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Scand J Occup Ther. 2014;21 Suppl 1:34-47. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2014.952901.

A meditation on the use of hands. Previously published in Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 1995; 2: 153-166.

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  • 1From the Depariment of' Occupational Therapy. College of Associated Health Professions, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Karolinska Institute , Stockholm.


The theme of mind-body unity is fundamental to occupational therapy. Nonetheless, the field continues to embrace a dualism of mind and body. This dualism persists because the field views the body only as an object, ignoring how the body is lived. Drawing upon phenomenological discussions of bodily experience, this paper illustrates how the lived body is a locus of intelligence, intentionality, adaptiveness, and experience. It also considers the bodily ground of motivation and thought and discusses how the body constitutes and incorporates its world. Finally, the paper considers implications of the lived body for therapy.

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