Many talk about the Jin Shin Jyutsu Finger Method. But what is it? And how come I can feel better when I hold one of my thumbs or fingers?
When I have a tummy ache I hold one of my thumbs. Within seconds to minutes, my tummy ache is gone. When I feel that my muscles are tense, I hold my index finger. Within seconds to minutes, I can feel my body relaxing, easing, releasing tension.
Jin Shin Jyutsu is a Universal Art, available to each one of us from the moment we come into this world. It is part of our human make up.
The basis of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and what makes it so dynamic is the self help available to us. The basis of self help IS the thumb and fingers.
We all hold our fingers to help ourselves. Babies do it when they suck their thumbs. Sucking the thumb helps regenerate baby’s energies, eases their tummy and soothes and nurtures them.
Our energy body is made up of 144,000 energy functions. They are energy pathways like rivers, connecting us from head to toe and toe to head. All those energy pathways are found in the hands. So holding a finger helps 14,400 energy functions.
The energies of each finger relate to an ‘attitude’. So when we feel WORRY we can hold the Thumb to calm the mind. When we feel FEAR, anxiety or nervousness, we can hold the Index finger to calm the nervous system. To harmonise ANGER, hold the middle finger. SADNESS or grief is eased by holding the ring finger. Holding the little finger helps when we feel we are EFFORTING or TRYING TO in life – when we are trying to please everyone else.
You can do this exercise anywhere and at any time that your hands are free. Just wrap your right hand around the thumb or a finger of the left hand. Relax your hands and hold. For best results, sit comfortably and close your eyes.
By holding each thumb and finger in turn every day for a few minutes, we can calm the mind, soothe the nervous system, and regenerate our whole being.
Jin Shin Jyutsu® is a Universal Art of harmonising the energy in the body by using the fingers and hands. It boosts energy levels, calms the mind, balances the emotions and much, much more.
Even if we are not consciously aware of it, we use this Art in our daily lives to help ourselves – all we need to do is look at people on television: politicians, and celebrities on chat shows for instance, to see that they are all practising this Art to help themselves stay calm and energised. They will hold certain fingers, or place their hands on specific places on their body.
However, this Art works really dynamically when we become AWARE of what we are doing. Even better, the effects are cumulative, so the more we practice the better we can feel.
The principles and KEYS of Jin Shin Jyutsu are as old as we are. The KEYS were rediscovered by Master Jiro Murai in Japan over 100 years ago. He studied these KEYS and how the energy pathways ‘flow’ through the body, and fully dedicated himself to understanding the causes of disharmony. Using this system of KEYS on the body, he learned how to correct, or adjust, the energy when it was ‘compromised’, and called this Art that he developed Jin Shin Jyutsu (The Art of The Creator through Compassionate Man).
I use the word compromise (‘unable to function optimally’) to explain the different situations that can arise; as energies in the body could stagnate, or move in reverse, or get mixed up with other energies when they shouldn’t. There could also be an overload (too much) or a depletion (too little). There could even be a combination of these.
So as Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioners, we aim to facilitate the body’s own innate ability to correct and adjust the energy along the pathways. This is also what Acupuncturists, and those working with the subtle energies in the body, aim to do.
One of Master Jiro Murai’s most dedicated students was Mary Burmeister (nee Iino), born in Seattle, Washington, of Japanese descent. She introduced Jin Shin Jyutsu to the West in the early 1960s when she started her practice. Later, she taught the Art to others.
There are two main aspects to Jin Shin Jyutsu: one is that we can receive a session from another (usually a practitioner), the other is that we can give MYSELF a session as self help.
This is what makes Jin Shin Jyutsu so marvellous: we can apply the method of self help to ourselves no matter how young or old we are. Children inherently know this when they suck their thumb; by doing that they help boost their energies and bring balance to their whole being.
I remember I had a client who came to see me years ago. She was a young student at the time, feeling very stressed about her exams. As a child she had always sucked her thumb, and never really ‘unlearned’ that behaviour. So she found great solace in sucking her thumb as an adult to manage her stress. I suggested that instead of sucking her thumb she could hold either thumb for a few minutes with the opposite hand, and that would have a grounding and calming effect on her. She was quite amazed at the results, and that something so simple could be so effective.
So that brings us neatly to the basis of Self Help in Jin Shin Jyutsu. The truth is that by simply holding our Thumbs and Fingers for a few minutes each, every day, we can help harmonise all 144,000 of our energy functions. Better yet, the effect of holding each thumb and finger is cumulative so the more we hold, the better we can feel.
Many people often ask the question: ‘How long should I hold for?’ Now, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. Mary says in her self help books: ‘For a few minutes, more or less.’ But if you really want a time guideline then you could hold each thumb and finger for 5 minutes each. If you hold all the fingers of one hand, you’ll have done 25 minutes. If you do all 10 fingers, 50 minutes. That’s a good, thorough, self help session for the whole being. Moreover, if you close your eyes you’ll feel how the stresses just start ‘melting away’, as Mary said. Once you become more attuned to your body, you will naturally hold each finger for the length of time that feels ‘right’ for you.
Below are the basic self help finger holds with some explanation of what ‘issues’ holding each finger can help. Hold whichever side feels more comfortable.
Hold Thumb for WORRY
It also helps:
Digestion (tummy ache – great for kids)
Headaches (especially base of thumb)
Stress and nerves
To ground, calm and nurture
Stomach and Spleen energy
When have to SIT a lot (sitting creates bloat conditions)
Hold INDEX finger for FEAR
It also helps:
Teeth and gums
Self criticism, shyness
Kidney and bladder energy
When have to STAND a lot (be on your feet)
Hold MIDDLE finger for ANGER
It also helps:
Liver and gallbladder energy
When have to READ a lot
Hold RING finger for GRIEF
It also helps:
Ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
Lung and large intestine energy|
When have to RECLINE a lot (e.g. convalescence)
Hold LITTLE finger for ‘EFFORTING’
It also helps:
Heart discomforts (e.g. palpitations)
Trying too hard (at anything)
Heart and small intestine energy
When need to WALK a lot
Hold CENTER of PALM for FATIGUE and DESPONDENCY
Astrid embarked on her journey in Complementary Therapies in 1997, after a successful career at a large advertising agency in London, England.
She qualified as an Aromatherapist with the Tisserand Institute in 1999 (TIDHA) and has studied several healing modalities, but is particularly fascinated with energy (body) work. In 1998 she discovered Jin Shin Jyutsu (pronounced jitsoo) when she used some simple self help exercises to clear her migraines.
Astrid is a fully accredited Practitioner and Self Help Teacher of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and has shared her love and knowledge of this Art via individual treatments, talks and self-help classes since 2001.
Text and images by Astrid Kauffmann flowsforlife.com
Recommended reading: The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister Mary Burmeister Self Help Books 1, 2, 3
For Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments in Wiltshire, England click on TREATMENTS
For Self help Classes with Astrid click onCLASSES
IMPORTANT: This information is not meant as a substitute for medical attention. If symptoms persist always consult your physician.
Ever hold your little fingers? You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel. So easy and effective you can do this exercise any time of the day – works while you sleep too!
In energy speak, little fingers and big toes are great harmonisers for the whole being.
Holding Little Fingers and Big Toes helps with so many issues including: ‘heart discomforts, heart palpitations, and chest congestion. It also helps clear the vascular, nervous, muscular and skeletal energy circulatory systems. Helps clear head discomforts and bloat problems including swollen ankles.’
You can do the exercises below at any time as self help. A few minutes each day is a good place to start, or until you feel relief from symptoms.Remember that the effect of holding often is cumulative, so the more you hold, the quicker the positive effects.
Holding little finger also helps dissipate a sore throat, so at the first sign of it, hold either little finger. Quick self help hold for heart palpitations and heart discomforts: hold left little finger.
So the Exercises:
Hold LEFT LITTLE FINGER with Right Hand then, after a few minutes,
Hold the BIG TOES (hold left big toe with left hand, and hold right big toe with right hand) then, after a few minutes,
Hold RIGHT LITTLE FINGER with Left Hand then, after a few minutes
Hold the BIG TOES again (hold left big toe with left hand, and hold right big toe with right hand).
Note: if you find it difficult to hold your big toes, then you can use this variation: after holding little finger, place your hands in your groins (left hand on left groin and right hand on right groin – (‘the 15s’ they wash our hearts with laughter).
If you’d like to know more about this approach to self help or if you’d like to book a Jin Shin Jyutsu session, then contact Astrid at astrid(at)flowsforlife(dot).com – see more about Astrid here
The Jin Shin Jyutsu story of life changing proportions below is from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.
It shows how integrating this gentle, yet powerful touch therapy with traditional medical practices and treatments can really change lives. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Ms. Anonymous writes:
After I learned how to pronounce Jin Shin Jyutsu correctly, I was so proud of myself and had to share the good news with all that asked about my health (I’d had chronic pain for many years).
Initially, they would be in awe that I had learned a martial art while in great pain! (smile)
When I explained to those that inquired, about fifty per cent thought it was some ‘far out’ eastern medicine thing and they would even roll their eyes (I was living in Japan at the time).
The other fifty per cent wanted me to show them self-help Jin Shin Jyutsu, some of the hand holds. I was more than happy to share!
As time went on, my mobility improved, my attitude and spirit lifted, and I lost 85 pounds!
I declared that I was a living, breathing testimony to Jin Shin Jyutsu. And there was no more rolling of the eyes!
The Pain Specialist Who Knew
A singular outstanding anaesthesiologist/pain specialist saw something behind the pain in my eyes. She saw a ‘spark’ of what it takes (a spirit, an attitude, a certain personality) and introduced me to the strength and power of Jin Shin Jyutsu.
Did I mention that she also possesses great insight?
Meanwhile, we did have to continue with some of the standard Western procedures such as epidurals and RFA’s (Radio Frequency Ablation), but over time, as I became more adept at using self-help therapy with ongoing treatments with her, I blossomed!
Now, this is the reason, if you use my story, for it to be anonymous. Because I had gotten to the breaking point in my life just before this wonderful healer entered my life.
I had made the decision to seek out euthanasia as I saw a future of only continued and increasing pain. After all, I was already on morphine.
To this day I tell her as much as I can, how she influenced the transformation in me by using Jin Shin Jyutsu.
She always replies: “It was YOU who did it all!” But only because God placed her and Jin Shin Jyutsu in my way. She and I are miles apart now but Jin Shin Jyutsu keeps us as forever friends with something to always discuss….Jin Shin Jyutsu!
Peter’s Jin Shin Jyutsu Story started when a colleague enthused to him about this Universal Art of harmonising the life energy in the body.
I have been a homeopath since 1984. I first heard about Jin Shin Jyutsu when studying the Homeopathic Tissue Salts with a colleague.
She attended a Self-Help introductory workshop in London that same weekend and told me about it and how excited she was.
Three months later my journey in Jin Shin Jyutsu began.
I studied The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister and then started my first of four (to date) 5-Day practitioner training seminars in September 2010.
The First Great Result with Jin Shin Jyutsu
My first really great result came when my wife and I visited friends in the South of France. They spoiled us the first evening we arrived; there was so much beautiful rich food, cheeses, pate and wine, none of which we were really used to consuming.
By bedtime I suddenly realised that the meal was sitting like a stone in my guts! “Never going to get to sleep”, I thought to myself.
Luckily I remembered that holding the ‘points’ on the crease of both my elbows could relieve digestive problems. Astrid’s note on the exercise: Cross the arms. Then place the right fingers on the crease of the left elbow and place the left fingers on the crease of the right elbow. Relax the hands and hold until there is relief.
Sure enough, and without any exaggeration, within 5 minutes of starting to hold both these points I felt relief. I went to sleep, slept like a baby and woke up refreshed and feeling great!
Peter Smith Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner
Truro, Cornwall, England
Kay’s Jin Shin Jyutsu story started when her friend came back from a 5 day Jin Shin Jyutsu seminar in New Zealand.
When I saw my friend she said: “Kay you sooo have to learn this.” I protested, saying I wasn’t doing any new courses. However, she then proceeded to tell me about each thumb and finger.
‘Miracle’ of the Thumb
As it turns out, the next day I was doubled over with pain in my stomach. So I held my thumb for about 20 minutes. During this time, my stomach went crazy with gurgling and rumbling. It did a huge roll. I passed all this wind, and then I was perfectly fine.
And I thought to myself: “Surely that wasn’t because I held my thumb?!?”
Two days later I had a headache, which was unusual for me and I don’t keep any pain killers in the house. I remember my friend saying that the middle finger is ‘the harmonizer’. After four minutes of holding the middle finger the headache was completely gone.
I was so impressed, I decided to get the book The Touch of Healing. When I read it I understood that Jin Shin Jyutsu stands for The Art of the Creator through Compassionate Man.
I knew I had to learn this Art, but I had to wait a year before the tutors from America returned to New Zealand.
Along Came A Spider…
Confirmation of my decision to learn Jin Shin Jyutsu came four months later when I was bitten by a White Tail spider. People have lost limbs from their bites, as bacteria on their fangs cause a flesh eating disease. My leg was swollen like a balloon and I couldn’t put my heel down. The pain was excruciating.
I went through all my fingers, holding each one in turn, but basically not really knowing what I was doing.
Then I remembered reading something in the book about bites. I found the relevant Jin Shin Jyutsu self help holdand I placed right hand over left hand on the bite.
After 40 minutes, I removed my hand. I saw that the hole where the fangs had gone in had a clear liquid coming out. The pain had almost completely gone and by the morning my leg was back to its usual size!
Naturally I was hugely impressed by this experience. Ever since I have been passionate about sharing this Art. As Mary Burmeister said: “It is a life time journey.”
Five years later I am still in awe of this Art and still learning.
Many blessings on your journey.
Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner
Annemarie’s Jin Shin Jyutsu Story began about eighteen months from writing this, when over a period of three weeks, all the muscles in her body started seizing up.
“I was in constant, acute pain. I could hardly lift my arms up. Getting dressed was a lengthy and painful business. Moving around and walking was done very slowly.
In fact, any centenarian would have looked spritely compared to me! My whole body felt as though I was being stabbed constantly, or at least how I imagine it feels like to be stabbed.
I can put up with a fair bit of pain, so I did for months, hoping that it would pass.
Any amount of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol I took had virtually no effect and I flatly refused to see a doctor who would only have put me on stronger pain killers or worse, steroids…..none of which I would have taken anyway!
When I finally could not stand the pain any more, I decided to take action.
I had heard from a friend that what Astrid did was ‘amazing’, but this friend didn’t know how, why, or what it was.
When I discovered that she works with the natural flows of energy in the body, it helped my decision because, years ago, I had benefitted from a very similar treatment.
After my first treatment with Astrid, I was 50% ‘converted’. Something had certainly happened, although I was still in pain.
The session thereafter went something like this.
As I lay on the couch she says:
“Now, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most pain, what do you feel?”
My face screws up with excruciating agony. I moan through gritted teeth: “11”.
“Ah”, she says calmly, moves her hands to another hold and then says: “How about now?”
In total amazement and disbelief I reply: “Virtually nothing.”
After that treatment I became 100% converted and luckily never experienced an 11 out of 10 pain level again!
I realise now that a Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment is totally painless for ‘normal’ people.
Although it took a while for me to reach this point, I am now a very fine tuned engine!
Astrid’s notes on this case: I would like to clarify that I worked intensely with Annemarie over a period of about a year before we got to the no pain ‘maintenance’ phase. This was certainly no ‘quick fix’ case. She came to see me at least once a week, for a while twice a week to continue releasing especially the shoulders and managing pain – after all, there was much history on a physical, mental and emotional level to clear. Later on in the year, and when she felt she was ready for it, Annemarie also saw an osteopath. What her story illustrates is how her body reacted during the JSJ sessions. Happily, she stuck with the treatments and is now enjoying pain free gardening again.
I started suffering from debilitating migraines approximately 15 years ago, (when I was going ‘against my grain’ of course). I took ibuprofen on a regular basis, not to alleviate the migraines, but to prevent them.
At the time, I was already studying holistic and complementary therapies, and I came to the conclusion very quickly that this was ‘not a good idea’. My search began for a natural therapy that would cure my migraines.
An acquaintance suggested I try Jin Shin Jyutsu. I looked at him blankly and said: ‘Gin what?’ He lent me the book A Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister, and a whole new world opened up to me. A world, where I began to Get to KNOW (Help) MYSELF.
It was so wonderfully simple, and so effective. After a time, I was able to clear my migraines in minutes. Over time, I worked on myself and with the help of a Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner who gave me sessions to clear the CAUSE of the migraines. After a while, they just stopped.
To alleviate headaches and migraines, you can use this simple Jin Shin Jyutsu self help hold: place your fingers at the base of your thumb. Use the right hand fingers on the left base of thumb or vice versa. Hold for a few minutes, or until there is relief. Do this first step in the case of a migraine, and then hold the outsides of the heels (place the right fingers on the right heel just below the ankle and the same on the left side).
Of course, if headaches persist, then it is advisable to have them checked out by a physician, as well as seeing a JSJ Practitioner.
Also, in my experience, it helps to drink lots of water, cut down on starches and avoid typical ‘trigger’ foods like coffee, alcohol (especially red wine), oranges, chocolate and very spicy foods.
Flows for Life Cookies Policy