How Needle Felting Can Help Prevent (And Treat) Alzheimer’s
By the year 2050, it is estimated that 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease. That’s a scary statistic. Luckily, a study by the Mayo Clinic suggests that getting involved in a craft – like needle felting – can reduce your Alzheimer’s risk by 30 – 50 percent!
How It Works
All you have to do is participate in a crafting activity 2 – 3 times per week to see a benefit. By learning a new skill, you’re giving your brain much-needed exercise. Even if you’re already a needle felter, there are always new techniques to learn, and new creations to felt.
As anyone who has inadvertently stabbed them self while crafting knows, hand-eye coordination is an important skill employed in needle felting. And, it just so happens that employing hand-eye coordination can help build new neural networks which can help protect your brain against Alzheimer’s.
It is also thought that stress plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s and, as we’ve talked about before, needle felting is a great stress-reliever! And, there is a correlation between Alzheimer’s and depression and – guess what – needle felting helps relieve depression, too!
While there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are things that can be done to slow the disease’s progression, and to improve the quality of life for those battling it. Because needle felting uses repetitive motions, people with Alzheimer’s can rely on muscle memory to participate, when their cognitive memories fail.
And, as with all of us, needle felting can help improve the confidence of those affected by the disease. It can be easy for those with Alzheimer’s feel like a burden, like they don’t have anything left to contribute. But crafting gives them tangible evidence of their hard work. Plus, it’s easy to pick up a project again after a break, with no stitches to count or pattern to follow.
Some other benefits include sensory stimulation, as working with wool is a great sensory experience, the calming of anxieties, and a way to get out kinetic energy that isn’t destructive.
Whether you’re supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s, have Alzheimer’s yourself, or are looking to prevent its onset, needle felting is a great hobby to pick up. If you’re new to felting, or just looking to gain more confidence in your felting skills, join my academy! You’ll get video courses, learn new techniques (to build your neural pathways!), and receive support to get you started, or improve your felting skillset.
Who’d have thought that stabbing a ball of wool could have so many practical applications for health? Let’s get crafty for our health together!