Jin Shin Jyutsu

Frequently Asked Questions

A compilation of FAQs I have put together over the last 25 years.

Jin Shin Jyutsu Frequently Asked Questions

Mary Burmeister says:

"With these two hands we have the privilege of helping ourselves and others. "


What is Jin Shin Jyutsu?

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient healing Art that harmonises the body’s energy by using the fingers and hands. 

Available to each one of us, it is a gentle, yet dynamic way to facilitate the body’s own healing ability at the root level to promote increased health and wellbeing.

Where does Jin Shin Jyutsu come from?

The principles and KEYS of Jin Shin Jyutsu are as old as mankind, and as such, form part of our human make up. In ancient times, the teachings of this Art were passed down orally from generation to generation, but later the Art was virtually lost until it was dramatically revived in 1912 by a man called Jiro Murai in Japan.

After healing himself of a terminal illness, Jiro Murai dedicated his life to studying how the energy pathways flow through the body.

He rediscovered the unique system of KEY energy sites (officially called Safety Energy Locks) on the body. By using these, he learnt how to balance and correct any energy pathways that were compromised. He called this Jin Shin Jyutsu which at the time he took to mean: the art of happiness, the art of benevolence, the art of longevity.

Jin Shin Jyutsu was introduced to the West in the 1950s by one of Master Jiro Murai’s most dedicated students, Mary Burmeister. She became its foremost teacher and now there are thousands of Jin Shin Jyutsu students and practitioners around the world.

What does Jin Shin Jyutsu mean?

Literally translated from the Japanese, Jin Shin Jyutsu means 'The Art of the Creator through the Man of Knowing and Compassion'.

How does Jin Shin Jyutsu work?

Jin Shin Jyutsu works by gently placing the hands on specific energy sites on the body. 

There are 26 energy sites, officially called Safety Energy Locks (SELs), on the left side and 26 mirror images on the right side. These 26 pairs of energy sites are spheres of concentrated energy and are located on the body according to their meaning and function. 

By lightly placing the hands on these SELs we can restore and harmonise the flow of energy and therefore facilitate the body’s natural capacity for self healing.

What are the benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu?

Because Jin Shin Jyutsu facilitates the body’s own healing ability at the cause level, it can fundamentally help with everything and particularly to:

* Eliminate stress and fatigue
* Relieve pain
* Detoxify the body
* Balance emotions
* Ease anxiety and depression
* Calm the mind
* Promote mental alertness
* Reduce inflammation / swelling
* Support the immune system
* Improve circulation
* Improve mobility
* Reduce stiffness
* Ease stress-related conditions like headaches, migraines, IBS, RSI etc.
* Reduce menopausal symptoms
* Speed up recovery after surgery

In essence, Jin Shin Jyutsu helps to relax, repair, clean and regenerate the whole being.

What can I expect from a Jin Shin Jyutsu session?

When a client receives an in person session from a Jin Shin Jyutsu Practitioner, they lie on a comfortable mattress, face up and fully clothed. 

After listening to the pulses, the practitioner decides which specific sequences or flows to use by employing the system of 26 sites or Safety Energy Locks. 

The practitioner then applies light touch to these specific locations by holding two sites simultaneously until the tension or congestion is released. 

Then one hand is moved to another site and along areas of the body where there is tension. 

Each site can take seconds to minutes to release and re-energise. 

Treatments last about 45 minutes with a short period of rest and teaching of self help.

The same principles apply when practicing self help on MYSELF. 

Can I practice Jin Shin Jyutsu on myself?


What sets Jin Shin Jyutsu apart from many modalities is that it can be learnt and practiced as self help. This is because Jin Shin Jyutsu is innate to each one of us. It is what makes this Art so marvellous.

Babies and children inherently know how to practice self help when they suck their thumbs and fingers: by doing so they help boost their energies and bring balance to their whole being.

The same principles apply to practicing self help as when receiving a Jin Shin Jyutsu session from someone else.

Basically, your hands and a bit of knowledge are all you need!

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Is Jin Shin Jyutsu similar to Reiki or Acupuncture?

Although these energy healing modalities aim to restore the free flow of energy, the system of 26 Safety Energy Locks is unique to Jin Shin Jyutsu

Also, Jin Shin Jyutsu uses the fingers and hands instead of needles in acupuncture, and instead of channeling energy like Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu aims to harmonise the body's own energy.

Is Jin Shin Jyutsu a form of massage?

No it is not. 

The hands are gently placed on specific locations of the body, but there is no pressure and no rubbing or kneading of the muscles is necessary.

Is Jin Shin Jyutsu a religion?

No, definitely not. 

Jin Shin Jyutsu is a universal Art available for each one of us to use. 

It can be practiced by people of all faiths and backgrounds. 

Is Jin Shin Jyutsu safe for every body?

Because Jin Shin Jyutsu is so gentle and non-invasive it is safe for babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly and infirm. 

However, when dealing with these groups it is normally advisable to work less time on them.

Can Jin Shin Jyutsu be used alongside other treatments or therapies?

Yes, it is a useful support for people on medications and those undergoing cancer or other medical treatments. 

However, it should not be considered a substitute for medical attention, diagnosis or supervision.

Are there any contraindications to Jin Shin Jyutsu?

There are no contraindications per se. 

Usually, it is recommended that when someone receives a Jin Shin Jyutsu session from another, that it lasts no longer than one hour, and that a minimum of 8 hours transpires before having another session.

When practicing Jin Shin Jyutsu on MYSELF, the guidance is much more flexible. The main thing is to listen to your body. If you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason or if you feel tired, stop for a while. 

Where can I learn more about Jin Shin Jyutsu?

On my website, Flows For Life, I offer many Jin Shin Jyutsu resources. 

I also teach online self help classes on a regular basis to people all around the world.

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What are some guidelines to practice Jin Shin Jyutsu on myself?

For me, it is of the utmost importance to be comfortable, preferably in a quiet place. You can sit or lie down. Ensure you have soft cushions and pillows nearby to support your arms, or legs if you need. You can put on some background music if you like, or you can practice in silence. Up to you!

Place your hands in the desired position on the body, then relax them. There is no need to apply any pressure. Close your eyes. As your awareness goes inward, you might experience different sensations and a feeling of relaxation.

If you like, you can also practice Jin Shin Jyutsu in front of the TV, or anywhere for that matter! It will work, but your awareness and focus will be outward. I love to do my self help when I am watching a movie, or when I am travelling in a car, train or plane.

I often use a (meditation) timer. Then I can set the time of my practice and each position for, say, 2 or 3 minutes. There are various free apps available. I currently use one called 'Somno'.

Will I feel anything?

You might or might not feel a pulse in your fingertips. If you do, wait for the pulse to synchronise in both hands. 

If the pulse is very strong in both hands, wait for it to settle or quieten down before you move onto the next position. 

If you hold for longer, you might experience a feeling of deep relaxation and wellbeing.

But if you don't 'feel' anything or you don't 'hear' a pulse, don't worry. Notice what else happens during and after a Jin Shin Jyutsu session. 

What happens if I fall asleep while practicing Jin Shin Jyutsu?

Jin Shin Jyutsu works while you sleep, as long as your hands remain in a self help position. 

Many people say they fall asleep in a position and wake up hours later in the same position feeling very good. 

Usually though, your hands fall away when you move in your sleep.

What if I feel discomfort or pain?

If you feel uncomfortable at any time, stop doing the exercise. 

Sometimes, when the energy gets ‘moving’ it might cause discomforts such as pain, tension or even nausea. 

These should pass quite quickly as the energy clears the ‘blockages’. If they don’t, move on to the next position or stop the exercise altogether. 

I suggest you start slowly and build up your self help practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu. As with anything, listen to your body!

How long should I stay in one position?

That depends on you and your needs. 

As a guide, I like to hold each position for 2-3 minutes, but if you’re feeling nice and relaxed you might want to hold a position for longer.

How long should I practice for?

If you are new to Jin Shin Jyutsu, then I suggest you practice any one exercise for the left and right sides for 2 minutes each position. 

Wait for a few hours to see how you feel before you practice another exercise. 

Sometimes, when the energy flows it might take the body a bit of time to catch up. 

If you continue to practice, you might feel a bit tired. 

As you become more familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu you will naturally increase your daily practice time.

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What is the best time to practice?

You can practice Jin Shin Jyutsu self help at any time, day or night.

I like to practice in the morning before I get up and at night before I go to sleep.

If I feel the need (e.g. if I feel tired, or I have a headache, my eyes are sore, or whatever) I will take some time during the day and do a sequence or flow.

A few minutes spent on MYSELF really does make a difference to refresh and revitalise my whole being.

Do I need to practice both left and right sides in one session?

No, you can do one or both sides in one session, depending on how much time you have or how long you want to practice for. 

It’s up to you!

How do I choose which side to practice?

The way I choose whether to do the left or right energy flow is by checking on which side of my body there is more tension or discomfort. 

If you don’t know, then start an exercise with the left side, then do the right side. 

Or do the side that feels more comfortable to do first.

Experiment and see what suits you at the time.

How quickly will I notice a difference?

This varies from person to person and depends on the individual situation

In many cases, sudden or acute discomforts can be resolved quite quickly with the right self help holds. 

Chronic conditions usually require a bit more time and effort to harmonise. 

Having said that, in my experience, the chronic condition might remain for a while, but everything else feels much better! 

I have many stories on my website FlowsForLife.com that illustrate the power of some simple self help.

What is a good daily Jin Shin Jyutsu routine I can start with?

A great place to start is by holding each thumb and finger for 2-3 minutes each. 

You can practice the fingers at any time of the day, and practically anywhere if your hands are free. 

I have a lot of articles on FlowsForLife about this, and there is also a free download PDF where I outline what each thumb and finger is good for. 

Then, I highly recommend the Main Central Source of Life exercise, the Left and Right Supervisors and the Mediator exercises. 

You can search the Index on FlowsForLife.com for exercises to deal with a whole variety of everyday ailments. 

Which book(s) on Jin Shin Jyutsu do you recommend?

I highly recommend The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister and Tom Monte.

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"Jin Shin Jyutsu is a powerful, yet simple and elegant self-care practice of healing. Astrid is an amazing teacher, and I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from her."

S.F. from USA

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Astrid Kauffmann Flows for Life

Astrid Kauffmann

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Using our hands and fingers to introduce the awareness of a dynamic method of self help based on the art of Jin Shin Jyutsu.



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