The Health Benefits of Knitting and Crochet Pt. 2
Yarncrafting through the Darkness
by Kathryn Vercillo
This is the second part of a two part blog on the health benefits of needle arts
Grief is a unique situation that isn’t quite a mental health condition but has some of the same features. It is something that unfortunately we all have to experience at one time or another in our lives. Even though we know that, when we go through it we often feel very alone. Knitting and crochet have been found to offer an amazing array of benefits for people as they process their grief. Author Ann Hood begins her memoir of losing a child titled Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, with the line, “Knitting saved my life.”
Knitting and Crochet for Chronic Pain
People living with physical disorders also experience many benefits from knitting and crochet. Much of this comes from the mental health aspect of chronic physical illness. For example, the same features that boost self-esteem and help people in depression feel productive through crafting will benefit those people with limited functionality at home. Knit for Peace conducted a comprehensive study that found knitting to engage the mind, body and emotions in a way that distracts from pain, while also benefiting the physical body through relaxation.
Many people living with chronic pain find that focusing their attention on the details of a crochet or knitting project will help them “forget about the pain”. Crafting is something that people may turn to when they want to relieve pain without medication. For example, many pregnant women on bedrest spend their hours with yarn in hand, not only to pass the time, but also because it helps with the pain and anxiety of the experience. There are notable physical benefits of knitting and crochet beyond distraction from pain. The serotonin release can serve as a natural analgesic to relieve pain.
Knitting and crochet are affordable, portable, easy options for improving wellness. People with serious chronic conditions can benefit, but so can anyone else who seeks a bit more relaxation, a boost of happiness, and the great feeling that you are doing something productive with your own two hands.