Happy OT month to all OTs, COTAs, and people who receive, love, and support the occupational therapy profession! For over 100 years occupational therapy has been changing lives across the lifespan and in many practice settings. The true nature of occupational therapy lies within helping individuals achieve their personal goals and recover function after injury, illness, or disability. The essence of OT has remained unchanged for the last century, surviving paradigm shifts, practice changes, and pandemics. Occupational therapy was developed out of the moral treatment movement in the early 1900s, establishing our roots in person-centered care from the beginning. Occupational therapy is science-driven, and equally as important, occupational therapy is person-centered.
Imago Rehab Spotlight: Kristin Nuckols, OTD, MOT, OTR
Kristin is one of our three Imago Rehab co-founders and was on the research team when the soft robotic glove project was still at Harvard University in the Biodesign lab. She has been a neuro-focused OT for
16 years, graduating with a Masters Degree in OT from James Madison University in 2007 and earning a post-professional doctorate in OT from Boston University in 2020. Her doctoral thesis envisioned innovative and effective telehealth for adults with stroke, combining advanced technology devices in the home and a behavior-changing protocol to bring therapy out of the clinic and into real life.
How did Kristin become an OT? I had a hand and wrist injury while in middle school and had to temporarily stop my sports and activities. This cool lady named Kim made me a splint and had me do exercises and activities in her clinic and from that moment I knew; OT would be the job for me. She was a healer and I wanted to be also.
Favorite OT story or moment? My favorite OT moment is luckily one that repeats itself over and over as I continue to work with adults with stroke on motor restoration. The moment is this: the first time a client can open their hand after a stroke, emerging from
that cocoon of tightness and dysfunction that the stroke caused. This moment is one of the main inspirations behind the Imago Rehab name and branding of the blue morpho butterfly, pictured here to the right. The butterfly larvae spends time in a dark and cramped position, unable to move and stretch, much like a flexed hand following stroke.
When the imago phase of metamorphosis is complete, the butterfly exits its exoskeleton (cocoon) and emerges as a totally new creation, spreading its beautiful butterfly wings. We want to bring this concept to the millions of stroke survivors in the US and abroad, having them shed their exoskeleton (soft robotic glove) and emerge as a new creation with the ability to stretch and move as they please.
Best OT lesson? As a student in a hospital rehab setting, one of my fieldwork supervisors said to me, "you have to work on this client's arm today, because no one else will." What she meant was, this person would be interacting with many other people that day in the hospital, including nursing staff, the doctors, physical therapists, speech therapists, case managers and personal care aides, but no one else was tasked with helping the upper limb to improve in function except me. I have made sure to always address and include upper limb functional movement restoration in each and every therapy session with a stroke survivor since that day, since we as OTPs are the professionals charged with that task.
Looking for that Imago moment in your life?
Give us a quick call at 617-671-0789 or click today to get started working with Imago Rehab. Also, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts interviewing all of our OTPs during April, Occupational Therapy month!