Daily News

Healing with Magic

Magic is the performance of tricks. Magic shows today might include a disappearing act, card tricks, or pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But what could that have to do with health?

One American magician goes beyond just entertaining crowds.

Kevin Spencer has been a magician for more than 30 years.

But early in his career, a bad car accident changed the focus of his work.

His accident made him think about using magic tricks as a tool for healing.

Mr. Spencer says that magic therapy may seem non-traditional. But he adds many skills needed to perform a good magic trick are used in traditional forms of therapy – physical movement, thinking, understanding and social skills are all there.

And that social connection with other people can also help people feel better about themselves and increase their confidence.

Liam Shannon is an example. Liam has autism, a brain disorder that can make learning and connecting with people difficult. People with severe autism may also have trouble understanding complex emotions.

Liam says that after learning how to perform a magic trick he felt like an old magic man, a wizard, or as he puts “wizardy.” He also says he felt serious, happy and proud.

“It made me feel wizardy. Serious, happy, proud. It was great!”