Knitting for health

At the weekend I had the pleasure of joining a workshop run by Betsan Corkhill of Stitchlinks, a world leader in the research of ‘therapeutic knitting’. The idea behind it is to use knitting as an aid in managing ones own health, including medical conditions and pain.

  • Knitting can be used to help teach stressed people how to relax and even meditate
  • You can create something as a gift or for charity, doubling the feel-good factor!
  • It’s fun to do with friends, so you can build a social support network
  • Knitting without a pattern helps to develop problem solving skills
  • Completing a project leads to a feeling of success

By incorporating regular knitting times into our daily lives we can ‘sharpen the saw’ and help to build ourselves up so we can face challenges head-on. If we are a product of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, we should take care to make these as positive as possible.

We must be careful to see our knitting in a positive light – stay away from tight deadlines for optimum benefits, and make sure the colours, textures and materials you choose are right for you. It’s also great to have a range of projects on the go, for different moods, which I’ll talk about another time.

The key is balance – not too much sitting (make sure you stretch at least every half hour, Betsan suggests), not too much stress, exercise, laughter, and a good diet. This is a portrait of ‘whole-person’ health, centred on the individual.

Whilst knitting isn’t the miracle cure-all some dramatic articles have suggested, there’s a real possibility that it it’s a natural pick-me-up and a useful addition to medical advice and a healthy lifestyle.