WATCH: Music therapy helps Parkinson's patient walk
FANSHAWE, Okla. - A physical therapist working with a patient with Parkinson's disease was astonished at the results when she added music to the mix to help him walk and she caught the amazing before and after on video.
Anicea Gunlock of Oklahoma has been a physical therapy assistant for about five years. She began working with her patient, "Larry," in December, and had recently read a study about incorporating music into the therapy and decided to try it.
"I went home, did a little research and came across a study that used music to aid in facilitating a more natural gait pattern," Gunlock said.
With Parkinson's disease, the disorder of the nervous system is progressive and affects movement. Sometimes it begins with a tremor in the hand and then will worsen over time to affect other limbs, mobility, balance, coordination and speech. Though there is no cure, treatments and therapy can help treat symptoms.
The results of this therapy session, which were captured on video she posted to Facebook, show a remarkable difference in Larry's walking with music and without.
At first, video shows Larry walking through the house with difficulty using his walker. When Gunlock played the song on her phone with a good rhythm to walk to, Larry began to move smoothly, walking without a hitch.
"I don't know who was more shocked at the immediate results!" she posted.
Gunlock told FOX 13 that his wife followed them around the house crying and laughing and saying she couldn't believe it. "She said she had been praying for a miracle for her husband and truly felt like this was an answered prayer!" Gunlock said.
As the song played, Larry began to sing the words to the song, and even eventually pushed his walker to the side and walked for another 15 minutes without any help at all.
Gunlock said she posted the video on Facebook, which has been seen millions of times, to give others with Parkinson's hope that they might have the same results. "I have never seen results of this magnitude this quickly before and by the end of the session we were all in tears but they were definitely happy tears!" she wrote. WATCH THE FULL VIDEO BELOW: