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. 

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)

This Art is Ours to Use

No matter where I am, or where I travel to, I always see people in a perfect Jin Shin Jyutsu self help hold. They are helping themselves, but they don’t even know it!

Recently, I sat next to a gentleman on a (short) flight. He was at least 6 foot tall, the flight was full and he had to cram himself into a seat next to the window. However, he had a very calm energy about him, and he did not fidget. Then I saw that he was holding his thumb! So I also held my thumb, to help us both!

Isn’t it comforting to know that helping MYSELF is as simple as holding a thumb or a finger? When I first started working with this Art, I was disbelieving. I said to myself: ‘It can’t be that simple. I will start with something much more complicated so I get REALLY good results.’

The interesting thing is that some of my most powerful results have come from spending a few minutes just holding a finger!

I encourage you to choose one of your thumbs or fingers (or let IT choose you!!) – to close your eyes and hold it for a few minutes in a quiet space. The last time I suggested this to a friend, she was amazed to discover that a whole HOUR had gone by – after which she felt like new….

But don’t take my word for it. As Mary always used to say: ‘Be your own testimony.’

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.