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.
- Boost Your Brain Health. (P. Murali Doraiswamy – AARP Magazine)
- What is happening when we are doing 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)