Chinese Exercise Balls – Yin Yang Health Balls

Baoding Balls - Chinese Exercise Balls - Chinese Therapy Balls

Chinese Exercise Balls

Baoding Balls Chinese Health Exercise Stress Balls Chrome Color

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  • TAG : Chinese Exercise Balls, Thai Ji Balls, Healthy Therapy Balls
  • The use of Chinese exercise balls is based on the theory of jing luo () and xue (). Two or more balls are placed in the palm and manipulated by the hand and fingers. As the balls are rotated clockwise and counter-clockwise by the finger movements vital acupuncture points in the hand are stimulated.

    “Many thanks for the very useful Chinese Exercise Balls. I can learn to exercise with them. They do make my hands feel better, so many thanks for your thoughtfulness.”

  • Traditional Chinese exercise balls date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Original balls were solid. Later the balls were made hollow and were generally made from metal. Sounding plates are housed inside a paired set of metal exercise balls creating chime sounds when they are handled.

    Baoding balls are also known as Chinese exercise balls, Chinese meditation balls, Chinese medicine balls, and healthy balls. They are a traditiona...

    Chinese Exercise Balls

    Chinese exercise balls, or Chinese health balls, have a long history in Chinese medicine going back to the Ming Dynasty.  They were first produced in Baoding, China so they are also referred to as Baoding Balls.  Proper use of the Chinese exercise balls will improve your health by stimulating various acupuncture points on your hand improving the circulation and blood flow.  Continuous use will exercise the fingers and palm strengthening the muscles and joints. 

    Chinese Exercise Balls and Qi
    The energy of life is called "Qi".  The Chinese believe Qi is the force that moves, controls, guides, and creates life.  Your body has Qi which flows through your body and the smooth and balance flow of Qi is what makes your body function in harmony keeping you healthy from illness and disease.  Chinese acupuncture doctors call the channels which your vital energy flow through the Jingluo. Your fingers are connected this way to your heart, brain, vital organs.  Exercising with Chinese Balls keep your Jingluo unblocked resulting in the balanced flow of vital energy throughout  your body keeping your body healthy from circulation problems, brain sharp and memory good, and organs strong. 

    When you look at chinese exercise balls, you will often find them with symbols and pictures opposite of each other representing balance.  Popular symbols are the Yin and Yang.  While Yin represents the physical, emotional, intuitive and slow qualities, the Yang represents the intellectual, spiritual, and energetic qualities.  These energies flow opposite of each other keeping the other restrained and in balance.  This interaction is what Qi is about.  The sun and moon, male and female, dragon and phoenix, are other pictures you will often see on the chinese health balls representing the opposite poles.

    Chiming exercise balls also display this feature.  One ball creates a high tone chime and the other ball creates a low tone chime.  The high and low tones produce a harmonious relaxing melody.

  • How to Use Chinese Exercise Balls

    As a beginner, be sure to have balls that fit easily in your hand.  Chinese exercise balls come in varying sizes from 35mm to 55mm (1.37 in to 2.17 in) in diameter.  For children and people with small hands, use the 35mm balls.   Experience users and people with large hands can use larger balls.  It is also suggested that beginners use metal balls instead of solid stone balls because stone balls will break easier if dropped. 

    Both balls are placed in one hand and rotated in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.  Use all your fingers and palm to keep the balls moving.  As a beginner, your motion will most likely be clashy and jerky but with practice, it will become smoother. 

    Health Ball Exercises
    Once you are comfortable rotating the Chinese exercise balls, try rotating the balls without the balls coming apart and clashing against each other.  Keep the rotation smooth and go faster as you improve.  A well trained hand can make the balls spin effortlessly like magic.

    Next, try to spin the balls without the balls touching each other.  This will be harder with larger balls, but will stretch and work your fingers more.  You will have to train yourself as to if you want to push the balls with your fingers or let them roll around your hand and redirect the force with palm and fingers.  One will be more efficient than the other.

    One exercise to build strength is to rotate the balls while your palm is facing downwards.  Your fingers will have to constantly hold the balls to keep them from dropping building your strength and dexterity.  Do this for several minutes and you will start to feel the workout up to your shoulders. The animated picture above is actually showing it slower than it really is.

    Once you have become proficient in rotating the balls in your hand, the next level is to be able to spin the exercise balls in both directions.  It will take some practice to become natural rotating the balls clockwise and counter-clockwise.
    If you mastered the exercises in one hand, the obvious next step is to use both hands.  You can rotate a set of balls in each hand or use both hands to rotate multiple balls together.

    Adding more balls is another way to increase the difficulty.  Try 3 balls in one hand.  4 balls, and 5 balls in one hand is even possible.

    Note: The set of metal therapy balls shown in the photos along with this article were originally owned by my mother-in-law when she was still living. Anne was never quite able to handle both balls in just one hand due to crippling arthritis in both her hands. This was not due to her lack of trying. Even so, she experienced joy handling them. She enjoyed clanging them gently into one another to sound the chimes. These Chinese exercise balls certainly were therapeutic for her.

Black Diamond - Chinese Exercise Balls

Here is a video of me working with Chinese exercise balls, my new . You can skip the first thirty seconds of silliness if you want to get to the meat of the video and you don’t even need to watch it especially towards the end where I start rambling on. But you should buy Chinese exercise balls and start spinning. I have seen these things for years every time I walk through Chinatown and finally bought a couple of pairs.