Dentist working on patient

Baoding Balls can Improve your Career

Are you an future surgeon, dentist, or musician? Many careers like these require skillful manual dexterity, the ability to use your hands in a coordinated way to grab and manipulate objects and perform small precise movements.

As one example, the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) has a section that specifically tests manual dexterity because dentists must work on in a small area with precision. Fine hand-eye coordination is needed to keep patients safe. The American Dental Education Association explains that they test this to make sure people will enjoy doing this work for long hours and not get frustrated as dental school can be very expensive.

While dentistry is an obvious career that needs good manual dexterity, there are many other careers that manual dexterity is important. Just some of these jobs were listed as needing manual dexterity:

  • Millwrights
  • Surgeons
  • Sewers
  • Explosive Workers
  • Heavy Equipment Mechanics
  • Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners
  • Iron and Steel Workers
  • Upholsterers
  • Automotive Specialty Technicians
  • Massage Therapists
  • Electrical Installers
  • Jewelers
  • Robot Technicians
  • Plumbers

  • Farm Equipment Mechanics
  • Patternmakers
  • Home Installers
  • Oral Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Motorcycle Mechanics
  • Cabinetmakers
  • Hairdressers
  • Tree Trimmers
  • Cement Masons
  • Tire Changers
  • Construction Workers
  • Carpenters

Building manual dexterity can have a positive effect on your job. Manual dexterity is important for many jobs we often don’t realize. In one case of a previous customer, the large oil company ConocoPhillips needed many baoding balls to train dexterity for their workers in Alaska.

Some employers use this tweezer dexterity test to test workers for hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity. Just one example of many dexterity tests around which have standardized and statistical scoring of how well you perform.

Using baoding balls is just one way to build and improve dexterity. Other ways to refine manual dexterity are activities such as drawing, painting, woodcarving, jewelry making, knitting, cross-stitching, and playing an instrument. By doing these things, you can advance your skills in your career and enjoy what you do for a living for many years to come.

Performing arts with baoding balls

Baoding Ball Performing Arts

You probably have seen the posters for Shen Yun at sometime, a performing arts group that celebrates 5000 years of cultural dance and song from China. You might be surprised to know that there are also cultural performing arts of dance and baoding spinning. Here we take a look at a group performing dance with baoding balls.

Baoding balls are thousands of years old and a piece China’s ancient heritage. As one of the 3 treasures of Baoding, China, the performers dance with the baoding balls to show its significance in their culture and history.

Man doing tai chi with baoding balls

Tai Chi Routine with Baoding Balls

This Tai Chi instructor shows you several Tai Chi movements using baoding balls. If you practice Tai Chi, you can learn these movements and incorporate baoding balls into your own Tai Chi exercises.

This routine has five sections. Some moves have names which are shown in parenthesis.

Part 1: Individual

0:00 – Start from the beginning in a relaxed state.

Rotate balls and extend arm forward.

Turn body 180 degrees.

Switch extended arm.

Turn back around and extend both arms in opposite directions (Show wings and fly).

Turn body 180 degrees and switch arms.

Return to resting position (Drop wings and return to nest).


Part 2: Flying Phoenix

0:27 – Start from relaxed state.

Turn and squat with arms extended and hands above each other (Phoenix in the tree catching the wind).

Turn around standing with right arm stretched high and left arm low (Climb tree and open wings).

Turn around and lean to one side with arms extended and one hand above the other (Phoenix laying on tree branch observing the view).

Turn around with left arm stretched high and right arm low (100 birds bowing to the phoenix).

Return to resting position.


Part 3: Peacock with Open Wings

0:44 – Start from relaxed state.

Quarter turn and squat with right hand above the left against the body (Peacock go home).

Turn around and stretch arms above the head (Open wings for competition).

Turn around and lean left with right hand below left hand (Climb to top and rest).

Turn around and stretch arms above the head again (Whole yard full bloom).

Return to resting position.


Part 4: Rooster Crowing

1:03 – Start from relaxed state.

Right foot extend forward and cross arms across body with left arm behind you (Rooster crowing).

Turn around and switch foot and arms (Shake wings and change position).

Stand on one leg and move balls forward and then backwards (Golden rooster standing).

Turn around and stand on one leg and move balls forward and then to the side with open arms.

Return to resting position.

Part 5: Sun and Moon Shining Together

1:24 – Start from resting position.

Arms together and bend down moving hands in a circular motion forward and then backward.

Move arms behind you and then to the side.

Stand up and stretch arms forward.

Stretch arms above your head with your head lifted up and leaning back.

Return to resting position.

Help for Thumb Pain from Texting or Gaming

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and we are holding onto it all day long. We practically can’t function without them and it has created a problem for some. Tapping the screen all day has lead to repetitive stress conditions called “texting thumb” or “trigger thumb”. For gamers, it is referred to as “gamers thumb” and happens from gaming long hours with game controllers. Left untreated, the pain in the thumb can worsen and also cause tendinitis in the arm.

The official medial term for this condition is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Symptoms of this condition start with pain in the wrist below the base of the thumb. If not taken care of, your tendons become inflamed from overuse causing hand pain and in severe cases the need for surgery. Orthopedic doctors recommend these practices to help prevent getting to that point.

  • Keeping your elbows straight to not restrict blood flow or text with the phone on a table.
  • Switch to texting with your fingers on one hand while holding the phone in the other.
  • Use hands-free commands and voice recognition.
  • Do smartphone stretches by taking breaks to stretch your tendons and muscles.
  • Applying hot or cold compress to your tendons and muscles to relax them.
  • Massaging the hand to loosen the stiff muscles.

An Old Solution for a New Problem

As you can see, baoding balls can help prevent texting thumb by keeping your tendons and muscles nimble and stretched. The balls also have a massaging affect on the acupressure points in the hand.

If you are starting to experience symptoms such as stiffness, numbness, cramps, pain, or tingling when using your phone, it’s time to take action before it’s too late. Continuing to ignore the symptoms can lead to years of worse hand problems and symptoms that don’t go away without help from a doctor.

A Ball in the Rough. Revealing the Hidden Beauty of Natural Baoding Balls

The way the earth has created the variety of natural gemstones in the world is a remarkable part of nature. Holding such stones like quartz, hematite, tigers eye, and amethyst, you’ll often wonder how can nature create such things so beautiful. The old saying “A diamond in the rough” rings true as the beauty is hidden until it can be revealed through a labor and time intensive process.

Baoding Balls in the Rough

In the geology world, plain stones cut from the mines start out as roughs. They might appear as normal looking rocks that you see on the ground. Our solid semi-precious gemstones balls are always made of natural stones that start out as roughs.

Rough gemstones before being carved to baoding balls

Beware of fake stone materials. Many gemstone objects today are made by imitation or synthetic materials. Creative techniques have allowed some materials to mimic the look of natural stones very closely. Many imitation stones are even labeled and called natural by dishonest sellers so you have to be careful.

Some stones may look nice, but are not natural

From the rough gemstones, a saw is used cut the stone into pieces resembling a ball. They start by cutting squares pieces and then cutting off the corners and edges until a round object resembling a dodecahedron is formed. Then the edges are grounded until a ball is formed. It takes a skilled craftsman to make nice round balls.

Outer Beauty is Inner Beauty Made Visible

The next critical step is the polishing phase where the gemstone spheres are put through a multi-step polishing procedure. First, the balls are polished with a coarse polishing material to even out the surface.

rough stone ball
Rough baoding ball gemstone

Then they are polished repeatedly gradually using finer polishing compounds and materials. This step is most important to reveal the glossy shine in the gemstones.

stone sphere before polishing
Gemstone baoding ball before fine polishing
stone sphere after polishing
Gemstone baoding ball after polishing

Every Gemstone Ball is Unique

One characteristic of natural gemstone baoding balls is that no two balls are alike. We often don’t realize when holding a pair of gemstone baoding balls is that you are holding something that took thousands of years to create. Each ball will have its own unique colors, patterns, and appearance. The rocks in the ground are constantly changing from the earth’s movement. Rocks crack under pressure and the cracks are fused with other stones of the same type or another. Molten magma crystallizes into quartz. Minerals and sediment settle and diffuse into the stones. There is a lot going on in the earth’s crust creating the gemstone’s unique appearance of veins, fractures, pits, and banded layers. While writing this, I am reminded of a saying that you are made of flaws and that is what makes you beautiful. That’s very true of things created in nature.

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