Woodworking For Therapy #6: The Physical Aspects of Woodworking

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Blog entry by Steve Kreins posted 12-28-2013 03:23 PM 1902 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Learning By Mistakes Part 6 of Woodworking For Therapy series Part 7: How You Make Me Feel »

I’ve mentioned the emotional and psychological aspects of woodworking for me as I battle liver cancer, but let my share what I have noticed about the Physical Benefits. I was diagnosed two years ago and I have had surgery to remove part of my liver, RFA (radio frequency ablation) which burns out new tumors, and now I’m going onto Nexavar, which is an oral chemo therapy to slow down the growth of new tumors (nasty stuff). All this being said, I’m one pooped Papa! BEFORE

Before I started woodworking a few weeks ago I slept for four to five hours in the afternoon. I could hardly bend over to pick something up off the floor and I would fall quite easily and often from weakness in my legs. But now, in only two weeks, I feel a 100% better, have more energy, don’t take any naps, my blood pressure is down, my legs are getting stronger and I’m in much better physical shape to start the chemo and handle the side effects! Praise God! AFTER

The question is why? Have you ever had to go to a physical therapist? Two or three times a week with instructions to do specific exercises in between, that you didn’t do. Why? No motivation! Woodworking has motivated me to get off my rear end! I have a variety of physical activities, bending over since I drop stuff frequently, stretching to grab pieces of wood and tools, sweeping up saw dust and cleaning my work area, some sitting and a lot of standing, using my hand on tools and clamps (helps fight the arthritis), walking around the work bench and to and from the shop (may not sound like much to you, but it is for me) lifting lumber and a thousand other little movements and motions,every day and most all day long! No Physical Therapist could motivate me to do this! Why? Because I’m having fun and reaping the benefits!

I’m getting so motivated that yesterday I built a stand for my scroll saw. It’s not finished, but will be by this afternoon.

I also bought myself a present at Sears yesterday, an adjustable stool regularly $99 for $$49, good back support!

Well, I need to make some sawdust so let me close this entry with an encouragement for you to do something valuable!

Do you know anyone who is fighting cancer or any other disability? Invite them over to your shop and maybe they will get interested in woodworking and improve the quality of their life!

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Sow a little of your time into another person’s life and you will reap more than you sow. That is what many of you have been doing for me! Bless you!”

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

9 comments so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2219 days

#1 posted 12-28-2013 03:52 PM

glad to hear your feeling better and motivated with your woodworking.its a blessing to have something to take your mind off things.i hope the best for you.god bless you.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3363 days

#2 posted 12-28-2013 05:26 PM

It is certainly what keeps me going! It is amazing to me even after I have been at it for almost 18 years.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 12-28-2013 05:59 PM

Great story and great idea. Use your mine not your read end. I know I enjoy all of my woodworking and sometimes too much so, says the wife. Keep it up and keep posting.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 12-29-2013 01:42 AM

I find that I am much happier when busy. Boredom/inactivity just wears me out. I was flat on my back for several months during my bout of stomach cancer and the depression from doing nothing almost killed me. Looking back at the end of the day and seeing that I accomplished something always gives me a lift.

Carry on!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3241 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 12-29-2013 04:44 AM


What a good reminder and encouragement for all of us. I’ve been so unproductive since my husband’s latest heart attack and hospitalization (from nearly bleeding to death from Effient). I keep telling myself that I need to get back into the shop to accomplish something and get some much needed exercise. Instead I keep cooking up a storm which isn’t good for our waistlines, especially without the exercise.

Keep your eyes on Jesus! 1 Thessalonians 5:18


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2321 days

#6 posted 12-29-2013 05:43 AM

Glad to hear things are going well for you. I agree about the shop versus the therapist, but for me it’s the shop versus the gym and having to walk boring laps around the track. The shop has helped me fight through the negative effects of medicine better than anything else, with the possible exception of fly fishing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View AntarcticTraveler's profile


22 posts in 1638 days

#7 posted 12-29-2013 04:03 PM

Thank you Steve for sharing…it surely will help in my decision to put together my humble shop later next year after I retire.


View Sanding2day's profile


1013 posts in 1875 days

#8 posted 01-03-2014 05:47 PM

Am very pleased to hear that you have found an enjoyable means of attaining necessary activity in woodworking and that it is making you feel better… Thanks for sharing and keep the sawdust coming!

-- Dan

View grumpy749's profile


228 posts in 2406 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 03:28 PM

Hey Steve, I love the chair. I need to get one for sure. Stay active my friend the mind and body are better for it. Any time you want to talk I’m here. I believe You are prepared for your up coming battle.

-- Denis in Grande Prairie. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mistery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.....Pink !

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