We received an article in a mail out from our local hospital, Weatherford Regional Medical Center, that caught my attention. Even though it was short, it got me to thinking. It talked about a survey that showed knitting could have health benefits.
Since we all seem to worry more about our health as we mature, I thought that this would make a good article to share. The survey was not scientific, but just a poll of knitters. So don’t think that it is the absolute greatest thing to help relieve tension and get your life back to calm.
There are many other outside influences, but I personally can say that sitting and doing knitting or embroidery can be very stress-relieving for me. And it helps to keep my mind active and focus my attention.
Health Benefits Can Come From Any Hand Work
In an article in the New York Times on January 25.2016, Jane E. Brody talks a great deal of the health benefits seen from many types of hand work. In the article she quotes Dr. Herbert Benson saying that the repetitive action of knitting and other handiwork can be as good of a stress reliever as meditation or yoga.
Jane Brody points out that when you do hand work, you get usable and giftable items unlike meditation. And yet you still get almost the same results.
Some of the benefits are:
- Reduction of stress (once you learn the craft)
- Easier to cope with either physical or mental health problems
- Keeping the mind active
- Moving joints to help relieve stiffness and pain
And these are just some of the health benefits that you can derive from knitting, crocheting, tatting, embroidery or other needlework. So you can see that doing these crafts are good for you and not just a waste of time like others in the family might think.
Many times, knitting and crocheting are done in groups also. This gives a person the chance to talk and be with others that are like-minded. And they bond and become friends that help each other out.
My boss is part of a group that meets once a month at different people’s homes to knit and talk. There is luncheon served and they compare what they are working on and what they have completed since the last meeting.
Handiwork Is Being Used In Therapy Also
Different types of needlecraft are being used in therapy for many types of conditions. Just a few are:
- Recovering from illnesses like cancer
- Helping to reduce your weight
- Stopping smoking
- Rehabilitation of criminals
- Pain management for arthritis and other joint and muscle disorders
- Recover from a serious accident
And these are just a few of the many uses that doing needlecrafts can help. Truthfully, any of the handcrafts can help with the same results. The handcrafts would include, but not be limited to, knitting, crocheting, tatting, lace making, embroidery and cross-stitch. We are currently working on getting instructional videos, written instructions and patterns for many of the handcrafts.
On the Lion Brand Yarn’s blog, I found a series of articles written by Katherine Vercillio on the health benefits of working with yarn. These were written back in 2014, but still apply today. She also had an article on creating your own wellness plan. A lot of what she draws on for her subjects is personal experience. Katherine also wrote a book titled ‘Crocheting Saved My Life’.
These Crafts Aren’t Just For Older Women
There are many men that have found the fun and relaxation of working with yarn, thread or floss. My husband, the grumpy one, likes to do counted cross-stitch, tatting, knitting, crocheting and quilting. And he does a very acceptable job of it.
Some men think it is unmanly to work with thread, floss, yarn and fabric. But if you look back over time, most of the handwork in the fabric arts was done by men. Tailors made most of the clothes that both men and women wore. And the weavers and tapestry makers were almost all men.
And it seems that the younger generation from 24-35 are interested in learning the needlecrafts and yarncrafts. This newer blood is needed to keep alive these great methods that have worked for years to keep us warm and our homes decorated.
I hope that you can see that there is a health benefit in doing fabric and yarn arts. And it can apply to both sexes and all ages. A child is never too young to learn and a senior citizen is never too old either. As long as they can move and learn, better physical and mental health can be achieved.
If you know the joy of making anything by hand, share your knowledge with someone else. You will be happier for having done it.
Next Friday there will be another article, so come back to see what we have to say then.
Please leave us a comment below to let us know if this article was helpful. And let us know if there is any other subject on crafting that you would like us to write on.