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Welcome to my site. Lets build a interdisciplinary community of scientists and Science enthusiasts.  Lets get all nerdy and stuff! Site written in a conversational tone. 

Being Forced to be Ambidextrous. Lets See How This Pans Out!

Being Forced to be Ambidextrous. Lets See How This Pans Out!

Hello my science people how the hell are ya? I am doing alright this week has been incredibly stressful. Life happening after life happening, am I right? 

So something to know about me is I have chronic pain in m y right arm.  Have never been officially diagnosed because the symptoms are related to carpel tunnel and tendonitis but not completely. There fore being on a computer and on my phone becomes very painful. I have been dealing with this for about 8 years now with no permanent relief its just kinda something I live with. Well lately its been super bad. Like soak it in ice everything and cry bad. I spend a lot of time on the computer analyzing data at work and a lot of time using my hands opening and pouring samples so not using my arms or taking it easy is not small hurtle. 

WTF to Do, Right?

Well, first I finally made the switch I started using a lefty mouse on my work computer. I also have forced myself to use my left arm to open samples hold my phone etc and I have to say its getting much stronger and more accurate on the computer mouse (it was a fucking slow go at first lol). I also started correcting my posture a lot so I stop myself from slumping while standing and sitting. I sleep with a brace at night to prevent hyper hyperextension of the wrist which can lead to poor circulation in that area and inflammation. I also went to the neurologist and guess what he did? He shot a bunch of electricity up and down my arm and read the signal at the other end. It felt so weird but basically as he explained it your nerves are like live wires and he was going to tell me if there was any hinderance in my arms which can be caused by carpel tunnel or nerve tangling. He wanted to shoot me up with cortisol which would tell us if the surgery would be successful. If the pain went away after he shot the cortisol in my carpel tunnel we would know that even though I do not have characteristic symptoms of carpel tunnel, the surgery would be beneficial. The catch-22 is cortisol prevents the tissues from regenerating as well therefore we would have to put the surgery off for upwards to 6 months. 

Begged for physical therapy first and thats what I am currently doing. I do a regime of median and ulnar nerve flossing and some posture strength exercises. Apparently because I am such a small frame there is less room in the areas the nerves rest so this is more common in small framed individuals :/

Anyway, I though this might be important for people that may suffer the same pain! Its awful but the exercises are helping me! Ill try anything before I let someone cut into me in a non reversible way haha! 

 

 Photo by Jirsak/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Jirsak/iStock / Getty Images

There have been studies that suggest if you wake up that old clumsy hand and start using it more you can:

  1. Increase creativity because apparently both brain hemispheres are activated when you use your non dominant hand. There fore using this hand will create new neural connections! YAY! Im all about it!
  2. Using the non dominant hand helps your brain integrate its two hemispheres better. Research into musicians that use both hands has found a 9% increase in the corpus collosum which is the area responsible for connecting both hemispheres of the brain.
  3. Open mindedness: “It seems that our dominant hand may have a hand in our life choices, too. Studies show that we often favor things that fall on our preferred side and discard those on our clumsy side. A recent Stanford University study by David Casasanto backs up this handy theory. Participants were asked to imagine they were hiring personnel for a new company and purchasing new items. They were asked to make hiring and purchasing decisions based on brief descriptions of candidates and items arranged in columns on the right and left side of a page. Results showed that right-handers were more than twice as likely as left-handers to choose candidates and items described on the right side of the page. Left-handers preferred candidates on the left. Casasanto also found evidence of this right/left prejudice in politics. He found that right-handed candidates made a greater proportion of right-handed gestures when expressing positive ideas and left-hand gestures when expressing negative thoughts—with the opposite to be true for left-handed candidates. Interestingly, three of the last four presidents have been left-handed, including President Barack Obama.” (http://www.nwitimes.com/niche/shore/health/using-your-other-hand-benefits-your-brain/article_6da931ea-b64f-5cc2-9583-e78f179c2425.html)

 

So I am going to pay attention and report back. Now that I am trying to study for the GRE again I think this whole ambidextrous thing will benefit me :) Stay tuned and email me or post comments if you have questions!

XOXO

 Photo by 8vFanI/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by 8vFanI/iStock / Getty Images

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