March 9, 2008


A Reader wrote:

I was forced to use the right hand when I was 7 years. Today I am 53 years. I can write using my left hand, but I still feel kind of tense or rigid. I have been training since I was 21 years. But I feel messy yet.

Are there specific exercises, or drills so I can intensify my self training? You can suggest a site our a neuroscientist, maybe.

Thanks for your help and I apologize for my Italian-English; I am Brazilian born, but with an American soul!!



  1. Ciao, Celso!

    Here is an article called "How to Be Ambidextrous" that might give you some ideas:

    Buona fortuna!

  2. Celso,

    You may wish to read a book HIDDEN HANDEDNESS The Untold Story of Handedness Reversals that Rosemary was kind enough to list on this website (thanks!) The book is available through

    In the book, I tell the story of what it was like to make the transition from right-handedness to left-handedness starting at age 41. In my case, I was unaware that I had been born to be left-handed, so the shift back was a real surprise to me, and in the end a very nice one. So far as I know, this is the first time this sort of a story had been told in a book.

    I made the transition back to my innate handedness by following a daily regime of cursive copying for a minimum of 1 hour per day, always writing with my left hand. The shift from a juvenile left-handed cursive form to a flowing cursive form took months, not years. I did find that it was important to be mindful and relaxed when doing the exercises and that daily practice was critical. I describe the process in the book and provide samples of my handwriting at various phases.

    I discovered that this issue is much bigger than mere handwriting. It connects to what Dr. Oliver Sacks once referred to as one's "neurological identity". A good parallel can be found in the work of Dr. Edward Taub, who developed Constraint Induced Therapy (CIT)for victims of stroke. CIT typically requires only 10 to 21 days of clinical treatment to achieve its primary results, so you can see that the brain adapts rather quickly to intensive training in this context.

    The subject of handedness reversals is only just beginning to be discussed, and the same is true for research. If you would like to monitor developments in this area, you can visit for updates on this topic.

    Best wishes,

    Samuel Randolph

  3. I encourage all people to practice using both hands. I am left hand dominant, but have actively worked to build strength in my right hand as well. I suppose to some of you that means I am not supporting my minority, but life is about adapting. All things get better with practice, that includes typing numbers on a keyboard, using scissors, and writing. My hand writing is much better than most and I can type numbers faster than most of the people I work with. I look at those things as just another skill to learn and encourage others to as well.

  4. I had the same problem you have. I wrote right-handed for 20 years. I only started to write left-handed about 6 months ago, and it was a catastrophe, and very discouraging. But I used some "tricks", and now it's awesome the difference.

    First, use your left-hand for simple stuff (if you don't already do it), like eat, brush your teeth etc. When you turn your spoon in your coffee, wash the dishes, turn anti-clockwise. Hand on top of the broom. All you can to DAILY get your dexterity and your strength better.

    Then, for writing, the more important thing not to be tense is the grip. I think you can check in here links to explain to you how to hold the pen, and how to put your arm etc. Then, no need to write letters for hours. Try more to use other pens, like pencils, or felt, and write bigger to re-learn the move. Drawing helps too, to get confident, as I believe a part of the tension is also due to the lack of it, and the NEED to do good.

    Don't get discouraged, hang on! I bite my own tails for months before I tried this, and within the past weeks, the results have been awesome.

    If you want to talk about it, maybe I can help you?

  5. Dears Rosemary, Samuel, Jeanette, Lisa,

    Thank you all! Very kind of you taking your time to answer my doubts. I really feel "different" using the left or the right hand.

    As Lisa says the trick is to use the left hand as much as possible.


    Ps My email is
    If you wish please send me your emails and we will be in touch. After all WE ARE DIFFERENT!

  6. I'm incredibly sad. I learned tat I am almost right handed. With my right hand I use a knife, scissors, throw a ball, strike a match, light lighters, play guitar, and use a baseball bat. With my left, I write, use a fork and spoon, chopsticks, paint, play Cellos and violins,(it's weird, I know) and thats it. My advice, is just to do whatever feels natural. Don't try and be something you aren't Handedness is a big part of your personality.

  7. Alain Patrick A. PascuaJuly 14, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    I'm writing with my left hand but my strength comes from my right hand. Am I left-handed or right-handed?


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