Else Vistisen has been an occupational therapist since 1984 and is the founder of Else Vitisen Therapy here in Singapore. After living in Asia for 31 years, she has recently published two books, “The Mother and the Therapist’ and ‘Pain Free.’ We spoke to her about what led her to pursue a career in therapy.

Healing Hands

NS: Why did you become interested in occupational therapy? What did this interest lead on to?
EV: To be honest, I did not seek out ‘occupational therapy’ (OT) when I was young and I wasn’t even aware what the profession entailed at that time. When I started studying OT in 1980, it was a very new subject. I had been bitten by the travel bug and was quite happy to continue travelling. However, my father more or less demanded that I started to study and hence I had no choice but to apply. Given that the OT education was new in Denmark, entrance requirements were very high and I figured that if I applied I might not get accepted and so would have an excuse to travel! However I always knew that I wanted to work helping people in need, inspiring them to get over issues and move on in life.

NS: What other studies or philosophies have influenced the way you approach the human body?
EV: In the mid-1980s, I worked with physically handicapped children in Hong Kong and part of that work involved home alterations to improve their independence. This is when I first became acquainted with Feng Shui. The concept impressed me and I then studied it in Thailand under the well-known master, Anne Leong. When I lived in Indonesia in the late 1980s, my daughter was diagnosed with what was said to be an incurable disease “that would cause her to suffer for her whole life.” I was determined that was not going to happen so I sought help from another healer who was able to cure her, which is when I learned to look beyond the norm.
A few years later, I tore a ligament and sought help from an acupuncturist and Chi Kung master. The combination of these two modalities fixed my problem. I was impressed and started to study and practice Chi Kung with Chi Kung master, Michael Cheung. Based on my experience of these therapies, I wondered whether I could create a total and permanent holistic pain-free solution for people with unresolved pain issues. In 2002, Tom Bowen therapy caught my interest, and I travelled to Australia for training. This is a dynamic form of bodywork in which gentle moves are performed over muscles and connective tissue. Then in 2005 I was introduced to the Emmett Technique (an effective body therapy to ease pain and discomfort involving the application of light pressure at particular points) and I felt this technique could complement my other techniques. I went to Australia and trained to be an Emmett instructor. Finally, I participated in the Lightning Process course in London in order to better understand how the mind can influence the body. So my therapy is based on all these studies and philosophies combined with my intuitive and personal touch.

NS: How does the treatment you offer differ from more traditional methods?
EV: It’s a gentle non-invasive combined therapy approach that doesn’t involve drugs or stress.

NS: Why is your treatment effective in dealing with certain types of pain?
EV: My core value is to never over promise. Clients often ask me whether I can fix their problems. My standard answer is that I might be able to help and believe that I can make a positive change. But usually, just one to three sessions provides a real and long lasting pain free solution. My treatment is effective against most types of pain, but I specialise in instant pain relief, helping people with acute and chronic pain issues. During the 10 years I have run my clinic, all my patients have been referrals, either from medical practitioners or from previous clients of mine so the results speak for themselves.

Healing Hands

NS: What mistakes do people generally make when dealing with pain relief?
EV: In my experience, there are seven main mistakes that people make.

1: Procrastination
Many people keep ignoring continued pain and hope it will disappear rather than make the effort to seek professional help and address the actual cause of the pain.

Negligence
Just like you take your car for regular service, it is important to go for regular realignment therapy to maintain good muscle balance.

Continuation of what doesn’t work
Why would anyone keep going to a professional health practitioner for a treatment without seeing any improvement?

Symptomatic treatment
Treating symptoms with medication, oils, ultrasound, etc. does not solve the actual problem.

No pain, no gain
Believing that a treatment has to be painful and invasive to be effective.

Lack of influence
Leaving your health in the hands of professionals only. No one knows your body as well as you do, and nobody cares about your health as much as you do.

Nothing seems to work
Thinking that there is nothing out there that will help solve your problem, meaning you will have to live with the pain.

NS: What made you want to start writing books?
EV: I think I have a unique and inspiring story to tell. The title of my first book is ‘The Mother and the Therapist,’ where I deal with how personal, social and mental challenges can often have a positive impact on life. The second book, ‘Pain Free,’ is based on true stories about transformation from chronic pain to instant relief.

NS: How does living and working in Singapore compare with the other countries you have lived in?
EV: Within my profession, I find Singapore the easiest place to do business because I am able to communicate with my clients and health practitioners in English. This gives me the opportunity to better understand and adapt to the individual physical, emotional and mental needs of the client. When further investigations or referrals are needed, it is a great benefit to both the clients and myself that the health industry in Singapore is so highly advanced, efficient and regulated. It only takes a short time to have the necessary results available so I can apply the optimal treatment, which is a ‘win win’ for all concerned.

For more information, visit elsevistisentherapy.com

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