The Qigong of Knitting—and Smartphones?

Needles and yarn.

Needles and yarn.

After a year’s hiatus, I am knitting again and finding it most satisfying.

Years ago I read somewhere that small, repetitive movements—the examples given were knitting and chewing gum—boosted the production of feel-good chemicals in the brain. That could be one reason I’m finding knitting so satisfying.

But I think there’s also something in the way one holds the work in front of the body, and the way fingers, wrists and forearms twist and move.

From a qigong perspective, one might note that the twisting and moving of the fingers, wrists and forearms must be stimulating the flow of qi through all the meridians that pass through the wrists. A good thing, no?

And perhaps all this action and the position of the hands in front of the body is also stimulating the heart center, one of the key centers on the ren meridian. That would be good, too, since they say that women are particularly drawn to, and need, stimulation of the heart center. Knitting is different in this way from, say, quilting, painting or gardening, which are done farther from the body.

I might have ended this post right here, short but sweet, except that as I thought about knitting as qigong practice, it occurred to me that maybe smartphone use is a form of qigong practice, too. Certainly the phone is held in the hands in front of the heart.

But nahhh…. When I’m using my smartphone, the meridians at the base of my thumbs may be getting a royal workout, but I have zero awareness of any part or aspect of my body other than my thumb tips. It’s almost as if the phone were wired to my intellectual mind.

And that definitely is not qigong.


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