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An unusual present

The best present I ever received started as something of a joke. A cousin, a keen orientalist, brought me a pair of steel Healthy Balls from a journey around China. The balls are slightly smaller than billiard balls, lacquered in green, hand-painted with Siberian cranes and tree-covered crags, and contain a melodious chime. Held in one hand, the balls are circulated first one way, then the other. The benefits of exercising the hands, particularly for old people, were apparently discovered during the Ming dynasty (14th—17th century).

At the time, although my cousin did not know it, I was suffering badly from RSI, or repetitive strain injury, in my hands and wrists. Every joint and tendon felt as though it was on fire. I was under intense pressure to finish a book. But I was reduced to less than ten minutes’ typing on the word processor at a time and then I would have to rest my hands for several hours.

At first, I found it almost impossible to rotate two balls, partly because of the cramped state of my hands, and partly due to an inherent lack of dexterity. Not until a physiotherapist suggested that I try manipulating the balls in a hot bath did it become easier. I began to notice a temporary easing of the worst symptoms. Within a couple of days, the difference was so marked that I could work at the keyboard for up to 20 minutes at a time with relatively short breaks.

By the end of two weeks, the pain had gone, and 1 was able to work normally. If I went for a day or so without manipulating the balls, however, a little of the burning sensation would return and the tendons in my hands and wrists would start to tighten, although not as badly as before.


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How to avoid hurry sickness and lead a better life | Alternative Cure 2

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