Friday, July 20, 2007

Jin Shin Jyutsu

JIN SHIN JYUTSU® literally translated is:

SHIN - Creator
JIN - Man of Knowing and Compassion
Art of the Creator through man of knowing and compassion)

JIN SHIN JYUTSU is the Art of releasing tensions which are the causes for various symptoms in the body. Our bodies contain several energy pathways that feed life into all of our cells. When one or more of these paths become blocked, this damming effect may lead to discomfort or even pain. This blockage or stagnation will not only disrupt the local area but will continue and eventually disharmonize the complete path or paths of the energy flow.

Through Jin Shin Jyutsu our awareness is awakened to the simple fact that we are endowed with the ability to harmonize and balance ourselves (in rhythm with the universe) physically, mentally and spiritually.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art as opposed to a technique because a technique is a mechanical application, whereas an art is a skillful creation. This beautiful, simple Art is our inheritance.

According to ancient written records, which remain in the Archives of the Imperial Palace in Japan, Jin Shin Jyutsu was widely known before the birth of Gautama (Buddha, India), before the birth of Moses (recorded in the Bible), and before the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Things - Japan, A.D. 712). Jin Shin Jyutsu is an innate part of man's wisdom - simplifying the complexities of existence - and is truly an Art of Living.

Jin Shin Jyutsu was rediscovered by Master Jiro Murai early in this century. His student, Mary Burmeister, brought the Art from Japan to America in the 1950's. Classes in Jin Shin Jyutsu are currently offered by the following instructors: Muriel Carlton, Philomena Dooley, Wayne Hackett, Susan Brooks, Lynne Pflueger, Waltraud Riegger-Krause, Jed Schwartz, Ian Harris, Birgitta Meinhardt, Iole Lebensztajn, Carlos Gutterres, Petra Elmendorff, Jill Holden, Cynthia Broshi, Nathalie Max, Susan Schwartz, Anita Willoughby, Cristina Minamisawa, Matthias Roth, Mona Harris, Sara Harper, Aino Meinhardt and Janet Oliver.

For further information on this Art of Getting to Know (Help) Myself, JIN SHIN JYUTSU, please contact us at:

(480) 998-9331 phone
(480) 998-9335 fax
website:, Email:
8719 E. San
Alberto, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

An Interview with Mary Burmeister,
Master of Jin Shin Jyutsu®

by Melissa Higgins
Article published in the March/April 1988 issue of Yoga Journal

The tiny, energetic woman placed one of my hands in hers, grasping my forefinger firmly but not tightly. Her eyes sparkled as she looked into mine and said, "See? Isn't that simple?" Miraculously, the tension of months of work disappeared. It was Jin Shin Jyutsu® in action, she explained.

Categorizing Jin Shin Jyutsu can be as difficult as pigeonholing its one-woman leading force, Mary Burmeister. More than a style of bodywork, it's a philosophy of life taught by a master who lives her philosophy.

Burmeister describes Jin Shin Jyutsu (which means "art of the Creator through compassionate man" in Japanese) as a "physio-philosophy" that is used by everyone unconsciously, doesn't "do" anything, yet encompasses everything. "I call it the art of life, the art of life itself. It is the whole cosmos and cannot be categorized," Burmeister explains.

The purpose of Jin Shin Jyutsu is to release the tensions that cause various physical symptoms. The body, Burmeister teaches, contains energy pathways that feed life into all cells. When one or more of these paths become blocked, the damming effect can lead to discomfort or pain. Jin Shin Jyutsu, like acupuncture and acupressure, reharmonizes and balances the energy flows.

Recently I participated in Burmeister's five-day Jin Shin Jyutsu course to learn more about this little-known "art" from the Orient. Although she has a large and loyal following, Burmeister keeps a low public profile and, until now, has never allowed an interview.

Based on ancient knowledge of the body and creation, Jin Shin Jyutsu was passed down orally from one generation to the next and had virtually disappeared in Japan when it was rediscovered in the early 1900s by Jiro Murai, a Japanese philosopher. As a young man, Murai contracted what was diagnosed as a terminal illness. He asked his family to take him to the mountains and leave him in solitude for seven days.

In a feverish state, Murai imagined sages in spiritual meditation using hand mudras, which he applied to himself as he went in and out of consciousness. By the seventh day he was completely healed, and he vowed to spend the rest of his life studying the connection between his amazing recovery and the mudras he had used.

Searching for answers, Murai studied the Bible (which he translated himself) and ancient Chinese, Greek, and Indian texts. But it was the Kojiki, the Japanese "Record of Ancient Things," that opened the door for him.

"He unraveled the mystery of a plain, old story, the Kojiki, which describes creation in allegories," says Burmeister. "He read into the words."

From his study of the Kojiki and his 50 years of personal experimentation, Murai concluded that Jin Shin Jyutsu was more than a philosophy of the body.

"Murai studied the Chinese acupressure points, then took them a step further by experimenting on himself and fasting. He compared what he experienced to the ancient acupuncture writings and compared them to what he felt. His experiences were much deeper than what he found in the writings. There is an awareness in Jin Shin Jyutsu that is deeper than technique," Burmeister says.

Theories of the body and philosophies of creation were far from Burmeister's mind when she met Murai in the late 1940s. A first-generation Japanese-American born in Seattle, she went to Japan to learn Japanese, not to study Jin Shin Jyutsu. "A young lady came to me and asked me to tutor her in English," Burmeister recalls. "It was through this casual meeting that some months later I met Jiro Murai at her home. The first words he said to me were, 'How would you like to study with me to take a gift from Japan to America?' I had no idea what he was talking about, but I went to hear him speak and knew I would stay to listen. I studied with him in Japan for five years, then in America through correspondence for seven more years."

It was 17 years, however, before Burmeister started sharing Jin Shin Jyutsu with others. "I just felt I had to know something before I could say I knew it. Then I realized you can't say you ever really know an art like this. One day I found myself timidly putting my hand out to a neighbor with a back problem and saying, 'Maybe I can help you.' After five years of working with her, I moved, and she then went back to her chiropractor, who called me soon after and requested that we meet. The chiropractor became my first student.

"After two years of sharing with the chiropractor, I started to translate and write down what I had learned from Jiro Murai. I'd stay up late at night after taking care of the children, writing and making drawings. The chiropractor said she had a few colleagues with whom she'd like me to share Jin Shin Jyutsu. Our group grew to about six students, including a psychologist, a physician, and another chiropractor. That's how it began."

Burmeister explains that our revitalizing energy, which flows up the back and down the front of the body, can become blocked in 26 "safety energy locks," or what she terms "specialists," located throughout the body and in the organs themselves.

"As we abuse our bodies in our daily routines, mentally, emotionally, digestively, or physically, our safety energy locking system becomes activated," says Burmeister. "This is simply to let us know we are abusing our bodies."

A flow can be unblocked through a sequence of steps, or through a "quickie" step as simple as grasping a finger. The revitalizing energy then flows through the hands, or what Burmeister calls the "jumper cables," and can penetrate through clothing, even a brace or a cast.

"Light pressure goes through the skin and into the bone. If pain is present, it's because there is blockage and the pain is coming from the person, not the pressure. We don't have to dig into the very marrow of the bone. All we have to do is take away the dams."

Burmeister says that in Jin Shin Jyutsu there is no diagnosing, healing, or curing. "Some of you can go out today and look at the book and try this out. But you're not doing it, it's the light and the 'specialist' that are doing it. And the person you're working on says, 'Hey, my headache's gone.' But it's not you who's done it, it's the 'specialist' on step one, step two, step three, that's cleaning the debris for that particular complaint. We cannot do wrong because we are not doing anything. We are only jumper cables."

"Not doing anything" while at the same time doing something is one of several paradoxes in Jin Shin Jyutsu. Despite its esoteric principles, however, Burmeister maintains that Jin Shin Jyutsu is an inborn art that anyone can learn without much training.

"Plato said, 'Learning is remembering.' There's nothing we have to learn. We're always utilizing part of Jin Shin Jyutsu naturally, but as soon as we come into the world, it's 'gotta get,' 'gotta go,' 'gotta get your education,' and the skill lies dormant."

A student with a sprained ankle tells Burmeister that after her accident she has developed a habit of holding her wrist "That's helping the sprained ankle," Burmeister replies. "We carry a baby a certain way, and that's helping the little one without our knowing why. When a baby sucks its thumb, we tell it, 'No, no, that's wrong,' but the baby is telling us about its needs. It's in need of real energy, or its digestion needs help. Sucking the thumb helps the baby's nervous and muscular systems. As adults, we can hold the thumb and get the same result."

Burmeister says that Jin Shin Jyutsu not only aids the body, but changes the attitudes that underlie the physical symptoms. "Jin Shin Jyutsu helps everything from head to toe and toe to head. There are 27 trillion cells in the body, and if we smile, all 27 trillion cells smile with us. This is how we help ourselves in health.

"A five-year-old girl came in for a session with her parents. At the first session she was unhappy, all frowns. After the third session, she smiled at her mother and said, 'I love life.' Isn't that dynamic?"

During the five days of class, Burmeister shared other success stories. A woman in a wheelchair whose hands were stiff with arthritis was unable to enjoy her favorite hobby, knitting. A friend who was familiar with Jin Shin Jyutsu told her about holding the fingers. A few days later, after using Jin Shin Jyutsu on herself every night, the woman was knitting again.

A teenager working in a fast-food restaurant burned his arm in a vat of hot oil. His mother, a student of Burmeister's, placed her hands gently on his calves, the location specified in Jin Shin Jyutsu for helping skin ailments. The next morning, not only had all signs of the burn disappeared, but his complexion had cleared up as well.

Amazing as these stories are, I wondered how any kind of body therapy that didn't include direct and deep manipulation of the spine or muscles could be so effective. Although I felt tension disappear when Burmeister held my finger, I was not completely convinced.

Then I experienced a full Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment firsthand. In a class practice session, Burmeister took one look at me and said, "You're a 'doer.' You're always out in the world trying to get things done, rather than relaxing and letting things be."

From observing my body - the bend of my toes, my hands held over my stomach, my left shoulder higher than the right - Burmeister seemed to know almost everything about me. Yet she insists there is nothing unusual in what she does.

"When someone comes in for a session, I know the way they eat, I know what their needs are. And they say, 'Gee, you're psychic.' I'm not psychic. There's nothing mysterious about it. I'm just reading what the body is telling me."

At Burmeister's direction, one student placed her fingers under the back of my neck and another held my big toe and ankle. Two students on either side of my body each put a hand under my back. Then one of these students grasped my inner thigh at the knee, and the other put his free hand on top of my calf. Over the next 20 minutes I felt the tension in my back muscles melt away. Gurgles rose up from the depths of my torso. Toes and fingers twitched and moved. My breathing became deeper and more even. In general, I felt a sense of calmness, balance, and well-being. Even the puffiness in my cheeks disappeared.

Other students experienced their own small successes. Obviously something was working, but would the results last?

"The physical, mental, and emotional may be cleaned up for now," Burmeister says, "but if we go out and dirty it up again, we need to clean up the dirt, dust, and grime again. That's all it is. You'll just come in for more housecleaning, or you'll do it yourself."

Although dedicated to her work, Burmeister is hesitant to promote Jin Shin Jyutsu as a business. She does no advertising for her courses or private practice in Arizona, yet her classes fill quickly with students from around the world, and new clients have to wait up to one year for treatment. Watching and talking with Burmeister, I soon understood why: By living the simplicity, calmness, patience, and self-containment that lie at the heart of Jin Shin Jyutsu, she has become its best promoter.

"In Jin Shin Jyutsu there are no teachers or masters, they are all the same. I always say, 'Be the example.' We don't have to preach to other people. When people see me and say, 'You're so calm and relaxed. How do you do it, are you on pills or something?' Then I can tell them about the hands. The jumper cables are the light. I've been studying for 30 years, and I know nothing.

"I don't see a future. I'm just in the now. Whatever direction it is, so it is. Whatever direction comes up, that's what I am. We're having this interview because David (her son and business manager) said it's time to get out a little bit more. I never butt into God's plans, I just go along with what is. Life is not a struggle, life is enjoying the now. It's simple."

"The Artless Art of Getting to Know (Help) Myself"

The Main Central Vertical Flow is the source of our life energy. This pathway runs down the center of the front of the body and back up the spine. Here is a Jin Shin Jyutsu® self-help process to harmonize this pathway.

Harmonizing the Main Central regularly helps you feel centered and ensures that you will have plenty of energy. Some people find it calming and use it to fall asleep, while others like to use it to clear away the cobwebs upon awakening. For optimum results, do this daily.


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 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 (above the genitals, center). 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 remain

by David Burmeister and Michou Landon

Article from Massage and Bodywork Quarterly; Fall 1992 - slightly revised to reflect our current teaching staff and accommodate this home page.

Jin Shin Jyutsu® is an ancient oriental Art of harmonizing life energy within the body. Said to predate Buddha and Moses, it was rediscovered in the early 1900's by Master Jiro Murai, who, after recovery from a "terminal" illness, devoted himself to the revival of the Art for future generations. He believed that the capacity to use this Art is born in all of us, like our hands, the tools with which it is applied.

Literally defined, Jin Shin Jyutsu is the Art of the Creator expressed through knowing and compassionate man.

It is a physio-philosophy that involves the application of the hands for gently balancing the flow of life energy in the body; more generally, it is the awakening to awareness of complete harmony within the self and the universe.

There are two important distinctions between Jin Shin Jyutsu and many other massage and oriental healing modalities to which it is often compared.

First, Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art, as opposed to a technique; a technique is a mechanical application, whereas an art is a skillful creation.

Second, Jin Shin Jyutsu is not a physical manipulation of tissue and uses only minimal pressure. The hands are used as "jumper cables," contacting 26 "safety energy locks" to redirect, or unblock the flow of energy along its pathways.

A practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu is not the "do-er", s/he simply assists in the flow of an infinite supply of universal energy. This process does not affect the practitioner's personal supply of energy.

In a typical Jin Shin Jyutsu session, which lasts about one hour, the receiver remains clothed and lies face- up on a cushioned surface. After "listening" to the energy pulses in the wrists, a practitioner employs a harmonizing sequence, or "flow," appropriate for unblocking particular pathways and restoring the energy to the energy rhythm of the universe.

A "flow" is a series of hand placement combinations (using the "safety energy locks") that stimulates circulation of energy along a given pathway. There are many such pathways in the body, each with a distinct function or essence.

To a certain extent, the experience of Jin Shin Jyutsu is unique to each person for each session.

However, the most common effect is that of deep relaxation. Who among us doesn't welcome any opportunity to let go of stress, which so often interferes with optimum health?

Mary Burmeister, a close student of Master Murai, brought the gift of Jin Shin Jyutsu to America upon returning from Japan in the 1950's. Over the years, demand for Jin Shin Jyutsu has grown steadily, primarily by word of mouth. Mary began teaching in the early 1960's, and, although she does not currently present the basic workshops herself, she still occasionally sees clients in her office in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Now, the five-day seminars are offered by Mary's eighteen associate-instructors, Muriel Carlton, Philomena Dooley, Wayne Hackett, Susan Brooks, Lynne Pflueger, Waltraud Riegger-Krause, Jed Schwartz, Ian Harris, Birgitta Meinhardt, Iole Lebensztajn, Carlos Gutterres, Petra Elmendorff, Jill Holden, Cynthia Lenssen-Broshi, Nathalie Max, Susan Schwartz, Anita Willoughby and Cristina Minamisawa. These workshops are held throughout America, as well as in Canada, Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland), South America (Brazil, Venezuela, ) and Israel, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Lebanon,. There are currently well over 13,000 students of Jin Shin Jyutsu worldwide

Where can I find a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner in my area?

You can contact any of our local organizers (see information under Class Schedules), use our JSJ Locator to find experienced JSJ students in your area (for Locator click here) or get in touch with our office in Scottsdale (480-998-9331) and receive referrals from our world-wide listings. Below you will find contact information for our international offices or (click here for our International page)

European office- (In Germany) - Phone: (011) 49-228-234-598, Fax: (011) 49-228-239-404, Email:

French office- Phone/Fax: (011) 33-(0) 1 42 09 58 54, Email:

New Zealand office- Phone: (0064) 9 522 9233, Email:

Brazilian office- Phone/Fax: (011) 55-11-3082-2620, Email:

Is there anything I need to do ahead of time before receiving a Jin Shin Jyutsu session?

We suggest wearing comfortable clothing, and if you eat before a session to have a lighter meal than usual.

What does a Jin Shin Jyutsu session cost?

The fees tend to vary from city to city, and from one practitioner to another. Factors such as license and permit costs, local cost of living, expenses for an office, and the extra expense of making house calls can all influence a student practitioner's fee. We have also found that sessions offered in luxury hotels or health spas can be priced much higher than fees of a private student practitioner. Our Scottsdale office charges $65.00 for an hour-long session.

How long will it take to help my condition improve?

Each individual has their own unique experience with their journey towards harmony and balance. Consistency in receiving sessions as well as the regular application of Self-Help routines is a commonly recommended strategy.

Can I receive sessions even if I'm feeling fine and have no symptoms?

Absolutely! Jin Shin Jyutsu is for everyone who is interested in maintaining harmony and wellness in their lives. Self-help routines also play a significant part in helping to bring about more balance and general vitality.

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