For centuries Chinese Baoding balls have been used to promote many health benefits. This article will explore these benefits, the use of Baoding balls in Chinese alternative therapies and, how to use the balls effectively.

In order to gain an understanding of the use of the Baoding ball it is necessary to explore its history. The Chinese balls get their name the region in which they were invented; Baoding, China. The Baoding balls are first recorded as being used during the Ming dynasty which ruled China from 1368 for three centuries. They were originally presented to the emperor of the dynasty by a blacksmith who gave them as a gift to be used solely by the imperial family.

Over the years the use of Chinese balls spread throughout the Chinese empire so they could be used by all the citizens. Champions for the use of Chinese balls claim that use of them promotes many health benefits. Support for these benefits come from many varied sources including:

Chinese alternative medicine practitioners. In Chinese medicine the fingertips are considered to be linked to the heart. By stimulating the fingertips using Chinese Balls, the vibrating connection with the pressure points stimulates the central nervous system, improves brain functioning, removes worries, increases energy, reduces high blood pressure and, relieves arthritis in the hands. So, from only this one source we can see how something so simple can hold so many benefits to our health!

Also in China, it is not uncommon to see Tai Chi and Qi Hong practitioners using Chinese balls during their exercises. Their reasons for this, amongst others, is that the concentration required to use Baoding balls helps to improve one’s concentration, self-control and, wellbeing. Walking around any park in China you are likely to see those practising these arts using the Chinese balls to synchronise with their body movements.

Even today, many doctors in China will prescribe the use of Chinese balls to patients who report fatigue. The theory is that using the Baoding balls will activate the pressure points in the hand to increase the flow of internal energy.

Even those who do not practise Chinese alternative medicine or the martial arts report many benefits to their health from using Chinese balls. These include:

- Improved memory
- Relaxed muscles and joints
- Stress relief
- Improved sleep

Some Baoding balls are made with small bumps on the surface. Many users believe that when these bumps make contact with the skin the pressure helps to improve blood circulation.

The health benefits of using Baoding balls has been outlined above, now we will examine how the Chinese balls are to be used. Baoding balls come in many different sizes, anywhere between 35mm and 100mm in diameter. When the size of the balls increases, the difficulty of using them grows more complex. For this reason many new to the use of Chinese Balls choose to start with balls of 50mm and increase the size when they have gained more experience.

The aim is to rotate the balls in one hand without allowing them to touch one another. When the user grows more confident with using them then more and larger balls can be added. It has been known for some experienced users to rotate 3 or sometimes 4 balls in one hand! This increase in difficulty requires improved hand and arm strength, concentration and dexterity; a few more of the benefits associated with Chinese Balls.

Over the centuries the Chinese Baoding ball has retained a strong presence in improving health in Chinese therapies. Use of the balls is now widespread throughout the world with many users reporting health benefits from using Chinese balls. With a world relying on medicine and drugs, this alternative health practice has stood the test of time.

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Author's Bio: 

Gary Mullen from Chinese Balls.