Putting a new discipline to the test
Recently I took part in a 5-day practitioner seminar introducing Jin Shin Jyutsu, a Japanese “art” of bringing the body’s energy into balance. It was organized in Asheville by my friend Beth Molaro, and brought together students and practitioners from all over the Southeast -- all of whom had questions, ideas and enthusiasm to share. The instructor, Lynne Pflueger, set aside practice sessions three times each day for us to learn some of the myriad techniques for bringing physical, emotional and mental states of disharmony into balance. Needless to say, by the end of the seminar my mind was chock-full of information and I was energized!
That’s why it surprised me when I began coming down with a serious cold less than a day later. I probably caught it from the friend I stayed with in Asheville, who ended up sick in bed most of the time I was there. (I got to practice Jin Shin Jyutsu on her, as well as Reflexology.) As my symptoms progressed from sore throat to headache, sinus congestion and fatigue, I realized this was a great opportunity to test Jin Shin Jyutsu on myself!
Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) makes use of the idea of meridians and acupressure points outlined in Traditional Chinese Medicine: specifically, JSJ has identified 26 sets of gateway points, called Safety Energy Locks, that help regulate the flow of energy (Qi or “Chi”) through the body. Gently touching two or more of these points in prescribed sequences can bring dramatic changes in physical health and attitude.
So, it’s the middle of the night and I can hardly breathe. I lie on my back and put one hand on my shoulder. The other hand reaches up to hold each of the first hand’s fingers in turn, waiting until I feel a vibration, like a pulse. I move the top hand to a point on my face that aids in sinus drainage. From there I move my hand to a point along my upper back. Whoosh! Air comes flooding into my lungs, and I can breathe in and out -- through my nose! -- with ease. I finish the rest of the sequence (JSJ calls it a “flow”) and sleep soundly the rest of the night.
Back to health in record time
For the next two days I rested, mainly so I wouldn’t pass on my germs to anyone, and practiced JSJ at intervals. By the third morning I was back in top shape, ready to take the dogs for a long hike in the woods. Without the energy medicine to help bring my body into balance, it’s likely I would have been achy, sneezy and miserable for a week.
If you’d like to find out more about Jin Shin Jyutsu, send me an email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I’m going to need lots of practice to learn all the “flows,” and welcome volunteers to take part. [As with Reiki, participants remain fully clothed throughout the session.]
And remember, Reiki and Reflexology are available six days a week at locations in Toco Hills and Decatur. Call 404-406-5204 to make an appointment. With so many ways to help keep our bodies in harmony, why stay in dis-ease?
Just the thing to get your juices flowing!
-- adapted from Susun Weed's Healing Wise
Clean and soak the burdock root for about 15 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Wash all roots thoroughly, and rinse greens. In a large pot, cook the onion in oil until golden. Add the burdock root slices. Chop and add fresh dandelion leaves and roots. Then chop and add fresh yellow dock leaves and roots. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least one hour or until roots are soft and easy to eat.
Serves 6-8. Feel free to add your own favorite soup spices -- spices are medicinal, too!
What do all these herbs do?
Burdock, Dandelion and Yellow Dock are all said to have an "affinity" for the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Liver system.
Burdock helps relieve acid reflux, indigestion and heartburn, and helps improve the "transit time" of digested food through the body. It tones the large intestine's peristaltic muscle, and energizes the lymphatic system.
Dandelion Root aids inflammation of the liver and gallbladder, muscular rheumatism, menstrual disturbances, insomnia, migraine headaches, cysts and fibroids. Dandelion Leaf is a powerful diuretic.
Yellow Dock helps treat conditions caused by poor Liver system function including acne, boils, eczema, hemorrhoids or psoriasis; mild to severe constipation; and jaundice. It also helps increase the small intestine's ability to absorb nutrients.
What to look out for:
Stick to recommended amounts of any herb -- too much may be too much!
Contraindications may include:
For Burdock: people allergic to Aster-family plants may have an allergic reaction.
For Dandelion: people allergic to Aster-family plants may have an allergic reaction; people who have been taking a lot of pharmaceuticals may feel "queasy" as the herb works at detoxifying the liver.
For Yellow Dock: Large doses may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Avoid using with prescription laxatives.
Why A Spring Tune Up?
My car might need one, you might be thinking, but why do I?
Well, everything in nature is getting ready to burst into leaf and bloom. If you're feeling a little sluggish, a spring tune-up can help you get into balance with the season. Here's how it works.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Spring is the time of the Wood element: sudden growth and rapid expansion, irresistible movement and unpredictable change. Nothing's going to hold it back. In our bodies, we feel this impetus in the Liver -- not that lobe-shaped organ, but what TCM calls the Liver System. This system governs muscles, ligaments and tendons; the eyes; and the regular, rhythmic release of digestive enzymes, among other duties. And that's just the physical component.
In TCM, Liver imbalances can show up as muscle tension and spasms, sciatica, headaches, seasonal allergies, insomnia, menstrual problems, skin eruptions, blurry vision and floaters, digestive problems and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), a tendency to form cysts and fibroids, and, of course, liver diseases.
The good news is, these problems can be addressed by a knowledgeable herbalist, acupuncturist or naturopath. And many of them can be alleviated through Reiki and Reflexology. If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch with me.
Christin Whittington is a practitioner of energy medicine – helping people restore balance in their bodies, their health and their lives using a combination of Reiki, Reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Qi Gong and herbal medicine.