at the therapeutic level continue to be discovered. I feel strongly about Yoga being a lifelong journey of self-discovery and am passionate about bringing these teachings to my clients.
Combining my knowledge, skills and experience working in the field of Occupational Therapy with the principles of Yoga Therapy allows me to develop an individualized Yoga Therapy program that empowers the person to move within their current abilities, elicit the parasympathetic nervous system for the relaxation response in the body, guide the person to improve body awareness and mental focus and assist the person to learn postures, meditation and breathing techniques to facilitate pain management. Often times, a client with physical, cognitive and psychological impairments is unable to participate in community based group Yoga classes as the classes are too large and the person may be at risk for further injury if Yoga is not done properly. Throughout the one-to-one therapeutic yoga classes, the client will be guided through Yoga asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation techniques as well as be provided with diagrams and written information to develop a home program that they can do independently or with the assistance of others. Props such as bolsters, blocks and straps are used to ensure optimal effect and an eye pillow, massage oil, audio recordings of meditation and calming music are used to optimize therapeutic benefits. These props and aids may be recommended for the client to purchase in the event that it would improve their independent practice.