Though you may not have heard of the ancient Japanese art of Jin Shin Jyutsu, this holistic practice is well worth getting to know. Focused on unblocking and harmonising the body’s flow of vital life energy, this healing art has been found to help reduce stress and anxiety, instill a sense of calm and balance, nurture feelings of peace, and even help with pain management.
Also known in holistic healing circles as JSJ, Jin Shin Jyutsu has so far enjoyed a little less fame in the West, compared with its more widely practised cousins such as reiki, cupping therapy, acupuncture and yoga. But while the ancient art may have flown somewhat under the radar, it certainly still holds its own when it comes to improving the body's natural healing capacity.
Keen to know more? Read on for a guide to this ancient art, its incredible healing benefits and how you can get started with some DIY Jin Shin Jyutsu tips.
What is Jin Shin Jyutsu?
Thought to pre-date both the Kojiki (Japan’s Record of Ancient Things) and the birth of the Buddah, Jin Shin Jyutsu - which translated means ‘The Art of the Creator through the person of compassion’ - became a relatively lost art until it was rediscovered by Master Jiro Murai in the early 20th century. Passed down from master to student, this traditional healing practice is often likened to acupuncture – just without the needles.
So what actually happens during a Jin Shin Jyutsu session? Unlike massage, you stay fully clothed during a JSJ session, but it can help to wear comfy, loose garments. Using a technique of compassionate listening, which may include taking your pulse and asking some questions about your lifestyle, practitioners first identify areas of the body where energy paths may be blocked, or causing an imbalance. Light touches are then used across the 26 ‘safety energy lock’ points (similar to acupoints in acupuncture) to clear these blocked pathways, while revitalising and harmonising overall energy flow around the body.
What are the benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu?
During a session, the immediate benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu are deep feelings of calm and relaxation. While results may vary from person to person, the biggest effects are normally felt during the eight hours following the treatment.
Along with promoting relaxation, and carving out space where niggling stresses or worries can be set aside, the art is also thought to help maximise the body’s natural capacity for healing, ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and also help to rebalance emotional overwhelm.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, found that participants who practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help techniques for 20-minutes per day reported ‘statistically significant reductions’ in their emotional, organisational, and physical stress levels, along with an increase in ‘emotional vitality’.
Like many holistic practices, JSJ is also used alongside Western medicine to support a variety of treatments, with one study noting a significant drop in acute and chronic pain among patients suffering from a range of conditions including backache, headaches, fatigue, fibromyalgia and even cancer treatment.
DIY Jin Shin Jyutsu techniques
Keen to give Jin Shin Jyutsu a try? Give it a go at home with these easy DIY techniques for beginners.
To calm nerves: wrap one hand around the last three fingers of your opposite hand (little finger to middle finger) and hold for a few moments. This should help to steady any nervous energy. If you’re a worrier, you can also try holding your thumbs (one at a time, of course) which can help to calm anxious feelings.
Boost your immune system: a good one to try as the winter months start to roll in, simply place both hands on your sternum (in middle of your chest) and hold for a few minutes daily.
For an energy burst: try this one before reaching for your afternoon coffee. When you’re next feeling a tired slump coming on, sit on your hands with your palms facing upwards for up to 10 minutes. This should help to leave you feeling recharged and revitalised.
Want to try more relaxation techniques at home? Take a look at our collection of inspiring meditations.