Occupational Therapy Services and Specialties

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) also known as Lymphedema Therapy:                                 

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), compression bandaging/garments, custom exercises, skin care, self-care training to manage lymphatic swelling, pneumatic pump

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation (complete post-mastectomy care) - CDT/lymphedema therapy, education of lymphedema prevention/risk reduction, scar tissue mitigation/management, ROM/strengthening of upper extremities, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathies, axillary cording

CDT/Lymphedema Therapy   on mostly cancer patients: head and neck, abdominal, UE/LE                     Post-Surgical Swelling          Other Swelling Conditions: Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Cancer Rehabilitation/Oncology Massage:  including ROM, strengthening, Gross/Fine Motor Skills enhancement   Adaptations & Modifications to support healing

Orthopedics/Upper Extremity Rehab/Injury Work: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathies, Lateral/Medial Epicondylitis, Total Shoulder Arthroplasty Rehabilitation, Rotator Cuff Tears/Dysfunction, Scapular Dysfunction, Winged Scapula, Fractures, Hand Injuries and Therapy, Adhesive Capsulitis     Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Motor Vehicle Accidents/Injuries, Generalized Weakness, Chronic Pain

Neurological Rehabilitation for:  Parkinson’s Disease Management, Stroke Recovery, Spinal Cord Injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s), ALS, MS, Peripheral Neuropathies,  Tremors (Yoga is wonderful for all neurological disorders)

Massage and Modalities:  Therapeutic Massage     Trigger Point     Cupping Therapy     Gaston Tools (IASTM/MFR)     Deep Tissue       Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation   Myofascial Release  Post-Surgical Rehabilitation    Scar tissue Mitigation    Kinesio Taping     Ultrasound Therapy     Electrical Stimulation     Tuning Forks    Custom Exercise Programs (ROM and strengthening)   Yoga Therapy    Coordination/ Dexterity Skills   Enhancement       Fine Motor Skills Enhancement    Injury Prevention/Joint Protection    Activities of Daily Living Skills/ Modifications and Home Management Tips    Vision Therapy/ Low Vision Adaptations    Cognitive Enhancement   Sensory Integration   Tactile De/Re Sensitization    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction     Aging In Place    Lifestyle Factors     Balance   

Assessments:

  • Motor Free Visual Perceptual Assessment 

  • Semmes Weinstein Monofilments

  • Range of Motion/Manual Muscle Testing

  • Grip and Pinch Assessments

  • Coordination Assessments: (9 Hole Peg, Purdue, Finger-to-Nose, Manual Dexterity Tests)

  • Lymphedema/Lipo-lymphedema Assessments:  Lymph Volume Scale, ROM, Strength, Lifestyle factors

  • Shoulder Assessments:  Empty Can Test, ROOs Test, Lift Off Test, Drop Arm Test, Neer Impingement Test

Teresa Lifvergren, Occupational Therapist, CLT, LMT

My work as an Occupational Therapist (OT) initially began over twenty years ago when I began my practice as a Licensed Massage Therapist. In my LMT position, I developed essential technical skills to pair with my natural gift of holding presence for my patients. Together, these skills helped me to formulate my work as an OT. My passion and deep respect for mind-body healing began in my twenties. Throughout the years I have studied the efficacy of natural therapies with the latest supportive evidence available. I have acquired many massage and bodywork modalities over the past twenty years including: Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, MyoFascial Release techniques (MFR), Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), Trigger Point work, Cupping therapy, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Certified Manual Lymph Drainage, Yoga therapy, and more.

I believe that human touch is nurturing'; when applied professionally it is very therapeutic. When people are provided the space and time to relax they are more receptive to their body and its innate healing capacity. Working at Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine is the ongoing unfolding of my work-life integration. Mountain Spirit is a leader in what modern allopathic medicine will hopefully become someday: working together dynamically with high standards for both natural and modern biomedical therapies, offered mutually to support the patient.  It is very exciting and a true honor to work with fellow Practitioners that know the value of allopathic as well as natural medicine in a complementary setting; who offer Primary Care, Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Holistic Rehabilitation and Massage for healing and Wellness. An integrative team approach optimally supports patients’ health, considerably improving quality of life.

My role here is providing specialized holistic rehabilitation, because I integrate many modalities into my work for people with a wide variety of diagnoses and health goals. These include lymphedema from numerous causes, from surgical procedures to breast cancer rehabilitation. I have extensive experience successfully treating orthopedic injuries, including repetitive overuse trauma (carpel tunnel syndrome). My experience also includes work with people who have neurological disorders, such as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s), stroke recovery, or Parkinson’s disease. 

I also incorporate thermal heat, cryotherapy and ultrasound to assist with tissue healing; electrical stimulation, such as TENS/NMES, for pain and increased muscle contraction; kinesio taping for swelling, joint stability, lymphatic facilitation and pain relief; and customized therapeutic exercise and activities to further enhance the healing process. In therapy, pain, swelling, range of motion (ROM), manual muscle testing, strengthening, gross and fine motor coordination, fine motor precision, sensation as well as activity tolerance and endurance are assessed and improved through the therapeutic process.

Your first occupational therapy session begins with an in-depth evaluation which includes a past medical history intake and the current reason for referral.  A person’s long term goals are personalized and written and are taken into account when providing therapy. For example, a person may want to get back to a favored hobby, sport or meaningful activity and cannot because of their current injury or condition.  Next, a plan of care is organized along with amount of treatments to be scheduled.  Through the use of the many modalities mentioned above, customized therapeutic exercise program, ongoing patient education and adaptations and modifications to ones existing environment, most people achieve the desired outcome of full recovery and improved health, wellness and quality of life.

My specialties include upper extremity injury work and pain relief, shoulder rehabilitation, lymphedema therapy (AKA complete decongestive therapy or CDT), breast cancer rehabilitation, oncology massage, neurological rehabilitation which can include vision, vestibular and balance assessments.  I am currently studying and seeking a certification in Whole Women’s Health which includes pelvic floor disorders such as prolapsed uterus and bladder, incontinence, and hip pain through pelvic misalignment. I hope to offer women a comprehensive path to health and wellness and to compliment the natural therapeutic modalities at Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine, where women can receive inclusive holistic therapy at the same clinic, which truly supports their health, wholeness and well-being…Naturally!!

Becoming an OT was a seed of thought and germinated over a period of twenty five years. As life often goes, my journey had a few twists and turns. I went to massage school in 1998 and began my career in helping others to achieve better health. Becoming a massage therapist transformed me from the inside out. It is such an honor and a vital human need to offer healing touch to others.  I have worked at various spas and several clinics over the years and have continued to grow and develop my work as a practitioner. Working as a licensed massage therapist for many years laid the foundation for occupational therapy. As the call to become an occupational therapist over the years became stronger and stronger as I entered midlife, I realized that it was now or never.   Making the commitment to go back to university to study occupational therapy was truly the hardest and best decision I ever made. Acquiring a medical background deepened my understanding of anatomy, physiology and the many modalities that I could now offer to assist with a person’s healing. My scope of practice and healing repertoire expanded enormously, opening a world of possibility for me as a person and practitioner.   Occupational therapy   is a profession that takes into account the whole human being:  body, mind, spirit, emotions and environment, which all have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing, and their capacity to heal. It is one of the few professions in the western medical model that is holistic as well as integrative.

Personal Background

My journey to the Desert Southwest began in 1995 from the northeast. It was a dream of mine since I was a young woman.  The desert is so vastly different from the eastern woodlands and I was attracted to its spaciousness, climate, love and passion for the outdoors, architecture and Hispanic and Native American culture. I have never looked back and feel that this is my “soul” home. After a brief time spent in Arizona teaching elementary school, I moved to Taos, NM, where I went to massage school.

I have lived in New Mexico since 1998 and I am still swept away by its raw beauty, sweeping mountains and mesas, endless blue skies, and warm sun, but mostly the quality of people that live and work here.  New Mexico is a land of many contrasts, arts and cultural variety. It is a melting pot of the best of what makes human cultures so alive and fascinating.   New Mexico has a rich and long history of indigenous and local healing traditions which I am sure add to the openness and ongoing request for natural healing modalities and medicine, which is in abundance here. The land is sacred. People feel that sacredness in New Mexico.  Many folks come here to live a more simple authentic life that is closer to the land. People are very open to holistic health, natural foods, herbs, and other healing therapies, from local to a more global influence. It inspires and uplifts me to be a part of such a vibrant community.

                 Massage, Music, Movement, Mindfulness in Medicine  

Specialties:   

*Complete Decongestive Therapy

*Lymphedema and Post-Surgical Swelling

*Breast Cancer  Rehabilitation

*Comprehensive Post-Mastectomy Care

*Oncology Massage & Support

*Upper Extremity Rehabilitation

*Injury Rehabilitation and Pain Relief

*Low Vision Interventions

*Stroke Recovery and Parkinson’s Support

*Vestibular and Neurological Disorders

*Yoga

*MyoFascial Release and Nurturing Therapeutic Massage

*In development, and Coming Soon:

Women’s Holistic Health, Pelvic Floor Prolapse, Incontinence, Healthy Hips for Life

Licenses/Certifications/Trainings/Continuing Education

Master of Occupational Therapy, OTR/L #3484

Licensed Massage Therapist, LMT #3448

Certified Lymphedema Therapist

Certified Yoga Teacher

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

Shoulder Rehabilitation

Certified Compression Specialist

Neuromuscular Certification

Continuing Education: Cupping Therapy, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, Trigger Point Therapy, Low Vision Interventions, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Oncology Massage