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
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 sessions, talks and self-help classes since 2001.
Text and images by Astrid Kauffmann
The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister
Mary Burmeister Self Help Books 1, 2, 3
IMPORTANT: This information is not meant as a substitute for medical attention. If symptoms persist always consult your physician.