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Therapy-turned-art aims to heal physically, mentally

Home / Therapy-turned-art aims to heal physically, mentally

Hannah Romie was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a vascular stroke when she was 12 years old.

“My right side of my body went numb. I couldn’t move my hand, and my legs got weak,” the 17-year-old from Upper Arlington said. “I had to go through speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy to get the movement back.”

But yesterday at the Columbus Arts Festival, a smile spread across her face as she moved her leg in a circular pattern and saw her movements appear on screen in colorful lines as she tested a new piece of interactive arts rehabilitation software called Embedded Art.

“It motivated me,” she said, adding that her physical therapy visits hadn’t been as stimulating. “I was really trying to get the dots in the middle so I could make cool colors and lines. Putting art in therapy makes it fun especially for me because I really like art.”

Romie was one of many visitors who tested out the Embedded Art software, an interactive computer program designed at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University that gives patients recovering from nervous system injuries feedback about their rehabilitation progress through art.

The inventor of the program, Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, explained how to use it to visitors to the medical center’s booth at the art festival. She has been testing it on patients and hopes to distribute to the public.

“It’s been a catalyst for really poignant conversation and how to take (this treatment) to the next level,” Worthen-Chaudhari said as those who tested the program shared stories about how it could have helped their loved ones with brain injuries.

Read More: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/06/07/therapy-turned-art-aims-to-heal-physically-mentally.html

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