Dancers Learn the Art of Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu, Part 1

Mitzi Adams incorporates Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help as an official university course and tells us about it in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 59, Winter 2008:

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Dancers Learn the Art of Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu

Could I have asked for anything better? Doing the two things I love most, teaching dance and the Art of Self-Help Jin Shin Jyutsu all under one roof…? I think not! It was the Spring of 2007 that David Burmeister approved me to teach a Self-Help course for university dance students; a first, I believe, for Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help…an approved-for-credit, official university course offered in a dance department. It was at the request of Chair, Nina Nelson, at Western Michigan University’s Dance Department, that I offered the class to the students to enrich their studies. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

I have had many opportunities in dance departments where I have been a guest artist, to share my knowledge of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and have taught numerous self-help classes to the general public throughout the years. This time was different, however. Since there are no coincidences, I chuckled when I learned that I would have the undivided attention of 23 (our destiny, our future…) eagerly enrolled students for an entire semester, who were there to learn this “touchy-feely” stuff in an academic setting and receive credit for it.

Hired for a one-year appointment as Assistant Professor in Dance, I had the task of bestowing as much information as I could in a year. The position of “Professor” for me, became less about standing up in front of a class, stoically lecturing to bleary-eyed students, but more about teaching students how to hold their bottoms for eliminating lactic acid build-up, and how to lie on the ground face-down, while holding the groin and giving in to gravity. “This will open up your hips,” I told them, “and you’ll end up becoming happier because of it!” The hallways became my classroom as I fielded questions about injuries. I hadn’t even started my official Self-Help course, and the students were already establishing the practice of “put your left hand here, put your right hand there.”

Once the class began in the second semester, most of the students already had some “hands-on” experience, so it was easy for me to parlay right into the material. As my class only met once a week, I designed it to follow a self-help course laid out for three days, and included ways for dancers to zero-in on specific information, such as injury prevention, weight loss, and flexibility.

I saw a transformation in the students in just a few short weeks and got to read in their journals how they had been personally affected by learning the Art. They especially liked to see the before-and-after results while in class. We would measure the 1s; then, I would have them hold the 1s for twenty minutes. They would re-measure afterward and be so surprised at what had happened. “I lost 2 inches!” “I lost 1 inch!” “Hey, I lost 3 inches!” They were their own testimonies and that was all it took to convince them. Dancers will do anything to lose weight, and  in this case, all they needed to do was to hold the insides of their knees!

To be continued…

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