May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and St. David’s HealthCare is proud to offer two new services to help stroke patients recover. We recently established a Neurological Music Therapy (NMT) program at St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital, which uses research-based clinical techniques that affect brain functioning through music and rhythm.
NMT focuses on specific, non-musical goals that are functional and relevant to a patient’s life, producing changes in the brain that extend beyond the music session. Those include activities such as gait training, upper and lower extremity exercises, and initiation of speech. The program uses various musical instruments, including triangle, guitar, piano, tambourine and recorded music, among others.
We’ve also implemented a Rehab Chair Yoga program that is unique to St. David’s HealthCare. While seated, stroke patients participate in exercises adapted specifically to them, focusing on deep breathing techniques, core strengthening and balance work. The program uses the gentlest form of yoga and soft, calming music to guide the session.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and life-altering disability in the U.S. Every year, more than 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with blockages, or plaques, in their carotid artery. If left untreated, these blockages can fragment, flow to the brain and lead to a potentially disabling stroke, also known as a “brain attack.”