Thursday, 27 June 2013

Crochet & Knitting Offer Long-term Health Benefits


New studies show that knitting, crochet and other repetitive needlework provide a number of invaluable health benefits. Since 2005, ex-senior physiotherapist Betsan Corkhill collected anectodal evidence and launched a collaborative study with scientists at many different universities on the role of knitting in health. They found that such rhythmic repetitive acts help prevent and manage stress, pain and depression, which in turn strengthens the body’s immune system.

Stress exacerbates most medical conditions and is known to be a contributing factor in heart disease, depression and other chronic illness. In our increasingly stressful lives, doctors are advising people to manage stress as part of overall health. Knitting, crochet and other needlework have been found to be an effective way for people to manage stress and depression, and have been especially useful for those in long-term pain management. Pain specialist Monica Baird explains that the action of knitting actually changes brain chemistry, decreasing stress hormones and increasing feel-good serotonin and dopamine.

Many argue that the repetitive movements of knitting activate the same areas in the brain as meditation and yoga, which have been shown to help prevent pain and depression. Dr. Herbert Bendon, Director of the Institute for Mind, Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School notes that knitting is one method to create a “relaxation response” in the body, which can lower blood pressure, heart rate and help prevent illness. Knitting and crochet have a calming effect overall which can help manage anxiety and may even help conditions such an asthma or panic attacks. Additionally, the repetitive movements have been shown to help manage disruptive behavior and ADHD in children.
Thrift Crochet Volume 1 Crochet Pattern PDF Collection

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