Magic: Stroke Rehab

In 2013 Breathe collaborated with the Thackray Medical Museum and Stroke Association in Leeds to pilot a programme of magical therapy to help adults who have suffered a stroke. We have since developed this programme further and delivered a longer-term pilot in London in 2015.

The Breathe Magic for Stroke Rehab programme is based on our successful work with young people with hemiplegia, and takes the form of a weekly club where we work in groups to provide intensive therapy to adults who have experienced a stroke.

Participants reported how the programme helped improve their confidence and boost their feelings of social wellbeing, as well as have an impact on how they use their affected upper limbs.

Watch the video to hear what they have to say about the programme.


Just knowing there’s something I’m doing that’s going to help me, that’s a big relief to me. Initially it was a bit of a shock doing magic for your arm, but you can concentrate on the activity rather than on using your arm, which is quite nice. You use it almost without thinking. When I first came round the therapy was all about making cups of tea, a piece of toast. Doing that you felt a bit patronised… whereas doing magic you feel as if you’re developing yourself, as opposed to revisiting old ground. There’s no stigma attached to your disability when you’re with a group of people who’ve been through disability themselves.

Donal, 49 – Breathe Magic Stroke Rehab Programme participant

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