Your Healthy Family: Wii basketball therapy - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Wii basketball therapy

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With the Final Four of College Basketball happening this weekend, local recreational therapists decided to give their patients therapy, an NCAA twist, with a Wii basketball tournament.  While the competition was not as intense as it was on the national stage, these patients came to win.

Andrew Schmidt is one of the patients who took part in the tournament.  “It was about a week ago, I had a stroke I woke up that morning and knew something was wrong, my face was literally twisted.  This has been fun shooting the baskets, you don't have to be a sports nut to have fun with it.”

Colleen Roy is a Recreational Therapist who know’s the benefits of therapy with a fun twist.  “We like to involve the patients in activities that are going on in the community and the NCAA basketball tournament is such a huge thing we decided to have a big tournament for the patients and they therapists, and the staff to get involved in.  It really helps with hand eye coordination the remote tells them how they are doing so it's really good visual feedback for them”

Andrew says the therapy gave him a new perspective.  “The Wii does help you forget about all the problems that you have.  They came up with the right kind of game for the people who need rehab.  Colleen says that this kind of therapy appeals to just about everyone.  “Everybody loves the competition everyone loves to play the video games, from a 90 year old to to our 28 year olds.”

When you think about what Andrew went through, to be in this particular “therapy tournament” it’s something he would rather not be doing but he can see it’s benefits immediately.  “You can watch your progress all the way through.  I don't want to say it's been a pleasure to be here, because nobody wishes for this to happen to them, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.”

Recreational therapy has several direct health benefits, like building physical strength, improving coordination, balance, and endurance.  It also improves their emotional health by getting them connected with their community and fellow patients in a fun and engaging way.

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