Chinese Medicine Balls, or Baoding Balls, were founded in the small town of Baoding, China, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Usually sold as a pair, these balls were originally created with iron to strengthen hand muscle tone, coordination, and relaxation. These days, Baoding balls are mostly constructed with metal and are hollow on the inside with a bell resting inside two interlocked metal coils creating a musical chime sound when the balls hit one another.
In Chinese medicine, it is believed that these balls improve one’s health and mind function when used on a daily basis. The palms of our hands are filled with many acupressure points that connect to different parts of our bodies. Hands also carry meridian points that act as pathways or channels where Qi moves throughout the body. Since Baoding balls are used by repeatedly rotating 2 or more balls in one hand, we massage these acupressure and meridian points. This results in improved circulation throughout the body getting our blood to flow to all our organs and that helps our body to function at an optimal level. Also, by stimulating the meridian points, we move stagnant Qi. Through the exercise of rotating the balls by making sure that there are even and constant contact between them, we also strengthen our forearm, hand, and shoulder muscles and joints. Thus, improving manual dexterity which helps to relieve arthritis in the hand.
There are many ways that these Chinese medicine balls help heal the body, but they also help to heal the mind. They are greatly recommended for people in times of stress. The act of rotating the balls in a circular motion helps to place one in a meditative state, therefore relieving stress. By understanding that we can access all the vital organs of our bodies through our hands, we can also believe in starting to heal everything by the simple act of rolling two Baoding balls one hand at a time.
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