Managing Your Energy

December 18, 2010

Fibromyalgia/CFS Support GroupIn December, I attended a talk by Jodi Johnson, an Occupational Therapist from Progressive Rehabilitation Associates (PRA).

I’ve worked with several physical therapists, but this was the first time seeing things from an occupational therapist point-of-view. Where a physical therapist is focused on your body itself (muscles, stretching, strengthening), it seemed to me that an occupational therapist is more focused on what you do with your body (taking rest breaks, breathing, pacing, breaking down tasks, ergonomics). Jodi’s talk was focused on managing energy, a perfect talk for right before Christmas!

I really enjoyed Jodi as a speaker. She obviously had a lot of experience, but respected our experiences as well. At one point, Jodi acknowledged that she does not have fibromyalgia herself, and therefore doesn’t know what it’s truly like to live with either illness. I particularly liked how she kept her talk interactive, asking for and pulling ideas and feedback from the group, rather than just speaking at us. I also enjoyed her energy and attitude — both were positive and upbeat.

Jodi gave us an overview of how to think about living with an illness that limits our energy, as well as some practical tips to lessen the impact of that illness. One of the most valuable parts of her talk was when we were able to discuss, as a group, ways we had used those tips personally. Hearing actual ideas that had worked for someone else who was dealing with the same issues was reassuring.

At the time of this talk, Jodi works in PRA’s Pain Management Program, which is designed to treat fibromyalgia. I was very impressed with her knowledge and loved her personality. PRA takes most types of insurance for those of you who might be interested in their services.

Jodi’s talk is available on our support group website. Just click the link above to join our group for free, then click on Audios/Videos to watch her excellent presentation.

I’ll be meeting with Jodi one-to-one in the new year to find out more about her and how PRA can help you, so feel free to ask me if you have questions about their services. I hope to add them to my list of recommended providers!

Update: I just had a chance to meet with Jodi and tour their facility. WOW! I highly recommend PRA for those of you who are interested in what they have to offer. Feel free to contact me if you’d like a referral. It’s an amazing facility staffed with fabulous people!

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