A pair of Chinese Boading Chiming Stress relief balls, revered for their use in alleviating various ailments and for keeping the fingers supple. They are of high quality, using cloisenne enamel, and measure approximately 48mm in diameter. Both are finely balanced, and sit nicely within a silk lined presentation box with brass catch.
Baoding balls (literally "Baoding physical exercise balls") are also known as Chinese exercise balls, Chinese meditation balls, Chinese medicine balls, and healthy balls. They are a traditional product of Baoding, China, thought to have been created during the Ming dynasty. Two or more Baoding balls are rotated repetitively in the hand to improve manual dexterity and strength, and they are also said to assist in injury recovery.
The basic exercise consists of rotating a pair of Baoding balls in the palm of the hand, ensuring even and constant contact is made between the balls. Once this has been learned, the rotation speed can be gradually increased until the balls separate in the hand. Eventually one can learn to rotate them completely without the balls making contact with each other. Exercises have been developed involving two, three, four or more balls.
The average person should be able to start with a 45-millimeter (1.8 in) diameter ball, moving up to the 60-millimeter (2.4 in) size as their muscles get accustomed to the exercise. Larger Baoding balls (70–100 millimeters (2.8–3.9 in)) can be used, although eventually it is impossible to rotate them without touching. The area of the hand exercised can be varied at advanced levels of practice, altering the portion of the hand they rotate over, or changing the orbit of the balls in the hand so that more force is exerted on a particular finger or particular finger joints. Well-known strongmen such as John Brookfield use large shot-put balls as Baoding balls, rotating them to develop forearm muscles and improve grip.