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為什麼練習中國書法有治療作用? Practicing Chinese Calligraphy is therapeutic. Why?

(scroll down for English)


根據一個對於人們腦部反應的研究 (Xu et al, 2013),當練習中國書法時,透過調節生理節奏及增強認知能力,可以改善身心健康。

1. 調節生理節奏

過去的研究顯示,練習中國書法,讓人們整體的生理得到調整。這些作用反映在書寫者呈现出較低的心率、呼吸率、 血壓及皮膚溫度。 這會令他们的情緒放鬆及達至心裏安寧的狀態。書寫者生理上得到的舒緩, 能鼓勵他们繼續書寫。

2. 認知能力



香港大學的徐教授及他的團隊 (Xu et al, 2013),透過研究書寫者的腦電波反應,找到有力的證據,證實練習中國書法,對書寫者的認知能力有益。研究指出,經過十天書寫中國書法的訓練,研究對象位於腦部前中線的腦電波有明顯的反應,這反映了他們的集中能力加強及較低的焦慮水平。這個腦電波,對於腦部網絡的連接十分重要。研究證明,練習中國書法,可以改善認知能力。 這個對於有智能缺憾的兒童及阿茲海默症患者尤其顯著。

The benefits of practicing Chinese Calligraphy have been explored scientifically for over 30 years. It is widely known that writing Chinese Calligraphy leads to cognitive activation, perceptual sharpening, physiological slowdown, and emotional stability.

According to a study on people’s brain reactions (Xu et al, 2013), practicing Chinese Calligraphy improves well-being of individuals through enhancing their physiological comfort and cognitive capacity.

1. Physiological comfort

Past studies have demonstrated that practicing Chinese Calligraphy causes an overall physiological slowdown of the writers evidenced in their lower levels of heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and skin temperature. This leads to a state of emotional relaxation, and peace of mind. This psychological comfort motivates them to continue writing.

2. Cognitive capacity

Upon repeated practices of writing, the visual-spatial variations of characters heightened the writers’ attention, alertness, and response capacity. As a long-term effect, the cortical stimulation enhanced visual-spatial ability, abstract reasoning, and short-term memory.

The perceptual organisation of the Chinese character involves balance, space, shape, and movement. The writers also need to consider the characters’ connectedness, coherence, symmetry, orientation, and size. The diverse ingredients of Chinese characters promote the connections of cranial nerves. The simulation of cerebrum could strengthen the multidimensional visual-spatial relations. The visual perception benefits the operation of cognitive activity and functions of related cortical substrates.

By studying the brain wave reaction of writers, Xu et al. (2013) find strong evidence supporting the beneficial effects of practicing Chinese Calligraphy on writers’ cognitive capacity. According to the study, through a 10-day Chinese Calligraphy training, individuals demonstrate greater frontal midline theta (Fm theta) wave reflect mental concentration, and lower anxiety level. Theta wave is crucial for the connection of brain networks. The increase of theta wave is evidence for the improvement of cognitive ability, especially in children with mental retardation and patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Xu, et al (2013) Cognitive-Neural Effects of Brush Writing of Chinese Characters: Cortical Excitation of Theta Rhythm, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2013, Article ID 975190, 11 pages.

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