Turned massage ball encased in turned socket

1801-1900 in Japan

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Turned wooden massage ball encased in turned wooden socket, Japanese, 1801-1900

Massage has become a popular treatment worldwide. It is thought to relax both mind and body. It is also used within physiotherapy to rejuvenate muscles after injury or exercise. This solid massage ball sits snugly in a turned wooded cup. It was used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for massaging the skin. TCM is also practised in Japan. In TCM, qi is the energy or life force that flows through meridians, or channels, in the body. Disease and illness occur when qi becomes blocked. Acupuncture or massage is thought to unblock the meridians.


Asian Medicine
Object Number:
box (wood), complete
Loan: Wellcome Trust

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.