Can folding paper in the process of making Origami benefit our health? If you ask someone who is engaged with this art the answer will most likely be a confident yes.
A 2010 article published by the AARP––The American Association of Retired Persons–– Boost Your Brain Health, suggests a number of things we can do to maintain healthy brain function as we age. One idea is participating in activities that challenge us to deeply engage with an interest we might have. Such focus helps us build new brain cells which in turn strengthens our cognitive function.
For many, Origami is such a subject. It is an activity that provides both mental and physical stimulation, engages the mind, cultivates concentration, and develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Paper folding challenges us at the cognitive level as we follow instructions to learn a model. Memory, non-verbal thinking, attention, 3D comprehension, and imagination are further stimulated as the brain explores and analyzes any Origami model whether simple or complex.
Origami is a very relaxing activity, and that relaxation is very good medicine. Physically, as our hands become active, tactile, motor and visual areas of the brain are stimulated which soothes us, and helps us rest mentally and physically. For this reason, Origami is useful in therapeutic settings such as for stroke and injury rehabilitation.
No matter how many times a model is made, emotional satisfaction is derived as a byproduct of the work. Watching a piece of paper transform into something tangible, a new creation by our own hand, one which is often given away as a gift to a friend, a stranger, or a loved one, produces a measure of joy in the giver and receiver that is also very good medicine.
- How a Paper Heart can Help You Stay Healthy
- Origami Art Therapy for Mental Health
- Recovering Health Through Origami
- The Smile of Mona Lisa
- Dr. Lizzie Burns Uses Origami in her Anti-Boredom Campaign
- Origami – A Help to Alzheimer’s Patients
- Stay Calm and Make an Origami Ladybug
- All That’s Worth Cherishing Begins in the Heart
- Yuko Taniguchi – Creative Activities for Healing
- Boost Your Brain Health. (P. Murali Doraiswamy – AARP Magazine)
- What happens when we make Origami?(Rachel Katz)
- The Educational Benefits of Origami (George Levenson)
- Origami and Child Development (New World Encyclopedia)
- Health Benefits of Origami (Origami Resource Center)
- A Bibliography of Origami in Education and Therapy (John Smith)
- Celebrate small victories (and self-love) with origami (Mallary Tenore Tarpley, LA Times)
- Jun Hamamoto Teaches Origami at San Quentin State Prison (Kimberly Olsen, Diablo Magazine)
- Utilizing Creativity for Adolescents’ Recovery in Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital (IPH) (Yuko Taniguchi)