In October 2015 I had the honour of co-facilitating a lecture on spirituality for occupational therapy (OT) students at the University of Toronto. This experience made me reflect on my practice as an OT.

I remembered I was drawn to OT because of its holistic approach – looking at the whole person and his or her environment (see image Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement)

However, while working within the medical system or conventional western medicine, I had lost this view. I was focusing primarily on the physical or cognitive issues my client presented with. I had completely lost sight of my client’s emotional, mental and spiritual health. Yet I realized now how interconnected emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health are.

There truly is a mind-body connection.

One thing that really struck me while at the University of Toronto was that within the centre of the model that the OT students were studying is SPIRIT.

Spirit is the core of human beings.

In fact the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy defines spirit as the “energy or life force that permeates all living things”.

It’s almost as if I have gone in a full circle. I started with a conventional/western medical view of occupational therapy, entered my own journey of emotional, mental and spiritual healing (via holistic and integrative modalities) and returned to see that occupational therapy at its core is about our spiritual wellness.  As an OT I finally see how we are whole beings and that includes our spiritual, emotional, cognitive and physical being

“It is the journey that matters, not the destination” Unknown.

I am curious to know – what you do for your mental and emotional health. How do you deal with mental/emotional issues?

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Written by Avdeep Bahra OT Reg. (Ont.)

Avdeep Bahra is an occupational therapist that uses various techniques based on mindfulness concepts to enhance her clients’ mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. She offers one on one appointments, mindfulness meditation classes and mindfulness workshops in the Greater Toronto Area. She has co-facilitated at the University of Toronto on spirituality, health and wellness. Furthermore, she has educated viewers on Rogers TV on the topic of holistic health.

Avdeep has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She offers client appointments in person or over Skype. Occupational Therapy services may be covered under your benefits.

Contact Avdeep to Get Started! avdeep.bahra@gmail.com or 416-709-0530

Sign up for a complimentary guided mindfulness exercise, upcoming education, and tips at www.avdeepbahra.com