Practicing Ninja Moves Calms the Body and Sharpens the Mind, Says Science

Feeling stressed out about work or bills or how long you have to wait for the  Rogue One theatrical release (59 days as of publication of this article)? Then you may be a perfect candidate for studying the art of ninjutsu. That is, you may want to think about… becoming a ninja. Or at least teaching yourself to have ninja hands.

RocketNews recently reported that a study conducted by the Japanese Mie University School of Medicine found practicing the “Kuji Kiri”—or the “Nine Syllables”—actually helps to reduce stress and focus concentration. A display image associated with the study conducted by Mie University School of Medicine. The images are from a recent exhibit in Tokyo, THE NINJA. Gallery below.

According to the study—which can be found by going here (if you know Japanese)—people who do the ninja hand movements experience a change in their brain waves (which can be measured using an EEG). After performing the “Kuri Kuri,” participants experienced a decrease in their beta waves, which are usually associated with negative feelings, and an increase in their alpha waves, usually associated with positivity. These changed levels apparently remained constant for 3 to 30 minutes after the ninja hand movements.

The study also showed that people’s reactions to stressful stimuli changed. Those who performed the “Kuri Kuri” again showed increased alpha waves and decreased beta waves after being affected by some kind of stress. According to RocketNews, the “Kuri Kuri” creates a “calm-body-sharp-mind state,” which, of course, plays perfectly into being a ninja. Silently stalking your enemy in the night, knowing that you could be discovered at any moment, obviously takes incredible focus. Hopefully the “Kuri Kuri” also helps with sitting in traffic.

What do you think about these ninja-related scientific findings? Do you have any of your own hand movements that help you to focus (aside from the one you like to use in traffic)? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Dani Vázquez/ Flickr

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