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Pottery therapy is one aspect of working with clay that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves.
Pottery and other clay products are a staple in many homes and buildings today. From the aesthetic appeal that they can bring to spaces to their functional applications, the reasons for that are not farfetched.
However, working with clay as seen in pottery is beneficial to the mental and physical wellbeing of all that are involved. This is not just a sentimental take either but one rooted in facts and strong opinions from expert potters.
Today, we explore the various health benefits that stem from stepping into the pottery studio.
Therapy #1 – Stress Reduction
Some have found that staring at art helps them to reduce their stress and get into a happier place. It does not even matter if they have stared at the same piece of art before.
This explains one of the many motivations behind going for art shows or even choosing to purchase one of those amazing pieces for your personal space.
If that kind of effect is possible on those who merely view the art, how about those that create it?
A particular study found a correlation between making art and reduction in the stress levels of those making it. Every 3 out of 4 participants in the study enjoyed less stress when working at their arts. The interesting part is that their level of experience – whether entry-level or expert – didn’t matter.
Therapy #2 – Boosts Focus
How is focus a health benefit, you ask?
Well, physical health is not the only thing that we consider here. Thus, focus enters via the mental health category.
That said, pottery has a way of making you take your mind off everything else. You enter a world of your own where your hand and eyes work together to craft the most beautiful piece of earthenware that you can manage.
Repeatedly, you train your mind to focus on one thing at a time. That allows you to execute tasks faster, think clearer, and gain more productivity in other parts of your life too.
Why not download your FREE tip sheet on the benefits of working with clay…
Therapy #3 – Creative Outlet
Yet another instance where pottery scores point for your mental health.
This links to the first therapy point in that pottery allow you to express yourself in different forms.
Of course, there are rules to how things are done in pottery. The good news is that those rules are there to be broken anyways.
Focus on your inner voice to bring out that creative side of you. Free yourself from all worries and concerns to connect with the piece on your hand such that it comes out with a unique touch that cannot be replicated.
Besides the fulfillment that you get from seeing your brainchild come to life, you would have also sidestepped every other cause of stress and worry in the timeframe it takes to work on the piece.
Therapy #4 – Mood Enhancer
Creating something makes us see more of ourselves in a better light than before.
Creators are unique in that they fashion something exemplary out of almost nothing.
The best part of mood enhancement is that it happens in two ways.
For one, you suddenly feel a sense of accomplishment in being able to make magic happen with your hands. At the other business end of things, you also earn the accolades, admiration, and respect of everyone who sees your work/ creative process.
The side effects of that are improved confidence and better self-expression, culminating in a mood boost for you.
Therapy #5 – Physical Exercises
Walking is one of those physical exercises that we take for granted.
Science has helped prove that taking enough walks has a positive impact on health. That is the same way that pottery has a series of positive impacts on the hands.
From the arms to the wrists and hands themselves, pottery gives you an avenue to exercise these body parts while having fun at what you do. If you have been a potter well before now, you might not even have thought about it this way before.
The fact that pottery is not a strenuous activity on the hands contributes to the chances that you have never thought about this before. Strengthening your hands over time, though, it is little wonder why studies have shown how pottery therapy delivers good results to rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Therapy #6 – Improving Quality of Life
Pottery therapy is great for the quality of life as it is an ongoing process.
You don’t have to take on pottery professionally to have it become a part of your life. Even if you only preferred to make one or two odd pieces now and then, it would be enough.
In the process of making more, though, you also don’t want to stay in the same lane. So, you explore more, reach out to people, join pottery groups and speak with other enthusiasts.
Without even knowing it, you are not only expanding your mind but your social network at the same time.
The things you make via pottery are also functional – either for use in the home or for decorative purposes. That sense of being needed makes you want to pursue a life in pottery even more.
Again, you could do all these and not have to open shop as a professional potter.
Therapy #7 – Pain Killer
Maybe you need to slow down on the aspirin and try something else.
Ask most people who play some sports. There’s a high chance that their mind ignores some mild injury that they pick up till after the game. To bring things closer to home, the same is true for when you’re binge-watching your favorite series and your appetite for food suddenly disappears.
Pottery fits that category very well too. The difference between pottery and your favorite TV series, though, is that you are actively involved here.
Take up a pottery hobby today to reduce your stress levels and boost confidence. You’ll suddenly have a lower instance of pain – which can also be caused and/ aggravated by stress.
Bonus Therapy – Your Turn
If you have spent some time in the pottery space, you already know the ‘feel-good’ sensation that comes with working for hours to create that fine piece of earthenware that leaves the kiln.
This is your chance to discuss how pottery has also boosted different parts of your health: both mental and physical.
Use the comments section to share with me and the rest of the readers. Who knows, your story might just make an updated version of this piece.
Pottery is not a substitute for your doctor and regular check-ups. At the same time, neither is an apple. Still, isn’t an apple a day supposed to keep the doctor away?
All joking asides, pottery therapy is as real as it gets and you should get in on it.
The barrier to entry is not high either. You can get started right now with easy-to-follow guides and instructions in the Beginner Info section. My detailed how-to guides will also hold you by hand through different techniques to make multiple potteries at home.
If you need anything more, you can always reach out to me here and I’ll get back to you ASAP.