The Ambidextrous Project: Insights, Day 5:8

Hello there world!

Murphy’s Law has been applied and since my earlier post about writing with my non dominant hand, I have been buried under work and assignments and my earlier plan to update in a couple of days became over a week. But I have managed to write and exercise daily with my non dominant hand. What about you?

Here are a couple of my scribbling of the past few days.

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The Alphabet Practice

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Join Along!
Most of the people in the world are right handed, while about 13% of the population is left handed and only 1% is actually ambidextrous. Being ambidextrous is actually a very rare case, which means being able to use the non-dominant hand as good as the dominant hand.

Rare, right?

Embrace yourself for some bad news.

Recent evidence has associated being ambidextrous from birth with developmental problems, including reading disability and stuttering.[1]

On an article published in theguardian.com in July 1999, Professor Tim Crow, of the department of psychiatry at the University of Oxford says, “People who are truly ambidextrous are slower to develop verbal and non-verbal skills. It’s a predictor of both reading difficulties at the age of 16 and of psychosis.”

He adds a little further into the article, “The problem is that intelligence is a nebulous concept. These children may simply be late developers. Or they may be developing in a completely different way.”

While Prof. Crow’s research does goes against the ambidextrous genes, he also admits that further research is needed to be carried out in these fields for more evidence and proof. And we are certainly a long way since 1999.

Not all bad.

It is possible to train your non-dominant hand to become more proficient. A concert pianist demonstrates superb skill with both hands, but this mastery is complementary rather than competitive. The visual arts may enhance right-brain function, though not at the expense of verbal specialization in the left hemisphere. A cooperative brain seems to work better than one in which the two sides compete.[2]

Good news for right handed people!

Psychologists also claim that the brain function of left handed people are very much similar to ambidextrous brains, connections have been found among the two sides of the brain. While in case of right handed people, exercising the left hand, opened up the non dominant side of the brain.

More good news.

Jeff Rose writes in the goodfinancialcents.com, “Using your left hand might remind you how you felt when you were first learning to write your name, or tie your shoelaces. You will probably feel awkward, but this just means you are teaching your brain a new skill.”

In a Huffington Post interview with Bill Donius, Dr. Lucia Capacchione says, “My first therapist put a crayon in my non-dominant hand (for me it is the left) and asked me to write with it. I had no idea this would change my life forever. A child-like self within spoke to me who had been buried under a mountain of responsibility and five years of continual crises. At home, I spontaneously began dialogues in my journal between that inner child (non-dominant hand, the one we don’t normally write with) and my adult self or my inner critic (dominant hand). As a result, my physical energy increased dramatically, as well as my will to live.”

When asked what is the advantage of writing with the non-dominant hand, she adds, “According to Dr. Hunt, writing with the non-dominant hand integrated the hemispheres and opens up new neuronal pathways between the two sides of the brain. This is what people report that if feels like, using their intuition and inner sense of perceiving their brain. They can actually feel a buzzing in the right brain while writing with the non-dominant hand.”

Science still doesn’t have the clear picture behind our ‘handness’, why did you write with your right, while I wrote with my left, there are no clear answers to this wonderful mystery of our human mind.

While being ambidextrous might be a much harder and a rare case, we can always try to write or brush or even stir the coffee with the opposite hand to have a new feel or to control acting on impulse, as per Dr. Thomas Denson, University of New South Wales, in an article published in dailymail.co.uk.

Jeff Rose further writes, “For use in every day life, however, you can simply try writing with your opposite hand a little each day, asking your ‘every day brain’ to move aside, and see if it helps you become more creative or triggers improved memory functioning.”

Keep writing with your non-dominant hand with me, let us see what this journey unfolds, but let us also remember that there is a reason on why we chose the hand we chose (or both the hands we chose), and we must always respect that choice. May you be right handed, left handed or even ambidextrous, remember that you are special!

Seeya’


References and further readings:

[1,2]http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-training-to-become-ambidextrous-improve-brain-function/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-donius/let-the-left-brain-know-w_b_841213.html

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/1999/jul/20/healthandwellbeing.health3

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2112709/Forget-meditation–using-wrong-hand-stir-tea-helps-train-self-control.html 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/30667/11-facts-about-ambidextrous 

Certain articles contradict against each other, we will have to wait for further researches into the human mind and their choice of the hand for a more detailed insight.

All writings in the photographs have been written with my non dominant hand. 

 

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