Innovative brain injury therapy idea yields good results and inspiring stories

September 14, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

We have long understood that physical therapy is key to recovery from brain injury. Often this takes the form of guided and independent physiotherapy. Other traditional treatments include art therapy or music therapy. These both stimulate the brain and provide enjoyment and satisfaction for some patients.

In Australia, there is now a movement to choose dance therapy as a group activity and treatment for brain injury. The Australia Broadcast Corporation recently reported on an all-inclusive ballet program aimed at rehabilitation for people with brain injury.

Queensland Ballet has opened its doors and its programming to those with brain injury with a ten-week pilot session. Participants ranged in injury levels from cognitive impairment to those with paralysis and hemiplegia. The session is open to all ability levels and patient caregivers as well. The curriculum is adapted to suit each participant's ability. Participants don ballet shoes and tutus and learn first at the bar and progress to sequences, choreography and partner dancing.

The program was designed by Adjunct Research Fellow Belinda Adams at Griffith University in Queensland in response to the lack of rehabilitation options available to brain injury patients in the state. The curriculum was designed to improve social skills, memory and physical fitness and gross motor skills and coordination.

The component of the program focussing on choreography helps patients with social expression and is designed to assist them in rebuilding their identity after their brain injury. Many individuals with a serious brain injury report that they lose themselves and no longer recognize who they are. Certainly families and loved ones of those with brain injury report that many times the victim becomes a different person from their pre-injury state.

Dancing is one way to allow those with brain injury to help readjust to their new live post-injury. Experts at Queensland University determined that dance has all of the components required to improve outcomes after injury. Everything from listening to music and keeping a beat, social interactions with others, moving, thinking about and remembering dance sequences, and working in a group develop the skills required to successfully reintegrate into the world.

Participants report that the ten-week programme helped to improve their fitness, balance, memory and coordination. They also reported better emotional control. It appears that the combination of using all senses to move to beautiful music in a fun way is a motivating and successful therapy.

The classes also help caregivers better understand their loved one and the challenges they face. Participants came from as far as a two-hour drive each way to participate and recover.

The Queensland Ballet has received great compliments for undertaking this programming and the Ballet is hoping to continue to work with the University to extend the programme to outlying regions that are also underserviced.
To read about this program click here and to watch the documentary about dance therapy you can click here.

This story is truly inspiring.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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