Knitting for wellness
Wellbeing Coach Betsan Corkhill investigates the power of therapeutic knitting
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.
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.wyspinners.com.