By Petey21 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
In this post we are going to explore non-traditional eastern medicine like the post about acupressure that I put up before (put link here). This time we are going to be talking about Baoding balls.
Baoding balls – also called Chinese Therapy Balls, Chinese Health Balls, Chinese Exercise Balls, Chinese Stress Balls, or meditation balls – are small metal balls that you can hold in your hand (not hands, hand as in singular). You use them by rotating two or more balls in your hand over and over, kind of like this:
I should mention that the guy in the video does tricks with Baoding balls; you don’t have to rotate the balls without touching like he shows in the video but you can if you want to.
Baoding balls are believed to have come from Baoding China, a small town in the Heibei province, which was present during the reign of the Ming Dynasty. The balls were originally made of iron but nowadays they are made of various other materials like chrome and they usually contain a chime within them.
Baoding balls are normally used for meditation, exercise and sometimes medical purposes. Doctors give them to accident victims to help recover proper motor skills in their hands; and of course it is used to help with stress. Alternative medicine says that Baoding balls work by touching various acupressure points in your hands; some Baoding balls have grooves and bumps so that they touch specific acupressure points in your hand.
Western medicine is not sure how or why Baoding balls work, traditional Chinese medicines says that the balls helps realign your chi energy and helps it flow better. You can read more about it from these two sites:
As for the stress part and how the balls help, here’s my take on it. Just like stress balls (put link here) when you move the Baoding balls around in your hands you are distracting yourself from what’s around you and your own stressful thoughts. The movement of your muscles in your hands helps release some of your pent up stress and the rhythmic motion of rotating the balls in your hand has a soothing effect on you as well. There may be more to it than just that, I’m not saying that’s how it works, I’m just telling you how I think it works.
I don’t possess a set if Baoding balls myself but I have played around them before and I quite liked it, it was something I could do to keep me occupied and not think about what makes me stressed. So if you haven’t already and if you’re up to it then try out some Baoding balls for when you are stressed out, they may not seem like much but sometimes the best things come in small packages.