We’ve all tried it at some point or another, using that non dominant hand. And let’s face it, it feels awkward! But don’t we need to work those weak spots to grow stronger? The answer is yes. Here are 3 great reasons to use your dominant hand as often as you can.
1. It makes you think! The concept is analogous to repeating the same workout over and over again in the gym only to hit a plateau. If we do not challenge our body, we will stop progressing. Like our bodies, our brains stay stagnant, or even get weaker, if we do not challenge them. . If we keep plowing the same neural pathway again and again we deprive our brains of the chance to adapt and become stronger.
2. It opens your mind! Recent research based on brain imaging technology has shown the ‘left brained person vs. right brained person’ theory to be false. However, what is 100% true is that our cerebrum is divided into two major parts: the right and left cerebral hemispheres. Fascinating research suggests we can enhance the usage of both hemispheres by performing complicated movements with our non-dominant side because it creates new and stronger connections between both sides. In fact, musicians who use both hands had a 9% increase in their corpus callosum, which is the connector between the two halves of our cerebrum. When we use our non dominant hand we are activating the non dominant hemisphere which is related to an increase in intuition, creativity and the ability to empathize.
3. It balances you out! I’m convinced that the reason the majority of my massage clients have an overly fired up right quadratus lumborum (right lower back area) is because of driving. Think about the fact that every time you have driven a car you are creating an asymmetry in your body as your right leg is typically more extended and doing the work, naturally shifting your pelvis off balance a bit. While my dream of stand up driven cars is far from reality, one thing we can do is notice how bent we keep our left knee in effort to create some balance. Along these lines of rebalancing, using our non dominant hand as often as possible helps to bring our body back into balance. The way we were designed to operate 🙂
IDEAS FOR USING YOUR NON DOMINANT HAND:
- Brushing and styling your hair
- Brushing your teeth
- Talking on the phone
- Using your mouse
- Opening doors with your hand or a key
- Opening jars
- In the john – all of the above on that front!
- Buttoning your shirt
- Throwing a ball
- Shuffling Cards
- Lighting a match