How to Use Chinese Stress Balls

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Chinese stress balls—the metal or gemstone balls that fit in your palm, sometimes containing bells inside—are good for relieving stress and improving meditation. Using the balls stimulates “meridians” in the body, in a fashion similar to acupuncture. Exercising with Chinese stress balls may also help you strengthen the muscles in your fingers, hands, and arms. Follow these tips to pick out the right pair of Chinese stress balls and to use them properly.

Choose a pair of Chinese stress balls that are the right size for your hand. They come in sizes from 35 mm to 55 mm.

Place both balls in the palm of your hand.

Rotate the balls clockwise and then counterclockwise in your hand.


Once you have practiced with the Chinese stress balls, try rotating the balls without letting them touch each other. Or try rotating the balls with your palm turned downward.


Add a third ball for an extra challenge.


  • You can buy Chinese stress balls (also known as baoding balls or Chinese exercise balls) at health stores, or online (see Resources).