Thursday, July 18, 2013

CAMP JAKE: Sewing as stress relief

Clauricianne working on the pattern for her first darn doll (photo credit: Brian Clark)

Audrey teaching Clauricianne how to operate the sewing machine (photo credit: Brian Clark)

Yes, you read the heading correctly: 
Sewing is not only practical, 
but can be good for your health! 

When we decided to introduce sewing to the campers, we didn't know the full extent of the potential benefits for St. Vincent's students. Sewing is more than a life-skill; more than a marketable skill for future employment. It can also be a stress-reliever, lowering blood pressure an enhancing self-esteem as projects are completed.

A clinical study* commissioned by the Home Sewing Association (HSA) reveals that women who sew—both the pro and the novice—often experience a significant drop in heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration rate (the 3 major measurements of stress) when compared to women who participate in other leisure-time activities. Studies have shown that engaging in an activity like sewing, which involves both muscles and mind, promotes relaxation and may be more beneficial than other forms of therapy.

(Photo credit: Brian Clark)

While some campers already knew how to sew by hand, using a sewing machine was a first time experience for most. They learned to cut out patterns, pin pieces into place, sew on the machine, turn items right side out, stuff (as needed), slip stitch the openings closed to complete "darn dolls", all skills that can be used on future projects.

*The study was conducted by New York psychologist and biofeedback expert, Robert H. Reiner, Ph.D.,  Department of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center.

Interested in serving as as a counselor for Camp Jake 2014? 
Please fill out the volunteer interest form on our website and we'll get back 
to you! We're already looking for people for next year's camp.

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