Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jump Start Your Energy and Attitude - Jin Shin Jyutsu

I took a free class at the Cancer Center last week on a form of Asian bodywork called Jin Shin Jyutsu.  I've always been interested in reflexology and acupressure and I thought it might be interesting.

The class was taught by Kathy O'Hare, who is a certified Asian Bodywork Therapist.  It was a two hour class and very interesting, and included demonstrations on how to do the exercises.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient healing practice, where the laying of hands on specific places on the body help release blocked energy.  It is a form of acupressure, and the hands are considered jumper cables in the practice.  The basic philosophy is that the body has pathways of energy, and along the path, there are 26 points where energy can get stuck.  These points are referred to as Safety Energy Locks or SELs.

When a pathway becomes blocked, energy stagnates in that part of the body.  If the flow through that area is not released, it can potentially create imbalance along the entire pathway, eventually leading to disease.

What I thought was so interesting is that much of what we learned in class corresponded with what my physical therapist also taught me about creating good flow in my lymphatic system.  Without even knowing the biology behind it, it seems plausible to me that the creators of this ancient art used the healing benefits of healthy lymphatic flow.

Our instructor for the class, Kathy, recommended a book if we were interested in learning more about it.  The Touch of Healing: Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu by Alice Burmeister is available on  Here is the link if you are interested.

This is a quick exercise Kathy taught us in class that involves your fingers and toes, and is very easy to do.  The idea is that your own hands can direct and release energy flow; it's as simple as holding your own hands.

Here's how it works.  Each of the fingers and thumbs represents an emotion that blocks your flow of energy.
Your thumb?  Worry.
Your index finger?  Fear.
Your middle finger?  Anger.  (That one is hysterical, thus the origins of flipping someone off?)
Your ring finger?  Sadness.
Your Pinky?  Trying to... in other words, pretense or trying to be something, instead of just being who you are.

Each of your toes corresponds with each of your fingers; big toe is worry, second toe is fear and so on.

All you have to do to "harmonize your attitude" through your fingers and toes, is to hold each one with the opposite hand for a few minutes.  So, take your right hand and hold your left thumb.  Then move on to hold your left index finger.  Then hold your left middle finger.  You get the idea.  Complete all the holds on your left hand with your right hand, then switch hands.  Use your left hand to hold, one at a time, each of the fingers on your right hand.

If one of those emotions is ruling you, hold the finger that corresponds to it a little longer.

You can also do the same with your toes.  Use your right hand to hold, one at a time, each of your left toes. Then switch and do the right foot.

I've been trying it.  I don't know if it's working, but if nothing else, doing it makes me sit and get quiet; I focus on my breathing and what my hands are doing.  It feels as if open space is cleared in my brain as I do the holds and my breathing slows, fixing my gaze on the warm orange glow of my salt crystal lamp.

Your mind is your instrument. Learn to be its master and not its slave.  Remez Sasson



Beneath the Eaves said...

So interesting. Thanks for sharing.I wonder if that is why a child will suck on their thumb to sooth themselves from worry.
It has been a while and I need to learn to master so many things it seems. Okay ... I am off to start the deep breathing.All the best

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Lady ~
Thank you for sharing this information. I am going to buy the book. Enjoy your relaxation.
Hugs and Kisses xoxox

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