Breathe Magic

Where medical meets magical

The Breathe Magic programme is a fun and clinically effective way of using magic to improve physical and mental health for people with a range of conditions. Magic Circle magicians, senior occupational therapists and research academics have come together to create an approach that delivers meaningful results.

See the magic in action below.

BREATHE MAGIC FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH HEMIPLEGIA: INTENSIVE THERAPY FOUNDATION

This programme offers 60 hours of 1-to-1 intensive therapy over a 10-day camp, followed by a total of 18 hours of monthly therapy over the following 6 months. Every magic trick we teach includes an occupational therapy exercise, and the buzz of becoming a magician gives young people a great incentive to repeatedly practice these important movements. Motor skills improve and confidence blossoms.

Depending on initial abilities, between 75% and 92% of children have clinically significant improvements in hand function after the Breathe Magic camp.*

BREATHE MAGIC FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH HEMIPLEGIA: THE NEXT STAGE

This follow-up to the foundation programme helps young magicians further improve their two-handed skills, independence, confidence and self-esteem. Over 6 days they learn advanced magic skills and creative activities such as origami, hat-juggling and culinary design.

Young people aged 15+ who complete our Breathe Magic Foundation programme can also apply to become a mentor and enjoy specialist training and work experience with Breathe.

When I first came to the magic camp I was really scared and couldn’t do things with my helper hand. But now at The Next Stage I can do all the things that people without hemiplegia can do.

Oliver, 9

BREATHE MAGIC FOR STROKE REHAB

This weekly club teaches therapeutic exercises – in the form of magic tricks – that develop hand and arm skills for adult stroke survivors. Improving the use of their affected hand allows participants to become more independent, and having a go at magic performance techniques can help rebuild confidence and self-esteem.

Doing therapy was all about making cups of tea, making toast.... Whereas with magic you feel you’re developing yourself.

Donal, 43

If you’re interested in working with Breathe to set up a Breathe Magic Stroke Rehab group, please get in touch.

BREATHE MAGIC FOR MENTAL HEALTH

This version of our programme uses magic and the art of performing to boost confidence, self-esteem and emotional wellbeing for young people living with mental health issues. Based on our successful pilot at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, it has won hugely positive feedback from both staff and participants who report improved communication skills and self-confidence.

0%

72% of the young people reported an improvement in 1 of the following 3 areas after Breathe Magic sessions: mood, self-confidence and feelings about themselves.**

THE FACTS

We’ve been running our Breathe Magic programmes since 2010 and seeing some impressive results. Visit our Knowledge Base to discover who they help.

*Green, D., Schertz, M., Gordon, A. M., Moore, A., Schejter Margalit, T., Farquharson, Y., … Fattal-Valevski, A. (2013). A multi-site study of functional outcomes following a themed approach to hand–arm bimanual intensive therapy for children with hemiplegia. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55(6), 527–533.

**Questionnaire feedback from participants, Mildred Creak Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital