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Volume 9 Issue 5
Jan/Feb 2004

Living in Balance
The Art of Taking Care of Oneself

Let's Eat Pumpkin

Ayurveda – The Science of Life An Ancient Medicine

Jin Shin Jyutsu
A Journey Toward Self-Knowledge and Harmony

Your Inner Voice is a Key to Career Planning


Jin Shin Jyutsu
A Journey Toward Self-Knowledge and Harmony
by Shari Beckton

Is this another martial arts form? No, it is not. Jin Shin Jyutsu Physio-Philosophy is an ancient healing art that offers a simple way to achieve health and balance. It harmonizes and brings balance to the energy of the body, which promotes optimal health and well-being. This facilitates our own profound healing capacity. The actual translation of "Jin Shin Jyutsu" is, "The Art of the Creator expressed through a person of compassion and knowing." Mary Burmeister, author of several texts on this ancient art and a devoted student of it, believes that Jin Shin Jyutsu is a lifelong journey toward self-knowledge and harmony.

Jin Shin Jyutsu, which came to Japan via Tibet and China, originated in a time before Buddha and Moses. In the early 1900s, a man named Jiro Murai devoted fifty years of his life to uncovering and furthering the study of this ancient healing art. In early 1942, in Japan, an American woman named Mary Burmeister met with Jiro Murai. He asked her, "Would you like to take a gift from Japan to America?" For Burmeister, that began twelve years of personal study with him before she returned home. Through correspondence, she studied another seven years with Murai, right up until his death in 1961. She did not, however, start practicing Jin Shin Jyutsu right away. It took another two years before she actively practiced it. Over the next seventeen years Burmeister compiled and wrote five text books on this subject which are being used in classes today.
As Burmeister wrote in one of her texts: "Through Jin Shin Jyutsu, my awareness is awakened to the simple fact that all that is needed for harmony and balance with the universe – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – is within myself. Through this awareness, the feeling of complete peace, serenity, security, the oneness within is evident. No person, situation, or thing can take these away from me."

The Truth is that within each of us
lies the power to cast all misery aside
and to KNOW complete
Peace and Oneness –
to BE that beautiful creation
of perfect harmony –
to truly KNOW (help) MYSELF.

— Mary Burmeister

If you are familiar with acupuncture and its body points, organ flows, and vital Chi force, as well as with the principles of Reiki, then you have a basis for understanding Jin Shin Jyutsu. Like Reiki, it is a hands-on therapy that can be done by a practitioner or by oneself. Like acupuncture, Jin Shin Jyutsu is based on the flow of energy through the body. There are only twenty-six Safety Energy Locks on the body that act as an early warning system. When all the locks are open, the vital energy flows freely and we are healthy. When energies start to stagnate in a particular area, we can easily release them using the Safety Energy Locks. When we abuse ourselves mentally, emotionally, or physically, through the course of our daily routines, our Safety Energy Locks become engaged. It could be compared to fuses in the fuse box of your home. If an outlet is overloaded, it blows the fuse that feeds that outlet, but does not shut down the whole electrical system. If the fuse is not looked after and you just shift the plugs to another outlet, it, too, will blow as it becomes overloaded and the process will continue until it is all shut down. A single fuse blowing is a warning that you have overloaded the circuitry and attention must be paid to what you are doing. The same thing applies to your life. These twenty-six Energy Locks act like those fuses. If enough are blown over a period of time, disharmonies will occur in your physical, emotional, or mental well-being. If we heed the friendly warning, we can instantly help ourselves and prevent further discomfort or misery. Restoring harmony can be as simple a matter as applying our hands to unlock particular Energy Locks.

To introduce you to Jin Shin Jyutsu, here is a self-help technique you can use. It is the Main Central Flow where the source of our life energy cycles through our body. The energy moves up the back from the coccyx (tailbone) over the top of our head and down the front of our body to the pubic bone. The breath follows this same pattern. So you will be harmonizing your breath as you do this simple flow on yourself. In harmonizing this flow daily, you will help yourself to feel centered and energized.

The Main Central Vertical Flow:

Step 1: Place the fingers of the right hand on top of the head (where it will remain until step 6). Place the fingertips of the left hand over your forehead between your eyebrows. Hold for 2–5 minutes.
Step 2: Now move the left figertips on to the tip of your nose. Hold for 2–5 minutes.
Step 3: Move the left fingertips to the middle of your sternum (centre of chest between your breasts). Stay there for 2–5 minutes.
Step 4: Move the left fingertips to the base of your sternum (centre of where your ribs start, above the stomach). Hold for 2–5 minutes.
Step 5: Move the left fingertips to the top of your pubic bone (above the genitals, centre). Hold for 2–5 minutes.
Step 6: Keep your left fingertips where they are and move your right fingertips to cover your coccyx (tailbone). Hold for 2–5 minutes.
Note: The right hand remains on the top of the head while the left hand moves down the body until the final step.

This gentle art, practiced by placing the fingertips on designated Saftey Energy Locks, facilitates the reduction of tension which accumulates through daily living.

In a typical session, lasting about one hour, a practitioner would place her or his hands on the fully clothed body in a pattern, or flow, using a variety of the twenty-six Saftey Energy Locks. Each person's experience will be unique to them; however, the common experience for all is deep relaxation. This allows the body an opportunity to regenerate itself. A Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner is not the "do-er" – she or he simply assists in the flow of an infinte supply of universal energy. The practitioner's energy is not transferred to the person receiving the treatment, nor is the practitioner taking energy from that person. The universal life force is at work. The hands are used like jumper cables, allowing the energy to be moved through the Energy Locks in much the same way that jumper cables recharge a car's battery.

Can Jin Shin Jyutsu be practised by anyone? Yes. Each person has, within themselves, the innate ability to practice this healing art. It is a natural skill that we simply need to remember and utilize in order to bring harmony, of body, mind and spirit, back into our daily lives. Self help classes are being offered right now in Saskatoon. It is taught all over the world and for the first time, in July 2005, there will be a five-day class held in Saskatoon.

References: The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister with Tom Monte, Bantam Books, 1997 ISBN: 0-553-37784-1; and website: www.jinshinjyutsu.com.

Shari Beckton, a Registered Massage Therapist living in Saskatoon, is currently the only practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu Physio-Philosophy in Saskatchewan. She travelled from coast to coast to complete her study in this teaching. She has an active massage therapy business in Saskatoon and Delisle. Starting January 14 self-help classes in Jin Shin Jyutsu are being offered on an ongoing basis in Saskatoon on Wednesday evenings 7–9:30 pm. To contact Shari, phone (306) 665-8152 or (306) 230-5997, email sbeckton1@yahoo.ca.

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