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Physical, occupational, recreational, and dance therapy programs

Although the emphasis today is on preventive medicine, at the same time efforts are being
expanded in the development of therapeutic programs for the afflicted. Physical activity has been
found to have therapeutic values in many physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational
therapy, and dance therapy programs. Professionals are utilized to provide this type of therapy.

Physical therapists work with people who are at- tempting to accomplish such goals as rebuilding
their muscular strength, relearning to walk, or developing other skills. Physical therapists massage
body limbs, teach exercises, and use various types of equipment to strengthen muscles. A career
in physical therapy requires a 4 year college program and an internship. Physical therapy is
frequently recommended by physicians after surgery or after an accident. Physical therapy is a
well established fieid of endeavor.

Occupational therapy is involved with evaluation and treatment as part of the rehabilitation process
of patients with physical and psychosocial dysfunctions. Basic principles and techniques used by
the occupational therapist are designed to accomplish such tasks as increase or maintain muscle
strength and improve coordination or joint motion. Also, they are concemed with such things as
perceptual motor and sensory retraining, activities of daily living, management of wheelchairs,
and work simplification. They are also concerned with the psychological and sociological aspects
of physical disability. They work as a part of a team of rehabilitation specialists who attempt to
provide the essential skills needed in various employment situations. They frequently use physical
activity in the therapy that they provide.

Therapeutic recreation is concerned with problems of physically, emotionally, and socially

disabled persons and with elderly persons. The recreational therapist works in community and
institutional settings where these individuals are located and uses the role of play and other
recreational activities in achieving appropriate goals in physical, emotional, mental, and social
development. Job opportunities for recreational therapists exist in such places as nursinghomes,
child and daycare centers, homes for the aged, city recreational programs, YMCAS and YWCAS,
hospitals, clinics, and private agencies.

The use of dance has proved very helpful in alleviating physical, emotional, and social problems.
As a form of therapy it has received wide acceptance as a psychotherapeutic way for physical and
emotional expression. Through dance the patient has freedom of movement and is able to express
his or her feelings and gain a sense of identity. Dance therapy is one of the fast-growing, non-
teaching professions. It is used in such places as rehabilitation centers, psychiatric centers, geriatric
programs, hospitals, and programs for the mental retardation organizations. Dance therapy is used
with all segments of the population from very young to very old persons.

Service organization programs AMERICAN RED CROSS

The American Red Cross in its various program offering provides a setting for physical education
activities, especially along institutional lines. These activities are mainly concerned with some
phase of aquatics, water safety, first aid, and hospital recreation. Through this organization, many
qualified persons in physical education help to demonstrate proper techniques and procedures in
these activities to interested persons throughout the country and help to provide for the needs of
individuals who have been hospitalized.


Settlement and neighborhood houses are largely confined to cities. In many communities they are
also known as community centers or community houses. They are usually organized and
administered by a religious or social welfare group in the low-income or ethnic neighborhoods of
cities. Their aim is to establish a higher standard of living by improving the spiritual, mental, and
cultural welfare Of the people. They work with all people, regardless of age, sex, and national or
racial origin. They give special attention to children. They offer varied programs of activities,
which include arts and crafts, athletics, games, singing, dancing, photography, music, dramatics,
and discussion forums. Physical education activities play an important role in many of these
centers where they have gymnasiums, playgrounds, summer camps, swimming pools, and garne
rooms. Physical activity directors and staff occupy prominent positions in many of these social
enterprises. Physical activity offers participants the opportunity for self-expression and may help
them gain a better outlook on life in the midst of poverty and poor living conditions.


The Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Air Force have extensive physical
activity programs that aid in keeping service personnel in good mental and physical condition.
Furthermore, the United Service Organizations (USO), an appendage tothese various branches of
the armed forces, also utilize such programs of activity. U.S. service organization consist of
agencies such as the YMCA, YWCA, Travelers' Aid, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities
Organization, Jewish Welfare Board, and Camp
Shows, Inc.
The armed forces utilize thousands of acres of land, hundreds of gymnasiums, and other buildings,
hundreds of swimming pools, and thousands of qualified persons in physical education to organize
and administer physical training programs. These programs are designed to keep military forces
in good physical and mental condition at all times, to develop skills so that officers and recruits
will have the foundational equipment to spend leisure hours in a worth while manner, and to help
build morale through a broad sports program. The armed forces have long known that a strong
United States means a healthy and physically fit United States.

The Young Men's Hebrew Association (YMHA), Young Women's Hebrew Association (YWHA),
YMCA, YWCA, service organizations serve the people of various communities where they have
been established, both the young and adult population. Religious training was the main purpose
for forming many of these organizations. However, physical activities arc now an important part
of their programs. Classes in various physical activities; athletic leagues and contests for industries,
churches, young people 's groups, and boys' and girls' groups; and camping programs are a few of
the activities organized and administered by these voluntary agencies. The cost of financing such
organizations is usually met through membership dues, community fund raising drives, and
contributions of private individuals.
These organizations are designed to improve society physically, morally, mentally, and spiritually
through their programs of physical activity. An example of the extent to which these organizations
render services in this country and throughout the world can be seen in the YMCA. There are more
than 1,800 YMCAS in the United States and 120 in Canada, and the YMCA operates in more than
seventy countries. There are more than 7.5 million members in the YMCA and over 2 million
members in the YWCA. Approxi- mately 1,500 physical educators are employed by YMCAS in
the United States.
Usually these agencies have directors for the physical activities who have received specialized
training in their field. Many organizations have complete staffs of trained physical education
personnel who aid in the organization and administration of the programs. A typical physical
activity schedule of a YMCA is shown in Table 17-2.
There are many clubs and organizations for boys and girls that provide a setting for physical
education activities. Some organizations that fall in this group are the Boy Scouts, Boys' Brigades
of America, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, Big Brother and Big Sister Foundations, 4-H Clubs, Boys'
Clubs of America, Giris' Clubs of America, Roy Rangers of America, Hi-Y, Y-Teens, Red Shield
Clubs, Future Farmers of America, and Pioneer Youth of America. Some of these organizations
are international as well as national in scope. The extent of their membership is great. For example,
the Boys' Clubs of America have about 1,000 clubs, with over I million boys as members. Girls'
Clubs of America have more than 200,000 members. The Girl Scouts have about 536,000 adult
members and nearly 3 million girl members. In addition, girl scouting in the United States is
affiliated with the World Association of