Jin Shin Jyutsu: Universal Art to Boost Energy and Balance Emotions

Image by Astrid Kauffmann
Image by Astrid Kauffmann

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

jin shin jyutsu holds thumb 2

It also helps:
Insomnia
Digestion (tummy ache – great for kids)
Headaches (especially base of thumb)
Stress and nerves
To ground, calm and nurture
Skin surface
Stomach and Spleen energy
When have to SIT a lot (sitting creates bloat conditions)

 

Hold INDEX finger for FEAR

jin shin jyutsu holds index finger 2

It also helps:
Teeth and gums
Backaches
Digestion, constipation
Self criticism, shyness
Muscle tension
Kidney and bladder energy
When have to STAND a lot (be on your feet)

 

Hold MIDDLE finger for ANGER

jjin shin jyutsu holds middle finger 2

It also helps:
Blood pressure
General fatigue
Eyes, vision
Irritability
Balance emotions
Liver and gallbladder energy
When have to READ a lot

 

Hold RING finger for GRIEF

jin shin jyutsu holds ring finger 3

It also helps:
Ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
Respiratory functions
Excessive mucus
Skin conditions
Lung and large intestine energy|
When have to RECLINE a lot (e.g. convalescence)

 

Hold LITTLE finger for ‘EFFORTING’

jin shin jyutsu holds little finger 2

It also helps:
Heart discomforts (e.g. palpitations)
Bloating
Trying too hard (at anything)
Insecurity, nervousness
Heart and small intestine energy
When need to WALK a lot

 

Hold CENTER of PALM for FATIGUE

jin shin jyutsu holds center palm 2

 

About Astrid
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
flowsforlife.com 

Recommended reading:
The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister
Mary Burmeister Self Help Books 1, 2, 3

For Self help Classes with Astrid click on CLASSES

IMPORTANT: This information is not meant as a substitute for medical attention. If symptoms persist always consult your physician. 

Fifth JSJ Global Event to Restore Balance

Image by Astrid Kauffmann
Image by Astrid Kauffmann

“We come into the world with an exhalation, to clear and empty us, so that we can receive. We never ‘take’ a breath. We ‘receive’ a breath.” – From The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister

On Wednesday, 3 June (3.6) we aim to harmonise all our individual energy functions – and as we do that, we help restore balance to the collective energy as well. The more of us there are, the more we create a rainbow of harmony across the world.

Will you join us for this fifth Global Jin Shin Jyutsu Event to Restore Balance by using the fingers and the breath?

Join us any time that is convenient for you on June 3, 2015, where ever you are in the world:

Summary of Exercise for the Fifth Global Event on June 3

1) Wrap the right hand around the left thumb. Relax the hands. 
Exhale, then inhale comfortably three times as you hold…
Then wrap the right hand around the left index finger and exhale, then inhale 3x
then do the same for the left middle finger, ring finger, little finger and left center of palm. 

2) Wrap the left hand around the right thumb. Relax the hands. 
Exhale/inhale comfortably three times as you hold…
Then wrap the left hand around the right index finger and exhale/inhale 3x
then do the same for the right middle finger, ring finger, little finger and right center of palm. 

When you finish holding all the fingers and palms you will have exhaled/inhaled 36 breaths.

Image by Pam Makie
Image by Pam Makie

THE 36 CONSCIOUS DIVINE BREATHS AND HOLDING YOUR FINGERS
as explained by Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner Pam Makie who is based in New York City:

ATTITUDES are the keys to our harmony with the universe. Each Finger, Thumb and Palm are the simple unlocking KEYS to harmonizing attitudes. Anytime you need to harmonize any attitude, lightly hold the entire corresponding finger, thumb, or palm with your opposite hand. For example if you feel worried hold your entire thumb, if you are angry hold your entire middle finger, etc. See the attitude and finger connection in the illustration.

BE THE BREATH. THE 36 CONSCIOUS DIVINE BREATHS (JIN SHIN JYUTSU)

(3+6=9. Number 9 is New Beginning.) As Mary Burmeister said: “In this Breath, I am One of a kind. There can be no competing, comparing, judging, labeling, or being judged.”

Years ago, while teaching a Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help Class, I suddenly realized if you hold each finger, thumb and palm for 3 conscious divine breaths each, it adds up to 36. A good way to keep count, and it’s also a new beginning (9)! It becomes a nice little simple but powerful “meditation” for daily use.

So combining this with some of my meditation practices this evolved:

Sit in a straight back chair such as a dining room or kitchen chair. Take off shoes, and place your feet flat on the floor. Relax. As I remember Mary Burmeister saying, “Drop your shoulders. Be the dropping of the shoulders”. Sit comfortably straight. First concentrate on your feet…see them getting bigger and more “open”, more grounded/connected to the earth. They will begin to feel expanded and warmer. Observe how it feels.

NOW FOR THE DEEP CONSCIOUS breaths. WITH AWARENESS first EXHALE FULLY. Now, keeping the awareness of you feet, INHALE (through your nose) from your solar plexus up completely filling your lungs from the bottom up. On the gentle complete inhale feel the expansion of the hips, pelvic girdle and rib cage. Keep shoulders relaxed. Then EXHALE deeply and completely through your nose. BE AWARE of your breath. BE the EXHALE. Are you exhaling and inhaling completely, are you breathing in/out from all areas of your lungs? To check your breathing at first, it may help to keep your hand on your solar plexus to feel the rise (inhale) and the fall (exhale) of that area. Think of inhaling up the back, and exhaling down the front.

Now you are aware of the basics of breathing CONSCIOUS DIVINE BREATHS.

To start the 36 breaths use your opposite hand to separately hold the thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger, and palm. Count 3 BREATHS while holding each. Now repeat with the other hand. Observe how you feel after.

Observe the cumulative effect from practicing this daily. As Mary Burmeister said, “Be your own Testimony”.

The Universal Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu contributed the awareness of the 36 Conscious Divine Breaths, and the attitudes connected with the fingers when we are not in optimal harmony, and to hold these fingers.

Not only are you becoming aware of your breath, you also are harmonizing any attitudes of imbalance.

This is a “complicatedly simple” but very powerful way to help yourself.

When not doing this exercise, you will find yourself breathing “better”. Also, if you are fearful you can simply hold your index finger without utilizing the entire exercise. BE YOUR OWN TESTIMONY. This is an art. You are the artist.

Thanks in advance for practising this exercise with us.

Harmonize the world one set of hands at a time, a day at a time!

Pam Makie, LMT, DIPL. ABT NCCAOM

Jin Shin Jyutsu® Self Help: Attitudes

The thumb and the fingers form the foundation of Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help.

Just by holding the thumb and the fingers every day one at a time for a few minutes, is a good way to regenerate all our 144,000 energy functions.

Moreover, the effects over time are cumulative, so the more you hold your fingers, the quicker you’ll notice the benefit.

Each thumb and finger is related to an emotion or as we call them in Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ATTITUDE. There are five atttitudes that form the basis, the starting point as it were, of every dis-ease and disharmony:

Worry, Fear (that’s the biggest one at the moment!), Anger, Grief and Pretense (trying to, or ‘efforting’ – the one to hold for the Heart).  The hold for Depression and Fatigue is the center of the palm.

Simply hold a finger for a few minutes, or when you’re watching television, waiting for a bus or whatever, to harmonise each attitude. As I always tell people whom I introduce to this Art: ‘You need never be bored again!’

See the links to these older posts for the finger holds:

Self Help for Worry (and insomnia)

Self Help for Anxiety (and Fear and Panic)

Self Help for Anger (and High or Low Blood Pressure)

Self Help for Grief (and breathing)

Self Help for Heart (and discomforts)

Self Help for Depression (and Fatigue)

JSJ Relationship Fingers, Energy Sites and Attitudes

Even if we’ve never heard of the ancient art of Jin Shin Jyutsu, we most often naturally place our hands unconsciously on our body when we need help in a certain area. Isn’t it therefore great to consciously KNOW where to put our hands to HELP MYSELF?

This is a quick summary of the relationship between the fingers, the corresponding key energy site and attitude:

Finger / Energy Site (there is a left and right side)/(SEL) /Attitude (Emotion)

Thumb/Forehead above the eyebrows/ 20/WORRY

Index/ Just below the collarbone /22/FEAR

Middle/Third rib down on the chest/ 13/ANGER

Ring/Last rib before the abdomen/14/GRIEF

Little/Groin either side of pubic bone /15 /TRYING TO

For a full Jin Shin Jyutsu Self help session you could spend a whole hour holding these five energy sites placing the left hand on the left side, and the right hand on the right side (it means spending about 10 minutes on each energy site).  A great way to start or end the day!

Jin Shin Jyutsu Self Help: Harmonising Attitudes

There are five Attitudes: Worry, Fear, Anger, Grief and Pretense.  Each finger corresponds to an attitude, so you can harmonise Worry by holding the Thumb, Fear by holding the Index Finger, Anger by holding the Middle Finger, Grief by Holding the Ring Finger and Pretense by holding the Little Finger.

You don’t hold your thumb or finger so that the attitude ‘goes away’ – rather, you hold it so that you allow that feeling to harmonise and so that you can observe that attitude and gain more clarity. Attitudes in themselves are not bad – we are, after all human beings and part of our make up is to experience all these emotions, or attitudes.

The ‘problem’ arises when we get STUCK in the behaviours that go along with these attitudes.

The prime attitude is FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) – out of FEAR come all the others. Anger, for instance is about wanting something to happen in a certain way, our way. And if that doesn’t happen then I get ‘angry’. Sadness or grief has to do with losing something that I cherished – but if that grief goes on for 20 years then I have got stuck in that grief.  Attitudes are not right or wrong – but they can be changed so they don’t control our every day behaviour.

So hold your thumb and fingers whenever your hands are idle. You’ll be harmonising attitudes, moving the energy and revitalising your whole being. What could be easier?

And the effect is cumulative, so the more you hold, the more you ‘clean’ and the more you harmonise.

Self Help that works: As Easy as Holding a Finger

The hands and the fingers are the keys to self help in Jin Shin Jyutsu. Master Jiro Murai practised only a few  finger positions for seven days when he was labelled ‘terminally ill’ and made a full recovery.

He also fasted and meditated which I’m sure fast tracked things considerably – but I wouldn’t advise anyone doing this without medical supervision, especially if any condition has already been diagnosed.

However, holding the fingers every day, whenever your hands are free to do so, is a good way to  clean, harmonise and revitalise all our 144,000 energy functions.

The good news is that the effects over time are cumulative, so the more you hold your fingers, the more you’ll feel the effects (you’ll feel calmer, think straighter, have more energy etc).

See the links below for how to hold the thumb and each finger and harmonise each corresponding emotion (or ATTITUDE as they’re called in Jin Shin Jyutsu) as well as helping many other things:

Hold the thumb for WORRY (and insomnia)
Hold the index finger for FEAR or ANXIETY
Hold the middle finger for ANGER
Hold the ring finger for GRIEF (and tinnitus)
Hold the little finger for PRETENSE or TRYING TO (too hard)

Self Help That Works – Back to Basics: Hold Your Fingers!

The basis of Self help in Jin Shin Jyutsu is the thumb and the fingers. Holding the thumb and the fingers every day is a good way to gently clean, harmonise and revitalise all our 144,000 energy functions. The effects over time are cumulative, so the more you hold your fingers, the quicker the effect. See these older posts for how to hold the thumb and each finger and harmonise each corresponding emotion (or ATTITUDE as we call them in Jin Shin Jyutsu):

Hold the thumb for Worry
Hold the index finger for Anxiety
Hold the middle finger for Anger
Hold the ring finger for Grief
Hold the little finger for Trying (too hard)

Q&A: Jin Shin Jyutsu for ‘Obnoxious’ people

Question: Hello I have the book on Jin Shin Jyutsu for the last year by my bed. It has been very helpful for my own pains. But I have a question about a friend of mine and I guess the general question is ‘JSJ will help on obnoxious behaviors’? My friend has a personality that is annoying for a lot of people. Always talks, does not listen. Always worried , very nervous, obsessively clean, always doing something, monothematic, she can only see the details, she suffers from scleroderma, She will not get any help but she likes JSJ , it has help her in several pains that she has had. Thank you and I hope this is not too big of a question… Thanks

Answer: Your friend has a lot to deal with, but don’t despair, there is a lot of help available with Jin Shin Jyutsu!

The first thing is to make sure that the crossing energies are not overloaded – when people strongly react to everything there are a lot of ATTITUDES (and low energy). The first thing that needs to be worked on is the MEDIATOR energy. The flow is on page 53 of Jin Shin Jyutsu Text 1. She also needs to do the self-help version of Mediator which is the following exercise: Knees together, then right hand on left shoulder, and left hand – place the thumb over the left ring finger nail to form a circle. For the other side: Knees together, then left hand on right shoulder, and right hand – place the thumb over the left ring finger nail to form a circle. (see Self-help book 1 page 19).

I also suggest the following flows which she can do as self-help: the TRINITY – which is made up of the Main Central (the self help version is on this Blog), Left and Right Supervisor (Self help: hold opposite 11 + same side 15, and hold opposite 11 + same side 25). And the MEDIATOR flow as above.

Also, getting into the habit of holding her fingers one by one every day will help harmonise her whole being.

I will post some suggestions for scleroderma separately in the next day or two.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know how she gets on! – AK


For more information on the Mediator see the older post When is there DIS-EASE