Washington: A Northwestern hospital is offering a music and drama therapy program for patients with Parkinson’s disease to address many of the physical and emotional symptoms of the disease.
Creative Arts for Parkinson’s offered through Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders Center is lead by specially trained music and drama therapists from the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA).
The participants are asked to reach deep into their emotions and to push themselves physically to achieve the therapeutic benefits, which address both the symptoms of the disease and its psychological burden.
“Patient care is much more than just medical; it’s caring for the whole person,” said Tanya Simuni, a neurologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and director of the Parkinson ’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center.
“By providing music and drama therapy, we are hoping to help these patients find new means of fulfillment in their lives while also addressing some of the physical components of their illness,” she said.
Benefits from the new therapy include improvement of physical coordination and functional movement, postural awareness, as well as speech and voice enrichment.
“In the music portion, the patients are learning the concept of rhythm which helps them improve their gait and movement,” noted Diane Breslow, coordinator and social worker for the center.
“Reading scripts during the drama portion increases word recall and articulation, while the voice is exercised in both parts of the class,” she added.
Beyond the physical benefits of the therapy, Creative Arts also enhances mood and positive attitude.