HEALING OF MAGIC is a carefully designed, systematic approach to the therapeutic use of simple magic tricks in physical and psychosocial rehabilitation. It has been featured in Today in OT, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Today in PT, REHAB Today, HEALTH magazine, ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, and numerous other publications.
“The use of magic fosters an individual’s ability to assume a role to entertain and to have self-efficacy. The underlying concepts in magic target areas of motor, psychosocial, cognitive, and sensory processing [skills] that lend themselves well to intervention.”
Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners (published July 23, 2007)
The most important aspect of this therapy technique is the ability of the client to transfer the skills learned by performing magic tricks into activities of daily living. The learning and performing of magic tricks allows them a means of safely exploring their skill level while providing a fun way of reaching therapeutic goals.
As a treatment modality, it has been utilized in many areas:
Physical Diagnoses – For all physical diagnoses, it is effective in increasing the client’s ability to manipulate objects (dexterity, grasp, and release) as well as gross motor skills.
Brain Injury – Performing magic tricks provides cognitive and perceptual challenges for clients with acquired brain injury.
Spinal Injury – For the spinal cord injured client with limited hand function, it allows for mastery of their environment without requiring skillful hand movements.
Mental Health – In areas of mental health, magic has been utilized to augment process. It is effective in increasing frustration tolerance, task-follow through, concentration, group cooperation, impulse control, communication, and many other goals.
Education – For students who face additional challenges – learning disabilities, emotional behavior disorders, developmental and cognitive delays, and autism – learning magic may have a significant impact on neurodevelopmental function, i.e. attention, memory, language, temporal-sequential ordering, spatial ordering, neuromotor functions, social cognition, and higher order cognition.