How I Learned to be a Rubber Band

Have you ever stretched a rubber band so far that you thought for sure it would break, only to have it return to its original shape and size as if it hadn’t been stressed at all?

Have you ever felt the bliss that comes from cheering the underdog to victory?

Have you ever been inspired after hearing a story about someone overcoming unbeatable odds?

That rubber band has something in common with the underdog and the survivor: resilience, the ability to rebound from adversity.

We all know life has its ups and downs. During those down times, it’s important to dust ourselves off and get back up. If we don’t, we can easily get trapped in a cycle of misery. Resilience is the key to overcoming despair. What is it that sparks our children to pursue the answer to a math problem or reach the end of the story when reading is difficult? Edison tried 1,000 times to figure out which type of wire to use in his incandescent light bulb—now THAT’S resilience!

Is this kind of resilience an innate quality only certain people possess, or is there some way to support this attitude? There are a few characteristics that resilient people possess: optimism, problem-solving skills, and perseverance. The good news is, according to the American Psychological Association, these are all behaviors that can be learned.

Another way to improve resiliency is through the art of Jin Shin Jyutsu®, which comes from ancient tradition that works with the vibratory pathways which feed life to the cells in the body. A blockage in one or more of these pathways leads to an imbalance of physical, mental and/or emotional well-being. By harmonizing the pathways of the body using simple touch, balance can be restored.

Since Jin Shin Jyutsu, similar to acupuncture (but without the needles!), is completely non-invasive, it makes an ideal complement to Western medicine. One major distinction between Jin Shin Jyutsu and various other modalities is the self-help component. In addition to receiving sessions from a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, clients also learn self-care routines to maintain harmony.

A great self-help tip to aid in resiliency is to hold your index finger. Jin Shin Jyutsu teaches that each finger is associated with an attitude such as worry, fear, anger, sadness, and pretense (trying to). Holding the index finger can indeed help us to hang on and persevere. Sounds way too simple, doesn’t it? From a Jin Shin Jyutsu philosophy, encircling each of the fingers and thumbs opens up a whole new world, rejuvenating us. After holding both index fingers, follow up by holding both little fingers to bring the task to effortless fruition.

Embrace your inner rubber band by making a conscious effort to become more resilient. It may not prevent adversity from finding you, but it will certainly make it easier to bounce back from it!

Brotherly Love: How Jin Shin Jyutsu Changed My Puppy’s Life

Nine weeks of anticipation were over; two healthy Boston Terrier pups were born, one girl and one boy. As the veterinarian looked at the products of his recent cesarean section, he raised one simple question, “What did you do differently with this litter than the last one?”

I simply replied, “A year and a half of Jin Shin Jyutsu®.”

An open-minded guy, he responded with a smile, “Well, it seemed to work.”

The mother’s previous litter had been challenging, to say the least. Over halfway through the pregnancy she needed to be supplemented with progesterone to sustain the pregnancy. Approximately one week before delivery, one of the pups was reabsorbed. The end result was a litter of one. The mother had received some Jin Shin Jyutsu®, but not on a regular basis. When it came time for the next litter, I was much more proactive. I gave her regular sessions to encourage a more successful pregnancy.

It turned out that the next litter didn’t need to be supplemented with progesterone, but they were born premature (in human terms, approximately 4 weeks early). With a little extra TLC at the veterinarian’s office after the C-section, the pups were able to come home.

Animals, like us, innately understand the power of vibrational medicine. When one animal tries to help another, no matter what age they may be, it should not surprise us. But it still does.

The pups received daily Jin Shin Jyutsu® sessions (approximately 10-15 minutes each) to support them through this time of growth. When pups are born this early, the biggest concern usually has to do with how developed the lungs are. A few days later after they came home, the female pup began to pant and seemed to have difficulty breathing. After another Jin Shin Jyutsu® session she was put in the whelping bed and a few minutes later I went in to check on her.

What I saw was amazing. Her brother had placed his paws over the top of her hips. The panting had subsided and she was breathing comfortably. Jin Shin Jyutsu® philosophy teaches us that the crest of the hips is the area that helps us with the inhale circle of the breath that allows us to breathe. Such innate wisdom! This tiny pup had never taken a Jin Shin Jyutsu® seminar, but he instinctively knew how to help his sister breathe better. Isn’t that simply amazing?

Babies and Colic: Help is at your fingertips.

Are you a parent, grandparent, or caregiver of a colicky infant? Do you know anyone who is dealing with this all-too-common challenge? According to, experts estimate that up to 40% of all infants have colic. Digestive challenges in babies can be downright frustrating for both parents and caregivers alike.

“The truth is that within each of us lies the power to cast all misery aside and to KNOW complete Peace and Oneness” – Mary Burmeister

There have been many stories of how a simple use of your hands can bring relief. Imagine a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby girl; we’ll call her Susie*. Just a few weeks after being born, Susie’s parents notice she seems to be spitting up a lot during every feeding and would cry inconsolably after feedings. A trip to the pediatrician’s office revealed that Susie was losing weight, most likely caused by acid reflux. The doctor suggested starting her on Zantac® and adding a teaspoon of rice cereal to every bottle. He said the crying fits were caused by colic and acid reflux. Susie’s parents followed the pediatrician’s advice and the bouts of spitting up seemed to improve.

Unfortunately, the crying fits were not alleviated by the pediatrician’s treatment plan. Susie’s symptoms also seemed to be aggravated by large groups of people. Susie would scream inconsolably and large family get-togethers became almost unbearable for her parents.

Luckily, Susie’s aunt was a Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner.

When Susie would get worked up at family functions, her aunt would take her to a quiet room and apply simple, gentle touches over her abdomen. At first, Susie would scream and cry, but her aunt was very calm and patient. She would apply various sequences to different areas of Susie’s anxious little body. After what seemed like an eternity to Susie’s mother (but in reality was only a few minutes), Susie’s high-pitched wails became silent sobs, and finally harmonized into deep, gentle breathing. It was as if her little body was saying thank you as she drifted off to sleep. Susie’s aunt was the only person in the family who was able to console her this way. Others tried, but only her aunt’s gentle but targeted and purposeful touches could provide relief. Susie’s parents were able to learn some of the specific touches, and applied them at home.

Susie is not the only child whose colic symptoms have been alleviated through the use of Jin Shin Jyutsu®. Since Mary Burmeister brought the art of Jin Shin Jyutsu® to the United States in the mid-20th century, many parents have been moved to attend self-empowerment classes to learn how to apply these holds/sequences to their colicky children, passing along skills that their children can use throughout their lifetime.

Because touch therapy and energy medicine can be so effective in assisting with treatments for babies with colic, Mary Burmeister was prompted to create a tool that could benefit children and parents alike. This resulted in a pictorial book called “Fun with Happy Hands”, which teaches children of all ages simple and fun ways to help themselves. The colorful illustrations provide an introduction to the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu®.

One thing that differentiates Jin Shin Jyutsu® from other energy or touch therapies is the focus on self-empowerment. It is an art that can be learned by anyone willing to help themselves (or wanting to help their children). A combination of periodic visits to a Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner plus regular application of self-help routines provide the best results.

In addition, Jin Shin Jyutsu® is completely non-invasive, unlike other forms of energy medicine that require the application of pressure or massage to achieve results. The client/child lies fully clothed on a table (or sits fully clothed on the parent’s lap, depending on the area that is being worked on), and the practitioner applies a very gentle touch in specific sequences based on the child’s symptoms until the energy flow harmonizes.

*(not her real name)

Arthritis Help for our Animal Friends

When our bodies are affected by the aches and pains of arthritis, even the simplest tasks become difficult. We search for remedies wherever we can find them. We ask our friends, our family, our doctors how to alleviate our discomfort. When our furry friends feel those same effects of arthritis, they are unable to verbalize their need for help. Even though they are feeling the aches and pains, we need to tune into their non-verbal cues to hear the cry for help.

Have you ever wished your dog could jump up on the couch to snuggle next to you on a cold winter’s evening? Have you ever noticed your horse doesn’t move the same way he used to? According to the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, affects one in every five adult dogs, and is most common in larger breeds and in the bigger joints. Our furry friends typically get osteoarthritis, which is the ‘wear and tear’ type. It actually the most common source of chronic pain that veterinarians will treat in cats and dogs!

Ashley Boynes tell us the major signs of arthritis in your animal are:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Sleeping more
  • Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Decreased activity or less interest in play
  • Attitude or behavior changes
  • Being less alert

In addition to healthy diet and exercise, you can help your arthritic pet through the use of Jin Shin Jyutsu, a natural, drug-free option that aides in pain-free living.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient healing art dating back many centuries. It was passed on through oral tradition, but over time, pieces of the art got lost and soon there was very little left to pass on. In the late 1920’s, Jiro Murai was diagnosed with a terminal illness. At the age of 26, he went to the family cabin in Japan to die. He spent his time in the cabin practicing ancient finger poses from Hindi tradition, meditating, and praying. On the seventh day, his family came to the cabin to get him and found that he was cured. This prompted Murai to spend the next 50 years trying to explain his miracle cure. He devoted the rest of his life to the study of ancient healing principles and recording them in the Kojiki (Ancient Record of Things) and the art Jin Shin Jyutsu was reborn.

Master Murai shared these principles with Mary Burmeister, who brought them to the United States. Mary continued Master Murai’s tradition by sharing her knowledge with students all across the country. Today, Jin Shin Jyutsu is practiced by thousands of people who have maintained its original physio-philosophy and practice. Through the application of gentle, non-invasive touch sequences, the pathways of energy in the body that nourish and sustain life are harmonized, aiding in symptomatic relief from many of life’s ailments. Because nature does not differentiate between human and animal, neither does the art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. The same sequences that can assist human clients can also be applied to our animal counterparts, with the same results.

One of the major benefits of Jin Shin Jyutsu for companion animals is that it can relieve symptoms of arthritis, as well as other degenerative disorders. Jin Shin Jyutsu has been used to help animals through emotionally traumatizing ordeals, and can shorten the recovery time after surgery. It also can be effective in calming anxious animals, as well as those having difficulty adjusting to new surroundings.

How can Jin Shin Jyutsu benefit our animal friends? A combination of periodic visits to a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner plus regular self-help sequences applied to the animal can improve mobility, health, vitality and well-being. Animals frequently respond faster to treatments because they aren’t so firmly attached to the unhealthy negative attitudes that can lead to chronic energetic imbalances, resulting in diminished health.

arthritisA 27-year old mare showed obvious arthritic symptoms – limping, hesitation when getting up, and weight loss. The owner was aware of the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu on animals and decided to call a practitioner to see if it would help. The practitioner discussed the mare’s symptoms and health history with the owner, and proceeded to assess the animal’s energetic pathways. Then she placed her hands gently and precisely at various spots on the mare’s body, while concentrating intently on the physical responses. After numerous sessions, the mare became more mobile and it was apparent the symptoms were lessened. The owner was thrilled to see her spry companion return.