#150 - Aquatic Therapy with Nicole, OTR/L & Owner of Lullaby Waters

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC April 28, 2021

#150 Aquatic Therapy with Nicole, OTR/L & Owner of Lullaby Waters

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Aquatic Therapy with Nicole, OTR/L & Owner of Lullaby Waters

Aquatic therapy can be used as a treatment modality for Occupational Therapy and comes with a range of benefits for both adults and children. 

Today we sit with Nicole Nickell, an Occupational Therapist and founder of Lullaby Waters. In this episode, we take a deep dive into aquatic therapy and what makes it so impactful. 

We talk to Nicole about the genesis of Lullaby Waters, as we discover how her love for water-based therapy evolved from a stint at St. Luke's Rehab Institute. 

We then take a closer look at why Nicole enjoys aquatic therapy so much. As the daughter of a physicist, we find out that Nicole loves water all the way down to a molecular level. 

She continues to tell us about water’s helpful characteristics, likebuoyancy, viscosity and hydrostatic pressure. 

Later in the show, Nicole expands on the sessions she provides, sharing details about its structure, and how she incorporates daily routine skills into them. We also discover more on what types of patients benefit most from aquatic therapy, like those with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. 

To hear more on Nicole’s practice and why aquatic therapy is such a popular mode of occupational therapy, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Nicole shares a little about her professional background and her work in aquatic therapy.
  • Hear the genesis of Lullaby Waters.
  • Nicole shares the biggest benefits that water therapy can offer. 
  • Find out Nicole’s approach to water and in-clinic therapy.
  • We learn about what one of Nicole’s typical sessions looks like. 
  • How Nicole works with kids who have a fear of water. 
  • We touch on Lullaby Waters’ unique environment.
  • Some of the ways water therapy can help adults with conditions like anxiety.
  • Nicole’s biggest challenges at work and how she deals with them. 
  • Nicole shares how she keeps herself and her team motivated.
  • Find out how you can find aquatic therapy near you.
  • Nicole’s parting advice to therapists and parents.

Tweetables:

“I love the components of the water. We are using the buoyancy of the water to decrease weight-bearing and to reduce the course of stress placed on joints. And so from a sensory perspective, think about that stress reduction and what they can internalize more.” — Nicole Nickell[0:11:38]

“Children gain from aquatic and in-clinic therapy. They are getting different inputs and they’re feeling something different with each. It is the exact same goal that we are all working toward, just in a different approach.” — Nicole Nickell[0:14:32]

“Usually we go for a 60-minute session, and sometimes, depending on their goals, that might be because we’re working on activities of daily living like dressing yourself or how they’re doing with their showering.” — Nicole Nickell[0:16:21]

“The reason we do the warm water is it’s a ‘temperature neutral’ zone, where your body temperature is 96 to 98, and the pool is 95-96 — it just feels like an extension of yourself.” — Nicole Nickell[0:21:55]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Sensory Project Show Podcast

The Sensory Project on Facebook

The Sensory Project on Instagram

Harkla

Lullaby Waters

Nicole Nickell on LinkedIn

Full Show Transcript

[00:00:00] RH: Hey there. I'm Rachel.

 

[00:00:01] JH:And I'm Jessica, and this is All Things Sensory by Harkla. Together, we're on a mission to help children, families, therapists and educators live happy, healthy lives.

 

[00:00:10] RH:We dive into all things sensory, special needs, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care, and so much more. In each episode, we share raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies for everyone to implement into daily life.

 

[00:00:23] JH:Thank you so much for joining us.

 

[EPISODE]

 

[00:00:27] RH:Welcome back, everyone. You are listening to All Things Sensory by Harkla. This is Rachel and Jessica, Episode 150.

 

[00:00:37] JH:We are having a conversation with Nicole. She is an occupational therapist and the owner of Lullaby Waters here in Boise, Idaho.

 

[00:00:45] RH:Yes, she specializes in all things aquatic therapy. She is very peaceful about it and has curated a sensory environment that is relaxing and calming. And we got to hang out with her before we interview her on the podcast and it was wonderful.

 

[00:01:03] JH:Yeah, if you're in the Treasure Valley in this area, you definitely need to get ahold of her and see about going in and visiting her clinic because it was a great experience. This is a great conversation. So, let's do it.

 

[00:01:18] RH:Hi, Nicole, how are you today?

 

[00:01:21] NN:I'm good. How are you guys?

 

[00:01:23] JH: We're so good. We're so excited that you're here.

 

[00:01:26] NN:I'm excited to be here.

 

[00:01:29] RH:Okay. So, before we jump into all of the good stuff, we do have five secret questions that we're going to ask you so our listeners can get to know all of your deepest, darkest secrets.

 

[00:01:41] NN:Oh, intriguing.

 

[00:01:47] JH:Okay, so the first question is, what is your biggest pet peeve?

 

[00:01:52] NN:My biggest pet peeve. Do you mean in general or as a therapist?

 

[00:01:58] JH:Both?

 

[00:02:03] NN:I would say, as a therapist, it's probably people assuming that they already know this child based on reading something or trying to put them in a box. I think keeping an openness, so I would say that's a big one of mine.

 

[00:02:23] RH:I can totally agree with you. Yeah, definitely. Now, for your general pet peeve, though?

 

[00:02:28] NN:General pet peeve. I guess, sensory wise, I can be quite sensitive to chaos. So, I like to try to organize my own environment as well.

 

[00:02:43] RH:Okay, would you rather be considered the crazy plant lady or the crazy cat lady? 

 

[00:02:55] NN:Definitely plant. I have cat allergies.

 

[00:03:00] JH:Oh, so that wouldn’t work anyways.

 

[00:03:01] NN:I know, I feel like I should show you guys all my plants actually.

 

[00:03:04] JH:Do you have a lot?

 

[00:03:07] NN: I'm getting there.

 

[00:03:09] JH:I love it. I'm trying to be both. But my cats knock my plants over and kill them. So, I'm trying to figure out a way to make it work. Because I want to be both. Okay, next question. How do you relieve stress?

 

[00:03:25] NN:How do I relieve stress? I mean, I feel like a lot of it is at my work. Like I create an environment that I actually can release my own stress as well. Like, it's so calming, that it kind of goes hand in hand. But also, I believe in like a good workout, getting some endorphins and –

 

[00:03:52] RH:Actually, I'm excited we're going to tell everyone about how calming and Zen your office is because it was heavenly.

 

[00:04:00] JH:It was very nice.

 

[00:04:01] NN:I’m glad you liked it.

 

[00:04:03] RH:What is your drink of choice?

 

[00:04:07] NN:I drink a lot of water. Not very creative, or I guess we could say a mojito?

 

[00:04:16] RH:Oh, yes. A very good one. I love mojitos.

 

[00:04:19] JH:The island a drink?

 

[00:04:21] NN:Yeah.

 

[00:04:22] JH:Okay, this is our favorite question. What is your sensory quirk?

 

[00:04:28] NN:I would say sensory sensitivity is mine. I don't like anything too chaotic, too loud. I just feel like I'm at my best when I can process and it's a calming environment. So, I think that's a lot of why I try to carry that forward and create that for others too, partly because I need it. 

 

[00:04:52] RH:Exactly. Well, what's so cool is like you figure that out for yourself, and you figured out how to thrive. If you were a sensory sensitive person working in like a grocery store or something. It's overstimulating. You won't be thriving, but I think that's why it's so important to get this information out there.

 

[00:05:13] NN:Yeah. I agree.

 

[00:05:15] RH:Should we jump into all the good stuff? So, can you tell our listeners who you are and what you do and how you do it?

 

[00:05:23] NN:So, my name is Nicole Nickell. I'm an aquatic occupational therapist as well as primarily pediatric, although I do see adults as well. So, I am the owner of Lullaby Waters. It’s a small clinic in Boise, Idaho and we also do infant development as well. So, we primarily are using the aquatic environment as our modality in treating pediatric patients.

 

[00:05:57] JH:Now, you're the owner, so how did that get started?

 

[00:06:01] NN:Well, it all started I went to school at Eastern Washington and so –

 

[00:06:08] RH:That’s where I’m from.

 

[00:06:11] NN:Is it? Actually, I listen to one of your podcasts that’s why I realized that.

 

[00:06:16] JH:Wait, which one did you listen to?

 

[00:06:19] NN:I think it was listening to the Harkla one because you were talking about family, that person from Spokane. So, yeah that's kind of my area as well. So, Eastern Washington, I worked actually at St. Luke's Rehab in Spokane while I was in college and I was in therapy aid, so one of my tasks was bringing patients down to the pool, in a big Olympic sized pool and I would bring down the spinal cord injury patients or the – it was mainly spinal cord injuries. But I eventually got asked to help get in the pool to help the therapists along with them and I noticed on the days that I was getting in the pool with them, I was like, “I feel so good. I'm refreshed. I'm energized.” It was almost like a little workout. So, it just felt great.

 

I carried that with me and then when I was in college, like we're deciding our fields works and I did a little research and I found this therapist in Moscow, Idaho who had a little clinic called Elements of Wellness. I had that good feeling with the water, I was like, “Oh, I'm going to write to her and see if I can be her intern.” And she accepted, thankfully. Her name Dayna Willbanks and she was just phenomenal. It kind of just changed pretty much the trajectory of my life. I was so in love with the water aspect and I just learned so much about different components and she was working with adults, and I knew that my desire was pediatrics.

 

The funny thing about all of that, at the end of school, my husband was asked to come back to Boise State to work, and I actually asked like, “Can I get my internship changed to Boise, so I can be with him?” And they were like, “No.” So, I stayed in Washington to Moscow, Idaho to do this internship and I'm just so grateful that I did.

 

[00:08:32] RH:Yeah, even though it was hard like going through it.

 

[00:08:37] NN:Right, because we were doing distance after we had been married. But it was just an amazing time. I learned so much and I actually had one of the components that my teacher used was Watsu and I had a session done on myself, and that was the moment, I was like, “Wow, this made such a difference. My joints are better. I can move better.” It just helped in so many ways.

 

[00:09:07] RH:So then, did you work at an aquatic therapy clinic before you started your own? Or how long have you been in the field before you were like, “I just need my own clinic now?”

 

[00:09:18] NN:Well, so that's the thing. I moved here to Boise thinking, “I need to work in the water. This is what I need.” I was looking all around, like I worked at St Luke's, they didn't have the aquatic aspect that I was looking for and I was working with pretty young kids and I just kept thinking to myself, “Oh, my gosh. I'm making progress but they need the water. I could get so much more benefit for this kiddo with the water.” I think I even tried a session where we met somewhere and the pool was too cold and too noisy. It just wasn't therapeutic and I kept thinking back to that, that peaceful little clinic that I had done my internship. So, just little by little, I started planning and putting time and effort and it took a while. Actually, as it all started to come to fruition, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter.

 

[00:10:23] JH:Timing is everything.

 

[00:10:25] NN:Yeah, I was like, “Should we keep growing?” But I did and I'm glad. Actually, the clinic was under construction while I was giving birth. So, I came right off of maternity leave into into doing the work that I love.

 

[00:10:46] RH:So cool. I know, we have a lot of therapists who listen, and I just think it's so inspirational to hear other like OT entrepreneurs and share their journey and motivating them that you can do so much. You can do anything. My mom was even saying like, “How amazing the OT field is, because it's so wide.” I just think that, but we have to remember that.

 

[00:11:08] JH:Can you share some of the benefits of water therapy? Do you call it water therapy? Do you call it aquatic therapy? 

 

[00:11:16] NN:Usually, I call it aquatic therapy. I think water therapy is okay, too.

 

[00:11:22] JH:So, what are some of like, the biggest benefits of it?

 

[00:11:26] NN:Well, I feel like it's all just amazing. I’m the daughter of a physicist. So, I'll tell you some of this now.

 

[00:11:34] JH:Perfect. Yes.

 

[00:11:37] NN:Okay, well, I love the components of the water themselves. I mean, they're amazing. So, we're using like the bland theme of the water to decrease weight bearing, and to reduce the force of stress placed on joints. And so, if you think about that, like from a sensory perspective, like think about that stress reduction, they can internalize more or they can be thinking about if they're stressed isn't thinking about standing upright, or how they're needing to move.

 

Going on, there's also viscosity, where the water is giving them resistance. So, we can focus on those perceptual motor skills. They're getting just a little bit more input and body awareness and spatial awareness. Hydrostatic pressure, that reduces any type of swelling in the body. So, if they're not feeling well, it is also giving them that proprioceptive input and then we can work on the planning and executing tasks, and work on that motor control, that postural stability, as well. 

 

I just get excited talking about those different components, and just thinking about what you can do with all of that.

 

[00:12:56] RH: Yeah, you can achieve a lot of goals, you can meet a lot of these kiddos’ goals in the water that you aren't able to meet in just a standard clinic.

 

[00:13:04] NN:Exactly.

 

[00:13:05] JH:Well, let's talk a little bit more about is it best to have a kiddo come to you for water therapy? And also, do traditional in the clinic setting occupational therapy?

 

[00:13:21] NN:So, I've been asked that a lot. And I truly believe like, here in the Treasure Valley, like we're so lucky that we have so many amazing therapists. I know, like my modality is water. I fully believe in aquatic therapy, and that I feel like it's the best method for me to help a kiddo achieve their goals. But I also know my good friends, Laurie Apple at the Lotus Tree, like she has her full wealth of knowledge and different modalities that she's going to implement and they're also fully benefiting that child. I think it goes back to like, just looking at that child, like what is going to be the best for them. And think it's going to take all of our approaches together working to support and love and see what they need.

 

[00:14:14] RH:Yeah, it's not a one size fits all approach, that's for sure.

 

[00:14:20] NN:Right.

 

[00:14:20] JH:Yeah, I do like that idea, like looking at the child and saying, “Would they benefit more from doing a more sensory integration with swings and obstacle courses or would they benefit more from the aquatic?”

 

[00:14:31] NN:Or both. I think that they're gaining from each. They're getting different inputs. They're feeling something different with each and we might have like the exact same goal, that we're all working toward it, just in a different approach.

 

[SPONSOR MESSAGE]

 

[00:14:49] RH:We just want to take a minute and talk to you about our company, Harkla. Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy, healthy lives. Not only do we accomplish this through the podcast, but we also have therapy products, easy to follow digital courses, and the Harkla Sensory Club to try to bring holistic care to you and your family.

 

[00:15:07] JH:Listeners of the All Things Sensory podcast get 10% off their first purchase at Harkla, with the discount code sensory. We'd recommend checking out some of our best sellers like the compression sensory swing, weighted blankets, or our course on sensory diets.

 

[00:15:23] RH:And here's the best part, 1% of each sale gets donated to the University of Washington Autism Center to support autism research, and fund scholarships to families in need to receive in-clinic therapy for their child.

 

[00:15:34] JH:Learn more about Harkla and all we have to offer at harkless.co. That's harkla.co and don't forget to use the discount code sensory to get 10% off your first purchase. That's S-E-N-S-O-R-Y for 10% off.

 

[00:15:56] RH:And the best part is, all Harkla orders come with a lifetime guarantee and free shipping.

 

[00:16:03] JH:You really can't beat that. You can't. Okay, let's get back to the show.

 

[EPISODE]

 

[00:16:08] RH:So, how long is the typical session with a kiddo? What does a typical session look like?

 

[00:16:14] NN:Okay, well, they can really range. Usually, we go for a 16-minute session and sometimes, depending on their goals, that might be because we're working on activities of daily living, like it's the perfect setting to be like, “Okay, we're going to get out now and see how you do with dressing yourself or how are you doing with that shower.” And it's actually perfect because it's not contrived, like you need to get dressed for work, or you need to get ready. So, that might be part of our session.

 

But otherwise, when you're in the pool, I’m trying to think how to say this, like, what focus I should have, what kind of session.

 

[00:17:03] RH:Think about, like, we'll use Trip as an example. So, hello, six-month-old, just got his tongue tied, his release. And you, I mean, you took him and you were working with him. So, I mean, let's use him as an example.

 

[00:17:17] NN:Okay. So, for example, when Trip came the other day, he's six months old. So, we want to work toward where he's on, toward his next milestone or goal. And after a ton of days, especially, we want to help make sure that he's loosened up and that he's feeling all of that support from the water, but also being able to move functionally. And so, we would probably help him move through the water in a variety of different motions to make sure that we can see that his body is moving well, and that he's feeling good.

 

[00:17:58] JH:So then, if we compare that to Logan, who's seven, so compare that to like an older kiddo, their sessions are going to look completely different.

 

[00:18:08] NN:Right. So, if we were more working with Logan, I don't know what your goals necessarily would be for him, but probably more functional, basically want to work more on like main coordination. He has to get somewhere or, like we were working on some visual perceptual games with him. We can do that really well in the water, as well as problem solving. So, maybe we would put out a variety of things and ask him like, “Can you find this?” Because it can be tricky and then he has to figure out how to get to it as well. And then we would probably be assisting more with like form of that to see.

 

We also use the water in so many different ways. Like, for example, a kiddo who might have Down syndrome, or maybe lower tongue, we're working to use the water for strengthening because they aren't getting that resistance or flip back to like a kiddo with cerebral palsy who have higher joints, then we're using the water to help loosen up and move in ways that we might not be able to on land.

 

[00:19:16] RH: Yeah, I was just thinking about safety awareness, too. Because we were there the other day, Logan was just like –

 

[00:19:23] JH: He was ready to jump in. [Crosstalk 00:19:25].

 

[00:19:26] RH:Yeah, and you took a step back and be like, “This is how we get in the water. This is how we make sure we're safe.” And like working on that impulse control and that safety component as well, was huge.

 

[00:19:35] NN:It is huge. It is huge. Actually, that's one of the sad things is that like with autism, there is an increased drowning risk. And it is that awareness piece that not knowing is so, that’s always key with all of our sessions.

 

[00:19:54] JH:So then, in the past, I've had parents tell me that their kiddo is afraid of water. And so, they try to do traditional swim lessons. Their kiddo just won't get in the water, they have meltdowns. So, how would you work with a kiddo who's very afraid of water?

 

[00:20:14] NN:At water, we’re all about just doing things, so slowly, like doing things on their terms, maybe our first session wouldn't even be getting in the water, maybe it would be playing at the edge with it, just gradually, gradually getting to where they're comfortable, where we can meet their needs. 

 

[00:20:34] JH:And I feel like that would be such a more secure environment too, because you can turn the lights off, and it's quiet, there's not a ton of other kids splashing in the water. But you're not like teaching how to swim at the same time. So, it's not like people are coming to you for swim lessons. But it could be a good way to just work on that feeling of security around the water.

 

[00:20:57] NN:Yeah.

 

[00:20:58] RH:I'd like to talk a little bit more about the environment. So, we were there and I was comparing it to like our traditional swim lesson location, and it's echoey, and it's loud, and it's busy, and it's chaotic. Trip is fine. But I'm over here sensitive, Sally, I can't even focus on what we're supposed to be doing. But then we come to your clinic and you can turn the lights down, and it's calming, and the water is warm. So, if you can tell a little bit more about that. 

 

[00:21:29] NN:Yeah, so that was one of the key things when creating Lullaby Waters is what I wanted, was this environment that you could feel that way and part of it was my own desire. I know, it really helps me. So, I feel like I'm a better therapist in that setting as well, though. So, yeah, the lights are dimmable, the water is warm, and the reason we do the warm water is it's called a temperature neutral zone, where your body temperature is around 96 to 98. And so, we keep it at 95 to 96. It just feels like an extension of yourself. So, your body doesn't have to work to stay warm or to cool off. You can just focus on what you need to. I feel like that is a huge component. I mean, if you've got in a cold pool and you're shivering, it is hard to think about what you're doing.

 

[00:22:32] RH: Yeah, absolutely. Can like neurotypical, I'm putting that in air quotes, neurotypical kiddos benefit? I know, we see kiddos across every spectrum in occupational therapy, but at a place like aquatic therapy, could we see neurotypical kiddos? I mean, could you do sessions with their typical kiddos?

 

[00:22:54] NN:Yeah, and that's part of why we created our wellness plans is for somebody who would just want to pop in for like one visit. But definitely there is benefits for everybody. One of our therapists, she used to have like severe anxiety, and the water completely has like settled her and calmed her, and she reports that like she doesn't have it anymore, essentially. As well as one of our therapists that had fibromyalgia, they’re still deaf, but used to have a severe pain and from her working in the pool, she doesn't have that anymore.

 

So, it’s just really soothing and beneficial for everybody. I know, I brought my daughters there, they're seeming to be dysregulated. But let's go have a session. One of the things that we do is our remember to float. It’s kind of a little program we created because to float, you have to decrease that tension in your muscles and we work on our deep breathing, and we try to help kiddos with that, like floating on the pillows, or anybody. We do it with adults too, where you're giving them a physical reference of what it feels like to be calm. So yeah, I think it can be beneficial. I think we all need to learn to like draw on that more where we can say, “Remember to float.”

 

[00:24:26] JH: Well, I was a big fan of when you were floating me around. I compared it to an episode of New Girl where Nick gets in the pool with the old man and he's floating him around and he like starts to relax and feel so calm afterwards. And I was like, “That's exactly what happened to me.”

 

[00:24:45] NN:I know. And you guys didn't even get the full effect.

 

[00:24:52] JH: It was great.

 

[00:24:53] NN:I mean, it is just so supportive of your body. And yeah, I know even for myself, like having a massage, I can't always necessarily relax. But there's something about all of those components of the water that makes it easier perhaps for your system to regulate.

 

[00:25:15] RH: I think my favorite part was when you were floating me and you're like, “Let's put Trip on you.” And so, we got to have that special bonding time. It was so cool.

 

[00:25:24] NN:Yeah, it was such a beautiful moment.

 

[00:25:26] RH:I think that's cool.

 

[00:25:28] JH:Do you do a lot of sessions like that, where the parent is in the pool with the child?

 

[00:25:33] NN:We call those our mother baby sessions, typically, and we usually do them – I wasn't sure how Trip would do, but he did great. But usually when they're a little bit younger, just because they're floating a little bit better, but we've done just some beautiful mother baby sessions where the mom came in, and she was like, “I haven't slept more than two hours at a time.” Her baby was so colicky. And we did this amazing session, like the mom was just so relaxed on the pillows, we’re able to like calm her baby and float him on her chest. And you saw how we floated Trip, so his head is supported as well. So, there are two therapists making sure that you're both safe. But that mom, she got that restful session and she said, they went home and slept five hours.

 

[00:26:25] JH:Oh, my gosh.

 

[00:26:26] NN:Yeah, so she said she got like a bonding time with him. And in a kind of a traumatic birth. So, it was just nice.

 

[00:26:37] JH:For sure.

 

[00:26:39] RH:I love it. So magical.

 

[00:26:42] JH:So, you don't typically have the parents come into the pool, when it's a session with an older kid?

 

[00:26:47] NN:Sometimes. I mean, it's not unheard of, but not as often. Because we do see a difference. For example, if I were to get my daughters in the pool, they do just want to jump on me and like, cling to me, like you're their mom or their safe place. And we want them to feel safe, obviously, but also like, gain some confidence and gain some strength.

 

[00:27:12] JH:Yeah, for sure.

 

[00:27:14] RH:I want to know, what's the biggest challenge? Every day when you come to work, your treating clients, what is the hardest thing that you feel like you have to deal with?

 

[00:27:23] NN:I would just say it's the constant adaptability, when you're trying to always be adaptable with your patients, like always reinventing yourself to give something new and to meet their needs better. But also like, as a clinic owner, I'm always trying to be adaptable to my therapists, like find out what their needs are, what education are they needing, what areas do they want to focus on more? How can they be better supported? And it's just constant with, I mean, like the pandemic adaptability.

 

[00:28:00] JH:Seriously. I kind of want to talk a little bit more about you, as a business owner. Rachel and I have worked in several different clinics and areas and had different experiences. And so, I was just curious, how do you stay motivated? But also, how do you keep your team motivated?

 

[00:28:19] NN:I feel like I stay motivated by the love of it all, seeing the patients and the results. And I think that all of our motivation is kind of derived in that same place. So, we're united in that way. They’re all such wonderful humans too, they have the biggest hearts, and just like hearing their different perspective and where they want to go. That's why we're always working together to try to get to that place. They've been interested in like the reflex integration. So, that's been a big focus. And each one kind of has their unique take on things. And then we talk about how this person is doing it, how it's been successful for them, and maybe how to modify it for another. It's just nice to have that unity and to know that we all want the same thing. We all want to see success for our patients.

 

[00:29:20] RH:And you did. You did, when you introduced us to your new cranial sacral therapist, your physical therapist, and we got to kind of see you guys trying to figure out how you can almost coach, how can you guys both target these goals that this child had, and make it the most meaningful for the child. 

 

[00:29:42] JH:That’s huge.

 

[00:29:45] NN:That is what we're working towards, being able to do all of that. It's going well. We like the unity.

 

[00:29:56] RH:Love it.

 

[00:29:56] JH:Yeah, for sure.

 

[00:29:58] RH:So good. So, you’re in Boise, but our listeners are worldwide. So, how can a listener find like a trained aquatic therapy clinic and how can they find a good one?

 

[00:30:11] NN:So, I would just say to do your research on the front end, ask if your therapists are licensed, and what they're licensed in. Ask if they've had training, what kind of classes.

 

[00:30:27] JH:Okay, so what's one piece of advice that you could give to parents, to therapists, when they're working with their kids?

 

[00:30:35] NN:Yeah, well, I would say, so this is our motto. But I truly believe it that peace equals progress. I think that if you can regulate that nervous system to get to that peaceful place, with whatever modality you're using, I prefer quiet. But with whatever modality, if you can get to that peaceful place, then I truly believe you can make more progress. You can think more clearly, you can function better. So, that would be my advice.

 

[00:31:10] JH:Absolutely.

 

[00:31:12] RH:Well, we're very excited to be neighbors, when we have our new office. So, we’ll probably be hopping over, we told everyone about how wonderful it was. And so, they're all like, all the local, all the local people were like, “Oh, yeah, we'll probably have to go over there and have a wellness session.”

 

[00:31:31] NN:I know. It will be wonderful. We can have little cookie parties or something. 

 

[00:31:38] JH:Yes.

 

[00:31:39] RH:That would be awesome.

 

[00:31:40] JH:I love that idea.

 

[00:31:44] RH:Well, thank you so much, Nicole. So happy we were able to chat with you and learn more about aquatic therapy, because it's definitely not – I don't know how popular it is. But it's not, like very well-known and I think we need to spread the word.

 

[00:31:59] NN:Well, thank you guys. I love what you're doing as well. And it's just nice to be able to chat with you.

 

[00:32:08] JH:Yeah, for sure.

 

[00:32:10] RH:Thank you.

 

[END OF EPISODE]

 

[00:32:11] JH:All right, everybody. What did you think?

 

[00:32:16] RH:I just want to get in the pool.

 

[00:32:17] JH:I know/. We got to visit her clinic before we interviewed her and it was really nice. Getting into the warm water. Getting floated around, like Nick from New Girl. And yeah, it was just really cool experience.

 

[00:32:32] RH:It was an awesome experience. And I will say that I felt more peaceful the rest of the day. Even just after getting out of the water and like, “I feel good.”

 

[00:32:42] JH:Yeah, for sure. It was. I do remember when she was floating me around. I don't know if that's the term for it, but that's what I call it. She was floating me around, at first, I really had to force myself to just like relax, though.

 

[00:32:54] RH:Me too. I was a little uncomfortable with like the water was getting in my ear. I couldn’t hear and they have pillows and stuff. So, when they said, “Are you comfortable?” I had to say, “No, I need to like reposition myself and get comfortable.” Again, advocating for your sensory needs.

 

[00:33:08] JH:Yeah, for sure. So, hopefully, you guys found this informative and interesting and motivating, especially if you're a therapist, motivating to see what else is out there and new things that you can do.

 

[00:33:23] RH:Yeah. And if you did love it, leave us a review on iTunes.

 

[00:33:27] JH:Shout us out on social media.

 

[00:33:30] RH:Yes, you can find us at All Things Sensory podcast, and harkla_family. So, take a screenshot, tag us, and we'll include Lullaby Waters, too, so they can see your appreciation. 

 

[00:33:45] JH:All right. Thanks for being here.

 

[00:33:46] RH:See you next week.

 

[00:33:53] RH:Thank you so much for listening to All Things Sensory by Harkla. If you want more information on anything we mentioned in the show, head over to harkla.co/podcast to get all of the show notes.

 

[00:34:04] JH:We always have the show notes and links plus full transcripts to make following along as easy as possible for everyone. If you have follow-up questions, the best place to ask those is in the comments on the show notes or message us on our Instagram account, which is @harkla_family. If you just search our Harkla, you'll find us.

 

[00:34:25] RH:Like we mentioned before, our podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla, whether it's for one of our digital courses, one of our sensory swings, the discount code sensory will save you 10%. That code is S-E-N-S-O-R-Y. Head over to harkla.co/sensory to use that code right now, so you don't forget.

 

[00:34:47] JH: We are so excited to work together to help create confident kids all over the world and work towards a happier, healthier life.

 

[00:34:53] RH:All right, we’ll talk to you guys next week. 

 

Just a friendly reminder, this is general information related to occupational therapy, pediatrics, and sensory integration. We do not know you or your child. Therefore, we do not know any specific needs. Therefore, you should always refer back to your pediatrician and occupational therapist for more information. 

 

BORING, BUT NECESSARY LEGAL DISCLAIMERS

While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.


This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L both Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA). They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. Rachel and Jessica specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Rachel and Jessica are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Rachel and Jessica, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.


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