Even hula hooping becomes occupational therapy :)

Tonight I was trying to help a friend/new hooper how to do the “snake” like moves where you hula hoop on your chest. She was struggling and as I watched to analyze the task and break down where the issue was, I realized that it was due to her stiffness in that she struggled with scapular retraction, bringing her scapulas together in the back – she tended to subtly compensate by leaning slightly backwards so it took a while to figure out. I put my hands solidly on her hips to isolate and began to work with her on isolating her upper body and circling with emphasis on scapular retraction- but she needed more assistance than I could provide with two hands, so I enlisted her husband. He took over solidly holding her hips for me and I took over guiding the circular movements and using my hand to help encourage her scapular retraction when the movement called for it.

After a few minutes of his hip holding and my scapular facilitation, we faded to me holding her hips and her doing the circular motions with occasional verbal cues. Then I held her hips less tightly and ultimately not at all, then gave her feedback solely verbally and had her watch herself sideways in the mirror, etc. I also showed her husband how to assist her/know what to look for, since she is super motivated to learn hooping and he is super motivated to help her! 😉
This, to me, is a perfect example of how OT works – breaking down a task into small pieces to find out where an issue is arising, then pinpointing it and how to potentially fix it, work on fix, fade away assistance, and reinforce using internal/external forces, ie mirror, motivation, husband, etc. And not just the breaking down of a task, but a task that is really meaningful and “occupying”. Of course this was a friend, but the same applies to all OT!
I know I’ve been quiet lately – I am in the process of moving and it’s a lot of work. Also, because of the death of Google Reader, I’ve stopped reading blogs because I imported to Feedly and do not have the patience, time, energy, whatever, to figure it out…so I feel guilty about not reading others – and I think it makes commenting/interacting much harder as I feel like I’ve lost all my blog communities with the shift. 🙁 Anybody have one they like??
Oct 01, 2013 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2