Homework Helps!

There is strong evidence that doing homework between therapy sessions is a significant factor in producing positive results. Today I wanted to share a novel self-hypnosis approach that incorporates intriguing physical elements from an ancient acupressure practice called Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Take an ancient holistic practice…

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient self-help practice that was handed down from generation to generation centuries ago but became largely forgotten. It was rediscovered in Japan by Master Jiro Murai early in the 20th century and exported to North America in the 1960s. It is a type of acupressure that uses the fingers and hands to release blocked energy pathways to harmonize the energy in the body, calm the mind and balance the emotions. There is little in the way of credible studies that can vouch for its efficacy, but today I want to challenge your beliefs to try something new.

Are your current beliefs are helping you or hindering you in your quest to have an enjoyable and fulfilling life? If your beliefs are currently holding you back, then why not suspend any disbelief you may have, and instead invest your belief in this process and give it a try.

This practice simply requires you to hold the fingers one at a time. According to Jin Shin Jyutsu, there is a primary emotion associated with each finger, and holding each finger in turn, is a way to balance and harmonize energy in the whole body. It is  claimed that this can remove blockages in the energy pathways, and allow a flow of positive energy that can reduce unwanted feelings and emotions.

…and add some evidence based self-hypnosis

In order to give this process some evidence-based credibility, my adaptation of this method incorporates lots of positive self-suggestion which can be spoken aloud or simply held as thoughts in the quietness of your own mind. Remember it is the suggestions that we repeatedly give ourselves that are the most powerful ones, and often our automatic inner self-talk can be quite negative.

Let’s do this…

The Jin Shin Jyutsu approach simply requires us to hold each finger for a minute or two. To begin, hold out both hands in front of you, with palms facing downwards. Then using either hand, grasp a thumb, just as if you were holding handlebar of a bike, with the fingers wrapping round over the top and the thumb squeezing gently from underneath.

Grasp the thumb – just like holing on to handlebar of a bike







Each digit represents a primary (negative) emotion, which is said to dissipate, simply by holding it.

The negative emotions are

Thumb – worry

First/index finger – anxiety/fear

Middle finger – anger

Ring finger – sadness, loss, grief

Little finger – trying to (hard) low self-esteem, pretense

Middle of the palm – represents fatigue, and this should be pressed with the finger tips once all thumb and fingers have been held.

Each finger is associated with a negative emotion

You can hold the thumb and then each finger in turn on one hand, and then move to the other hand. Alternatively you can start with one thumb, then switch to the thumb on the other hand and so on.

Rather than just hold each digit, I propose that you also give yourself positive self-suggestions. For example, whilst holding the thumb (worry) you might say something along the lines of:

As I am holding my thumb, I get a sense that I am releasing any energy blockages and allowing the flow of positive energy… and this is helping my worries to dissipate and disappear. I am letting go of any unnecessary worries and beginning to feel wonderfully relaxed and calm. As each moment passes, I find it easier to let go of my worries  and instead I am now feeling much calmer, much more peaceful and much more confident in myself.

I have recorded a 10-minute audio that you could use to get you started. This is just to give you an idea of how this could work for you. You may enjoy listening along as you hold each finger, or you may decide that you would like to do this unaided and use your own words appropriate to your own situation.

You will likely prefer to linger longer on certain fingers than others, depending on what emotions you would like to target. You could simply spend 5 or 10 minutes just focusing on a single emotion and its corresponding finger.

I would encourage you to make this part of a daily practice, and not just wait until you feel you need of some emotional first aid. It may only take 5 minutes, and could be a valuable investment in your well being.

Here are some audios to help.

The first is an overview of the process followed by a 10 minute self hypnosis meditation

And here is the 10 minute self hypnosis meditation without the introduction

If you wish to download the audio files as MP3, just right click the audio player (above) and select ‘save audio as’