Baoding balls are believed to have originated in Baoding, a small town in the Heibei province of China during the reign of the Ming dynasty( Luo, 1991). Baoding balls were originally known as Iron Balls, since the early Baoding balls were made of iron balls. At present, the Iron material that was originally used in making Baoding balls has been replaced with chrome-plated steel. Some modern day Baoding ball designs has been modified to be made of light materials forged into a hollow ball, containing a chime in the hollow space inside.
This modification has caused the Baoding ball to be sometimes called rhyme balls. Baoding balls are generally used for exercise. It can also be used for meditation and can also be also be utilized for medical and therapy purposes. There are many possible forms of exercise that may employ the use of Baoding balls. A user may also design his own routine using his Baoding ball, depending on his preference. Baoding balls are good at relieving Arthritis, and may benefit individuals suffering from Carpal Tunnel syndrome (CTS) and other manual diseases.
Baoding balls are also good at restoring or improving manual dexterity. At some extent, it can even be used in therapy against hand paralysis. Scientifically, the effects of Baoding balls are yet to be proven, but alternative medicine advocates ascertain that the Baoding balls can really help, health wise, by touching pressure points during their rotation in the palm. By touching pressure points, the Baoding balls can improve blood circulation and at the same time, helps muscles, nerves, and tissues relax.
Baoding balls are usually used in pairs. For exercises, the Baoding balls are placed in the palm and are rotated clockwise or counterclockwise through hand motion. Advance exercises using the Baoding balls may employ additional balls, aside from the two Baoding balls employed in the basic exercises. Some Baoding ball users may use up to three Baoding balls at a time. Other users may also set rules to improve their exercises routine, such as not allowing the Baoding balls to touch each other during the exercises.
Other variations to hand exercises using Baoding balls may also be made to suit the needs and preference of the users. Although the health effects of Baoding balls still lay as a mystery to the western medical sciences, the Chinese has spent centuries using the Baoding balls, and living up as witnesses to the health benefits that it can give. References Cited Luo, Steve. 1991. The Mysterious Iron Balls of Boading. Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness. Retrieved on May 22, 2010 from http://www. qi-journal. com/culture
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