Richard Sabel is the Education Director of East West Rehab and a Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate’s Occupational Therapy Program. For many years he successfully integrated occupational therapy and somatic practices of the East and West into a distinctive approach to help clients reengage in meaningful occupations.
This integrated practice evolved from his personal experience. After 20 years of back pain, Richard discovered the benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness, breath work and the Feldenkrais Method. These practices, along with his therapist training, were instrumental in his ability to resume activities abandoned years before. Richard included these ideas in his occupational therapy practice and the response was overwhelmingly positive – clients reported less pain and started to make impressive functional gains. Richard’s personal experience and the response of his clients have fostered the continued exploration and growth of an integrated therapeutic practice.
Richard teaches this approach at several occupational and physical therapy programs and divides his clinical time between private and community practice. Richard received a 3-year grant from the Balm foundation to offer his Easy Does It fall prevention/wellness program at two senior centers in New York City. Easy Does It has also been adapted for people with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia. Richard was a guest on local cable television and Doctor Radio to discuss his unique integrative approach. He regularly presents at professional conferences and community centers and has published a variety of articles on this topic in the physical and occupational therapy literature.