Category Archives: Jin Shin Jyutsu

What is happening in the world of Jin Shin Jyutsu

Lunch and Learn

Marlies Castaing writes: “Lunch and Learn” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 81, Summer 2013:

Over salad Nicoise and tasty deserts, forty-eight women gathered on a January afternoon to eat, socialize and learn about Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ). Many had never heard about this Japanese Art of health and balance. The event – a “Lunch and Learn” presentation – was one of a new series intended as an informal introduction to JSJ. It was part of an effort in the Phoenix area to broaden the community of people aware of JSJ’s powers.

I am a relatively new member of the Jin Shin Jyutsu family, but the moment I discovered the power of self-help, I became passionate about learning and, in turn, eager to spread the word about the simplicity of the Art.

Furthermore, my mother still lives in the Austrian Alps where I grew up; and during my regular visits, three times every year, I found a surprisingly large number of people familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu in that region. Local Austrian mainstream bookstores offer JSJ literature, sometimes right next to the cash register, and some children learn the Main Central Flow in Kindergarten with an audio book. There are entire valleys filled with people who practice JSJ as self-help or with practitioners. JSJ is also featured on radio programs or in the local newspaper.

After seeing such a strong community in Austria, I asked myself the simple question: “Why not in the United States of America…?”

I spend about half the year in Arizona. Outside of the JSJ office and its family at large, very few people seem to have heard about JSJ or know about the power of holding fingers.

The Idea of “Lunch and Learn” came out of a conversation with a good friend and well-known chef in Phoenix. I had been talking to Vincent Guerithault, the chef behind the restaurant Vincent on Camelback, for some time about JSJ and told him about how much I wanted to share JSJ with a larger community in Phoenix. Vincent was eager to offer his culinary expertise as accompaniment to a 60-minute PowerPoint presentation I prepared, introducing JSJ. When we announced the first “Lunch and Learn”, both of us were surprised at the number of attendees who wished to participate. Subsequent presentations have averaged about 25 people.

My main goal with “Lunch and Learn” is to create awareness about JSJ. In my presentation, I focus on what I call my own three JSJ pillars:

  • Holding fingers
  • The Main Central Flow
  • The 36 Breaths

I have found it beneficial to use some parts of the booklet, “An Art of Gentle Touch”, created by Mary Blackford and available on the JSJ website ( Although the booklet was originally created specifically for people coping with cancer, it contains a succinct history of JSJ, as well as a useful, layman’s explanation of what the Art is. The brochure also offers helpful guidance on The Main Central and an easy-to-follow Hand Chart. In the course of my presentation, I explain the resources available to learn more about JSJ. I always have materials available about the classes offered through the JSJ Scottsdale office.

So far, the “Lunch and Learn” presentations have been an incredibly positive experience. There are participants who show genuine curiosity about the Art and seem excited to have been introduced to it. However, I’ve also learned through these presentations that despite my own enthusiasm, JSJ is not for everyone. But this has not discouraged me from letting the world know about JSJ. I feel almost an obligation of “giving back” some of the numerous gifts I have received through JSJ. My mission is to spread the JSJ word, and once introduced to it, it is up to each individual to embrace or not to embrace the Art. It is only if one hears about it, that one can make that choice.

Thank you, Marlies.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

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





Surrender to the Unknown, Part 2

Jill Pasquinelli writes: “Surrender to the Unknown” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 81, Summer 2013:

Guidance: priorities of the Spirit, Soul and Body


For me this is Jin Shin Jyutsu, moving us closer to our true selves, to be in alignment with the creator, nature, myself and the universe…to be a reflection of light back to the cosmos.

Another client, Terry, came to see me for depression. This was many years ago. I still see Terry today. At the time she came to see me, her father was dying, and she was dealing with breast cancer. She loved the Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments and told me they helped her to be in her body, and she always felt uplifted after a treatment. Over the years of treating Terry, life happened as it often does. Her husband went through prostate cancer, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her daughter got married, she retired, and they sold the family house and moved up north to the country. This is a lot of movement…all significant things, but I watched Terry handle it all and take it in stride with ease, grace and humor. I thought I would be seeing her a lot less because she now lives an hour and fifteen minutes away but it has become clear to me that Jin Shin Jyutsu is a way of life for her. She continues to come for her weekly appointment. She is growing a large beautiful garden, and has gotten into art – something she has wanted to do for a long time but didn’t feel confident. She is happy and content and has the flexibility and resilience to deal with what life hands her.

I see another person, Polly, who is living with rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve been seeing her for eleven years now. She has had many ups and downs with pain, medication and fatigue. She has had to give up things that she has cherished like yoga and her long walks. She struggles daily, and yet I know few people as fiery with life as Polly. We often laugh at the absurdity and irony of life; in fact, I think I’ve laughed harder with Polly than with anyone. Sometimes we have tears rolling down our cheeks during a session we’re laughing so much. As Polly’s disease has limited her body, her spirit, mind, and heart have opened and continue to be what I call a savage gift. I remember Mary saying, “A person’s thoughts can change, sometimes the body follows.” …But not always, as I’ve come to see. I remember one man when asked the question, “How are you doing today?” replied, “The spirit is well but the body is not so good.”

A woman called me several years ago because she had ovarian cancer. She told me that since she had started chemotherapy she wasn’t able to function at all. She couldn’t get out of bed, had no appetite and wasn’t able to work, even though she could work from home. The reason she wanted to come for Jin Shin Jyutsu was because she didn’t want her hair to fall out from the chemotherapy. I told her I wasn’t sure the Jin Shin Jyutsu could prevent the hair loss, in fact, probably not. But I was pretty sure it would help her to feel better. She paused, then decided to make an appointment for a session. After her first treatment she was able to get up out of bed and eat something. She came to see me two more times and each time felt better. Her appetite was growing, she started working part-time and had more energy. In general she was feeling much better. Before her fourth treatment she called to cancel her appointment. She told me the Jin Shin Jyutsu wasn’t working. Her hair was starting to fall out. I pointed out how much better she was doing, but she felt the Jin Shin Jyutsu had failed her. I never saw her again.

The body has it’s priorities as does the spirit, soul, mind, and heart. The route is not always direct and the journey is unknown. We always remain unfinished as we always live in an imperfect world. How perfect is that design for our growth and transformation?

As one client said, “Jin Shin Jyutsu hasn’t helped my stomach pain but all the rest of my life is better.”

Thank you, Jill.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

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


Surrender to the Unknown, Part 1

Jill Pasquinelli writes: “Surrender to the Unknown” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 81, Summer 2013:

Guidance: priorities of the Spirit, Soul and Body

We never really know what brings someone to us for a Jin Shin Jyutsu session. It’s usually a condition or symptom, something that we don’t want, but there’s something else underlying that, something unspoken, unidentified, not yet seen or known. Maybe it’s the soul calling us back to ourselves.

One thing I know for sure is the healing process is one of mystery, it’s movements often unpredictable, taking us to unforeseen places and foreign territories only unfamiliar because we don’t  recognize them as our own landscape. There is no one path or clear path or a path at all really, just the one we are making while we travel this vast terrain of the psyche and soul. I think it’s the soul’s journey. When we’re in this kind of movement of our entire being, we often wrestle with this unknown and unfamiliar place, wanting what is familiar, wanting things to be clear and certain, ordered and predictable but that’s not usually how the process of transformation goes. We can’t see clearly because we’re inside of the experience, it’s being revealed to us as we experience it. There’s also no timeline, no way to know when we’ll be out of this, but whether we surrender or fight it, at some point we emerge from this place and it’s as if the light shines on us so we can reorient ourselves, have some perspective, have an authentic experience of who we are now, and yet we recognize we are unfinished.

This is the movement of our life. What calls us, whether it’s a loss, an illness, a memory, a birth, a death, whatever it may be.

I think of my client who came to see me because she had liver cancer and was given a six month prognosis. Rita was a nun and had a deep spiritual life but struggled with depression. Something was missing for her. I treated Rita for four and a half years. She was a closet poet, and often we would start her sessions with a poem she had written. She confessed to me that the prognosis the doctors had given her “was always on the back burner” as she put it. In the face of her fears and struggles I watched Rita blossom over the years. She began having public poetry readings, and this guided her into leading prayer groups in her community. As she was helping others and an inspiration to all of us, she took a big leap and did something she had always wanted to do, which was get her Master’s in psychology. I watched and witnessed Rita becoming more herself, moving into an inherently earned freedom as she navigated the unknown, finding herself along the way, living and expressing the beauty that was Rita. As she was moving into the dying process, one day she said to me “Jill, this has been the happiest and best four and a half years of my life. I found what was missing, and it was me!” We both cried, we both came to understand she was free from the past and the future. It didn’t matter anymore, she was whole. She could let go of her life easily and she did.

To be continued…

Jin Shin Jyutsu in Psychiatric Care: A Case History, Part 2

Eika Bingden writes about: “Jin Shin Jyutsu in Psychiatric Care: A Case History” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 76, Spring 2012:

The participants clearly enjoyed the self-help exercises and received a relaxing and profound effect from the beginning when they did some of the self-help sequences on each other. From time to time the initial skepticism decreased; first reports were given at the second meeting of the group, and may participants considered how they could already integrate Jin Shin Jyutsu into their lives and their work. At the third and fourth event, one could sense that the spark of enthusiasm was ignited for most of them.

By the way, the participants received credit points from the hospital for this training course.

Following, the head of the nursing service, Ms. Jüttner, who looks upon this project benevolently, was asked by the participants to relate to the physicians and therapists that the nurses want the doctors to be informed about our project and the general ideas about Jin Shin Jyutsu.

At short notice we were given a twenty-minute opportunity during the weekly meetings of physicians and therapists to introduce Jin Shin Jyutsu and our present experience with it. We especially emphasized the simplicity combined with high effectiveness and the self-help aspect. During the subsequent short discussion, we also referred to the twenty years of clinical experience of Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey, U.S.A. We got the impression that there is a certain openness for Jin Shin Jyutsu even in the medical profession.

One month later we met again with the training group. This time the question in the foreground was what kind of experience had been gained and what help was still required in order to employ the knowledge. Besides the valuable personal experiences, there were actually several reports where Jin Shin Jyutsu had been employed in certain cases.

Especially in physiotherapy and on a ward for people suffering from depression, the nurses had started to offer a Jin Shin Jyutsu session to several patients and, without exception, had received  positive feedback. Again we summed up the most important principles for the application of Jin Shin Jyutsu and outlined extensively the content of Mary’s three introductory books, thus encouraging those present to “simply” start.

In the meantime, a further month had passed by, and we had another discussion with the very committed head of skill enhancement, Ms. Machner, and the head of the nursing department, Ms. Jüttner. Both are great supporters of this action. In a detailed way they reported about the first beginnings which individual participants of the further training had described. Besides, a group already exists which meets on a monthly  basis in order to exchange experiences. Many wish to attend a 5-Day Basic Seminar soon. We discussed the realization of this wish financially.

Within the coming six months, all experiences which have been gained in the use of Jin Shin Jyutsu, shall be collected and evaluated. Should the result be significant (which we assume it will!), a long-term project can be envisioned.

A beginning has been made!

Thank you, Eika.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

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

Jin Shin Jyutsu in Psychiatric Care: A Case History, Part 1

Eika Bingden writes about: “Jin Shin Jyutsu in Psychiatric Care: A Case History” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 76, Spring 2012:

Renate Kanigowski was a physiotherapist in the regional hospital for psychiatry in the town of Wehnen near Oldenburg, Germany. As part of her professional training, she got to know physio-acupuncture-therapy; however, working with this method did not feel appropriate to her. In a book about Schüssler-Salts she was given the hint that you can remove physical blockages with Jin Sin Jyutsu. In February 2001 she found out more about Jin Shin Jyutsu in a public lecture by Dr. Markus Dongowski and received a reference to the book The Touch of Healing by Alice Burmeister.

Immediately she started to hold particular Jin Shin Jyutsu sequences on her patients and gained firsthand experience. The self-help courses expanded her understanding of the healing art and made her curious about the 5-Day Basic Seminars, which she had attended annually since 2006. Gradually she employed the (re-)gained knowledge about the connection between body, mind and soul, especially in cases where all conventional methods did not work. Many a success in treatments quickly got around to the practicing doctors and psychologists, and more prescriptions were given for Jin Shin Jyutsu . Sometimes she gave 5-6 treatments a day. The head of the physiotherapy ward had to restrict the weekly amount of Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments so that Renate could also do a certain amount of classical physiotherapy treatments. In the meantime she had established two patient self-help groups with whom she met once a week and carried out simple self-help exercises. When she gave up her job at the end of 2009 due to a changed personal situation, there occurred a vacuum for some time.

In the beginning of 2011, owing  to a private contact between the business administration of the hospital and Dr. Markus Dongowski, Jin Shin Jyutsu was reintroduced to the renamed Karl-Jaspers-Clinic.

It was arranged to introduce Jin Shin Jyutsu during working hours as part of further internal training for interested nurses as well as employees in physiotherapy. Basic knowledge was to be acquired, putting the nursing crew in a position to have firsthand experience with the application of Jin Shin Jyutsu in the psychiatric field for self-help as well as for nursing intervention on various wards.

We decided to provide an overall view on the basis of Mary Burmeister’s Self-Help books, 1, 2 and 3 for the participants, allowing them to experience Jin Shin Jyutsu in a simple way:

  • for oneself
  • for patients by offering self-help tips to them
  • as nursing intervention

Fourteen interested people registered for the skill enhancement.

The hospital together with the Rafael Publishing Company as well as the German Association for Mary Burmeister, Jin Shin Jyutsu, provided three introductory books by Mary Burmeister to the participants free of charge.

The four Wednesday afternoons were organized in a way starting with an explanation of the physio-philosophical background and was followed by practical experience of Jin Shin Jyutsu. What was studied in the three books varied during the four afternoons.

To be continued…



The Spring Equinox, Part 2

Louanne Ellis writes about: “The Spring Equinox” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 76, Spring 2012:

Leo, corresponding to the Heart Function Energy, is the high point of the individuated ego development and expression of creativity. Leo is where we identify with ourselves as the center of the “universe”. The Sun, god of our local universe, rules Leo. You may have observed that the phenomenon of “young masters of the universe” is an attitude which peaks at 28-35 years. This is the peak of belief in one’s individual abilities. From here on, life’s lessons and maturity begin to provide these beautiful idealistic youthful beings with “doubt”, or information indicating that perhaps they are not the center of the universe – darn! Aries (birth – 7 years) don’t think about it; they will “act” as if they are the center; infants get all the feedback from  life they need to assume that the sun rises and sets based on their needs. The fire signs complete with Sagittarius and the realization of just how small our “Sun” is in relationship to the universe.

The attributes of Leo in disharmony are evidenced by an unnatural need for attention. Ego insecurity drives the individual to seek approval from the outside as a result of not feeling it internally. A damaged ego from childhood will result in the individual craving attention and recognition; therefore, we see the Jin Shin Jyutsu attitude of “trying to” – trying to prove the worthiness of being noticed, loved, admired, etc. In harmony, Leo, ruled by the Sun and the Heart Function Energy, will be generous, affectionate, loyal, and creative. Leos can be natural leaders, great teachers, artists, and lovers.

Sagittarius corresponds to the Diaphragm Function Energy, and the spiritual phase of the breath, which begins in the Lung, Second Depth, and the first stage of manifestation. Astrologically, Sagittarius is the culmination of spiritual development. It is the third manifestation of the fire signs (the Chest Flows). In the Diaphragm we experience aspiration, and the physio-philosophy of our spiritual nature and the support of prana, or life/spirit force transmitted through the Diaphragm and the Sixth Depth or Bridge connecting us to Source.

The common expression of the Sagittarian “signature” in disharmony is arrogance. Sagittarius corresponds to the Diaphragm Function Energy in Jin Shin Jyutsu and the Sixth Depth. It is the masculine function of the Sixth Depth and assists in the exhaling process. When emotions get stuck or frozen in the body, the diaphragm often becomes restricted or “stiff”. The inability to exhale by definition limits receiving and relaxing. The Sixth Depth does not have a corresponding emotional expression in the manner of the Depths 1-5, as presented by Mary Burmeister. This is because the Bridge contains the potential and integration for all the Depths. In Mary’s terms it would be the “inclusive” function. The Sixth Depth has a similar function as the Main Central Vertical Flow; i.e., it is an immediate source for all the individualized flows. The Diaphragm, the masculine function of the Sixth Depth, is critical in assisting the body to receive the life force of prana. It IS the “RAINBOW BRIDGE”. I do not use the term “rainbow bridge” as metaphysical jargon. It is profoundly significant and is why it has found its way into multiple expressions, songs, books, etc. The “Light – the Spark” of the Seventh Depth bridging down into the Sixth Depth as Life, has an intrinsic correspondence to the seven major chakras/the endocrine system and the seven rays of the visible color spectrum. This rainbow message is the covenant signifying that God will never withdraw His Love. The Bridge transmits the Light of the Seventh Depth through the Sixth Depth as the spectrum of Love, supporting our individualized Spirit.

The Bridge connecting our individual spirit to the collective spirit functions with/as the breath. Mary told us that 36 conscious breaths would bring our being into harmony – 36 applications of giving and receiving, exhaling and inhaling – 3 x 12 corresponds to the 12 organ flows completed in the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions – 4 x 9 corresponds to a completed cycle of the four elements: chest, finger, face, toe flows. I don’t know if 6 x 6 has a meaningful or useful correspondence. This brings to mind the brilliant songwriter and musician David Byrne, and his song “Like Humans Do” – I’m breathing in I’m breathing out. It is a bit more poetic than Mary, but there we have the wisdom of the ubiquitous message, “JUST BREATH”.

To recap:

The Lung Function Energy Flow, corresponding to Aries, initiates the gift of a new incarnation, a new physical body. We take in the Breath of Life to commence this journey. The Heart Function Energy Flow, corresponding to Leo, provides us with the inspiration and dedication to creatively express our individual identity. The Diaphragm Function Energy Flow, corresponding to Sagittarius, provides us with the aspiration to expand our awareness and identity as we become aware of our spiritual nature.

Thank you, Louanne.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

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






The Spring Equinox, Part 1

Louanne Ellis writes about: “The Spring Equinox” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 76, Spring 2012:

The Spring Equinox marks the birth of a new year for the Northern Hemisphere. The sun’s rays are perpendicular to the equator, creating equal light and dark for the planet. The Sun enters the sign of Aries initiating its annual passage through the astrological signs in what we call the Order of 12 Organ Manifesting Functions, from Mary’s “Answer Sheer.”

A New Birth/Identity and the expanding of consciousness follow each water sign (the Toe Flows) phase. The water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces represent different “death” aspects of our lives. Out of each “death” we emerge to develop the next phase of our growth and identity, represented by the fire signs, commencing in the Chest Flows with birth represented by the Lung Function Energy.

The Three Chest Flows – Lung, Heart, and Diaphragm – correspond to the fires signs in astrology: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. These signs reveal through natural progression the growth of our identity and consciousness in the three distinct phases of our lives: youth, middle, and elder ages. The subtle and significant words associated with these ages illuminate the specific nature of three different qualities and functions of the Breath as represented in the Spiritual Fire of the Chest Flows.

Aries corresponds to Birth, the Lung Function Energy, and the physical aspect of our spiritual identity, remembering that “matter is the lowest form of Spirit, and Spirit is the highest form of matter.” The physical body is supported by RESPIRATION, the keyword describing this particular function of the breath.

Leo initiates midlife and corresponds to Heart Function Energy. The keyword describing the function of the breath sustaining our Spirit on a mental level is INSPIRATION. It nurtures our individual creativity and the peak of our ego development. Mary taught us that 80% of our “breath” goes to the brain.

Sagittarius initiates elder age and corresponds to the Diaphragm Function Energy. The awareness of our spiritual identity expands through this learning phase of exploring higher consciousness. The keyword describing the function of the breath supporting our spiritual identity is ASPIRATION.


Aries, corresponding to the Lung Function Energy, is the first fire sign and represents our physical body and instinctual nature. The corresponding time of life is birth to seven years. The lung literally provides us with the breath that enlivens our being. We come into this life as a spiritual being. We come into the present incarnation as a result of selecting the “refresh” mode for experience on the physical plane to continue our individual spiritual evolution. When the lung is in harmony we experience the natural spontaneity of youthful exuberance as we discover who we are, the development of ego consciousness. We are instinctively driven to act, to explore, to discover “Who am I?” – as a result of interaction with the unlimited potential of this new unfolding opportunity – the “refresh’ button in action.

The attributes of Aries, when out of balance or out of phase, are evidenced by the time of life that Aries rules, birth to seven years. As infants and children, Aries expect the world to revolve around them, which it literally does in their infancy. They can be self-serving, selfish, hardheaded, and often will act without thinking – hyper-independent and “thoughtless.” Their positive attributes are also independence, bravery, and adventurous pioneering natures. They are instinctively intelligent and spontaneous. They are natural warriors and explorers. The connection to the lung will manifest in disharmony when an individual is experiencing fear of life, as an overlay to the subconscious sense of loss and disconnect. This could be seen as asthma, bronchitis, or any lung ailment. When the lungs are strong, a person is supported with the physical energy to engage in life spontaneously and fearlessly.

To be continued…