Crochet can be a great ally for well-being. More than just a hobby, crocheting calms, prevents Alzheimer’s and relieves stress, depression and anxiety! Lack of energy, mental fatigue, monotony… To put an end to these annoyances can be simple and pleasurable. Research proves that crocheting is an excellent therapy. Creating something with your own hands is the possibility to express yourself. It is also a way to increase concentration and, thus, keep brain activity at full speed, keeping us away from diseases such as depression and Alzheimer’s. Learn more about the positive effects of crochet on body and mind.
Why crochet helps to cure and prevent diseases:
- The activity requires concentration, reasoning, and motor coordination, which helps prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Staying intellectually active can also ward off depression and reduce anxiety.
- Performing work alters brain chemistry, decreasing stress hormones and increasing serotonin and dopamine levels. These substances are responsible for feelings of well-being and pleasure.
- The repetitive movements lower blood pressure and generate a feeling of relaxation. They also stimulate the agility of the hands.
In hospitals, it is “medicine”: Some hospitals have already adopted the practice of crochet to relieve tension and anxiety in patients and their families. The Itapevi General Hospital, in the great São Paulo area, participates in the Weaving Life Project. The work is done by volunteers who give crochet classes in the pediatrics, gynecology, psychiatry, and orthopedics sectors. For Rosana Navajas Barbosa, supervisor of the pediatric area, “the activity can reassure the companion, reflecting on the patient’s well-being”.
She tells the case of a mother who resisted her son’s hospitalization: “When she started attending the classes, she became more receptive and less aggressive. And the child reacted much better to the treatment. Experts in occupational therapy guarantee that this art therapy is an efficient method, since it stimulates creativity and also serves as an escape valve to relieve tension.The benefits are for everyone: A study conducted by the Catholic University of Brasília has proven that the habit of crocheting improves the self-esteem of the elderly.
When they feel able to produce something with a needle and thread, the impacts of aging are reduced: “This activity is a great tool for psychological, social and immunological recovery of the elderly. It allows them to release their emotions, improve communication, strengthen their self-image and rediscover their creative potential,” says Maria Heliana Mota Guedes, author of the research. Crocheting also works the muscles and stimulates sight and touch.
And it can be practiced from the age of 10. Handicraft frees the mind: crocheting amuses, soothes, and stimulates the psychomotor development of children. Schools have also started to include the practice in art classes. According to psychopedagogue Silvia Amaral, the idea is to divert their attention to a technique that escapes from the countless mental tasks to which they are submitted daily. In this way, the little ones discover other sources of pleasure and develop better: “It’s a liberation process. Children spend hours playing videogames. Crafts help them relax and find new ways to have fun,” says the specialist.