Everyone knows that volunteering is good for your health, but did you know that knitting or crocheting is also great for you, and can even provide healing? Anyone who knits and crochets for charity has twice the benefit for healing themselves, as well as others.
According to LionBrand, "Yarn heals. Whether you prefer needles or hooks or a combination of both, crafting can soothe your body and mend your mind. Anecdotal evidence has shown this for decades and new research confirms it with science." Here are some health benefits to keeping your hands active:
Helps to Relieve Depression
The methodical repetition movement has been shown to release serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. CNN recently reported that “in one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”
Reduces Anxiety and Helps to Calm
Knitting and Crocheting keeps your mind focused on a simple project. The repetitive hand motion helps calm the mind, slows the breathing and reduces anxiety. The counting has even been shown to serve as a productive outlet for people with anxiety associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as eating disorders
May Reduce Dementia
Several studies have shown that knitting and crochet can postpone age-related memory loss. The crafts can also be soothing for those people who are already experiencing signs of dementia. Recently, researcher Yonas Geda, MD, a neuropsychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic, completed a that showed knitting is neuroprotective and may reduce dementia by as much as 50%.
Ever been so tired you just can’t sleep? Your brain is going a mile a minute and can’t shut off. The soft, soothing, easy, repetitive of crocheting and knitting can help your mind wind down just enough to get to sleep. Stitchlinks, a UK organization that does research into the benefits of knitting, reports that a study by professor Herbert Benson of the Mind/Body Medical Institute found that 100% of insomnia patients reported improved sleep with 90% being able to eliminate medication in a program that included knitting.
Crafting and creating projects actually helps build self-esteem. It builds new skills whether it’s making a simple scarf, a beautiful blanket, fun stuffed toys or elaborate clothing. It allows self-expression through colour and texture. It provides a way to give to others and keeps you busy and productive.
Builds Community Involvement
Knitters and Crocheters are able to join other crafting groups to share and learn the skill within their community. They can attend local events and fairs. Donate items to Seniors homes, Cancer patients, Newborns in hospitals and so much more.
What’s the number one way that knitting or crochet heals you?