The latest health tips, recipes and wellbeing inspiration from our health team at The Health Lodge.

Occupational Therapy from an Integrative Lens

Introducing Hayley Bowers, Occupational Therapist.

As an Occupational Therapist, Hayley supports adults and teen’s living with chronic health and mental health conditions to build function and independence in their daily tasks and lives.

Hayley has been shaped by her own chronic health and healing journey, which has empowered her to understand the complexities and stressors of a healing journey, giving a lived experience that informs her clinical practice with clients. This personal experience allows Hayley to deeply connect with her clients, by offering an additional level of perspective and insight that may not be available with other practitioners. 

This life experience, in combination with her qualification in Occupational Therapy, has formulated a deeply holistic perspective. Hayley addresses the whole person to understand all components of living and treating them in their entirety in order to offer supports and strategies to live a full and meaningful life.

The Health Lodge February 2023

How can Occupational Therapists practice within an integrated healthcare model?

Occupational therapy (OT) is a healthcare profession that focuses on helping people of all ages and abilities to participate in daily activities, tasks or “occupations” that are meaningful to them. Occupational therapists work with individuals who may be experiencing physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges that make it difficult for them to perform their daily activities.

OT’s play a valuable role in integrative or functional medicine health models through combining traditional occupational therapy with integrative and complementary modalities to provide a more holistic approach to treatment. This approach is designed to focus on the underlying causes of disease and addresses the whole person, not just their symptoms. This includes focusing on:

  1. Lifestyle modifications: provide guidance on lifestyle modifications, including exercise, nutrition, sleep hygiene, energy conservation, time management, breathing, posture and environmental factors that can impact health.
  2. Mind-body interventions: utilise mind-body interventions, such as meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga and sensory modulation to help clients improve their nervous system regulation, breathing, posture and stress.
  3. Environmental modifications: help clients modify their home or work environment to support their health and wellness goals. They can provide guidance on assistive technologies, equipment, ergonomics, lighting, and other factors to make tasks easier.


OT’s can work collaboratively with integrative healthcare professionals such as Integrative General Practitioners (GP’s), naturopaths, nutritionists, functional dentistry, body workers, acupuncturists and mental health professionals to support clients to achieve their health and wellness goals.

Living with a chronic condition and having many health professionals and recommendations can be overwhelming. This is where Hayley’s role as an OT becomes integral in supporting her clients be able to implement their treatment plans in a functional and simplified way. Hayley aims to provide a more comprehensive and effective approach to treatment and recovery that suits the client’s unique needs.

How can Occupational Therapy support mental health?

Hayley understands that nervous system regulation is critical for recovery and management of chronic conditions. Hayley is currently undertaking a 350-hour trauma-informed yoga teacher training to be able to offer this evidence-based therapeutic tool for her clients. As above, Hayley incorporates mind-body interventions such as meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques, yoga and sensory modulation as a part of her practice.

Hayley is informed by The Polyvagal Theory to understand the relationship between the nervous system and our responses to stress and trauma. This knowledge supports the design of treatment plans that help individuals develop greater awareness into their thoughts and emotions, and support the development of healthy coping mechanisms and promote resilience.

You can learn more about Polyvagal Theory here.

How can I access OT?

Hayley accepts NDIS funded, Private Health, Medicare and private paying clients. Individuals with chronic health conditions are eligible for up to 5 occupational therapy sessions per calendar year under a chronic disease management plan (CDM/EPC)

If you would like to know more about how Hayley’s services could benefit you, feel welcome to contact Hayley below.

Email:  [email protected]


Book in a session:

Share this post