Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation - Breathe

Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation

Our engaging and empowering approach to upper limb rehabilitation through the art of magic

Breathe Magic is an innovative, fun and effective way of using magic to improve physical and mental health across a range of ages and abilities.

Our Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation programme has been co-designed by renowned Magic Circle Magicians, Highly Specialist Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and academics in the field of motor learning and neurology. The programme teaches specially designed magic tricks that provoke specific two-handed actions, performance and problem-solving skills within a bimanual therapy programme to develop upper limb hand and arm skills for adult stroke survivors, leading to increased independence. Through learning the art of magic, the performance techniques also improve communication skills and enhance emotional wellbeing.

What are the aims of the programme?

  • Increase confidence and self-esteem.
  • Empower through learning a new skill.
  • Enhance independence through improved use of the affected hand.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Create a strong peer support network among participants.
  • Provide an uplifting and enjoyable activity that individuals can practice independently
  • Address issues of identity by empowering the individuals with a new creative skill, shifting their focus of how they perceive themselves from a stroke survivor to a creative and talented individual.
Patients loved having something different to do. It wasn’t focused on what they can’t do, magic was a new skill which they could take back home to the family which gave them a sense of empowerment.
Physiotherapist, University Hospital Llandough


of patients showed a significant improvement in mental wellbeing (an increase of 3 or more points on the WEMWBS score).

Bridging the gaps through Magic

Did you know that a stroke strikes every 5 minutes, with approximately 100,000 people having strokes each year?

There are over 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, and this number is increasing. By providing therapy for adult stroke survivors through the art of Magic, we are aiming to bridge the gaps that tend to exist in current service provision.

  1. There are currently not many age-appropriate services for young adult stroke survivors. Magic is a great tool to engage individuals of all ages and is a new skill that everyone can learn on an equal level playing field, including clinicians.
  2. Learning magic is an activity that does not focus on an individual’s past or their stroke stories, but instead gives a new focus and topic to communicate with peers and family about.
  3. Many current interventions can be repetitive and mundane, as well as being reliant on the individual having a large amount of self-discipline, which is difficult if the task is not motivating.

Frequently asked questions

Adults who have had a stroke, who:

  • are over 18 years of age; 
  • have had a stroke affecting the upper limb;  
  • 3 months to 10 years post-stroke; 
  • have the ability to place and hold objects momentarily in the affected hand and a minimum of 45 degree active elbow movement;  
  • have the capacity to remember a 3-4 step sequence of actions (on clinical exam).

To find out more information or if you are interested in partnering with us to deliver a project for adults who have had a stroke (in or out-patient settings), please contact us via email at

Recent evaluation and feedback from patient participants showed that:

  • 100% of participants felt that the Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation helped with their upper limb bimanual progression during their treatment as an in-patient.
  • 100% of patients would recommend the Breathe Magic sessions to others who have had a stroke, brain, or spinal injury.
  • 85% of participants would be interested in attending similar sessions in the future if these were available as an out-patient. 

What is the evidence-base?

Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation offers a multi-disciplinary approach to rehabilitation for people after stroke, aiming to support the NHS in providing therapy hours contributing to the recommended dosage of at least 3 hours a day, on at least 5 days of the week [NICE Guidelines, 2023].

Breathe Magic for Rehabilitation was developed as a result of our award-winning Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy programme, and our research behind it.  Breathe Magic has been selected as a case study of good evidence and practice in the World Health Organisation’s report on the evidence on arts in health and wellbeing.

Previous Project Partners

Sign up

Join our monthly newsletter and be the first to know about Breathe news and updates

Sign Up