I am happy to have a guest post for you today from Inma Acosta of CTDA – Crochet Therapy. She has a background in psychology and is enthusiastic about the benefits of crochet, which she shares with others through her relaxation-based crochet classes. Here is her post:
I did not know the Healing Power of crochet until I got it into my own hands!
In the early years of my life, I remember being around my mother, grandma, aunts and older sister when they were sewing, embroidering or crocheting. I remember always being around yarn, thread, fabric, scissors and needles. I am now very grateful to the women in my family for letting me take part in that beautiful experience! However, at the time, I never paid close attention to those activities; although I was sometimes interested in them, I was usually busy with something else.
I was extremely “busy” with school and later on preparing myself for a professional career. I went to Psychology School and completed a Bachelor’s Degree with a Post-graduate course in early Childhood Education. I have spent most of my career years providing educational and social services as an Early Intervention Teacher, Case Worker and Psychologist Assistant. For the past 17 years I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with developmentally delayed children and with families of children with special needs. Being the primary support provider for these children and their families has enriched me with compassion and a huge willingness to continue specializing myself in different areas of the Healing Arts Profession. In 2008, I completed my Certification for Reiki Level I, II and the Master Level. I have been inspired to follow the path of Reiki Hands on Healing, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing.
I had never before considered crochet an activity that I wanted to do. Even more I thought that I did not have the talent to make handmade accessories. I held the believe that I did not have the artistic skills to create crafts with my own hands. It was a belief I had developed in childhood and it continued into adulthood.
In the spring of 2012, that belief changed completely. I went to my hometown for a very special occasion and visited my family and friends in the countryside. To my surprise, one of our family’s friends was making and selling crochet accessories. I was touched by the uniqueness of those delicate handmade accessories. I purchased some items from her to bring as gifts to my family relatives and friends back home. Meanwhile, my friend was “working” on her handmade crochet items while she was talking to me and other family members. It caught my eyes how Peaceful and Relaxing the activity seemed to be. I asked her to teach me.
Still to this point in time, it remains a “mystery” to me the way I started doing crochet. I think I was touched by the Peace and Joy I felt when I first grabbed the thread and the crochet hook and started making a little flower! (What a magical thing it is that from a piece of thread a flower can be created!). What I know for sure is that I am eternally grateful to God for taking me to the right place at the right moment to have the opportunity to learn this beautiful activity.
Since then, I have not stopped doing crochet. Crochet has become part of my life!!
First with the help of my older sister (who is an expert in the art of handmade accessories) and then on my own (watching a lot of YouTube Videos) I was able to practice and develop my skills. My very first video learning crochet was a video on an infinity scarf. I was able to learn the stiches and I completed my beige infinity scarf. It came out twisted because I did not join the circle properly; however I wore it with so much Pride and Joy. I loved that scarf because I found it elegant and it was so cozy and warm in the cold days. I received many compliments when I wore my scarf! I used it for couple of winters (which in Miami, Florida is really equal to 4 days a year more or less!) until my mother needed a scarf when she was visiting. I offered it to her to keep her warm. I felt honored by watching my mother wearing my very own first handmade crochet scarf!
My husband, who is a professional designer, has also helped me in my crochet journey by giving me ideas on designs, styles, colors, and textures. With his help I am learning to design patterns, so that I can create more beautiful and delicate items to offer to the public. My favorite yarn to work with is the 100% acrylic materials. I like thick and soft textures (like the Isaac Mizhahi’s selection). I like the feeling of warmth while crocheting and again when wearing the finished items.
It gives me a sense of joy while I am crocheting an item to visualize the person who receives it being warm and cozy. It might go to a homeless person who needs it in cold weather or to a NICU baby or cancer patient in the hospital. I am currently part of a group of other beautiful ladies in my neighborhood who are knit and crochet for charity. We are starting to create scarves, shawls, mittens, etc. to donate to community centers. We have already donated some handmade items to The Chapman House and we are preparing more accessories to donate to other nationwide centers. Something really beautiful has developed inside my heart since I joined the group in the sense that it has provided me a sense of purpose while I am crocheting items for a charity cause.
Crochet has healed me!
Before crochet, I was extremely anxious and my concentration skills were extremely low (my mind is always thinking 5,000 thoughts at the same time!). In addition, right after receiving my gift of crochet, I went through one of the most painful, sad, hard, and difficult experiences of my whole life; I was challenged by a very difficult situation with my family and with my health. I was struggling with chronic stress for many years and that led to different health conditions: immune system dysfunction, digestive system dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, and mild depression. My primary doctor prescribed me with medication to treat the different conditions. On my way home, after my doctor’s visit, I remember driving and thinking that I did not want my body to be exposed to such strong medications. In a flash, I decided that I would commit myself to go for a natural holistic alternative to my health and healing! I called my doctor right away to stop the pharmacy order, and I explained to her that I was going to look for alternative approaches to heal my body. My doctor kindly understood, agreed and trusted my decision. I was seen by a Doctor in Natural Medicine and she confirmed my primary doctor’s diagnosis. This Iriologist Doctor then placed me under a Natural Medicine treatment which worked wonderfully. Along with the Iriologist Doctor’s treatment, I gave myself a lot of Reiki Treatments, I learned about the Ho’oponopono practice and implemented in my life, and I did a lot of crochet.
The book Crochet Saved My Life has inspired me greatly. I was attracted to this book at the right time (as I am attracted to many important things in my life). I discovered the book very “magically” by searching about crochet online. I ordered the book at Amazon, and when it arrived, I got very excited and devoured it in a few days. I identified myself so much with Kathryn’s story because I was going through tough times, and because, being a psychologist by profession, I know the mental condition she was describing and how painful it could be. What I love the most about the book is that provides a Natural Healing approach that perfectly worked for her and it could work for others as well. It is the perfect match for me and my studies in the Natural Healing Profession.
I am so grateful that my family and myself are doing much much better now, and I can understand now that the experience we, as a family, went through has helped us to be closer to one another. It has made us stronger as individuals and as a family as well. It was actually a Blessing God sent us wrapped in “tough times paper”. I am eternally grateful to God for “preparing” me with the Gift of Crochet. Learning and practicing crochet has been one of the most beautiful gifts I had ever received.
I call it Crochet Therapy!
I practice “Crochet Therapy” every night to release the day’s tension and stress before I go to bed. Sometimes I accompany the crochet activity with a Guided Meditation, which is also extremely relaxing. I love to practice Crochet Saturdays, early in the morning, while I am listening to inspirational speeches from wonderful speakers such as Deepak Chopra, Maria Jose Cabanillas, Mabel Katz, Wayne Dyer, Joe Vitale, Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, Neale Donald Walsh, Louise Hay, and so many other inspiring authors and spiritual masters that have dedicated their lives and careers to inspire others to have healthier lives. It is a wonderful way to relax and quiet the body, the mind and the spirit!
Four years ago, I discovered the healing effect that arts and crafts activities, including crochet, have in human health. I have dedicated these past years to research and study the information available in this area. I know about the benefits firsthand from my own experience and I am now committed and dedicated to share it with others!
For more information about Inma Acosta and her passion for the benefits of crochet, please visit her website.