Chinese baoding balls, also commonly known as Chinese meditation balls, Chinese Exercise balls, Chinese Therapy balls, Chinese Stress balls, and Chinese Health balls.
They are believed to have originated in Baoding, China, a small town in the Heibei province, during the reign of the Ming Dynasty.
In Baoding, the balls were once known as Chinese Iron Balls, this was because the initial baoding balls were manufactured from iron.
Today however, baoding balls are manufactured from steel, metal alloys and various other materials. Obviously they are not as heavy as iron but still have some sufficient weight to them.
Baoding balls are usually hollow and made from chrome-plated steel, with the majority containing a toned chime inside them as well.
These chimes are sometimes referred to as chime balls or harmony balls and are specially pitched one with a high note and one with a low note.
Baoding balls are manufactured with a plethora of different designs that are crafted onto them.
They are quite shiny, attractively colored and have a nice smooth feel to them. Some have an ivory, porcelain type look and feel whilst others resemble marble or stone.
Other Baoding balls do not have the eloquent marble-esque, polished finish but are left in their bare chrome or stainless steel state. They are all quite pleasing though, and many people collect them.
See the YouTube video below that feature all of the baodings seen on this page...
The designs are generally hand made which depict symbols or characters related to love, friendship, harmony, health, and other positive forces. No two baoding balls are identical, each having there own differences, due to being hand painted.
Baoding balls can be used for exercise, therapy and meditation, but are also reputed to be good when used for medical reasons.
When they are used for exercise, two baoding balls are placed within your palm then rotated clockwise and counter clockwise. Gravity is your ally and will help you to keep on controlling the balls.
There are many different exercises possible with Chinese baoding balls, one of them is not to let the balls touch one another when whirling them around in your hand.
Not as easy as it sounds and much practise is required, at the same time toning up hand eye co-ordination, concentration and muscular dexterity.
Advanced users of baoding balls can often use more than two balls at one time and four or even six (smaller) Baodings can be manipulated.
Whirling the baodings in your palm, they exercise hand, forearm and shoulder muscles.. Although, as with any physical exercise, it can feel tiring after 15 minutes. I often feel very sleepy after a baoding ball whirling session.
Many baoding ball users advocate that the baodings are beneficial for medical reasons when they touch pressure points or acupuncture points found all over the hand.
Western medical practitioners find it hard to believe that baoding balls actually have health benefits but users of the baoding balls argue that the reverse is true.
Chinese medical practitioners however, strongly advocate that baoding balls are indeed of healthy benefits and that the body is linked together with energy points that are stimulated via the motion and sound/vibration of the baoding balls.
Chinese doctors may actually prescribe the use of baoding balls to a patient suffering from anxiety, stress and other mental conditions. Also the solution to some physical aliments may also lie within the mystical powers of the Baoding balls.
To the Chinese, this integral human energy force is called "QI" (chee) and they advocate its stimulation by baoding ball manipulation to release caught up and blocked energy flows.
Some special baoding balls are manufactured with small bumps on the surface, these bumpy baoding balls are specifically termed as health balls.
The small bumps are said to re-energize the QI and the circulation of the blood, whilst relaxing joints and muscles. It has been stated that disorders such as numbness or arthritis of the fingers and wrists can be prevented and health in these areas improved through the use of Chinese health balls.
Many people initially find it difficult to believe that two to four balls merely being rotated in the palm of the hand may have any benefits, especially those from a western medical background.
However, Chinese traditional medicine has been around for centuries purporting Baoding balls as beneficial, and they hardly ever deviate from ancient medicinal beliefs, so therefore, they must be getting something right!
Acquire some baoding balls yourself and give them a try. I will guarantee that you will feel some benefit from them. Your health may even be the recipient of some renewed energy flows that will add a bit of razzamatazz to your old self.
Baoding balls are available off the internet and can be found on E-Bay or Amazon. They sell for a few only a few dollars and are worth trying out.
Page created September 14th 2012.