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Wii Golf Benefits Physical Therapy

Wii Golf Benefits Physical Therapy

Nintendo Wii Golf is popularly known as a high-tech video game. Well, this is for common users. In the world of health care, Wii Golf is more than just a high-tech toy and has become a healing tool for physical, occupational and neurological rehabilitation.

“It really is helpful as an adjunct to what we do in physical therapy,” says Doctors Hospital’s Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation, Dean Beasley. “It allows the patient to put into practical application what they’ve done in therapy and, in some cases it helps them know if they could still play golf.”

Wii Golf helps patients recovering from stroke or some form of brain injuries to develop their balance and movements. Others use it in improving motor coordination or range of motion.

PT, short for Physical Therapy in health sciences, is sometimes connoted by patients as “Pain and Torture”. Wii Golf brings physical therapy with an element of pleasure which is something that helps reduce the burden of every patient.

Occupational therapist at Aroostook Medical Center, Michaela St. Onge says, “If it’s something like golf that they previously enjoyed, the patients are more motivated to do it. They like it because it’s a change of pace from the normal exercises we give them in therapy.”

Mike Pelletier suffered from stroke last June and struggled with balance and double vision. He played Wii Golf from his wheelchair during sessions of therapy. The game helped him to improve his balance and motivated him to keep himself active. “I made it my own challenge to try to beat my previous score. The game is fun, but it’s also constructive,” he said.

Recuperating patients no longer consider the therapy an exercise but the repetitive movement and constant practice brings them the positive effect of doing the same. St. Onge added, “We have seen it actually speed up their recovery time when patients elected to come to the rehab center in their free time to play Wii Golf. Every little bit helps with recovery.”

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