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Meditations

Meditation Balls
By:Rebecca Burt

Meditation balls are used for some meditation disciplines and used generally to promote good health. Also called health balls, stress balls, Chinese exercise balls, baoding balls, and many other names, these small metal balls have a variety of purposes.

Description
Meditation balls can range in diameter from 1 in. to 4 inches, typically separated into three sizes: small, medium and large. The balls are available in a variety of styles. They usually come as sets of two in decorative boxes.

History
Meditation balls are also known as baoding balls, because they came out of Baoding, China. They were created at the time of the Ming Dynasty. Originally these balls were made out of solid iron. They were used by all classes of people, from peasants to emperors.

Composition
Meditation balls can be made from a variety of materials: jade, steel, iron, stone, wood, even plastic. Some of them are smooth, while others may have engraving on them. They are also available in different colors. Meditation balls often have chimes inside, so that when they are moved around they make peaceful chime sounds. This is why they are used for meditation; focus on the rhythmic sound brings your mind into a meditative state.

Uses
Besides being used for meditation, these little balls have other helpful uses. They are also used for relieving stress, and for hand and wrist exercise. They can also be helpful in relieving the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. For people who use meditation balls for exercise, the solid balls are preferred to the hollow ones with chimes.
Rolling the balls around in your hand puts pressure on certain acupuncture points. This signals your nervous system to relax. In the practice of alternative medicine, these acupuncture points are believed to be connected to the health of many other parts of the body, including vital organs. Therefore, these balls are thought to have medicinal qualities. Regular use of these meditation balls is thought to eliminate stress, invigorate the brain, and get rid of fatigue.

Techniques
Rotating two balls in one of your palms is the most basic use of meditation balls. The balls should move smoothly, always touching each other without smacking together. Once you have the hang of rotating the balls in the direction that feels most natural, you can try moving the balls in the opposite direction. Another more challenging variation is keeping the balls from touching each other while you rotate them. Once you are able to easily rotate two balls smoothly, you can start using larger balls. You can also add more balls into the mix.

Purchasing
The price of meditation balls varies, but $5 to $10 is the average. There are a variety of websites that sell meditation balls. You may also want to browse through a store that sells Asian items. If your looking for an inexpensive set, eBay usually has many listed.