Monday, December 22, 2014

Make Way for the Returning Light




"May you have
the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love."
~Ada V. Hendricks

Here we are today at the Winter Solstice, December 21nd, which is both the shortest day and longest night of the solar year. Today may be the the longest night but it carries the promise of Spring. The Winter Solstice is the day that the Sun’s light begins to grow again. The diminishing of the Sun’s light ends and the days begin to grow brighter and longer again until warmth and fertility return to the Earth.

The word Solstice literally means the sun stands still. It is the extreme positions of the sun at midsummer and midwinter, that makes the rising and setting of the sun appear to take place in the same position on the horizon for three or four days in succession. The Sun's path north or south appears to come to a magical stop before reversing direction.

It’s also the day, if we are attuned to the rhythm of the seasons, that we know we are heading toward more daylight and this manages to lift our spirits and has been a cause for celebration way back into the most ancient of times.

In the Jin Shin Jyutsu philosophy, it is not surprising that the color associated with this Winter-time of darkness is blue/black. The attitude of imbalance is FEAR and the harmonizer for fear is LOVE. (Hold your index finger to balance.)

This moment of transit from the old light to the new provides an opportunity for each of us to reflect on our experiences through the year and to set our intentions for the incoming year. Take this opportunity to embody the light, the love, and the consciousness that is your birthright as a Spiritual Being having this Human Experience. I invite you to embrace the darkness, to welcome the returning light and to share this love with all around you. Merry Christmas.

"With mounds of greenery,

the brightest ornaments,
we bring high summer to our rooms,
as if to spite the somberness
of winter come."
~Margaret Starkey

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Expect to BE Well-Minimize Winter Woes






“Take care of your body.
It's the only place you have to live.”
~Jim Rohn
 
As we make our way into winter, I encourage you to Expect to Be Well. I know people who not only expect to get sick all winter but they worry and fear that they will get sick and they do, often.  The attitudes of Fear and Worry dis-harmonize the body and dis-ease of one kind or another creeps in. So set the intention to BE WELL, it will go a long way to keeping you in Balance.

We prepare our homes, gardens and vehicles for winter by doing regular preventive maintenance. If we are smart we will do the same thing with our bodies. Every Jin Shin Jyutsu session boosts your immune system and prepares your body for whatever life throws at you. Daily Self-Help and Regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions will also help you to heal faster if you do catch something and a session when you feel something coming on can often prevent a cold from taking hold. 

Here is a wonderful Daily Self-Help Flow to help you to stay healthy. It is especially helpful if you feel something "coming on." Don't explain the feeling away as tiredness, because chances are if you are tired, then you are more susceptible to whatever is "going around." This self-help is used to build or increase immunity for colds and flu.

Place your left hand on your right neck/shoulder area (the soft muscle area where your neck and shoulder meet). Place your right hand at the fold of your right leg at the groin. Hold until you feel a rhythmic pulse in both places. Then switch: place your right hand on your left neck/shoulder area. Place your left hand at the fold of your left leg at the groin. Breathe and Be Well. 

Maintaining a healthy energy system is the best preventive for keeping the body from being invaded by colds, flu and other illness. Jin Shin Jyutsu leads to better sleep, strengthened immune system, reduced aches & pains, reduced depression, minimized effects from stress, improved moods. The benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu are cumulative. The more regularly you practice self-help and get sessions, the more benefit there is for you. Those aches and pains go away faster, stay away longer or go away entirely.

We all know that we are more susceptible to common colds, flu and other ailments when we have experienced stress of any kind in our lives...and who is not exposed to stress?! Jin Shin Jyutsu is a great way to eliminate the effects of stress on our bodies. Many experts say that the majority of disease is stress-related. These stress-related diseases continue to claim more lives each year.

I want you to know that it is misconception that a holistic health session, like Jin Shin Jyutsu, is just a luxury. Some people believe that a session is either an indulgence for the wealthy or a 'treat' for special occasions. Most clients come in only for a birthday or special holiday. But adding Jin Shin Jyutsu to your life is a great, proactive way to take charge.

The cost of these regular sessions should be weighed against the benefits of treatment: better sleep, strengthened immune system, reduced aches & pains, reduced depression, minimized effects from stress, improved moods. Know too that the benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu are cumulative. The more often you get a session, the more benefit there is for you. Those aches and pains go away faster, stay away longer or go away entirely. Life is Good.

“To ensure good health:
eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately,

cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life." 
~William Londen 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stop the Swirl of Holiday Stress



"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
~Sydney J. Harris

     We forget sometimes that the time to take time for ourselves is when we seem to have no time at all! I love this quote and was reminded of it last week when I offered a session to a stressed-out friend. Her response was, "Oh, that sounds so nice. Maybe when things calm down, I will be able to take you up on your offer." I know that a session would have helped her to find some balance in her life, to calm things down for her.
     In my experience, when we come at things from a place of balance, everything calms down. We need to find ways to replenish our energy, so that we can continue to take care of our kids, spouse, job, family and friends. We know that we need to take time when we feel that we have nothing left to give to the things/people that we care about!
     So, when you find yourself caught up in the swirl of holiday stress, just stop. Hit the Pause Button. Remember your Breath. Take a moment in the peaceful center of the storm. Get yourself a session And then Go with the Flow.
    I encourage you to remember that peace and calm are indeed possible in the midst of the holiday season.

"Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace."
~Joan Borysenko

Developing an Attitude of Gratitude



"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, 
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
~G.K. Chesterton

     I created this Thanksgiving Turkey Hand several years ago on Thanksgiving Morning after holding my fingers, as I do most mornings, and thinking about the gifts that Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to my life and how easy it is to access those gifts by holding my fingers.

     In the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, we are taught that by holding our fingers we can harmonize the attitudes that dis-harmonize our bodies. Each finger harmonizes an attitude as well as the organs that are affected by that particular attitude. Hold your fingers not to suppress attitudes but to express or release them. Holding our fingers to harmonize limiting thoughts and attitudes is the simplest, most readily available tool we have to cope with whatever life throws at us. This simple act not only keeps us from getting stuck in those limiting attitudes, but brings us in touch with the limitless, positive and harmonious gifts that BALANCE brings to us!

     I wanted to find a way to emphasize these gifts and was inspired to created this Thanksgiving turkey hand as a way to show what we bring in as we harmonize those attitudes! At the same time giving me a chance to express my gratitude for each of these gifts that my practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to my life each day.  I have always known that cultivating an attitude of gratitude would bring good things into my life but in doing research for this article I found that while many emotions and personality traits are important to well-being, there is evidence that gratitude may be uniquely important.

     Gratitude enhances our sense of satisfaction while balancing the attitudes of greed and entitlement. Practicing gratitude is a workout for the soul: repeated awareness of the blessings in our lives helps us to dwell on the positive and wonderful in our lives. Our positive attitude helps us to master the change instead of being controlled by it.  When we choose to focus our attitudes on the good stuff we find that we indeed have more.

     When we are in balance, we experience deep trust and the ability to let go of emotions and experiences that are holding us back. It is indeed up to us how we choose to look at life. My hero, Joseph Campbell, reminds us to "Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."  Yes, the choice is up to us. Happiness isn't something that just happens to you, but rather, something you can choose at any time, in any situation. Our happiness is dependent on our ability to feel gratitude for our many blessings.

HOLD each finger for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing, even and clear. Breathe easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.

thumb - worry transforms to into harmony, a healthy sense of self, profound security
index - fear transforms into love, flow, perfect circulation
middle - anger transforms into peace and balance
ring - sadness and grief transform into joy and happiness
little - try-to's/effort and pretense transform into ease, laughter and BE-ing
palm - despondency transforms into equilibrium, balance, intuition and connection to Divine Source

Take charge of your ATTITUDES and bring GRATITUDE into your daily practice. Remember that the simple act of holding your fingers will balance all of your Attitudes and transform them into the positive emotions that we all thrive on. It really is that simple. We are in charge of our attitudes and nature has given each of us an easy and accessible way to do so.

 "Could we change our attitude,
we should not only see life differently,
but life itself would come to be different."
~Katherine Mansfield

The Practice of Compassion


 "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
~Dalai Lama

The Budda is quoted as saying, "It is possible to travel the whole world in search of one who is more worthy of compassion than oneself. No such person can be found." It is through developing compassion that we are able to rise above personal feelings and open our hearts to others.

Compassion-from Latin: "co-suffering"-is a virtue, in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy for the suffering of others are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnectedness and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.

The practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu is all about compassion. It is through compassion for ourselves and others, that we can walk the path of our true spirit.
In Japanese, Jin means “knowing, compassionate human being.”  Compassion is viewed as "the magic key that unlocks the true power of our inner spirit." This principle is a feeling of whole hearted acceptance of the weakness and strengths of the human race without judgment.
Shin means spirit, “divine nature” or “creation.” It is through this spirit that energy flows from us to another. This spirit breathes in and through each of us. It encompasses the whole of the universe and sets us on the path of self awareness, in tune with nature and the oneness of all things.
And Jyutsu simply means “the art of.” Thus, Jin Shin Jyutsu can mean “the Art of Divine Creation through Compassionate Human Intent” or "the Art of the Creator through Man of Knowing and Compassion."Jin Shin Jyutsu is the art of releasing tensions and attitudes, which are the causes for various symptoms in the body. As we come into balance, we increase our capacity for compassion and reinstate harmony.

"Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect." ~from Charter for Compassion

This virtue is SO what we are missing in our world and our lives. Our capacity to become better human beings is dependent on compassion, that ability to feel what others are feeling and experiencing, to understand the pain and sorrow that another is suffering, and to accept each other with tolerance and non-judgment. By developing patience and understanding, we find the clarity to know all sides of a story. When we overcome our ego, we clearly see that we are all interconnected and dependent on each other for our well-being.

"Compassion is that which makes 
the heart of the good move at the pain of others.
It crushes and destroys the pain of others; 
thus, it is called compassion.
It is called compassion 
because it shelters and embraces the distressed."
~Buddha

How to Make Self-Help Work for You


“Nourishing yourself 
in a way that helps you blossom
in the direction you want to go
 is attainable,
and you are worth the effort.”
~Deborah Day

Empowering people through self-help is one of my missions as a holistic practitioner. Each of my clients receive self-help routines to do on their own, tailored to their particular needs and abilities. This enables them to extend the benefits of the work that we do together by developing a personal daily practice. It is the time one puts into self-help/self-reflection that strengthens the pathway for healing.

I find that the most effective self-help is self-help that is done with the least amount of effort. It can be as easy as holding a finger or doing a one-step "quickie". You can do an entire flow or just the steps that feel good to you. Whatever you do for yourself will be beneficial. The results are not always immediate, nor do they always come in the form that you are looking for, but on some causal level they are working for you, peeling the deep layers and clearing the way for balance and healing.

Here are some tips to help you in your personal self-help practice:
    •    Relax- just be as you are.
    •    Use whatever position is most convenient, practical or comfortable for you.
    •    Ideally, apply each step or connection until a rhythmic pulsation can be felt. But if time is limited, hold for as much time as you have available.
    •    All sequences can be adjusted to suit you.
    •    Be comfortable. If you can not reach a step, you can skip it and go on to the next step that you can reach without straining.
    •    Jin Shin Jyutsu works effectively over clothing, bandage, brace or cast.
    •    Use your entire hand, one finger, or several fingers, your  palm or back of the hand whatever is easy, comfortable and convenient at the time.
    •    No strength is required. It is not necessary to apply pressure, to rub or massage.

Mary Burmeister encourages us to "...Simply adjust the sequence to your own convenience and comfort. If for instance, a "step" feels most revitalizing to you, just get into the habit, in your art of LIVING, of utilizing that step as your own 'special' quickie revitalizing exercise. The art of LIVING is simple. You are the artist."

The only time Jin Shin Jyutsu is not effective is when you are not using it. So pick something simple and do it every day. Make a daily goal of 20 minutes to start with and build up to more time eventually. The time spent with self-help need not be continuous, but can be 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Make it work for you however you can. Do not be discouraged. Remember that the results are not always immediate, nor do they always come in the form that you are looking for, but on some causal level they are working for you, peeling the deep layers and clearing the way for balance and healing.

   Regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions and self-help provides a valuable support system as it is aids in restoring the body's energy systems to a balanced, efficient, functioning state. It's practice helps us to take charge of our negative attitudes and to change the self-defeating belief of inevitable aging. It teaches us to master the art of living and to seeing aging as an opportunity for greater peace of mind, wisdom, creativity and happiness. Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to us a new awareness of our limitless life energy and of our ability to partake of the effortless reality, which is our birthright. We can then expect the best results by learning and practicing good health habits for staying healthy and reducing stress. Ultimately, Jin Shin Jyutsu will restore you to a knowledge of yourself and of your long dormant innate ability to improve the quality of your life.

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”
~Etty Hillesum

Longevity Wisdom


"Anti-aging requires an understanding 
of longevity wisdom.

Your Creator has given you built-in body wisdom

to keep you forever young and healthy.

Essentially, it is an innate awareness 
of not only your body’s basic needs

but also all the signs and signals by which your body

warns you of what is wrong with you.

So, invoke and embrace that wisdom."

~Stephen Lau

When Master Jiro Murai revived the ancient art of Jin Shin Jyutsu around 1920, one of the terms that he used to described Jin Shin Jyutsu was the Art of Longevity: Live fully, experience each breath fully.

Most of us are raised to believe that growing older means a progressive decline in health, wellness, mental and physical ability. I feel lucky to have had the most amazing Young Grandmother! She passed a few years ago at over 90 years old but throughout my life she has been an inspiration in vitality. I have vivid memories of her smiling and living life fully. In her 80's she was encouraged to participate in the local Senor Center activities.. but she declined saying "Why would I want to hang out with those old people?" She ran her own antique shop into her 80's, active and fun-loving. This woman had life to LIVE! She always made such an impression on me that for as long as I can remember, I would tell her that when I was as old as her, I wanted to be as young as she was! For me, she set the example that a study by researchers at North Carolina State University in 2009 concluded-that you really are only as old as you think you are. Thank you Grandma!

"While scientists have to date largely focused on the biology of longevity, the secrets of living to an exceptional age lie more in our personalities, attitudes, support systems and life experiences than our genes." ~Leonard W. Poon

Regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions and self-help provides a valuable support system as it is aids in restoring the body's energy systems to a balanced, efficient, functioning state. It's practice helps us to take charge of our negative attitudes and to change the self-defeating belief of inevitable aging. It teaches us to master the art of living and to seeing aging as an opportunity for greater peace of mind, wisdom, creativity and happiness. Jin Shin Jyutsu brings to us a new awareness of our limitless life energy and of our ability to partake of the effortless reality, which is our birthright. We can then expect the best results by learning and practicing good health habits for staying healthy and reducing stress. Ultimately, Jin Shin Jyutsu will restore you to a knowledge of yourself and of your long dormant innate ability to improve the quality of your life.

“If you ask what is the single most important key 
to longevity,
 I would have to say
 it is avoiding worry, stress and tension.

And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.”

~George F. Burns

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Open the Gates of the Soul


"Health is a state of complete harmony 
of the body, mind and spirit.

When one is free 
from physical disabilities and mental distractions,

the gates of the soul open."

~B.K.S. Iyengar

Through its direct connection to Universal Source Energy and the energetic blueprint contained in the Main Central Flow, our very essence is manifested into our total being. The Main Central sets in motion the two Major Vertical Supervisor Harmonizing Energies that supervise the development of each respective side of the body. The next flow set in motion by the Main Central is the Diagonal Mediator Flow. The Diagonal Mediator is the weaving princess and ensures that all the flows within the body will cross at the Main Central so that they may constantly receive revitalizing life energy from the Source.

I will always remember my first 5-day Jin Shin Jyutsu seminar and my teacher's explanation of this trinity of flows. She was so animated as she explained how the Main Central was the ONE and it existed in peace at the center of everything. Then the Supervisors came into being, the TWO. And when there are two, disharmony becomes a possibility. With the existence of TWO there is then a need for the THREE and with three, mediation becomes not only possible but necessary.

I have begun to think of these three flows, as they relate to our personal three-fold nature of Body, Mind and Spirit. I see that the Main Central Flow is the Spirit flow, the source of our existence, the essence of our Being, the primordial fire. The Supervisor Flows are the Body flow, the reflection of each side becoming physical, the essence of duality with the responsiblilty for converting the unmanifest potential of the Main Central into the physical form. And finally the Diagonal Mediator Flows are of the Mind, the mental/emotional component of our being. The Diagonal Mediators give us the ability to connect, to move, to create action and are the birthplace of our emotions and attitudes.

We know that the body is affected by the air, food, activities, thoughts and stresses that we experience each moment of living. Our attitudes dis-harmonize the flow of life energy in our bodies and disrupt the pathways which deliver the limitless supply of life energy to every part of our physical being. Attitude is the way you mentally look at the world around you. It is how you view your environment and your future. It is the focus you develop toward life itself. Attitudes keep us from freely being all that we have the potential to BE. Remember that divine feelings are love and disease feelings are attitudes.

The Diagonal Mediator Flow starts at the left and right shoulders and travels through both sides of the body, from back to front, side to side, and top to bottom, ending at the knee on the opposite side of where they started. This flow harmonizes the left and right Supervisor Flows with each other and with the Main Central Flow, and are important to our overall supply of energy. The Mediator Flow makes sure that all the flows in the body are revitalized by the Main Central and helps balance both sides of the body.

When out of order, the Mediator Flow is the main cause for malfunctions in the body energy circulation patterns. On the other hand, when it is in balance it mediates energy flow from one side of the body to the other and helps us to get out of our minds.  Mediator is great for frozen shoulders, finger numbness, nose bleeds, clearing arm and shoulder projects, elimination, respiratory projects, reproductive projects and reduces fatigue, tension and stress while eliminating the negative effects of our attitudes. The Mediator Flow is a great assistant to bringing our BEing into balance-body, mind and spirit.

Diagonal Mediator Flow:
The Self-help for the Mediator is simple and consists of doing the following three things together. Include this flow in your daily practice to balance and harmonize body, mind and spirit.

Right side:
1. Hold your right thumb over the right ring fingernail;
2. Hold your left hand over your right shoulder-where neck and shoulder come together;
3. Rest your left instep on the inside corner of the crease of the right knee or simply bring the knees together.

Left side:
1. Hold your left thumb over the left ring fingernail;
2. Hold your right hand over your left shoulder-where neck and shoulder come together;
3. Rest your right instep on the inside corner of the crease of the left knee or simply bring the knees together.

“I certainly believe that 
being in contact with one's spirit
 
and nurturing one's spirit 

is as important as nurturing one's body and mind.

We are three dimensional beings: body, mind, spirit.”

~Laurence Fishburne

Sunday, August 24, 2014

You Be the Joy-seeker That You Are


"When you take the problems of the world on your shoulders,
your body doesn't feel good. It's just that simple.
Leave the problems of the world
to the individual problem-makers of the world,
and you be the joy-seeker that you are."
~Abraham

The first energy flow set in motion by the Main Central Flow is the two Major Vertical Supervisor Harmonizing Energies. These two flows create and maintain our physical form and are the birthplace of the pairs of energy centers that Jin Shin Jytusu refers to as Safety Energy Locks. The Supervisor Flows monitor or supervise the development of each respective side of the body. I just love how the Abraham quote above illustrates the importance of keeping the Supervisor Energy Pathway clear and flowing.

Safety Energy Lock 11 is located at the shoulder where it meets the neck. This energy center's wisdom/gift is to enable us to "Unload Excess Baggage, BE free of Worthless Antiques, Turn our Problems into Projects, and to Clear Our Clutter." SEL 11 harmonizes the shoulders and the neck and benefits the arms - elbows, wrists, hands, and fingers.

Safety Energy Lock 15 is located and the fold of the leg at the groin. This energy center's wisdom/gift is to "Wash our Hearts with Joy and Laughter." By opening the SEL 15s we are able to bring more joy and laughter into our BE-ing, helping us to take ourselves and situations less seriously.  SEL 15 harmonizes the abdomen, legs, knees, ankles, and feet, Alleviates bloat and aids the heart.

Safety Energy Lock 25 is located at the sit-bones. This energy center's wisdom/gift is to "Quietly Regenerate." It cam be used to calm, sooth and quietly regenerate all of the body's functions. SEL 25 increases alertness, energy and mental clarity, builds the memory and clears toxins from our muscles after physical activity.

Here is the simple flow for you:
Drape your right hand over your left shoulder where it meets the neck (SEL 11) and hold the fold of your leg at the groin (SEL 15) on the left side with your left hand. After a few minutes, or when you feel the pulses in each place come into harmony, move your left hand to hold your left sit-bone (SEL 25). Reverse for other side. This simple flow clears our attachment to problems and things while bringing joy and laughter along with energy and clarity to our lives. Add this sequence to your daily practice to clear the entire body and harmonize body, mind and spirit. Give it a try today!

"Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders.
The world would go on even without you.
Don't take yourself so seriously."
~Norman Vincent Peale

Get Rid of Worry FAST!


“Every action of our lives
touches on some chord
that will vibrate in eternity.”
~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

          Take charge of your ATTITUDES. Know that the simple act of holding your fingers will balance all of your Attitudes and transform them into the positive emotions that we all thrive on. Refer to the image above for the finger to hold to balance each attitude. If you don't remember which finger to hold, I suggest that you take a quick inventory of your fingers... hold each finger for a second or two, as you go through each finger see which one REALLY wants to be HELD. Then go back and hold THAT one. It really is that simple. We are in charge of our attitudes and nature has given each of us an easy and accessible way to help ourselves.
          Take charge of your attitudes. It will make such a big difference in your life and in the amount of stress that you allow to accumulate in your BE-ing. Holding your fingers to harmonize limiting thoughts and attitudes is the simplest, most readily available tool you have to cope with whatever life throws at you. Hold your fingers and Get Rid of Worry FAST!

thumb - worry transforms to into harmony, a healthy sense of self, profound security
index - fear transforms into love, flow, perfect circulation
middle - anger transforms into peace and balance
ring - sadness and grief transform into joy and happiness
little - try-to's/effort and pretense transform into ease, laughter and BE-ing
palm - despondency transforms into equilibrium, balance, intuition and connection to Divine Source

  "We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives,
so best to remove the weeds of anger,
avarice, envy and doubt,
that peace and abundance
may manifest for all."
~Dorothy Day

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Deep at the Center of Your BE-ing


"I want you to be everything that's you,

deep at the center of your being."

~Confucius

The Source of Life Force Energy for our bodies is known, in Jin Shin Jyutsu, as the Main Central Vertical Universal Harmonizing Energy Flow or the Main Central. It is the primary harmonizer for all body functions and is responsible for renewing, maintaining and sustaining our manifested form on all levels-physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. This energy pathway runs down the center of the front of the body and back up the spine.

The Main Central can be compared to a sensitive antenna as it connects us directly to Universal Source Energy, maintains our connection to Source and serves as the energetic blueprint for our total being. It is the energy flow that created and sustains us, setting our other energy flows in motion and becoming a strong regular force for our bodies when it is allowed to flow freely down the front and up the back.

When energy circulates easily and abundantly, body, mind, and spirit are all nourished. But when the flow becomes blocked, constricted or stagnant, disharmony results.


Harmonizing the Main Central regularly helps you to feel centered and ensures that you will have plenty of energy. Some people find it calming and use it to fall asleep, while others use it to clear their minds upon waking. All of our body energies connect with this main source of energy in the body, returning to the Main Central to connect back to Source and to recharge. By following the simple directions each day, we can strengthen this flow in ourselves and bring about an increased state of well-being.



The Main Central Flow:
Follow the steps in the above picture.
Step 1: Place the fingers of the right hand on the top of the head (where they will remain until step 6). Place the fingers of the left hand on your forehead between your eyebrows. Hold for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses you feel at your fingertips synchronize with each other.

Step 2: Now move the left fingertips to the tip of the nose. Hold them there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.

Step 2a: Move left fingers to mouth area... hold one finger above mouth, other fingers below mouth on chin. (optional step/not pictured)

Step 2b: Move left fingers to hollow space in middle of collarbone. (optional step/not pictured)
Step 3: Move the left fingertips to your sternum (center of your chest between your breasts). Stay there for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses synchronize.

Step 4: Move your fingers to the base of your sternum (center of where your ribs start, above the stomach). Hold them there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.

Step 5: Move your fingers to the top of your pubic bone. Stay there for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the pulses synchronize.

Step 6: Keep your left fingertips in place and move your right fingertips to cover your coccyx (tailbone). Hold for 2 to 5 minutes or until the pulses you feel at your fingertips synchronize with each other.

Note: The right hand remains on the top of the head while the left hand moves down the body until the final step.



For me, the Main Central is my primary self-help tool. It has become my daily basic energy tune-up.  I love to do this flow in the morning before I get out of bed and at night before falling asleep. When I am abusing my body (gardening, dancing, painting, computer work, etc) during the day, I will take a break and do this flow. It re-centers me and takes the kinks out of my body.

“At the center of your being
you have the answer;

you know who you are
and you know what you want.”

~Lao Tzu

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ignite Your Light


"We anoint their fuses with a tiny amount of fire, and they come alive, playing out their life span in a matter of seconds.  In those few seconds a crack in the universe is opened, giving us a glimpse of the energy locked within all matter."
    ~Bob Weaver

          Last night as we drove home from a 4th of July party with fireworks going off in the distance all around us, my daughter and I had a interesting conversation about the magic and the illusion of fireworks.
           In our patriotic displays, fireworks represent the “bombs bursting in air”, they represent the”rocket’s red glare” and are the explosive symbols of war. As a spiritual symbol, they represent the metaphorical spark, the untapped strength inside of each of us-and reminds us to light the fuse and “bring it on!”
           When Fireworks show up in our dreams, they symbolize enthusiasm, creativity, and talent. The appearance of fireworks in our dreams may also indicate that we are showing off and making a spectacle of ourselves.
           As we drove home last night, we compared the experience of seeing fireworks close up with seeing them in this way, in the distance. They are two entirely different experiences! From a distance the bright lights, beautiful colors and surprising patterns have a magical quality and the air of expectancy is palpable as we wait for the ever increasing display of magic and illusion.  When we watch fireworks close up, it is a much more physical, sensational experience. Along with the same air of expectancy, there is the hush as the whistling and squealing sounds emit while the flying missile is sent skyward, the thump in our chest as the next stage of detonation begins making our hearts race as the light show of each firework is set into action, the oohs and ahhs at the ongoing display of magic. Close up it is easy to be captivated but their exquisite presence, but before the short lived cycle of lights has diminished, you are engulfed in the acrid smoke and residue from the bombs, the illusion of beauty shattered.
           In the philosophy of Jin Shin Jyutsu, it is said the our attitudes and limiting beliefs, dis-harmonize our lives and our bodies. Interestingly, the attitude of pretense is related to Fire! Pretense includes feelings of insecurity, effort, selfishness, overdoing it, and cover-up (crying on the inside while laughing on the outside). This attitude speaks to our effort, our "trying to" do whatever. The effort that it takes just to get through the day. This attitude  speaks to our illusion that we need to accommodate others by being what we think they need us to be. Pretense keeps our actions out of sync with our feelings and speaks to a conflict of desire that is incompatible with who we really are. When we are in harmony, we feel trust and receptivity to the inspiration of the universe.
          Consider these lyrics from “Fireworks”, by Katy Perry,  “Do you know that there’s still a chance for you, Cause there’s a spark in you, You just gotta ignite the light, And let it shine, Just own the night, Like the Fourth of July, Cause baby you’re a firework, Come on show ‘em what your worth.”
           It is not healthy to fight against who we are and what we feel. When we put on a mask and hide who we are or how we feel, we run the risk of being exposed as an illusion, a show.  Hold your little finger daily for 5 or 10 minutes, breathe deeply and Let go of effort. By holding the little finger, we balance this attitude of Pretense and bring in joy, giving and receiving, love, laughter, action, and spiritual opening. Allow the universe to unfold its magic before you.

“Say what you wanna say,
And let the words fall out, honestly.
I wanna see you be brave.”  
~Sara Bareilles

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireflies and Sunflowers

Self-Help Tip:


"Live in each season as it passes:

breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit."

~Henry David Thoreau

         Just as the first firefly heralds the coming of Summer, the Summer Solstice officially marks the start of Summer. The word Solstice literally means the sun stands still. It is the extreme positions of the sun at midsummer and midwinter, that makes the rising and setting of the sun appear to take place in the same position on the horizon for three or four days in succession. The Sun's path north or south appears to come to a magical stop before reversing direction.  It offers us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our path, to turn towards the light like the sunflower blooms and to see everything in a new light with a new awareness.
 
         Summer is a time of growth, creative intensity, and great potential. In the Jin Shin Jyutsu philosophy, is is a time ruled by the 5th Depth. The message of the 5th Depth is to experience our world through the heart and to above all things, be true to ourselves.
 
         It is not at all surprising that the color associated with  the 5th Depth and Summertime is Red and  the element is Fire. Fire is symbolic of passion, creativity, creation, rebirth, renewal, action and clarity. The attitude of imbalance is EFFORT and PRETENSE and the harmonious aspect is EASE or BE-ing.
 
         Heart and Small Intestine Function Energies are the Fifth Depth organ functions associated with Summer. Like the acorn contains the mighty oak, the Heart is considered to contain the entire body. It takes the fire and distributes it to all of the organ energies in the body. When the heart function energy is in balance, it helps us to speak our truth and express our feelings.

          The Small Intestine is associated with discernment and assimilation. When the Small Intestine Function Energy is in balance, it helps us to deal with over-stimulation,  brings emotional warmth and aids us in recognizing the essential elements for our lives.
 
          The attitude of PRETENSE/EFFORT is destabilizing to our skeletal structure, heart and small intestine functions. Pretense includes feelings of insecurity, effort, selfishness, overdoing it, and cover-up (crying on the inside while laughing on the outside). This attitude speaks to our effort, our "trying to" do whatever. The effort that it takes just to get through the day. This attitude tells us that there is a conflict of desire that is incompatible with who we really are.

         Pretense can manifest in a work addiction. The opposite of Pretense is BEING. It means being true to who you really are, not who you think others need you to be. It means speaking your own truth, speaking out. To balance PRETENSE, HOLD the LITTLE FINGER for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing. Even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.

         As you hold the LITTLE FINGER, nerves are settled and the need for pretense is diminished. Stress is eased, bloating reduced, and sore throats are relieved. Remind yourself that we are Human BEINGS not Human TRYINGS. Let go of effort. Allow the universe to unfold spontaneously before you. Revel in the effortless reality that is your life.

"To live in truth is to be aligned 
with your inner knowingness 
and is the simplest, least complex way to live."

~Unknown

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Recharge and Rejuvenate


 “When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing, 
just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs,
or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle
or children playing in the park?”
~Ralph Marston 

     Wholeness or "health" is our natural state of being, our birthright. But many of us spend our lives burning the candle at both ends. We allow ourselves to get worn out and run down, and then we wonder WHY nothing is working with ease. We give, give, give without a recharge and then wonder why we struggle with burnout. Just like our cell phones and other devices, we need to pause and recharge to ensure that we maintain a healthy balance for personal well-being and harmony.
    Jennifer Louden, a life coach,  is quoted as saying, “Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.” My regular clients find that their sessions are an important part of recharging and maintaining their well-being. The treatment calms the body and helps relax the mind which in turn helps to reduce stress, recharge energy stores and return to harmony and balance.
     How do you get back to your best self? What is it that recharges your battery? How do you restore and regenerate? It is important that we take the time to know what recharges/refuels us and that we find ways to enhance our well-being by supporting ourselves during times of stress. It will make everything you do so much easier.
     For me, it is all of the good things that I do for myself regularly that recharge my batteries-yoga, daily meditation, eating good healthy food, fresh air, mindful breathing, loving my family, reading uplifting and inspiring books, daily self-help, etc. And to really recharge my batteries, regular Jin Shin Jyutsu gives me a jump start back to harmony and balance. I love that I have so many ways at my fingertips to bring balance to my BE-ing.
  A Jin Shin Jyutsu session is likened to a pair of jumper cables applied to a dead battery. To restore the natural flow of energy and release the safety energy locks, our hands are used as jumper cables. The battery comes to life when the “jumper cables” are attached, and our engine can run once again.
    There are many ways to recharge your battery.
    •    Take time for you.
    •    Take time to relax, to enjoy life, to interact with your community.
    •    Take time to take care of yourself with self-help and with regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions.
    •    Take time to get outside, to get some exercise and to smell the flowers.
If you don't take the time to take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? This is always the question I ask myself. I know that when we are working with a "full charge", we receive what we need from the universe with ease and we can achieve our own true potential.

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another-and ourselves.”
~Jack Kornfield

Monday, May 26, 2014

Peel Away The Layers


“Life is like an onion:
you peel it off one layer at a time,
and sometimes you weep”
~Carl Sandburg

Peeling the onion is a common metaphor for healing. Edgar Cayce taught that "we are like onions and each of our layers looks very much like the one before. But as we peel the onion, we get closer and closer to the center: to the heart of the matter, the core themes that are pervasive in our lives."

from the New World Encyclopedia: "The expression 'layers of the onion' is used to describe a situation in which it is possible to go deeper and deeper revealing seemingly similar layers until a central core is reached."

Lately, I've been thinking about this metaphor as I work with clients and as I work through my own healing process. Imagine the papery outer layers of the onion.. they peel off easily to reveal more layers. Each time we get through the next layer, we learn more about ourselves and become stronger. And we think, Ahhhhh, I've done it, gotten though, smooth sailing now! But since this process is like an onion, you pull off one layer, and there is yet another layer! Our work is to get to the innermost core, the deepest layer. But we must work our way thorough the outer layers first. We peel back one layer only to find a juicier one underneath. In my kitchen, I am reminded that occasionally there is a nasty yucky layer between two perfectly edible layers of onion and once I wash that messy part off, the rest of the onion is good to use.  

We must remember that each layer brings us closer to the center. And in that center, is the promise of growth, the potential for a new life. We must remember that, from the onion's perspective, those layers and layers are simply compost and fertilizer for its next stage of growth. It is the same for our healing process, all of those layers of life experiences and healing work are nourishment for the BE-ing that we are BE-coming.

the onion peels
the tears spill
the pond fills
the lotus unfolds
~ Reisha

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nurture Yourself to Nurture Others


“If you nurture your mind, body, and spirit,
your time will expand.
You will gain a new perspective
that will allow you to accomplish much more.”
~Brian Koslow 

Empowering people through self-help is one of my missions as a holistic practitioner. This empowerment enables us to NURTURE ourselves so that we have more to share with the world. It is the time one puts into self-help/self-reflection that strengthens the pathway for healing.

I find that the most effective self-help is self-help that is done with the least amount of effort. It can be as easy as holding a finger or doing a one-step "quickie". You can do an entire flow or just the steps that feel good to you. Whatever you do for yourself will be beneficial, it will nurture your body, mind and spirit.

The only time Jin Shin Jyutsu is not effective is when you are not using it. So pick something simple and do it every day. Make a daily goal of 10 minutes to start with and build up to more time eventually. The time spent with self-help need not be continuous, but can be 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Make it work for you however you can. Do not be discouraged. Remember that the results are not always immediate, nor do they always come in the form that you are looking for, but on some causal level they are working for you - nurturing your essence, peeling the deep layers and clearing the way for balance and healing.

“Be the one who nurtures and builds.
Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart
one who looks for the best in people.
Leave people better than you found them.”  
~Marvin J. Ashton

Monday, April 21, 2014

Greens for Springtime Health



"But each spring a gardening instinct,
sure as the sap rising in the trees,
stirs within us.
We look about and decide
to tame another little bit of ground."
~Lewis Gantt 
      Ah, Spring, that transition period between winter and summer, the season of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The birth of new ideas, inspiration, and creativity restored by longer sun-filled days.
     I am drawn more and more these spring days to be out in the garden among the fresh growth and delicate flowers all brimming with possibility. Small wonder that the color for harmonizing the body in Spring is GREEN. The seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, like the tides, have an affect on our body's energy flow. Each season has a connection to a pair of organ functions. The organs of Spring are the liver and gall bladder. The attitudes of imbalance are anger, frustration, and insecurity. When in balance, there is harmony and well being. Imbalances of the liver and gallbladder as well as the associated attitudes can be harmonized by simply holding the Middle Finger.
     In addition to holding your middle finger for balance, it is wise to eat plenty of greens to help the Liver detoxify from the long winter. I am finding that I have great cravings for greens of all kinds at this time of year. As I work in the garden, I munch on the bitter greens and pungent garlic and onion tops that always manage to make it through the winter, a hopeful bit of green showing through the snow. The abundance of the color green in Springtime should be a reminder to us about the need for these greens in our diet.
      I love knowing that eating local, in season foods work with my body to keep the organs of the season in harmony. Nature is so intelligent, it is a shame that science thinks that it can do any better by engineering our foods.
     Here are some tips for getting the most out of Spring to bring harmony to Body, Mind and Spirit:
    •    Eat lots of green foods.
    •    Eat Local, In Season.
    •    Eat Organic.
    •    Get outside and play in the dirt.
    •    Plant a garden.
    •    Get plenty of exercise.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 
~Michael Pollan

Get Rid of Worry FAST


 “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
~Winston Churchill
     In Jin Shin Jyutsu, we know that the body is affected by the air, food, activities, thoughts and stresses that we experience each moment of living. Our attitudes dis-harmonize the flow of life energy in our bodies and disrupt the pathways which deliver the limitless supply of life energy to every part of our physical being.  Attitudes keep us from freely being all that we have the potential to BE.
    MY DESTINY IS IN MY OWN HANDS: One of the simplest ways to utilize Jin Shin Jyutsu on ourselves is to hold each of our fingers, one at a time. To reverse the affect that attitudes have on our bodies and our lives, we simply need to HOLD our fingers.
    Each finger harmonizes an attitude as well as the organs that are affected by that particular attitude. Hold your fingers not to suppress attitudes but to express or release them. HOLD each finger for about 5 minutes or until you can feel a gentle rhythmic pulsing, even and clear. Breath easily. Relax the shoulders and smile from the very heart of you.
     Take charge of your attitudes. It will make such a big difference in your life and in the amount of stress that you allow to accumulate in your being. Holding your fingers to harmonize limiting thoughts and attitudes is the simplest, most readily available tool you have to cope with whatever life throws at you.
“Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude
is going to determine how you're going to live your life.”
~Joel Osteen

Monday, April 7, 2014

Designed to Heal


”There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, 
if we can only come to our senses and feel it.”  
~Elizabeth A. Behnke

Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, we need only find ways to bring the body back to harmony and balance so that healing can happen. For a session, the fully clothed client lies face up on a very comfortable treatment table. Jin Shin Jyutsu is gentle with hands placed over the client's clothes and does not involve manipulation, massage or rubbing.
    As the energy pathways are cleared and energy flows freely, the body will heal itself from everyday stress. It boosts our own profound healing capacities and thus promotes optimal health, well-being and vitality.
    Healing is the process of becoming WHOLE, a harmonizing of body, mind and spirit and a reconnection with Source. The word HEAL comes from the Greek word Holos; to make whole, entire, complete. This Source or power that brings us into being has the power to heal. It is this sense of balance and well being to the whole body-mind-spirit that Jin Shin Jyutsu emphasizes and that we experience as remembering wholeness.
    Jin Shin Jyutsu is highly recommended both before and after surgical procedures. It can minimize bleeding and swelling during the procedure, and promotes rapid healing and detoxification of medications/anesthesia.
    A Jin Shin Jyutsu session generally lasts an hour although half-hour children's sessions and mini sessions for busy adults are available. Benefits extend well beyond hands-on sessions with the practitioner, as clients are taught the application of self help geared toward their individual needs.
   Let's get you back on the path to relaxation and wellness.Experience deep relaxation.Harmonize body, mind and spirit. Boost your immune system. Let go of Stress!

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” 
~Terri Guillemets

Take a Break and Regenerate



Oh My! It is Spring Break for my daughter's school this week and it is such a welcome break for all of us. It has been an intense few weeks for her at school and she is SO in need of this break. I am again reminded of the absolute importance of regularly giving yourself a break! Running on Empty is no way to go through life. We must take the time and care to refuel. We'll function SO much better that way! But so often we tell ourselves that we don't have the time to take the time. Interesting, isn't it?! The bank won't allow us the overdraw our account without penalty, neither does our body allow us to keep going without a exacting price! This week's Self-Help Tip shows you how to quietly regenerate Everyday.

“There is more to life
than increasing its speed.”
~Gandhi 

The key to Quietly Regenerating is Safety Energy Lock #25. It is located at the sit bones. Anatomically part of your pelvis (the ischial tuberosity), the sit bones are quite literally the bones under the flesh of the butt that you sit on.

Holding the 25's will relieve bodily tensions, lower back tensions, knee and leg discomfort while helping you maintain alertness and memory. This flow filters out all toxins released during physical activities and removes tiredness from the body to enjoy the benefits of exercise. The 25's relieve mental tension, bring us an energetic mind and a sound body, and takes care of our overall sense of vitality.

It is said that holding the 25's for 20 minutes per day does the equivalent for maintaining the body and mind in good shape as an hour and a half hour jogging session! The 25's can be helpful in appetite balance, to support weight loss and will clear out the colon.

Simply Sit on your hands (with the palms up or down, which ever is most comfortable for you). I do this simple flow myself most nights while watching TV with my family. If it is too hard on your hands to sit on them, I find that doing this while lying in bed is pretty easy too! The longer you can sit on your hands/hold your 25's, the more grounded you'll feel.

“If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company.” 
~Charles H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Managing Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia


"Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain." 
~Robert Gary Lee

Several years ago, I received a letter from a reader asking for Self-Help recommendations to manage a label of Fibromyalgia. At that point I didn't know much about Fibromyalgia, so I did a search and learned what I could about this mysterious label. 

Affects 3 to 5 percent of the general population
Occurs in people of all ages, even children
Men develop fibromyalgia too, although more women are diagnosed with it
Symptoms are chronic but may fluctuate throughout the day
Roughly one-quarter of people with fibromyalgia are work-disabled
Three drugs are FDA-approved for fibromyalgia treatment

What I found most interesting is that one of the criteria for diagnosing Fibromyalgia is tenderness or pain in at least 11 of the 18 specified tender points when pressure is applied. The 18 tender points associated with fibromyalgia are found in symmetrical pairs on the body. When I looked at the Tender Points Chart, I immediately thought of our Jin Shin Jyutsu Safety Energy Lock Chart! The "tender points" used to diagnose Fibromyalgia are all located on or near safety energy locks! 

Here is a tender-points chart side by side with a Safety Energy Lock Chart!


In Jin Shin Jyutsu we work with 26 pairs of energy centers in our bodies, referred to as Safety Energy Locks. These areas are much more than fixed points and encompass and area approximately the size of our hand. Each one of them has a specific meaning that is expressed through its number and is closely related to its placement on the body. They act like the circuit breakers on the electrical system in our homes and lock when the flow of energy in a pathway is too much, too little or stagnant-to warn and protect us from further disharmony.  

When one or more of these safety energy locks become blocked, a local disruption can occur, eventually resulting in disharmony of the energetic pathway completely. Just like in your home electrical system, if an outlet is overloaded, it blows the breaker that feeds that outlet, but does not shut down the whole electrical system. If the breaker is not reset, you can just shift the plugs to another outlet. This outlet will also break as it becomes overloaded and the process will continue until the entire system shuts down. A single breaker switch shutting down is a warning that you have overloaded the circuitry and attention must be paid to what you are doing. It is just the same thing with the energy system of our bodies. 

These twenty-six Energy Locks serve as breaker switches. If enough are blown over a period of time, disharmonies will occur in your physical, emotional, or mental well-being. The openness and flow of energy through our safety energy locks determine our health, balance and well-BE-ing.

It was easy for me to see that the relationship of these Fibromyalgia TenderPoints and Safety Energy Locks indicates a stagnation of the flow of life energy. 

Jin Shin Jyutsu teaches us to heed the warning of pain-which is our indicator that something is out of order and energy locks are shutting down. By simply holding the stuck energy center we can unlock the flow of energy and return ourselves to harmony. It really is that simple: Hold the pain and clear the stagnation!

I now see a number of clients in my practice who have the label of Fibromyalgia. Regular Jin Shin Jyutsu Sessions with a practitioner can be really helpful. One of my clients with this label usually comes weekly for a maintenance session. She finds the weekly sessions very helpful in managing her pain. This Summer she missed several weeks of sessions due to family vacations and house guests, etc... she said that she continued to do all of the other things that she knows helps her to keep the Fibro pain at bay (healthy eating, regular exercise including swimming, supplements and fibro meds) but she skipped her Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions with me. She said that leaving out the Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions was the only thing that she changed in her care plan and she was surprised to discover just how much the regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions made a difference in her pain level.

A common question people have when they first set off on the healing path is, "How many sessions will this take?" Well, it varies depending on the nature of the your project and what you want to achieve. Each of us is unique, so consequently, there is no set number of required sessions that works for everyone.

Know that the body wants to heal itself. The amount of time it takes to heal depends on how long and how elaborately your energy system has been adjusting to the disharmonies in the energetic pathways of the body and how out of balance you are - body, mind and spirit.  

It takes awhile for us to get out of harmony. The goal of each healing session is to focus on the harmony and to return the body, mind, and spirit to a place of balance. By releasing the blockages of your flow of energy, the life-force energy in your body is increased. Each healing session allows us to find and release energies that you may have tied up in a specific project, such as health issues, relationships, emotions and attitudes or anything else you wish to work on to bring more joy and harmony into your life.  It is in this place of balance and free flowing energy that healing occurs.

The process of change and transformation can happen quickly but it does not run on a fixed schedule. The rate of improvement is specific to you and may include a reduction in pain, deep relaxation, an increase in energy, or an improvement in overall health. If the condition is acute, it will usually resolve in fewer treatments, while chronic conditions may take longer. Your rate of healing is also dependent on how much energy or change that your body/being can withstand at any given time. Each session builds on the last since the healing process works in layers. As some parts of your body begin to heal, new underlying patterns become exposed and can also be addressed. Over a period of time, we clear more and more issues and learn how to operate in a new and healthy way.

When more time is spent receiving healing, the healing patterns are set more strongly, so your body begins to heal faster. The effects of regularly returning your body to balance are cumulative and lead to deep and sustained changes in the your life. These effects can become long lasting with a maintenance program of regular Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions paired with daily self-help.
“Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling 
that even a tiny amount of it 
is enough to ruin every enjoyment.” 
~Will Rogers

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Inhaling the Purified Breath of Life


"Breath is the bridge which 
connects life to consciousness,
which unites your body to your thoughts." 
~Thich Nhat Hanh

     I love exploring the 8 Mudras of the Jin Shin Jyutsu Tradition. They are an important and easily accessible tool for balance and well-BEing. Mudras are the birthplace of what we now call Jin Shin Jyutsu. One hundred years ago, when Master Jiro Murai was diagnosed with an incurable illness, he asked to brought to the family cabin in the mountains of Japan. His family was instructed to come back in 7 days to see the outcome. It is said that the intense use of mudras while sitting in meditation and fasting turned his life energy around. He passed through fevers and chills during those days before losing consciousness and subsequently coming back to himself, feeling that he was free of whatever had caused him to be so ill. Murai believed that the simple act of joining right hand with left hand brings about a unity between body and mind.
     Unlike animals who primarily use their noses and mouths to experience their environment, we explore our world with our hands. Touch is important to our human experience thanks to 17,000 tactile receptors on the hand. We have about 4000 nerve endings at the tips of our fingers, giving our fingertips one of the densest collections of nerve endings in the body. The nerve endings connect with the energetic pathways of our organs and can influence them, relax, stimulate or balance them. Our hands are therefore an energy map of our consciousness and health with areas of the hand corresponding to different systems of the body as well as our various attitudes. By curling, crossing, stretching, and touching the fingers and palms, we can effectively talk to the body and mind. All of this is what makes mudras effective tools for balance and well-being.
     Anywhere you are, while on a break, sitting at a red light while in your car, waiting at the checkout, at your office or home, stillness can be yours. Mudras are easily learned and with a little practice you can do them at any time and place. A knowledge of these mudras allows us to send energy to any part of our being.
     The mudra pictured above is one of the 8 mudras that are part of the Practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu. It is known in our tradition as "Inhaling the Purified Breath of Life." This finger pose relieves asthma, back tension/stress and brings general well-being to the whole body. It aids in easier breathing allowing us to receive the purified Breath of Life. This pose helps us to bring harmony to our total being.
     Cynthia Broshi, International Jin Shin Jyutsu teacher, says, "Through their relationships the Mudras excavate, untangle and dissolve tensions. Singly and as a group they work with the relationship of Exhale and Inhale, building and breaking down. Some poses emphasize one or the other aspect of Breath, and utilizing each pose with the left and the right hand amplifies and blends these actions of Generation and Regeneration."
     Our power to harmonize, balance, and heal is literally in our own hands. Learn more about this practice and awareness in MUDRAS and MINDFULNESS, an ongoing weekly class held at the Sunshine Institute.  Join me for this study of harmonizing our energy channels through fingers and toes and the 8 Mudras of Jin Shin Jyutsu.

"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary
to which you can retreat at any time 
and be yourself."
~Hermann Hesse 

Empowered Health and Well-BEing


"Begin doing what you want to do now.
We are not living in eternity.
We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star in our hand 
and melting like a snowflake."
~Marie Beynon Ray

Empowering people through self-help is one of my missions as a holistic practitioner. Each of my clients receive self-help routines to do on their own, tailored to their particular needs and abilities. This enables them to extend the benefits of the work that we do together by developing a personal daily practice. It is the time one puts into self-help/self-reflection that strengthens the pathway for healing.

I find that the most effective self-help is self-help that is done with the least amount of effort. It can be as easy as holding a finger or doing a one-step "quickie". You can do an entire flow or just the steps that feel good to you. Whatever you do for yourself will be beneficial. The results are not always immediate, nor do they always come in the form that you are looking for, but on some causal level they are working for you, peeling the deep layers and clearing the way for balance and healing.

Here are some tips to help you in your personal self-help practice:
  • Relax- just be as you are.
  • Use whatever position is most convenient, practical or comfortable for you.
  • Ideally, apply each step or connection until a rhythmic pulsation can be felt. But if time is limited, hold for as much time as you have available.
  • All sequences can be adjusted to suit you.
  • Be comfortable. If you can not reach a step, you can skip it and go on to the next step that you can reach without straining.
  • Jin Shin Jyutsu works effectively over clothing, bandage, brace or cast.
  • Use your entire hand, one finger, or several fingers, your  palm or back of the hand whatever is easy, comfortable and convenient at the time.
  • No strength is required. It is not necessary to apply pressure, to rub or massage.
Mary Burmeister encourages us to "...Simply adjust the sequence to your own convenience and comfort. If for instance, a "step" feels most revitalizing to you, just get into the habit, in your art of LIVING, of utilizing that step as your own 'special' quickie revitalizing exercise. The art of LIVING is simple. You are the artist."

The only time Jin Shin Jyutsu is not effective is when you are not using it. So pick something simple and do it every day. Make a daily goal of 20 minutes to start with and build up to more time eventually. The time spent with self-help need not be continuous, but can be 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Make it work for you however you can. Do not be discouraged. Remember that the results are not always immediate, nor do they always come in the form that you are looking for, but on some causal level they are working for you, peeling the deep layers and clearing the way for balance and healing.

To help you on your healing path, consider taking a self-help class. The guidance and confidence that you gain by taking a class will help you to establish your personal habit of self-care.

"Your body is precious.
It is our vehicle for awakening.
Treat it with care."
~Buddha