Prescribing Recreation and Spirituality…

I have a note to myself on my daily checklist…it says, “Write Prescription“, but instead of a straight underline…it’s a squiggly one.  It didn’t do it today, so maybe tomorrow?  Seems like a small thing to do, but something is holding me back.

As a former Recreation Therapist….or Therapeutic Recreationist…or whatever you might like to call it, I always wondered if one day TR folks might either get in the business of writing prescriptions or at least get in the business of advising doctors on prescriptions.  I realize, yeah, they kind of already do that…but on an OFFICIAL doctor-y paper that commands authority and respect in our hierarchical health care system

Note:  I did some transcribing work on a study involving health care professional training and a large portion of what I wrote related to how validated the students felt by having the ‘doctor’ listen to them or allow them time to contribute….it was downright scary the power dynamics and politics in the health care system

I DO NOT currently remember the source (it may have been an edited version of the Handbook of Disability Studies by Routledge or something….curses! This is going to bother me) but I read once that in the medieval era when the doctrine of Medicine relied somewhat on the 4 humours that people were prescribed things like,

“Thou shalt spend several weeks resting in an airy courtyard”


“Thine medicine shall be to dance and be smothered by 16 young virgins in an air of reckless frivolity.”

While I can’t really suggest at all that we go back to the practice of medicine several hundred years ago where I’m sure many, many individuals died rather horrible deaths that are currently preventable through modern practices….the idea of prescribing preventative and somewhat more mischievous (or perhaps creative) solutions in health and wellness is intriguing to me.


I’m being lazy though and not doing it, I’ve gone through many, many assessments for Recreation Therapy practice and I’m pretty sure that I have myself pegged….I know what I need as a treatment model and it’s definitely a combination of both physical and spiritual activities.

Based on my personality type (True Colors/Myers-Briggs/Enneagram/Homeopathic Type), strengths assessment inventory, leisure attitudes/motivations, body type and functional ability level….no doubt there could be a solid treatment plan for preventing tobacco related relapses (it still bugs me every day…this whole quitting smoking business…you’d think it would have gone away by now).

What I believe very strongly, is that medical professionals should be prescribing recreation plans to the public, in long term care and also in rehabilitation facilities.  And that spirituality should be a part of that….yeah, it’s a minefield for sure….but this is just me stating my beliefs so thar she blows!  I started writing honestly about spirit/religious stuff the day before I wrote this.

So tomorrow I will do my best to suck it up and write my prescription and get to work!  How many illnesses would be prevented, how many less medications would be consumed, how much higher could quality of life be increased if prescriptions founded on a sense of play that included physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual domains of human experience?

Epic run on question/sentence.  I’m not really quite sure about doing a Ph. D. on the topic so I’ll have to just start with myself.  Okay, tomorrow, stop procrastinating tomorrow!!!!

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