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  • Michael P. Sy

Teaching Graduate Students in Gunma University

Thank you Gunma University for giving me this opportunity to teach about “Occupational therapy in Asia: Its roots, status, and future challenges” to your master’s students in rehabilitation sciences (OT and PT). Aside from re-establishing our Asian roots in occupational education, practice, and research, we were also able to argue how spirituality is a large part of human health — an element always neglected in health care.

In our case study and outputs, I am very delighted to know about your ideas on:

• Space health and rehabilitation for astronauts;

• Preventive care for Japanese convenient store and construction workers;

• Visiting rehabilitation in the context of the nomadic lifestyle of Mongolians;

• Use of nature, history, and spirituality to facilitate social interaction between Japanese youth and elderly and between urban and rural dwellers.

During the lecture, we also took a moment to think about suicide and occupational therapy using the case of the very untimely death of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. We related this phenomenon to the increasing number of suicide cases in Japan especially among the elderly which led us to reconsider the possibility of tapping spirituality in healthcare and rehabilitation. Spiritual modalities that can be used by OTs are (McColl, 2011):

• Use of arts, music, creativity

• Use of narratives, stories, poems

• Appreciation of nature

• Rituals (performance patterns)

The goal for tapping a person’s spirituality is to establish life’s meaning to a person by activating all elements of health - affective, physical, cognitive, and spiritual well-being - through meaningful occupations.

My heart is filled with joy for I was able to do the things that I love the most — teaching! Until next time, arigatou gozaimasu! 💜 #TatakMHPEd #FeelNaFeelKoMagInstructionalDesign #MastersOTPT #SuicideDiscourse #OTLeadership

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