After a stroke, sometimes the most basic methods of interacting with others becomes next to impossible, but an up-and-coming form of therapy has struck a cord with one local hospital. Doctors and therapists at Edward Hospital in Naperville are treating their stroke patients with music therapy.
Bob Smith lost his ability to put together full sentences after he had a stroke in 2008, but his wife Judy has been with him every step of the way.
“It changed our lives dramatically,” said Judy. “His recovery has been since that time and its ongoing. He continues to make progress and make gains.”
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, a stroke occurs when blood supply to your brain is interrupted or severely reduced. One method of therapy Bob uses to improve his is speech through music. After hearing of a stroke victim chime choir in Peoria, Bob and Judy, along with the help of another couple, brought the idea to Naperville and created their own chime choir.
“It’s something he always looks forward to and is always ready to go do”, said Judy. “With all the other therapies and challenges he has it’s so nice to see that in our lives where he is right there ready to head out the door because it’s time for chime choir.”
And it does much more than create beautiful music. Hana Jones, Neurologic Music Therapist and director of the chime choir says music is a great form of therapy because it’s used throughout the brain.
“Speech in particular is only processed in a couple places on left side of the brain,” said Jones. “Music has the ability to touch those along with so many other places on the brain, so when someone may not be able to make a whole sentence they can sing an entire song.”
Jones hopes to grow the choir and says no experience is necessary. Stroke victims who are interested in the chime choir are encouraged to contact Edward Hospital to learn more and sign up for the class.
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