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One common characteristic associated with Americans today is that they are always on the go. With a laundry list of things to do, stress builds up whether you are a student or already out in the real world. Even things outside of surviving in a professional setting, such as maintaining relationships and health, can take a toll on anyone. Nowadays it seems harder and harder for people to take time out for themselves and even if they do it may be difficult for them to enjoy it.
But what if there was a quick way for you to help your mental and physical health all while relaxing and taking some much needed time to relax? Zen meditation balls just might do the trick.
Zen Meditation Balls: A History
Zen meditation balls—also known as health balls, meridian balls, meditation balls, or Baoding balls—are said to have been used by martial artists as weapons, and acrobats used them to demonstrate flexibility, according to Alison Trulock’s booklet, “Zen Meditation Balls.” Even today it is widely believed that the balls possess some kind of magical power that promotes health. In China, many people still practice the use of the mediation balls and it is common to see them used by people who are going on walks and by people who are hosting guests in their home. Mediation balls are also a popular gift when wanting to wish someone a long life.
What are Zen Meditation Balls and how do They Help the Body?
The balls come in sets of two and depending on the type of kit, more than one set may be in a single kit. In the beginning, the balls were first made of solid iron. Today, the balls are hollow and made with chrome-plated steel. Inside the balls are sounding plates that make a pleasant jingling sound when the balls are moved. The balls sound when moved in the palm of a person’s hand while being rotated in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion.
Trulock noted that the sounding plates create a high and low tone, which are said to symbolize yin and yang. According to Chinese philosophy, “yin and yang are two opposite and separate forces that maintain the balance of the emotional and intellectual components of a human being.” When these forces become unbalanced, problems can arise and Zen meditation balls combat those problems and rebalance the forces.
The balls are also popular for their therapeutic uses. They are essentially a portable way to reap the benefits of meditation, acupuncture, and massage at the user’s whim. According to Trulock, Chinese medicine states that the body is filled with “meridians,” which are the pathways through which a person’s vital energy or “chi” flows.
Chi is not something that can be seen by the naked eye, but it is believed that chi is manifested in a person’s health. Therefore, when a person’s chi is stagnant that person becomes susceptible to illness.
Along the meridians are the points that an acupuncturist uses to restore interrupted energy flow to the vital organs by inserting needles into the points and twirling them. When you rotate the meditation balls in the palm of your hand, this stimulates the rest of the body and provides better circulation of the body’s blood and energy. Also, the hands contain numerous reflex zones that stimulates other parts of the body. This makes the meditation balls good for aches and pains as well.
According to livestrong.com, both balls must be held in one hand. Place one between the pinkie and ring finger and the other with the remaining three fingers. Push the balls simultaneously, exchanging their positions. Continue this rotation without dropping the balls. It will take time and patience. The correct form is being achieved when the balls click together.
Different Types of Meditation Balls
There are three different types of meditation balls: metal, wood, and stone. They come in a variety of sizes and are always sold in a pair. According to Trulock, the size and weight of the balls is what determines how much of an impact the balls will have on your body. The bigger and heavier the ball, the more stimulation you receive.
If you are mostly interested in the therapeutic benefits, the metal mediation ball is the best choice. Since they are usually the heaviest type of ball, they provide the most stimulation to the reflex points in the hand. The metal balls are also the easiest to move and the most accessible of the three. There are several different sets of metal mediation balls available on Amazon and their prices range from $2 to $6.
The stone balls are the second most common type. They are most often carved out of jade or marble. They are much cooler to the touch than the metal, but must be handled more delicately due to their fragile state. Stone balls are a lot harder to find on Amazon, but there are a few sets. However, these balls are much more expensive and can sell for as high as $30. There are some cheaper sets floating around on Etsy and eBay.
Wooden balls are the rarest of the three and are usually made of hardwoods. Their rarity makes them more sought out and used as a part of collections. They are also the least effective of the three because of their light density.
If life seems to be too much lately, mediation balls are worth a try. Natural remedies are becoming popular and even if the meditation balls do not entirely fix things, they could be a great way to get to the solution.
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