It's a new approach to occupational therapy and one that has been successful in other areas of the state.

That's why Paige Oliver has brought hippotherapy as part of her treatment plan at Occupational Therapy Solutions, located at 1501 South Main Street in the McKnight business complex.

Oliver, a licensed occupational therapist, has been in the field for over nine years and brings a variety of services to the area. She offers assistance through early intervention, pediatrics, cerebral palsy, PTSD and autism as well as recovery from stroke and other debilitating medical conditions.

But the newest development is "hippotherapy" which involves riding horses as a therapeutic technique.

"Hippo is the Greek word for 'horse' where we use a horse as a tool to deliver services," Oliver explained during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. "It's been proven that a horse is the most common gate to humans and horse riding gives you 1,000 times more neurological input than before."

Oliver, who is a horse owner, said the therapeutic effects of riding a horse has multiple benefits.

"There has been overwhelming improvement through hippotherapy. It is calming, it de-stresses and helps coordination," Oliver explained.

Specifically, the services offered include:

• Early intervention through First Steps offered in the home or via telehealth

• Home safety assessments for aging in place

• Pediatric assessments and interventions

• Treatment for all post-op, non-operative orthopedic conditions from upper extremity

• Treatment for neurological conditions

• Ergonomic assessments available for safety in the workplace

While Oliver is the sole therapist now, she is adding a speech therapist later in the spring. Hailing from Harlan, she and her husband moved to London because of its location to family and easier access to the interstate for traveling purposes. Besides being a licensed Occupational Therapist, she is also a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.

Occupational Therapy Solutions accepts a number of insurance coverage including KY Medicaid, Wellcare, Medicare Part B, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Molina Healthcare. Those with private insurance companies can contact the office to discuss options and co-pays.

To learn more about Occupational Therapy Solutions, contact their office at (606) 658-9781 or email at poliver@otsolutionsky.com.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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