What exercises can be done with Chinese Medicine Balls?
This is a question posed by Bethany in the comments, and I thought the answer deserved its own post.
Chinese Medicine Balls, or other similar-sized balls, can be used to help increase flexibility or range of motion in the hands. The general idea is to hold both balls in one palm, and using the motion of your fingers, to twirl the balls around each other without letting them touch. This can be easier said than done!
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The medicine balls also make a fun clanging noise if they do touch, and their weight is supposed to also be good for massaging the acupressure points in the hand. The activity has been practiced since the Ming Dynasty in China as a meditative exercise. Here is a Web site with more information on the history and usage of the balls.
Medicine balls were recommended me by a physical therapist a few years ago, after I fractured a bone in my pinky finger and was trying to regain range of motion. I found that it works as well for my carpal tunnel symptoms and general stiffness in my hands, and I imagine it should work as well for DeQuervain’s syndrome.
It might be very difficult at first, or even a bit painful. Just do what’s comfortable, and don’t worry if you drop them or can’t do this perfectly right away.
I use little bouncy balls I found in a toy store. They are light weight but tend to bounce all over the room when I drop them! With practice, and after healing, the activity has grown easier for me.
Of course, I recommend listening to your hands, and if this causes additional pain, to try something different or ease up on your practice.
2 Responses to “Using Chinese Medicine Balls for Therapy”
March 13th, 2008 at 2:16 pm
Thanks, Amy, for the helpful response. I am just now getting around to reading it so I have not tried any of the aforementioned hand exercises yet. I will do so and then report back to you on the results.