Stress balls or hand exercise balls are a soft malleable plastic ball, typically less than seven centimeters in diameter, that is squeezed between the index finger and thumb, supposedly to alleviate muscle pain and stress or to stimulate the muscles of your hand. There are many websites and testimonials that describe these small balls as being an excellent tool for relieving muscle strain and for practicing various martial arts techniques. The use of these balls in yoga and tai chi has also been publicized, and for the modern workplace, these stress balls are the perfect desk object to help curb some of the stressful parts of office life.
What Are Stress Balls?
Stress balls were originally used as a form of massage therapy by chiropractors, but nowadays they have become widely popular with people who want to get rid of stress in their lives. When you squeeze a stress ball between your index finger and thumb, you are actually doing what chiropractors call “subluxation.”
Chiropractors are actually not against stress balls; they are just against the improper use of them. In their eyes, subluxation is a problem in itself and should not be treated by a ball. They point out that the ball has no bearing on the actual problem, which makes it ineffective as a stress reliever. If the problem is subluxation and not a subluxation, then the ball can help. It would just be a bad idea to use a stress ball in massage therapy or in the martial arts.
Do They Actually Work?
Stress balls are a fairly inexpensive alternative to expensive massage therapies, but do they work? The majority of doctors would advise against using a stress ball because they claim that they do not actually do anything to relieve the tension in your body, although many say that they can help. The only thing that can be confirmed about the effectiveness of a stress ball as a stress reliever is that it is often accompanied by some mild aches. So it is not exactly a cure-all, although it may be used for pain relief when combined with other methods of reducing stress, such as yoga or tai chi.
Stress balls are a fun and inexpensive way to de-stress your life, and they do not need to involve any sort of expensive therapy or medical intervention. However, if you are suffering from chronic tension related problems, or you simply want to treat your body without having to pay for expensive treatments, then you may want to consider using a stress ball as a treatment alternative to massage therapy and/or chiropractic care.
Stress balls come in a variety of styles and colors; you can find ones that have a bright color on one side and a dark colored side on the other. You can find ones in colors that match or contrast with your favorite sport or workout attire or even with matching cushions and other accessories. They are available in a wide range of prices depending on the quality of the plastic used in making the ball. As with many things in life, the best quality stress balls will be expensive and not all stores carry them.