In several of my Jin Shin Jyutsu classes I was told that Mary Burmeister (who brought Jin Shin Jyutsu to the US from Japan) liked to say: “Give me breath, and it will heal anything.” This notion touched me deeply and stayed with me as I realized, more and more over the years, that breath really was the common denominator of all of the healing modalities I had tried out thus far. Whether there’s a conscious emphasis on deep breathing, as in many schools of meditation and yoga, or whether changes in breathing patterns are an unconscious byproduct of complementary treatments such as acupuncture or massage – it all comes down to breath being the most essential secret force of healing, a force often underutilized in our daily lives. But how to access this healer of all healers?
The longer I practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help, the more it became clear to me that the Breath Mary spoke of, the “Breath that can heal anything,” was quite different from the regular breath I knew and was aware of whenever I happened to be focusing on my breathing. I realized that things shifted dramatically in my body and my emotional state whenever “I” was able to step aside and see my attention dissolve into the breathing activity itself without being engaged in thoughts or emotions. I had to allow myself to “be breathed” by life instead of being the “breather.” When I compared this experience with my experiences of entering deeper layers of breathing during Vipassana meditation, I realized that Jin Shin Jyutsu hand placements immensely facilitated my immersion in the Breath and made it much easier for me to delve into a deeper layer of breathing in a shorter amount of time.
In other words: whenever I practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu, either by holding fingers or by applying self-help flows, it was the body itself that facilitated a shift such that I could let go and immerse myself in this deeper, or shall I say, cellular breath. It was exactly this form of Breath that most effectively dissolved accumulations in my body and shifted my state of mind in the most dramatic way. I have noticed that whenever I accessed this kind of cellular breath my breathing changes in a way I had never experienced before. This adventurous new experience of a very different kind of breath flowing through my body made it very clear to me that there were many different stratospheres of breath – our most mysterious life force – and that there was still much to discover about its healing power for me … and maybe for all of us.
“If you are looking for a helping hand, why don’t you start looking at the end of your own arm?” –Mary Burmeister
Practicing the Art of Self-Healing – Jin Shin Jyutsu begins from understanding the power and magic of our own hands. As obvious as this may sound, and despite the fact that we all know how powerful compassionate touch can be when we are hurting, most of us will still doubt that holding our fingers or placing our hands on the body can be an effective way to treat or alleviate ‘dis-ease’. Can we help ourselves and others through the mere touch of our hands? The answer is yes. Those of us who practice Jin Shin Jyutsu have witnessed countless instances of the power and effectiveness of this innate, ever-accessible, and free ‘medicine’ (no side-effects, guaranteed!): the touch of our own hands. Maybe there is some truth to the notion that what we are most afraid of are our own innate powers. For why else would we come to neglect and distance ourselves from this harmonizing and healing art that is always ‘at hand’?
What is Jin Shin Jyutsu, and how does it work?
The name 'Jin Shin Jyutsu’ comes from the Japanese, and it literally means “the Art of the Creator through Compassionate Man.” Jin Shin Jyutsu® is a traditional Japanese healing art that harmonizes life energy, a ‘physio-philosophy’ that not only alleviates ‘dis-ease’ but guides us to the place where I “now know myself.”
Rediscovered in the early 20th century by Jiro Murai (1886-1960), who cured himself of terminal illness by practicing traditional Japanese hand postures known for their healing power (the so-called ‘Inju’s’), Jin Shin Jyutsu was brought to the West by Jiro Murai’s devoted student Mary Burmeister. Thanks to Jiro Murai’s and Mary Burmeister’s lifelong study and practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and thanks to the devotion of the many JSJ-students as well as all JSJ, Inc.-authorized instructors, this art of healing through the innate curative power of our own hands has been passed down through several generations, helping thousands of people in the US and all around the world to heal themselves.
How to practice Jin Shin Jyutsu?
Jin Shin Jyutsu can be easily practiced by placing our hands on specific points on the body – the so-called ‘Safety Energy Locks’ – which sets the healing flow of energy in motion. This creates harmony and supports inner balance in body, mind and spirit. This choreography of touch, as well as the holding of individual fingers, dissolves physical, emotional and spiritual blockages and opens up energy paths, thus restoring our overall harmony and health. Our hands ‘jumper cable’ our life energy, as it were, thereby recharging our ‘battery’ and, consequently, the whole person.
Most recently, Waltraud Riegger-Krause, a long-time student of Mary Burmeister and authorized instructor of Jin Shin Jyutsu has created an easy-to-read-and-use book-and-card-set that allows us to quickly find the appropriate self-treatment (a symptoms index is provided as well) and, thereby, to immediately benefit from Jin Shin Jyutsu’s therapeutic powers, while also gaining an in-depth understanding of its profound wisdom. This book-and-card-set is nothing less than a veritable Jin Shin Jyutsu First Aid Kit together with a thorough presentation of this healing art all in one. As Jed Schwartz, a fellow instructor at JSJ, Inc., so poignantly puts it: HEALTH IS in YOUR HANDS: Jin Shin Jyutsu® – Practicing the Art of Self-Healing is a “must for anyone wanting to learn how to help themselves and those around them, for anyone seeking personal empowerment in their own health.”
I am a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner and self-help teacher. I am passionate about sharing the gift of Jin Shin Jyutsu with anybody looking for self-empowerment in their own health and wellness. Guest bloggers from the Jin Shin Jyutsu community who are eager to share their knowledge are always welcome.