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Tag Archive for: brain injury

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O-Tip of the Week: Limit Distractions

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Occupational Therapists are a vital part of a team of professionals that assist with the rehabilitation from brain injury.  For the month of June, Brain Injury Awareness Month, our series will be providing solutions to assist with some of the many symptoms of brain injury. 

When recovering from a brain injury distractions may be more significant than pre-injury.  Because of this, it can be difficult to get anything done. When attempting to complete a task try to minimize all distractions allowing your full concentration to be focused on the task at hand.  Turn off televisions, radios, your cell phone and attempt to focus fully on what you need to do.

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Yoga for the Healing Brain

Guest Blogger Samantha Hunt, Student Occupational Therapist

In celebration of Brain Injury month in June, we wanted to highlight the benefits of yoga and mindfulness meditation as a solution for living with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

What is Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation?

While there are many different types of yoga practices, in general yoga involves physical movement, breathing exercises, meditation, and moral observations in a set period of time, with the goal of connecting the mind and body. Likewise, mindfulness meditation is described as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”, in order to help train us in awareness, concentration, and acceptance. Yoga can be practiced with one-on-one instruction, or in a wheelchair or sitting down as well, through adapted yoga.

Yoga, Mindfulness Meditation and TBI

After experiencing physical trauma, there is a severe body and mind separation that impacts the abilities of the nervous system and alters the pattern of the body, breath, and mind structure. This is where the practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation can assist the recovery. By consciously and consistently focusing the mind, we are reprogramming the neuropathways in the brain that have been impacted. By quieting the mind and focusing on building strength and flexibility, practicing yoga can also assist with the mental distractions and stressors that commonly occur after TBI, such as over excitement and anxiety.

Benefits of Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation for TBI

·       Improved concentration

·       Decreased stress, anxiety, and depression

·       Better sleep

·       Improved attention abilities

·       Improved working memory

·       Reduced mental fatigue

·       Improved strength, balance, endurance, and flexibility

Where to Begin

There are several simple ways to start incorporating yoga and mindfulness into your life. Some suggestions include:

·       Reading for inspiration (mindfulness books, yoga books)

·       Joining a group or taking a class

·       Free apps (such as “Headspace” or “Happify”)

·       Practicing 4-8 minutes of mindfulness breath each day

·       One-on-one adapted yoga with an instructor, such as (in the Hamilton Ontario area):

o   Christina Versteeg, Paradigm Rehabilitation (Christina@paradigmrehab.ca)

·       Following yoga practice videos online, such as:

o   http://www.loveyourbrain.com/yoga-videos/

o   https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

 

References:

www.braininjurycanada.ca/yoga-webinar/

www.tbitherapy.com/yoga-meditation-brain-injury/

www.ontarioabiconference.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/C2-Yoga-Therapy-for-Acquired-Brain-Injury-.pdf

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Tips for Communicating with Brain Injury Survivors

A brain injury can cause many physical, emotional and cognitive challenges.  Due to memory issues, fatigue and emotional stress communication challenges may exist.  Understandably, it can also be difficult for family, friends, and co-workers to learn ways to effectively communicate with their loved one who suffered a brain injury.  The following article care of Michelle Munt of My Jumbled Brain gives some wonderful insight on how to communicate with brain injury survivors.  Michelle, a brain injury survivor herself, has created a fantastic blog filled with articles and insight for brain injury survivors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

My Jumbled Brain:  Understanding how to communicate with brain injury survivors

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O-Tip of the Week: Break it Down

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Occupational Therapists are a vital part of a team of professionals that assist with the rehabilitation from brain injury.  For the month of June, Brain Injury Awareness Month, our series will be providing solutions to assist with some of the many symptoms of brain injury. 

With a brain injury, many will have symptoms that include lack of focus, fatigue, poor concentration, forgetfulness and more.  These symptoms make it difficult for someone to complete daily tasks whether big or small.  It is often beneficial to have someone, like an OT, work with you to help break down tasks into smaller more manageable parts allowing for rest and providing multiple opportunities for accomplishment! 

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O-Tip of the Week: Try the ’10 Minute Rule’

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Occupational Therapists are a vital part of a team of professionals that assist with the rehabilitation from brain injury.  For the month of June, Brain Injury Awareness Month, our series will be providing solutions to assist with some of the many symptoms of brain injury. 

Struggling to complete a daunting task?  Continuously pushing it to tomorrows to do list?  Try the 10 Minute Rule Instead of trying to complete this task all at once, set a timer and spend just 10 minutes a day on this task until you are able to finish it.

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Concussion Recovery: An OT Can Help!

If you ask a crowd of people if they have ever had a concussion, about 1/3 will raise their hand. Direct hits to the head and closed head injuries are not uncommon in children and young adults, decrease in frequency in adulthood, but increase again in seniors.

Symptoms of concussion range and some can dramatically impact someone’s ability to work, drive, go to school, manage daily routines, or even participate in social or leisure activities.  Occupational Therapists can help those who have suffered a concussion manage symptoms and for those who are struggling to participate in important life roles, we can help them to return to work / home / school / fun! 

Learn more about Occupational Therapy’s vital role in our OT-V Episode:  Managing a Concussion

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O-Tip of the Week: Plan Your Weeks and Days

Our O-Tip of the week series we will be providing valuable “OT-Approved Life Hacks” to provide you with simple and helpful solutions for living. 

Occupational Therapists are a vital part of a team of professionals that assist with the rehabilitation from brain injury.  For the month of June, Brain Injury Awareness Month, our series will be providing solutions to assist with some of the many symptoms of brain injury. 

Brain injuries may result in cognitive deficits which can affect memory and concentration.  Additionally, a brain injury often affects energy levels, leaving many fatigued by completing daily tasks.  Spreading activities throughout the week and thoroughly planning each day will go a long way to help someone with a brain injury accomplish more and feel more in control.  An OT can help!