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New Therapy Helps Local Woman Walk Again Submitted: 03/15/2012
Woodruff - You may be familiar with figures like Michael J. Fox or Muhammad Ali, who suffer from Parkinson's Disease.

The disease impacts movement and speech capabilities, and afflicts about one in 600 Americans.

We uncovered a new medical therapy which is helping Northwoods residents with Parkinson's.

Jacqueline Murray is one of those in the north with Parkinson's.

However, thanks to a new therapy technique at Woodruff's Howard Young Medical Center, she's walking once again. Just a month ago, Murray needed a wheelchair to get around the house.

But now, thanks to a new therapy technique called LSVT Big, she's making big steps, literally and figuratively.

"She has changed from going from being wheelchair-bound to walking," says Lori Kessenich, Jacqueline's physical therapist at Howard Young. "That's a significant change."

Kessenich works with Jacqueline four times a week at Howard Young.

Kessenich is one of just a few physical therapists in the state licensed to practice LSVT Big. The program is designed specifically for Parkinson's patients, and emphasizes big, exaggerated movements to improve motor skills.

"The idea of the program with thinking big...at times I would just tell her, 'think big', and then she'll start walking," says Bob Murray, Jacqueline's husband.

Jacqueline's husband says that she had been using a wheelchair around the house and for going out.

"But, the last couple of weekends, the wheelchair has remained in the car. So does that mean there's been success? Yes, it does," says Bob Murray.

Outside of Woodruff, the closest clinic offering the therapy is in Milwaukee.

Kessenich says the program has been proven effective by several scientific studies.

"We're looking at an evidence-based program that's really based on treating amplitude using big movements."

And for Bob Murray, he's thankful for the hope the therapy has given his wife.

"It is effective. It is helpful. It does help the patient literally learn how to overcome the deficiency of the mind-body connect," he says.

Helping Jacqueline connect - one step at a time.

To learn more about the LSVT Big program and the other rehabilitation programs at Howard Young Medical Center, call (715) 356-8870.

For more about LSVT Big itself, see the link below.

LSVT Big
Written By: Ben Meyer

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