WHERE ARE WE NOW?
There is no doubt that developing an interest or hobby is good for you. It gives you a point of focus which is outside yourself. This can divert the brain's attention away from issues such as chronic pain, worries, stresses and depression. Without such a distraction the brain can easily focus all its attention on problems, such as stresses or pain, and this tunnel-visioned focus can soon develop into destructive cycles of downward spiralling thoughts which become difficult to break.

When we first began researching the therapeutic benefits of knitting and cross stitching, our initial thoughts were that they could provide an effective way of 'occupying' people from the arm chair or hospital bed which would be cost effective and deliverable in kit form.

However, the benefits go a lot deeper with possible physiological, neurological, psychological, behavioural and social changes occuring.

The skills and feelings experienced whilst knitting and stitching can also be used to facilitate the learning of techniques, such as meditation, relaxation and pacing which are commonly taught on pain management courses, or in the treatment of depression. Using knitting to acheive a medatative state of mind could enable a much wider population to experience the benefits of meditation as it doesn't entail having to understand, accept or engage in a prolonged learning period of the practice. It happens as a natural side-effect of knitting. Knitting's portability means its benefits are at hand any time, anywhere, so it can be used to successfully manage panic, anxiety and pain spasms when out and about.

In addition, valuable life skills such as patience, perseverance, and the knowledge that mistakes can be undone, are learned. These skills can be utilised in the self-management of health and illness, in education and the workplace. It teaches you that goals can be reached despite a few mistakes and detours along the way and often the end goal is richer because of those diversions and lessons learned! Every knitter knows that mistakes can be undone and our survey suggests these skills and attitudes are transferable to everyday life.

Our work so far has shown that there is something vitally important about being actively creative as opposed to being a passive recipient of a destructive force you feel you have no control over, such as stress, depression or pain.

Knitting provides a unique way of developing creativite ability within the safe framework of the knitting pattern. It provides a structure within which the vulnerable feel safe to begin their creative journey. As confidence and ability develop, creativity can be encouraged until the individual is happy to experiment and deal with the setbacks that experimentation and exploration may bring before a desired goal is reached.

Our work indicates that creative ability is closely linked with wellbeing, psycholgical flexibility and the ability to self-manage and problem solve.

Read More on Completed Studies and scroll down to click on Our Theories so Far.

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If you are a researcher or health professional and would like to be a part of this exciting project, please Contact Us.

Why not read Our Theories So Far?

Why research if we already know it works? Click here to find out.

Why knitting? Details why we have identified knitting as a model craft.
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