Crafty ways to keep you crafting

This week our blog is inspired by Sewing Machine Day on 13 June. The day celebrates the invention of the machine because of the advances in the textile industry it enabled and the time saving benefits to many families who no longer had to labour over hand stitching. The first idea of a double pointed needle with an eye at either end was in 1755. By 1790 Thomas Saint patented a machine for “quilting, stitching, and sewing” but there are no working examples of his invention left today. The machine that went on to revolutionise the textile industry was invented and patented by Barthelemy Thimonnier in 1829.

Many people enjoy letting their creative side out by crafting. You might love textile crafts such as knitting, crochet, embroidery or quilting. How about papercraft like cardmaking, quilling or book folding? Maybe you make jewellery with intricate beadwork or silver or possibly you’ve ventured into traditional artisan crafts such as basket weaving, yarn spinning or pottery. Perhaps you’re into heavier crafts for example wood or metal working or artistic blacksmithing. Crafting is relaxing and fun but you can end up with aches and pains. The most commonly affected areas are the neck, shoulders, back, wrists, hands and head and other areas of the body can suffer too depending on the nature of the craft. This is where Holisticare comes in.

The three main things that can cause pains or injuries when crafting are tools, motion and posture. Obviously tools of any kind pose a risk of injury such as cuts, burns, bruises, contusions, haematoma and impact injuries, leaving scars and restrictions. Aside from this sort of damage it’s important to use the right tools, in good lighting and often with magnification to avoid eye strain which can then produce headaches.

Many crafts involve repetitive motion which can result in repetitive strain injury with pain in muscles, nerves and tendons sometimes with stiffness, tingling or numbness or throbbing. It is most usually felt in hands and wrists, forearms and elbow, and the neck and shoulders. A way to help reduce the risk of such injury is to ensure your workspace is ergonomically sound, so that frequently used tools or supplies are closer to your reach and a circular layout is also helpful. An ergonomically inefficient work area causes you to stretch awkwardly, reach unnatural positions and tighten up which increases the risk of hurting yourself.

Maintaining good posture is also important. All crafters know this but so few of us take any notice until we’re reaching for the painkillers! We sit in unsuitable chairs, often don’t use armrests, slouch, hunch and twist over what we’re working on, lean on our elbows too much, crane our necks, stoop over to see what we’re doing and don’t get up and walk about or stretch frequently enough. As a result we get a stiff neck, upper and lower back pain, headaches, fatigue and even pins and needles in our legs. Being mindful of posture and paying attention to how you’re holding your body and correcting it can help prevent all these.

In reality though, we ignore the early aches and discomfort which then can become persistent and more serious. Whether you think you’re at this early stage, or have been an uncomfortable crafter for years and have constant symptoms, Holisticare therapists can help. We can help to correct damage caused by tools (for example scars and burns), and ease the pains and injuries caused by repeated motion and poor posture. Why not call us to help you to keep crafting?

Diary

Free Yourself Hour Classes. 6 weekly sessions, Thursdays at 6.45pm or Fridays at 10.15am. If you have missed the first class you can still join for the rest of the course. Call us to book your place.

Friday 16 June 1pm: Helping Hands Art Competition for St Clare. Closing deadline is 1pm on Friday 16 June. There’s no limit to how many times you enter as long as you pay a minimum of £1 per entry. Each of the 4 age categories will have a prize winner PLUS there will be an overall winner too. All winners will be announced at our Quiz Night on Friday 30 June

Friday 30 June: Holisticare Quiz Night for St Clare Hospice. Limited table numbers so book now. Teams of up to 8 people. £8 per person. Licensed bar & raffle. Bring your own snacks. Call us on 01279 718331 asap.

12-24 June Father’s Day Offer. Call between 12 & 24 June to book and pay for a 1 hour treatment for your father and get £25 off his treatment PLUS £10 off your next treatment. Quote FDO17 when booking.