Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hands up! (The felt sense of resonance from Baoding)

In recent posts, I looked at various techniques for establishing focusing on vowel resonance in the upper body. For over 20 years, I have been exercising with Chinese health balls (保定健身球), pronounced 'ken-shin-kyu' in Japanese. There are many types. According to "legend," their use originated with soldiers rotating iron cannon balls in their hands to develop strength and dexterity back before the Ming dynasty. Along the way, they evolved into many forms, including beautiful cloisonne-covered 55 millimeter-diameter versions which contain various kinds and frequencies of chimes. High quality balls may also have surfaces that are exceedingly pleasing to the touch. The haptic feedback to the hands, and then to the entire skeletal structure can be simply amazing: when the balls are rotated in optimal patterns--which takes considerable practice--the resonance experienced through the hands, along with the sound emanated and the blurs of colours, can be a multiple modality experience of the first order. To keep the balls rolling optimally requires complete sensory attention and engagement. I can think of no better analogy or model of the type of momentary full-body focus that is always the goal of HICP protocols. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible today to find a set of four matching balls without going to a shop yourself and (often) spending an hour or two trying to find a set of four that match in colour, weight and surface texture--let alone getting a set of four where the tones of the chimes create a chord of some character that is pleasing. (In the literature on the balls, it is said that Chinese folk medicine practitioners would, based on the personality, physical and emotional state of the patient, prescribe to the artisan exactly how all the various parameters of the ball should be created.) I'll do a Youtube video in a bit to demonstrate. The best "hapticanalogy" I can imagine. Hands down . . . 

1 comment:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

These energy health balls are great - I'm going to have to dig up the pair my parents have at their home!

Post a Comment