Jin Shin Jyutsu is the Art of releasing tensions which are the cause for various symptoms in the body. Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art as opposed to a technique because a technique is a mechanical application, whereas an art is a skilful creation.

Jin Shin Jyutsu literally translated is:

JIN Man of Knowing and Compassion(Art of the Creator through Man of Knowing and Compassion)

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 disharmonise 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 harmonise and balance ourselves (in rhythm with the universe) physically, mentally and spiritually.

Jin Shin Jyutsu identifies about a dozen energy pathways and more than 50 points throughout the body. Gently touching these points in various patterns reportedly resolves different ailments and clears energy blocks. Anyone can learn to practice JSJ on their own, or they can receive JSJ therapy from a trained practitioner.

A History of the Medical Use of Jin Shin Jyutsu

According to ancient written records which remain in the Archives of the Imperial Palace in Japan, the ancient healing art of 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, a Japanese healer and philosopher, early in the 20th century.

Murai was led to Jin Shin Jyutsu in response to his own health problems at the age of 26 due to over-indulgence. When his condition was diagnosed as incurable and terminal, Murai asked to be left alone in his family’s mountain cabin. As he passed in and out of consciousness, he had visions of spiritual masters using hand mudras, which he began to practice on himself. On the seventh day he underwent an intense healing experience. He vowed to devote his life to discovering the connection between the hand mudras and his dramatic recovery. (See The Jin Shin Jyutsu finger mudras.)

Murai studied extensively in ancient Chinese, Greek, and Indian texts as well as seeking clues in the Bible, and practiced his healing techniques on the homeless in Tokyo, where he developed a reputation as an extraordinary healer. Legend has it that he healed the Emperor’s brother of an ailment that doctors had been unable to cure, and when offered a reward in gratitude, he asked for access to ancient records (the Kojiki) in the Archives of the Imperial Palace, in which he eventually found information on the origins, philosophy, and techniques of Jin Shin Jyutsu.

According to these records, Jin Shin Jyutsu was widely known in antiquity — before the time of Buddha, Moses, and the Kojiki (712 AD). The practice was handed down orally from generation to generation, but had virtually disappeared by the 20th century. Using all the information he had uncovered, Murai conducted extensive experiments on himself for over 50 years. He found that Jin Shin Jyutsu produced a depth of awareness that went beyond anything described in the ancient texts of Chinese medicine.

Mary Burmeister, a Japanese American, met Murai in Japan in the late 1940’s and became his student. Burmeister’s explanation for the depth and power of Jin Shin Jyutsu is that it affects the attitudes that lie beneath our symptoms, not just the symptoms themselves. She introduced the Art to America in the 1950’s. She did not believe in promoting her work as a business. Although she never advertised her courses or her private practice, she attracted students from around the world and had a waiting list of over a year for private sessions. Today Jin Shin Jyutsu is taught worldwide.

Jin Shin Jyutsu as a Complementary Therapy

The belief that we can help ourselves through a process of knowing ourselves is integral to Jin Shin Jyutsu. At its heart, the work embodies a life of simplicity, calmness, patience, and self-containment.


Practitioners of the work regard Jin Shin Jyutsu not simply as a style of bodywork, but as a Philosophy of Life.

Ultimately it is the philosophy and spirit of the work, not the technique, which attracts clients and practitioners to Jin Shin Jyutsu.

One of the great advantages of Jin Shin Jyutsu is that one can easily learn simple self-help techniques that supplement sessions from a practitioner.

Jin Shin Jyutsu awakens our awareness to the simple fact that we were all born with the ability to harmonize and balance ourselves in body, mind and spirit.

As children we suck our thumbs; as adults we rest our head in our hands while thinking and hold the back of our hips to ease our lower back. Through Jin Shin Jyutsu, when we utilise this light touch consciously, we can be a part of our own healing process.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is utilised to assist with the physical side effects from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, while decreasing stress and enhancing a sense of emotional well-being.

How is Jin Shin Jyutsu Administered?

Jin Shin Jyutsu® is also known as Physio-Philosophy, and the practice is a disarmingly simple style of acupressure that works with a set of 26 points (called Safety Energy Locks or SELs) along the energy pathways that feed life into all of our cells. When one or more of these paths become blocked, this effect may lead to uncomfortable body symptoms.

A Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner use a light touch on specific areas of the body to open the pathways and restore the body’s energy system to a more harmonious state; using both hands (referred to as “jumper cables”) they hold a combination of SELs. The very simplicity and gentleness of the process allow clients to relax and receive the work. As the SELs release and balance is restored, the client experiences physical, mental, and spiritual harmony.

Jin Shin Jyutsu Mudras

The Jin Shin Jyutsu practice of holding the fingers (Finger Mudras) is powerful and holds a special place in the history of Jin Shin Jyutsu.

This part of Jin Shin Jyutsu can be easily learned and practices on oneself for relief from various  problems because there is a primary emotion (what Jin Shin Jyutsu calls “attitudes”) associated with each finger.

Holding the fingers is a Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help practice that is extremely simple and yet profound.

Because so many of the Jin Shin Jyutsu energy pathways run through the fingers (the ten fingers are said to regulate 14,400 functions within the body), holding the fingers is a way to balance and harmonise energy in the whole body.

The complete practice of holding the finger mudras includes holding all eight finger positions. As you hold each mudra position, take two slow, relaxed breaths, then continue to the next position. When you finish, there is one more thing to do.

The mudras are meant to be practiced for a total of 36 breaths. The eight mudra positions take 26 breaths. So when you finish the eighth mudra, remain in a relaxed, meditative state as you take ten more breaths.

It may take you a  while to remember the entire sequence of finger mudras, but it is suggested that you think of learning to hold the sequence of finger mudras the way you would learn a sequence of dance steps. It’s something you learn with your body more than your mind.

Side Effects and Risks

Energy therapies are generally thought to be safe. Few side effects have been reported. Overall, it is a safe therapy to use. But some experts say you should use it with caution if you have uncontrolled epilepsy. In theory the deep relaxation it can bring on, in some people, could cause a seizure (fit).

It is important to tell your doctor about any complementary or alternative therapy you are using. That way, your doctor will always have the full picture about your care and treatment.

Most healers will advise you not to do any hard physical exercise soon after your treatment. And always tell your healer if you are using any other type of complementary or alternative therapy.

Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Videos

The Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) program at the Markey Cancer Center is made possible through the generosity of the Lexington Cancer Foundation and individual contributions. Research data from more than 450 sessions with 159 cancer patients revealed that all of these patients reported a decrease in stress, pain and nausea levels after JSJ. 

The short videos below have been developed to assist patients, family and caregivers with the stresses and effects of cancer. Each video gives a short presentation and demonstration of self-help you can use for yourself and others.

Watch and practice, remembering that what feels good to you is what your body currently wants. All Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help videos below are also on a dedicated YouTube channel.

Video 1: What is Jin Shin Jyutsu self-help? Learn what Jin Shin Jyutsu is and how it is practiced. Watch video

Video 2: Jin Shin Jyutsu for Nausea. Specific Jin Shin Jyutsu holds to combat nausea from treatment and illness. These holds can also help sleep issues.

Watch video

Video 3: Jin Shin Jyutsu for Radiation Effects. Daily holds that may assist you with side effects from the build-up of radiation.

Watch video

Video 4: Jin Shin Jyutsu Finger Holds for Strong Emotions. Using your most powerful Jin Shin Jyutsu tools to calm overwhelming emotions – anytime, anywhere.

Watch video

You can also download the Self-Help pamphlet (PDF, 1.2 MB) on finger holds for strong emotions.

Jin Shin Jyutsu as part of an integrative medical plan (PDF, 269 KB)Courtesy of the UK Alumni Association Kentucky Alumni magazine, March 2014

The power of touch (PDF, 439 KB)Story Magazine, Spring 2014

Ancient form of massage offers new hope for healingLexington Herald-Leader, April 2014

Bringing peace and relaxation during cancer treatment (PDF, 31 KB)UK HealthCare feature


Please note that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust shares information regarding various types of cancer treatments on this blog merely for informational use.

LFCT does not endorse or promote any specific cancer treatments – we believe that the public should be informed but that the option is theirs to take as to what treatments are to be used.

Always consult your medical practitioner prior to taking any other medication, natural or otherwise.