"I found Fran’s presentation quite mind expanding. It really hit home to me that comfort at work is more than the angle your typing arms are at – it’s about being relaxed and getting up from your desk, and the state of mind you are in when you sit at your desk. Thank you so much Fran for your gift to me, and Cancer Society Wellington. You've made a big impact."
"I found Fran professional and very knowledgeable. Good advice and was able to recommend non costly ways of achieving resolution to the problems."
"I really appreciated both the initial presentation and the individual assessment. Who knew a slight tilt in a chair could make such a difference! Thanks Fran!"
"Hi I found Fran’s manner quite relaxed but what was good that she explained each point in terms of what would not only be good practice but what equipment would help as well in terms of improving my workstation situation."
"Fran, as I said yesterday really clear and helpful to hear you talk about the impact and they whys. Appreciated getting the height of chair and especially the back of my chair adjusted! You are easy to work with, straight to the point and efficient. Thank you so much for giving your time and making a difference for me in my room!!"
"I found Fran’s approach very helpful and pragmatic and it has certainly focused my thinking. Very generous of her to give her time and skills to us – felt like it mattered."
Biofeedback Training - Sarah's Story
It seemed straightforward and easy enough. Essentially, all I had to do was breathe. And in one sense, it was easy. I soon learned how to breathe at the slow rate that would keep my system balanced and in sync. The difficulty was remembering. That took months. But I learnt how to be more aware of my body and its reactions. I learnt about tension in my jaw and shoulders and back, and how to consciously relax these muscles. Doing all this regularly has reduced the frequency and intensity of the migraines and eliminated pains in the arm and shoulder I was getting with typing and computer work. And the breathing techniques mean that I can increase my hand temperature, which has improved my Raynaud’s (where the blood vessels in the fingers and toes constrict with cold or stress). I have reduced my migraine prophylaxis medication to such a trivial dose I am sure I can soon come off it completely.
Although the migraines have not disappeared completely, they are far less invasive and destructive to my wellbeing. I feel more in control of my life. This really encapsulates the value of biofeedback for me. It is the only treatment I have tried that gives me control – it is not dependent on another person doing something (like massage or acupuncture) or taking a drug. I have the control and the responsibility over the therapy. The more I do to help myself, through the breathing practice, being self-aware and keeping my muscles relaxed, and through taking care of myself in general, with regular breaks at work, exercise and making time for activities that give me enjoyment and refreshment, the better my health is.
It will undoubtedly be an ongoing challenge to maintain, but it is worth the effort. I have struggled for many years not to be a prisoner to pain – this experience and practice of biofeedback has handed me a way I can escape, at least some of the time.
Workstation Assessment - As told by Debby
In just one session Sue was able to diagnose immediately the areas that were creating the intense pain, all through lack of good posture and appropriate workstation equipment. Added to this, I had suffered a hamstring injury late the previous year which was also a part of the overall pain picture. Based on the recommendations in the report that Sue wrote my employer purchased a desk with a drop down keyboard panel which will help me sit at the correct height, an ergonomic keyboard and a chair.
I have been an administrator for 15 years but I really thought my working life was nearing an end. Thanks to the practical steps recommended by Ergo OT I feel like a new person and hope to carry on for another 15 years.
Last year I experienced a very high work load, which caused me to develop considerable pain down my arm, stemming from my right shoulder. After all the usual tests and an injection of hydrocortisone by my local GP nothing appeared to alleviate the pain completely. In desperation I contacted Ergo OT to have a work place assessment undertaken - I thought, maybe it was my working environment that was causing it.
Return to Work - Steven's Story
I experienced some weakness in my right arm back in 2012. It was discovered that I had a brain tumour. I was admitted to hospital, had the tumour removed and then had some radiotherapy to manage anything left over. I was left with weakness in my right arm and leg.
My occupational therapist has helped me:
Hi I’m Steve
Because of Occupational Therapy and the highly skilled representative assigned to me, I am now back at work four full days per week, and involved in my important out of work activities.
- with a graduated return to work programme, starting with three hours, four days per week
- develop a schedule of home activity to enhance my exercise programme
- understand what was happening early on with my fatigue levels and develop some strategies to cope
- liaise and negotiate with my employer re- equipment for work
- learn some one-handed tricks for the computer
- through the acquisition of speech recognition software which I use to complete some of my work tasks.
- to use my right hand by finding a “different” mouse that is easier to grasp and control.