Jin Shin Jyutsu®, the art of using light, gentle touch to restore the body’s natural energy flow, is said to have the effect of soothing one’s mind, increasing vitality, balancing emotions, relieving adverse symptoms, and improving well-being overall.
What Is Jin Shin Jyutsu?
This approach to massage therapy, an ancient Japanese practice, was well-known before the time of the earliest written records but was rediscovered and developed by Jiro Murai in the early 1900s. Jin Shin Jyutsu, the English meaning of which is “the art of the Creator through compassionate man,” is a physio-philosophy that involves skillful creation rather than mechanical application. Thus, it is considered by its practitioners to be more of an art form than a technique.
Jin Shin Jyutsu is comparable to a simple, gentle form of acupressure therapy. Only minimal pressure is used—the approach does not involve physical manipulation of bodily tissues. Instead, 26 points, or safety energy locks (SELs), along the body’s energy channels are used. These SELs are specific areas of the body where energy may become blocked, and practitioners aim, through treatment, to release them in order to encourage the flow of life energy along its pathway in the promotion of better health.
Massage therapists who practice Jin Shin Jyutsu believe there are many energy pathways in the human body, each with a distinct function, that help to sustain life. When one or more of these energy pathways become congested or blocked, uncomfortable or painful issues may develop. Through Jin Shin Jyutsu, massage therapists can help clear these pathways with gentle pressure to regain inner harmony and balance.
A core tenet of Jin Shin Jyutsu is the idea people can help themselves by gradually increasing their understanding of the self. Proponents of the approach believe all people possess the capacity to utilize this art, which can be seen in the way babies suck their thumbs to self-soothe or public figures hold their fingers or touch specific parts of the body when under pressure. Though these techniques often help individuals remain calm or increase their energy, they tend to become more powerful and effective when a person is aware of them.
What Happens in a Jin Shin Jyutsu Session?
Clients remove shoes for this type of massage therapy but remain fully clothed. Practitioners first assess energy pulses in the wrist and then begin to use light touch on specific areas of the body, applying appropriate “flows” to unblock distinct energy pathways. (A flow is a sequence of hand placements that utilize the safety energy locks in the body.) Light pressure from the therapist’s hands and fingers helps to balance the body’s energy system.
Instead of manipulating the body’s soft tissues, the practitioner uses their hands as “jumper cables” to contact the 26 safety energy locks. It is believed that when the practitioner opens the correct SELs, the energy of the client can harmonize with the energy rhythm of the universe. The practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu does not affect the energy supply of the practitioner.
The experience of Jin Shin Jyutsu is different for each person, but most people report feelings of deep relaxation. It is not uncommon for clients to fall asleep during treatment. After the session, the practitioner may teach the client basic techniques to address continuing needs at home.
Benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu
By utilizing this practice, clients may become more aware of their ability to harmonize themselves with the natural rhythm of the universe. While Jin Shin Jyutsu is used to provide physical relief, it also promotes mental and spiritual balance.
Jin Shin Jyutsu is reported to boost emotional well-being and help address physical side effects of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
It may also assist with issues such as:
- Fear, stress, anxiety, general nervousness
- Digestion and immune system issues
- Pain, fatigue, and insomnia
- Blood pressure, heart palpitations
- Anger, grief, and emotional regulation
- Muscle tension
The approach further encourages a way of life characterized by tranquility, simplicity, self-containment, and patience. The spirit of the work often motivates people to become long-time practitioners or clients.
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