Jin Shin Do Foundation for Bodymind Acupressure<sup>®</sup>

Reflections on My Jin Shin Do® Studies


by Therese Cannon,
Virginia Beach, VA

I began the study of Jin Shin Do® in early 1991, as the Oriental component of the education hours required for my New York State Massage License. I had always intellectually accepted the importance of the bodymind concept, and of being in touch with emotions, but Jin Shin Do finally gave me a way to make this a reality. Being able to feel my emotions through my Jin Shin Do sessions was a very powerful experience. I knew then that this skill would be an important part of the rest of my life.

While studying JSD and receiving JSD sessions, I became aware of the split created when the mind would not allow the body to express emotion. The restrained feelings developed tension in the neck and shoulder area, which became just like a capped bottleneck under pressure. A classmate in massage school said that bullets would probably bounce off my shoulders, and nicknamed me "Iron Shoulders." My chest and upper back felt heavy, as if encased in metal. I had just begun to be aware of how I was using my shoulders as a shield, so I was excited to learn about Dr. Wilhelm Reich and "armoring."

During the JSD basic and intermediate practice sessions, there was much release of the emotion which had been enmeshed in the muscles of my chest. I was learning how to feel. Feeling had not been easy for me. This taste of "the joy of feeling" whet my appetite for more. The movement and transformation which I had been searching for had finally begun. This E-Motion was Energy in Motion. The Qi (Chi), or vital life force, was flowing.

After graduating from the H.J. Reilly School of Massotherapy and obtaining my New York State License, I found that the nearest JSD practitioner was eight hours away. Clearly, continuing my focus on Jin Shin Do was going to take some initiative on my part! Deborah Valentine Smith from Massachusetts kindly consented to teach an Advanced JSD class in my home. Under her direction, Jin Shin Do came together for me in a complete way, through a better understanding of the assessment process.

Profound is the word I choose to describe my overall experience with Jin Shin Do. It has enabled me to learn how to reach towards, arise from and affect the depths of my nature or "Way." The JSD Bodymind Acupressure® approach is an empowering tool of discovery, incorporating the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the Self. This holistic vision has encouraged and guided me to take notice of the different levels of awareness present in all of us. I have come to understand that enlivening this wholeness depends on awareness of the natural balance within man, within the universe, and in their interrelationship.

Jin Shin Do has helped me to clear the sediments of earlier years that stagnated my Joy of Self. The thoroughgoing of Jin Shin Do has helped to clear my thinking and bring balance to my experience of the world. I am more able to accept life on life's terms, to appreciate the Chinese wisdom of "Wei-Wu-Wei" "let be," or "doing without doing."

I experience that when I am in harmony with the flow of life, much more is accomplished, with much less effort. I am coming to know the peace that comes with the understanding that life is not meant to be an effort or a strain. Previously, I thought that success in life was based on one's ability to control. My intense search for perfection led me to more controlling behavior and more repression of my natural feelings and behaviors, which set me up for failure time and time again.

The courtroom of my "family of origin" had left me criticized, judged and compared. I viewed life through the gavel of fair or unfair. After years of this painfully limiting experience, I learned well the way that things didn't work, and so I was ready to accept the Tao (the Way of Nature). Events no longer needed to be labeled "fair" in order to be acceptable. All that mattered was that I was honest and true to myself and my feelings. I learned to flow with life as an ever-changing process. In this new-found freedom, I look for the flow of gradual progress rather than petrified perfection.

The Tao has continuous movement, in cycles of change through the polarities of Yin and Yang (the receptive and assertive forces or tendencies). The concept of Wei-Wu-Wei taught me to be in life, and to harmonize with the Tao. I have discovered that Truth and Perfection are never stationary or isolated, but are experienced only as attributes of the Process of Life the Tao. I am learning to trust the changing flow of my feelings, and to know that they are truth for me, and that as long as I am honest with my feelings, my path will be one of fullness. I cannot own and possess fullness. However, by flowing with it, I can experience it as myself.

The 1994 Jin Shin Do® Intensive Teacher Training Program was a tremendous learning success and a powerful personal growth experience for me. The "train the trainer" approach of learning by doing was very rewarding. I especially liked the time spent on the basic class videotapes. I found the Basic JSD videotapes to be a wonderful teaching tool. Of particular value to me were Iona's interjections of her personal teaching experiences, while we were watching the videotapes. I appreciated the opportunity to receive the benefits of the working knowledge which Iona has accumulated, after nearly three decades of experience with acupressure and with teaching. Most of all, I am grateful for the openness and trust which she shared with us all at the I.T.T.P. I will cherish this "treasure" always.

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