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What is Jin Shin Jyutsu?

In Jin Shin Jyutsu, the pressure points on the hands are used to bring the body back into a balanced state.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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Jin Shin Jyutsu is a modern acupressure therapy based on ancient Japanese methods. Jiro Murai reintroduced this form of treatment to the world in the early 1900s. Murai had sought seclusion after becoming ill through a rather indulgent and unsafe lifestyle, and in a cabin, he studied various spiritual texts for about a week before he had a spiritual experience which led him to believe that work with the hands over the body’s energy fields could be extraordinarily healing.

Murai refined and practiced the methods of Jin Shin Jyutsu and became celebrated as a healer in Japan. Mary Burmeister, who studied the art with Murai, then brought the practice to America in the 1950s. Translating as “The art of the creator through compassionate hands” Jin Shin Jyutsu, especially as used by early practitioners often was employed to help those who couldn’t afford care or were in dire need. Free one-hour sessions have been offered to people in hospices, to those who are homeless, and to children who have been victims of abuse, though most people do pay for sessions from trained practitioners.

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The basic principals of Jin Shin Jyutsu are that the body has a set of 26 points that regulate the flow of the body’s energy. These locks or points are called Safety Energy Locks, and they can become blocked. With mild manipulation and touching of these points, energy can harmonize and flow freely. The hands, in this philosophy, are called “jumper cables” and are used to help reduce blocked energy and bring the body into a balanced state of energy.

Like many body energy therapies, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Jin Shin Jyutsu proves beneficial, but little in the way of clinical evidence to suggest that the practice works. A number of practitioners exist and Murai contended that the practice of this type of acupressure was not limited to a few special people. Instead he believed that all people had the innate ability to become Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioners, and this may perhaps explain popularity of the method, and relatively short training sessions (from a few days to a week or two) before a person may receive a certificate to offer services in this method.

While it’s unclear from a scientific perspective if this practice actually works, or works in the way that Murai and others have suggested, one-hour sessions devoted to someone suffering, by a practitioner who is compassionate may provide a general sense of well-being. The practice uses extremely gentle touch and simple movement and appears to pose no danger to those undergoing it. This of course presupposes that people use Jin Shin Jyutsu as a complementary therapy in addition to receiving standard medical treatment for diagnosable medical conditions.

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