Assignment: Cardiovascular System.
We are not a medical model profession but we do have a medical base. The scientific inquiry in med- icine as a science has had a major impact on our profession. Rather than take an active role in the scientific inquiry, we have relied on the work of others to provide direction to our principles. Thus by not directly address- ing the concepts of activity and its impact on the nervous systems, behavior, or the cardiovascular system, we have not based our principles on the scientific movement. We must do more than speak about our theories. We must develop a rage for knowledge and document our prin-
ciples as a scientific discipline. In 1969, the President of AOTA (Ruth Brunyate Wiemer) challenged the profession to address questions that
would document the relationship between • Deprivation or affluence of play and teenage aggression • Deprivation of work or enforced retirement and the onset of illness after age 65 • The lack of work and recreation and the apathy of the slow learner • The inescapable uselessness of the terminally ill and longevity (7). Do we wish to continue to talk about the effect of activity or do we wish to do something about it? Now 11 years later, if we want to make a mark in both the humanistic and scientific movements, we must address questions like these and support the people who ask them. As a profession we are not to date unlike the Bakhtiari Tribe of Persia. This is a nomadic tribe of goat herders
who daily move their entire tribe to new grazing land. They have taught us that a group cannot refine a culture on the move. The Bakhtiari life has changed very little since 10,000 B.C. They have only the simple technology that can be carried on daily journeys. The simplicity is not romantic, it is a matter of survival (8). In applying this analogy to Occupational Therapy, I have to ask the question, when are we going to stop following the grazing trail and develop the technology to plant our own fields? As a profession we have seen our nearly singular roles in vocational rehabilitation, basic living skills, and use of
activity come and go. Other professions have implemented what initially were our roles, but we have survived! This means that the health care system is looking to us for a special emphasis on health care delivery. We must internal- ize this positive concept of us. I think we can develop a fertile strain that will allow our fields to be very fruitful. We have something very unique to harvest. We must master our own product, understand it, and use that understand- ing to mold the living environment.
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