Leah Darrow, OTR/L
I have been practicing as an occupational therapist in the Seattle area since 1999. I have spent most of my career working in the fields of employer-based services, ergonomics, work injury rehabilitation, and chronic pain management.
Since starting Blue Water Ergonomics in 2005, I have worked with healthy employees who want to prevent injuries, injured workers who want to return to work, and those with disabilities who need accommodation in order to participate in work or daily activities.
I was trained in the traditional medical model, and although there is incredible value in this model, I think we are experiencing a crucial shift in how we view health and wellness, both in the US and globally. Our existing health care model isn’t working. Despite having some of the smartest and most skilled providers in the world, rates of obesity and chronic disease continue to rise at an alarming rate in our country. We are spending more money on health care in the US than any other country, yet we rank near the bottom in actual health. In my own practice, I have noticed that more and more of my clients have multiple medical issues that interfere with how well they are functioning at work and at home.
Having the skills to help someone rehabilitate after sustaining an injury or being diagnosed with a disease is meaningful and necessary work, and I love the challenge of a medically complicated case. But I also really enjoy teaching people how to prevent illness and injury, so they don’t need my treatment skills. I find it so rewarding to help people take control of their own health through ergonomic changes and changes in lifestyle habits.
As a result, over the past few years, I have become focused on a more holistic view of health. I want to be as healthy as possible in my own life, but I also want to better help my clients by offering more solutions for their health concerns. This has led me to supplement my training as an occupational therapist by pursuing additional education and training in plant-based nutrition, health coaching, the psychology of lifestyle change, and the connection between what we eat and how we feel.
I’m excited to expand my existing occupational therapy and ergonomics practice to include Lifestyle OT, Health Coaching, and Plant-Based Nutrition Classes. To more accurately reflect my broader focus, Blue Water Ergonomics became Blue Water Holistic Health in 2014.
While I continue to evolve as a health care provider in order to better help my clients, I remain consistent in my science-based approach. I continually strive to provide my clients with education and practical solutions in a compassionate and supportive style.