Knit­ting for well­ness

Well­be­ing Coach Bet­san Corkhill in­ves­ti­gates the power of ther­a­peu­tic knit­ting

Simply Knitting - - In This Issue -

Well­be­ing coach Bet­san Corkhill in­ves­ti­gates ther­a­peu­tic knit­ting

Writ­ing this col­umn is tak­ing me full cir­cle, back to where it all be­gan… I first stum­bled across the ben­e­fits of knit­ting in 2005 when I found my­self work­ing as a free­lance Pro­duc­tion Edi­tor along­side the Sim­ply Knit­ting team.

A sense of calm

The mag­a­zine re­ceived a large vol­ume of let­ters ev­ery day. Most spoke about the ben­e­fits of knit­ting and how it en­riched their lives.What was so strik­ing was the large num­bers of knit­ters from di er­ent back­grounds and cul­tures across the globe say­ing sim­i­lar things. Sto­ries told of how knit­ting helped to achieve a sense of calm, how the rhythm of the move­ments en­abled knit­ters to find an in­ner peace. As a for­mer phys­io­ther­a­pist I was in­trigued.What was knit­ting do­ing to their body chem­istry, their bi­ol­ogy, to make them feel this way?

Knit­ting as ther­apy

I wanted to know if knit­ting could be used as a tool to en­hance well­be­ing in those who are fit and healthy, and also for those liv­ing with health prob­lems. So is ther­a­peu­tic knit­ting di er­ent from knit­ting? Yes. I would de­scribe it as a com­bi­na­tion of knit­ting plus knowl­edge to de­lib­er­ately im­prove well­be­ing.This knowl­edge in­cludes know­ing how to en­hance the ben­e­fits through care­ful choice of ma­te­ri­als and pro­ject type as well as how to use these ben­e­fits in spe­cific sit­u­a­tions such as re­duc­ing day-to-day stress. For those with health prob­lems it also in­volves know­ing about your con­di­tion to en­able you to use knit­ting to man­age symp­toms and im­prove well­be­ing.

Portable power

Knit­ting’s porta­bil­ity makes it an ideal health­care tool be­cause it gives you a way of in­flu­enc­ing your well­be­ing and manag­ing symp­toms any­where. Manag­ing a health is­sue is about a lot more than ad­dress­ing the symp­toms alone.Whether you are fit and well or un­well, all those other things go­ing on in your life sig­nif­i­cantly in­flu­ence how you man­age life’s chal­lenges as well as how you deal with ill health and re­cover. Ther­a­peu­tic knit­ting can help you deal with those other is­sues that a ect your well­be­ing and health in­clud­ing stress, be­reave­ment, sleep, low mood, de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety and lone­li­ness as ex­am­ples.You can even knit to quit smok­ing or con­trol binge eat­ing.

Over the com­ing months…

…I will be tak­ing you through how you can use your knit­ting to en­hance your well­be­ing, deal­ing with a range of spe­cific chal­lenges. Ther­a­peu­tic knit­ting can make it a more plea­sur­able ride and en­rich your life, and I’m look­ing for­ward to shar­ing this with you.

Turn over for the third sim­ple pat­tern in our se­ries, in yarn by WestYork­shire Spin­ners, www.wyspin­

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