In world where so much of our work is intangible, with work and society sometimes being isolating, and with work taking place on computers and in the digital world; making things with our hands and fingers gives us a feeling of control and mastery. It’s a way of creating tangible order and beauty – a real sensory touchpoint – and bringing back a sense of free and relaxed play into our busy adult lives. So much so, that knitting is fast being promoted as therapeutic practice by many experts.
And here at Wool Couture, we find that all our crafts create the same therapeutic experience – with knitting, crocheting, weaving, and macramé. Although you’ll find most studies refer to knitting as being therapeutic, the same can apply to all of our crafts we do here.
What is it about knitting that is so therapeutic?
Experts refer to the Relaxation Response: The rhythmic repetitive movements seem to put us in the present moment, quietening our minds that are so often full of busyness and distractions, and research shows that these repetitive movements have a powerful calming effect – both from our hands moving as well as the motion of moving our eyes from side to side.
Knitting involves a complex, bilateral and co-ordinated pattern of movements and it uses up a lot of brain capacity, which means the brain has less capacity to pay attention to other issues, so it’s a good distracting technique for people with chronic pain. And the repetitive movement involved in knitting enhances the release of serotonin, which can help people to feel calmer and happier. The rhythmic nature of the movements is calming and leads to a meditative-like state.
Wool Couture owner, Claire, says that ‘knitting takes me to a quiet, still place where all I am focused on are the pattern and stitches. I feel the texture of the yearn, I see the bright colours, I hear the repetitive clicking of needles, I sense my desired pattern and outcome. I smell the different smells of pure natural sheep’s wool. Time stands still. Worries disappear. And the overwhelming sense of achievement when I finish an item is second to none.”
In her work, a well-known psychotherapist saw that a whole-person approach to health care was often lacking in medical practice and that the process of true healing emanates from deep within the mind and soul and can take place even if a ‘cure’ isn’t possible.
Therapeutic knitting can be a tool for improving health and wellbeing. It can help people suffering from stress, depression and other mental health problems.
Knitting also connects us
Besides the many physical health benefits, such as being a pain and stress reliever, knitting also connects you to a social circle and community of fellow knitters, and this is especially important in those who feel isolated, depressed, and lonely.
“Knitters produce objects that people enjoy. And knitters will tell you that just stroking their yarn cheers them up,” says a knitting devotee.
Knitting and crocheting is the one daily therapy and relaxation tool you can take anywhere with you – you get peace of mind…and a fabulous scarf!
Knit yarns of wellness into your life!