“Can I use MusicGlove if I have no hand movement?”
We hear this question a lot, and we’re obligated to answer with, “Unfortunately MusicGlove requires that you can touch your thumb to at least one of your finger tips and release this grip by a quarter of an inch or more.”
It’s a stiff, clinical response, but it’s the truth about 80% of the time.
Recently we had one woman challenge this notion – and it made us soooo happy!
Margaret, a post rehabilitation exercise specialist, purchased a MusicGlove for her husband, a stroke survivor who had absolutely no movement in his affected hand. He could not lift a single finger.
He was in stage 1 of the Brunnstrom stages of recovery: Flaccidity.
Flaccidity’s Common Misconception
Some stroke survivors are told that there’s no hope for flaccidity, and limiting statements like this should be taken with a grain of salt.
Case in point: Margaret’s husband’s therapist said that he wouldn’t regain any hand movement, and that he would eventually lose all movement and die… What?!?!
We can’t even believe words like that are spoken in the clinic! Obviously this isn’t the norm, but it was still shocking to hear.
Needless to say, Margaret dismissed what the therapist said and started researching her options.
Because the truth is that if you have no movement in your affected hand, it’s still possible to regain movement. You can do whatever you put your mind to, as long as you put in the time and hard work.
And it helps to have a little ingenuity.
A Different Way to Use MusicGlove
Margaret refused to accept that her husband couldn’t regain hand movement, so she took matters into her own hands.
She purchased MusicGlove and used it in combination with mirror therapy – with a twist. A huge twist.
Typically, mirror therapy involves using a tabletop mirror to reflect your ‘good’ hand in place of your affected hand. (See this image.)
When performing hand therapy exercises in this manner, it ‘tricks’ your brain into thinking that you’re actually moving your affected hand and helps rewire your brain.
It’s a highly effective method for regaining hand function after stroke. So Margaret used this principle, but ditched the mirror.
She placed the MusicGlove on her husband’s ‘good hand’ and had him use it that way. While he was doing this, she would assist his affected hand to mirror his movements.
She wouldn’t move his hand to the game; she moved his hand to exactly match what his other hand was doing. So if he missed a note, she missed a note.
This bilateral synchronicity helped rewire her husband’s brain, and he went from being completely flaccid to having twitches!
Gratitude for the Little Things
While twitches might not seem like a big deal to you, they were a big deal to this couple – especially when his therapist said it wasn’t possible.
Can you imagine the satisfaction and happiness they felt?
And twitches are just the beginning.
If he continues to use the device passively, then he can continue to improve until he can use the device independently. Then in due time and effort, he might progress into stage 7 of stroke recovery: full muscle control.
It’s a big, hairy goal – one that only a confident post-rehab specialist would think of – but it’s possible.
“The body achieves what the mind believes.”
Power in Believing
If this couple took their therapists’ word as law, they wouldn’t have experienced this progress. They wouldn’t have witnessed his potential.
Whatever you believe becomes your reality. Make the choice to believe in a higher recovery.
Learn to question your therapists and get curious about your potential.
Movement or Not, Is MusicGlove for You?
If you have no hand movement, then you can use MusicGlove – it just requires time, patience, and assistance.
You can use the device passively by using your unaffected hand to move your affected hand, which still helps your brain rewire itself. You can do this until you regain enough hand function to use the device actively without assistance.
There’s no guarantee about what will happen because every recovery is different.
The choice is yours to make.
But no matter what you choose, always believe in a higher recovery.
Challenge the status quo, and believe in progress even when no one else does.