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)

Self help for Worry and Insomnia

During periods of stress, I sometimes find it hard to fall asleep. My mind starts WORRYING about lots of things. So when I have to get up in the morning, my mind feels fuzzy, my body feels heavy and I just have no enthusiasm for the day ahead.

Luckily, when I can’t sleep because I’m WORRYING, I simply hold my THUMB.

If you suffer from insomnia, hold your left or right THUMB for a few minutes. Do it whenever you have your hands free during the day, and when you lie in bed at night.

Apart from INSOMNIA, holding the THUMB also helps the following:

* Digestion
* Headaches (especially the base of the thumb)
* Stress and nerves
* Skin surface
* Stomach and spleen energy
* When have to SIT a lot
Note: Sitting overloads the stomach & spleen energy. Results in bloating and heaviness in the abdominal area

Also helps to:
* Ground and calm
* Nurture
Note: especially for MOTHERS who give, give, give and need to receive a bit of nurturing themselves!

Self Help to Beat Fatigue and the Heat

Fatigue colours our world and affects how we feel, and Jin Shin Jyutsu is one of the most powerful ways to overcome fatigue.

Time after time, I have tried and tested these holds and it is absolutely amazing how my whole world can change in 20 minutes – purely because I have been able to energise myself. And if I can, you can too with this simple exercise.

The Spleen energy governs our energy levels and this exercise is very powerful for vitality and calm (one needs energy to stay calm, believe it or not!) – 20 minutes minimum every day.

The Spleen is the biggest lymphatic organ in the body and if kept happy, helps all the other organs.

In Jin Shin Jyutsu, a sequence of HOLDS is referred to as a FLOW. The following self-help flow can be used to revitalise and re-energise the whole system, and to be ‘happy and content where ever you are’. Use it to regulate the body’s temperature (to warm the body when it’s cold, to cool the body when it’s hot), and to balance the nervous system (to calm).

Hold each step for a few minutes or until you feel you want to move to the next position. Tip: put on a chill out CD and when the track changes, move the hands to the next position… The music can add a wonderful dimension to the session…

GENERAL ENERGY REVITALISING FLOW (Spleen Flow)
(Right energy pattern)
Step 1
Place Left hand on base of spine (coccyx)
Place Right hand on right inside of heel
Step 2
Move Right hand and place on left base of rib cage and hold
Step 3
Move Left hand and place on right above breast area
Step 4
Move Left hand and place on left center of collar bone

So to summarise: the Spleen flow helps beat fatigue, insomnia, headaches, anxiety and much more. It stimulates the immune system, helps the digestive system, helps regulate our body temperature (you can use it to warm and to cool the body – isn’t that great?) – this flow also helps the skin, helps beat the attitude of WORRY and well, it’s just a great general all round wonder flow – use it with HUMILITY AND GRATITUDE!

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)

Exercise: Self Help for Insomnia – It WORKS!

Insomnia. Not being able to sleep. There might be several reasons for this. Sometimes if I go to bed hungry, I can’t sleep. Most often, I can’t sleep when my mind is full of THOUGHTS. The simplest way to combat insomnia is to hold your thumb.

See this older post: Hold your Thumb for Worry

Case 5: The Power of the THUMB

Someone says to me: ‘I can’t sleep, my mind is full of thoughts and worry.’ I say: ‘Hold your thumb.’ She holds her thumb and she is able to sleep. She says to me: ‘It was amazing! I held my thumb and the next thing I knew it was morning!’ So simple.

Someone says to me: ‘I have a long haul flight tomorrow and I know I’m going to be jet lagged for days and my body rhythms are going to be all over the place’. I say: ‘Hold your thumb (and the rest of your fingers, but mainly the thumb) throughout the flight. It’ll keep the energy moving and your bio rhythms won’t get so upset.’ Next thing I know, I get an email from my friend and he says: ‘How amazing! I hardly suffered from jet lag and I bounced back nearly effortlessly.’ There’s that word again – simple, effortless reality.