Chinese Exercise Balls also called Baoding balls, Chinese Health Balls, or Chinese Therapy Balls are exercise tools invented during the Ming Dynasty in a small town in China, called Baoding, in the province of Heibei. These balls were once called Iron Balls in Baoding, because they initially were made from iron.
Nowadays, these Chinese Exercise Balls are created from various kinds of materials but they still maintain their lightness when carried. The balls are typically made from chrome-plated steel and are hollow, with many also created to have a chime within. Sometimes, people call them harmony balls or chime balls. FYI, the Baoding Balls come with a variety of patterns that have been designed onto them. These patterns are usually hand-made designs and the cloisonne balls often have a depiction of characters or symbols associated with positive qualities like health and harmony.
While the balls are often used for meditation and exercise, they can also be employed for therapeutic purposes. To use them to exercise your body, hold a couple of Baoding balls within your palm then turn them counterclockwise and clockwise or vice versa. Gravity will assist you in controlling the balls. There are countless of possible exercises you can do with these balls. One exercise is to try not letting the balls touch each other during manipulation, this is an exercise advanced users often perform. They ordinarily use more than two balls all at once. When your hand manipulates the balls, it not only exercises your hand muscles, it also provides a workout for your shoulder and forearm muscles as well.
Alternative Medicine promotes the belief that the balls have therapeutic benefits when they touch acupuncture or pressure points in the hand. Western medicine practitioners are hesitant to acknowledge that the balls have positive impacts on health, but it’s widely known that Chinese medicine practitioners are holistic healers who believe that all the systems of the body are connected to one another. Followers of Chinese medicine think that healers or doctors should not just address the symptoms but should also treat the underlying root of the symptoms. In relation, Baoding balls should be recommended by a Chinese physician to a patient whose Chi or internal energy has stagnated that started the patient’s problem in the first place.
Some Baoding balls are called health balls and have small bumps on them. They all are designed to enhance blood flow while serving as a tool to relax the joints and muscles. Conditions such as arthritis of the wrists and fingers, high blood pressure, as well as trembling and numbing of the hands can be treated or prevented via the utilization of these health balls.
Sometimes, Baoding balls merchandisers will tell you that the balls adhere to certain principles that involve touching the energy channels or meridians (just like in shiatsu massage or acupuncture). In traditional Chinese medicine, these channels are called Jingluo and they are the vessels wherein Chi flows throughout the body. The Jingluo channels connect to acupuncture points. So, by touching the meridian, health benefits will be gained by the patient. The ten fingers of your hands are interlinked to your cranial nerve and to other major organs of body including the stomach, intestines, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen, lungs, heart and liver. Hence, when the practitioner stimulates the meridians, the patient will experience an enhanced flow of blood and vital energy in his or her body.
Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that bones are strengthened, muscles maintain their nimbleness, and the mind becomes calm through extended use of the health balls. Other benefits may include prevention of high blood pressure and other chronic diseases and the free flow of blood in the body. Over time (in reference to several years of manually exercising the Baoding balls), the brain becomes sharper and you’ll notice that your memory and intelligence has improved as well. In addition, fatigue and worries disappear, stress is ameliorated, and your longevity is prolonged.
One Baoding ball exercise enthusiast said that a week of exercising with the balls is not time enough to observe the efficacy of this health tool as far as prevention and health maintenance is concerned. Moreover, for most users, the balls are not designed as a form of first-aid treatment. However, when utilized as an adjunct to Bellmore traditional Chinese medicine or other preventive health care systems, the Baoding balls then can help maximize the health benefits of these systems.
At first, you might find the idea of rotating two or three balls in your palm as a path to better health absurd, but, since Chinese traditional medicine has existed for thousands of years, perhaps there’s some truth to the health benefits incurred by this ancient manual therapy. So, why not give it a try? It just might be the key to improved wellbeing and health.