CAN KENDAMA KEEP US FROM AGING? A STUDY FROM JAPAN
We have always wanted to have studies done on the benefits of kendama on the human brain and body. So far, it has been tough to afford the research.
In a recent trip to Japan, our CEO returned with a pamphlet that was promoting the benefits of Kendama in Japanese, where kendama has existed for much longer. We were able to translate the document into English (our accountant Nikki speaks Japanese) and what we read gave us goosebumps (or chicken skin depending on where you are from.)
“According to a study conducted at the Mayo Clinic, a surprising number of aging people suffer a condition in which tiny areas of their brain become oxygen deprived. This cerebral vascular deficit sharply increases risk of stroke, dementia, and cognitive impairment. Healthy lifestyle choices can prevent and may help reverse it.
As imaging techniques evolve, we are able to understand more about the workings of our brain. One of the most alarming discoveries has been the existence of ominous changes found in the brains of more than 60% of people in late middle age and beyond —changes that were once thought to be simply “age spots” on the brain, but have now taken center stage in the battle against age-related cognitive decline.
Officially known as “leukoaraiosis,” or “white matter hyperintensities,” these tiny spots appear bright white on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Scientists are only now coming to grips with the fact that these innocent-appearing spots carry grave implications for cognition, memory, personality, and even gait and balance changes as we age.
Leukoaraiosis, a small vessel disease, refers to the appearance on CT or MRI scans of damage in the white matter regions of the brain.5
Much of the brain’s total volume is composed of white matter, which runs like tracts of communications cables throughout the brain, connecting different regions so that they can coordinate and optimize the essential exchange of information.
Damage to white matter, then, is likely to result in impairment of brain functions that require complex interactions between regions. Such interactions include the so-called “executive functions” such as memory processing, decision-making, and priority-setting, as well as more basic functions like motor coordination, balance, and maintaining a normal gait.
Check out the article:
Leukoaraiosis: A Hidden Cause Of Brain Aging
Ok, now check this out from the translation of the Japanese pamphlet, paraphrased to read better, as the literal translation is harder to read:
A 94 year-old Kendama Master, Mr. Kimura, shows brain age is as young as a 50 year old.
"Many kendama players seem to enjoy a healthy body and Mind. The oldest registered kendama player in the Japan Kendama Association (click here to learn more about the JKA (link to JKA history)) is 94 year old Keisuke Kimura. He has enjoyed playing Kendama every day for over 20 years. When doctors took an MRI of his brain, they found only two Leukoaraiosis (age spots) were found.
To put this into reference, normal people can develop one every year, so at 94 years old, you could have about 44 of them. Mr. Kimura has 2, the amount you would expect to find in a 50-year old individual."