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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.

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. The 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.


{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Andrew October 4, 2019, 10:50 am

    Hi Leyla,
    Do you do stop motion videos?

  • Venice Anuada May 9, 2019, 5:04 pm

    Hi, my name is Venice, and I’m a fifth grader from Koloa Elementary school and was wondering if I can use this article to write an assignment I chose to do, and my question is:How might I use origami to calm down?

    • Leyla Torres May 9, 2019, 10:36 pm

      Hi Venice,
      You can use this article as a reference, of course mentioning your sources and the author.
      By its nature, origami is a peaceful and meditative practice. If you begin by learning a few simple models, origami can be used as an aid to calm down. Learn the folds by heart and make several of them thinking of people or occasions you might want to celebrate and share with. Make origami a practice for yourself and also to share with others.

      Also, you might want to read this article on how origami is used as therapy for patients suffering from mental illness: https://www.origamispirit.com/2016/05/origami-for-mental-health/

  • OrigamiDragon April 22, 2019, 7:46 am

    thanks for helping me with an argument that will happen in two days.

  • saeed March 22, 2019, 9:07 pm

    I wanna have some knowledge about the relation between Origami and STEM education for junior and senior students because i am in the way to make research paper for that subject.
    if some references or internet sits available i will be thankful.
    with my best wishes.

    • Leyla Torres March 26, 2019, 12:05 pm

      Hi Saeed,
      At the moment I don’t have the references and information you need regarding origami and STEM, but if I come across with something I will let you know.
      Thank you for your interest.

  • Arthur November 30, 2018, 10:07 am

    Hello, I am trying to do a science project on, does origami help with stress. I got some question I’d like answered if you have time.
    What are other ways origami help with stress, other than the feeling of satisfaction?
    What type of folds seem to release the most amount of stress or what type of origami release the most amount of stress after finishing it, it can’t be too hard or too easy or it wouldn’t be much satisfaction?

  • Raha February 21, 2018, 7:51 pm

    Hello! I am doing a research project on origami, and I need to put this article in my bibliography. Do you remember what date this was published on/where I can find that info?

    • Leyla Torres February 21, 2018, 8:53 pm

      Hi Raha, this article was published in January of 2011.

  • Jeremiah SMith January 25, 2018, 10:02 am

    Hi I am Jeremiah a 6th grader from Parkside Jr high, Normal, IL I am doing a Feature Article and is it OK to use this website for my article and does Origami help with Anxiety?

    • Leyla Torres January 25, 2018, 11:42 am

      Hi Jeremiah!
      Of course you can use information found in this website as a reference to write your article. Just make sure that you credit to all your sources in your paper.
      Most people who practice origami do it for fun and as a way to relax and play. But origami as a practice has shown to relieve anxiety and other mental negative conditions. You can read more here:

      Origami Art Therapy for Mental Health https://www.origamispirit.com/2016/05/origami-for-mental-health/
      Health Benefits of Origami (Origami Resource Center): https://www.origami-resource-center.com/health-benefits.html

      • Jeremiah Smith January 25, 2018, 2:31 pm

        Thanks for letting my reference this website and others

  • 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.

      • 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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