An online survey of 3,500 frequent knitters, showed that the more they knitted the more calm and happy they felt. Knitting has long been recognised as a therapeutic activity for people who have been through trauma - soldiers who had been shell-shocked in the 1st World War were set to knit as part of their recuperation. The pain clinic at Bath has run a weekly knitting group since 2006, and the woman who pioneered this approach is NHS Physiotherapist Betsan Corkhill who has now founded the website www.stitchlinks.com to provide support and friendship. The gentle meditative , repetitive action of knitting is soothing, helps relaxation and over time has the potential to reduce the need for pain medication. Knitting has also been shown to help with anorexia and in treating addictions.
In Betsan's new book 'Knit for Health & Wellness' she explains how neuroscience is beginning to show how knitting may help our brains;
-the repetitive movement promotes the release of calming seratonin which also lifts mood and dulls pain.
-making things with our hands activates different brain circuits to ,say, office work.
-two-handed movement across the midline of our bodies is recognised as using a lot of brain capacity, leaving less room for other issues
- however chaotic our lives, knitting is under our control.
Extract from an article in You magazine by Sarah Stacey Jan 2015.