My Dad, ALS, and Jin Shin Jyutsu

Michelle Giambra writes: “My Dad, ALS, and Jin Shin Jyutsu” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 80, Spring 2013:

In 1996 my dad, John C. Knoch, was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. During the course of this fatal disease, the motor neurons that send messages to the muscles in the body die, resulting in paralysis. The mind is not affected. There is no known cause or cure.

Initially Dad experienced difficulty using his right hand and arm. The disease then progressed to the other arm and both legs. Eventually, his speech and breathing became impaired. He was using a bi-pap machine to assist in his breathing.

It was a couple of years into his diagnosis that I discovered Jin Shin Jyutsu. Dad was one of my first willing “guinea pigs”. One day, I was giving him a session when the Hospice nurse came to examine him. Upon checking his blood pressure, she became very surprised: his blood pressure was the lowest it had ever been. (His blood pressure was typically high.) My stepmother suggested that maybe it’s the Jin Shin Jyutsu, to which Dad nodded as emphatically as he could saying, “Yes!” He was able to feel the Jin Shin Jyutsu relaxing him.

In November of 1998, my father was faced with perhaps the most difficult decision of his life. The bi-pap breathing machine was no longer providing ample breathing assistance.

Basically, Dad had to decide whether he wanted to have a tracheostomy and live the rest of his days on life support, or pass on. After several grueling days in the ICU at the Cleveland Clinic, he decided to have the surgery.

When he returned to ICU after the surgery, I sat beside him to share Jin Shin Jyutsu. He was really out of it and not consciously aware that I was there. As I slipped my hand under his left shoulder blade (to begin harmonizing the Mediator Flow), I felt his whole body relax. It was as if his entire being exhaled a big sigh of relief. It was amazing!

Dad then lived at home, a quadriplegic confined to a hospital bed and unable to speak. His mind was as sharp as a tack. He maintained a commanding presence, communicating and directing us through eye blinks. When asked if he would like to receive Jin Shin Jyutsu, he would always blink twice, indicating “Yes”. His entire family, including his grandchildren, participated in helping to harmonize the imbalances he experienced: lung congestion, constipation, UTIs, anxiety, depression; the list goes on. Since he was in a hospital bed, we used easy-to-reach applications: holding his 1s, palming his calves, holding his 7s, holding his 4s, the Thumb Function Energy, the Little Finger Function Energy and Opposite Fingers and Toes. We kept it simple.

Over the years I had explained to Dad what some of the flows are. And if I asked him what flow he wanted, he usually requested the “10 Flow” because he knew it is the “Abundance Flow”. If nothing else, I held his fingers, because simply holding the fingers, one at a time for a few minutes each, can harmonize the entire being!

Dad passed away in May 2009. He lived many years beyond the “average life expectancy” of someone diagnosed with ALS. He is a true hero in my eyes. I am grateful that we a had Jin Shin Jyutsu as a tool to help us during this time.

Thank you, Michelle.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at



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