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Health Benefits of Origami

Health Benefits of Origami post image

This article was written and shared in the Origami-List by Larry Wood
and is posted here by permission.
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Can the folding of paper or the practice of Origami be of benefit to our health? Yes, the practice of Origami can be beneficial to our health.

A recent AARP (American Association of Retired People) article entitled, “Boost Your Brain Health” discussed things we can do to keep our brain healthy as we age. Tasks that challenge our mind, building on innate talents and abilities through a variety of mentally challenging tasks, strengthen our brain.

Origami is one avenue that provides both mental and physical stimulus with exercise. Origami helps develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and mental concentration. Use of the hands directly stimulates areas of the brain. Origami is used in various therapeutic settings, including art therapy and in stroke and injury rehabilitation.

Paper folding challenges us at the cognitive level as we follow instructions, learning new skills and activities. Physically our hands become active. Impulses are sent to the brain activating both left and right hemispheres of the brain. Tactile, motor and visual areas of the brain are activated and brought into use. Memory, non-verbal thinking, attention, 3D comprehension and imagination are further stimulated by the brain’s exploration of Origami.

Emotional satisfaction is a byproduct of our work as we watch a piece of paper transformed into a new creation. Many find the folding of paper, a form of relaxation. In addition, grandchildren are often fascinated when we share our skills and creations with them.

Sources
a. Boost Your Brain Health. (P. Murali Doraiswamy – AARP Magazine)
b. What is happening when we are doing Origami? (Katrin and Yuri Shumanov)
c. The Educational Benefits of Origami (George Levenson)
d. Origami and Child Development (New World Encyclopedia)
e. Health Benefits of Origami (Origami Resource Center)

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Elba Velasco April 19, 2017, 10:13 am

    I need to know if this information is available in Spanish. Also I need to know if phycholists can use the technique to try violence in children. Please help

    • Leyla Torres May 6, 2017, 9:54 am

      Hi Elba, on the side bar there is a link to the Google translation tool. It will translate this website into Spanish. Not perfectly but adequate.
      I don’t have experience with origami as a technique to help reduce violence in children. I don’t know wether it would work or not.

  • James Brant January 20, 2016, 1:29 pm

    Hello, I was hoping you could answer a question for my paper. Do you know if there are any negative side effects that origami has on the psychology of a person? Please respond as soon as you can. Thank you

    • Leyla Torres January 20, 2016, 4:13 pm

      HI James,

      I haven’t heard of any negative side effects of origami on people.

  • Maria Abada June 6, 2014, 8:39 am

    Hello Ms. Torres, I love your YouTube videos. I am a child psychotherapist working in NJ. Over time, I have utilized origami as a therapeutic tool for my clients. It is a hobby of mine that sort of turned into a therapeutic tool to help my clients with problems with attention, concentration, following directions, patience, and self-expression. I want to know if you have any suggestions for me in terms of making it a formal workshop/training. I know you have experience with teaching origami. I suppose I have a lot of ideas for how I can expand this knowledge to clients and other professionals and wanted to know if you can give me any ideas as I have no formal experience. Thank you!

    • Leyla Torres June 6, 2014, 10:12 am

      Hi Maria,
      Even if you have no “formal” experience, the experience that you have gathered through your work will be enough if you see that what you do can help people overcome their challenges. Start with a modest plan, implement it and take it from there.
      I would say you need to define your audience to the best of your ability. Write a list on how origami can help them with their challenges. Based on your experience teaching your clients, choose at least one model that can help with each item in your list. Define three to five short activities for your workshop or training session. Write up and share your offer with people who might be interested.
      I hope this helps you with your question.
      Leyla

      • Maria Abada June 6, 2014, 12:23 pm

        Ms. Torres,
        Thank you for your feedback! I find it very helpful and will implement the strategies you suggested. Do you have any suggestions for resources I can use that you trust in terms of books, etc. My client range is from age 5-21 (I also have adults aged 23-46 who have developmental deficits). You are an inspiration and I have used a lot of your videos to help my clients. I want to thank you for your work.

  • Joy N Jones October 28, 2013, 12:00 pm

    i love this website it is very helpful i used it for a project in school for health benifits thanks so much every thing is correct and i totally agree

  • Rhoda A. Ross March 30, 2013, 7:19 am

    I would love to link your website to my mine to show proof of how folding origami is good for your brain. I would like to see more parents use origami with their children. I do origami every Friday with my students because they enjoy it so much. I plan of creating origami s with our local daycare children soon.

    • Leyla Torres March 30, 2013, 9:53 am

      Hi Rhoda,
      You are welcome to link to any article on my website. I’m glad it can be of help to you. Cheers! Leyla

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