Jin Shin Do Foundation for Bodymind Acupressure

How Jin Shin Do® Is Useful for
Shiatsu Practitioners

By Pierluigi G. Duina, Brescia, Italy, Senior Authorized Jin Shin Do® Teacher, Director of JSDF Italian Section and European JSDF Coordinator

I practiced shiatsu for many years before training in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Midwest Center for Study of Chinese Medicine in Chicago (including with Justin Pomeroy). Since that training ended in 1985, I taught Shiatsu and TCM at my school: the Body Mind Center in Brescia.

I became interested in Jin Shin Do® just from reading The Acupressure Way of Health: Jin Shin Do® (1978). As a shiatsu practitioner, I was very interested in the way that Iona was combining the points, so I started to "play" with the book. Since I knew the point locations from my acupuncture training, I experimented by adding some Jin Shin Do point combinations into my Shiatsu treatments.

In the middle of a Shiatsu session, it was very interesting to keep the pressure in the JSD way – longer than in Shiatsu – and to hold two precise points at the same time. I found this kind of pressure to be useful for completely releasing the acu-points. It reflects a patient attitude. It says the practitioner won't try to force the point to open up. (As we know from Taoist philosophy, often it is best to just let things happen by themselves.)

Holding a "local" point with related "distal" points helps to release tension more deeply and quickly. The related points are usually on the same Strange Flow or Extraordinary Vessel (as taught in the Basic Jin Shin Do® Class), or on the same Organ Meridian (as taught in the Intermediate JSD class).

I found that a longer pressure had an effect on the mind, as well as the body. It helped to bring my clients deeper into their bodies and into better contact with themselves, opening them to feelings, images, sensations and much more. The perception in my fingers was different, too. I noticed that using longer pressure with my clients facilitates in me a meditative state that is similar to my Zen experience. It is a deeper concentration that helps me to go deeper in myself, so that I am more sensitive and intuitive, yet more refined.

After many years of experimenting, I contacted the Jin Shin Do® Foundation and started studying JSD. Soon I became an Authorized JSD Teacher. Through my JSD studies, I found something else very useful for my profession, which also changed my personal life: Processing Skills! These skills help the practitioner to verbally contact the client and follow his or her process, by using the most helpful words, and by pauses at the right moments. This helps the release process to go deeper in a safe way.

For many years, I had been noticing in my clients the need to express themselves - their problems and their feelings and restrained emotions. For too many years, I found myself unable to follow my clients in their emotional releases. My personal limits did not allow my clients to let go of old words, old emotions and, sometimes, old traumas or abuse experiences. My limits did not allow my clients to grow! I was not even aware of my limits! I simply didn't know them! As a Shiatsu practitioner, I was trained to treat people in complete silence. The idea behind that was to have the client be aware of and completely concentrated on the body sensations.

Since I wanted to give my clients the opportunity to express themselves during sessions, for several years I studied Processing Skills with Authorized JSD Teacher Vivienne Rauber from Switzerland. After that I took Iona Marsaa Teeguarden's Module IV Bodymind Acupressure classes on Bodymind Trancework and on Trauma and Abuse Issues, which allowed me to finally be able to follow the "processes" of my clients during JSD sessions, and even in my Shiatsu or Acupuncture practice!

Now, my Shiatsu sessions often start a dialogue wherein the clients can focus on a problem, which turns the Shiatsu session into a JSD session. 98% of my sessions are JSD sessions. This is what my clients want and need, and I strongly believe that is my responsibility to follow their process. It is great that JSD is easier to do, as well as 100% more effective!

As a result of my experience, I started to teach JSD to "Shiatsu people." In 2005, I proposed a simple JSD workshop to the Italian Professional Shiatsu Association-Associazione Professionale Operatori Shiatsu, or A.P.O.S. – to which I belong. APOS represents over 1000 Shiatsu practitioners in Italy and is fighting for legal recognition of Shiatsu in this country. APOS invited me to give a workshop just for professionals, in which I taught some JSD theory about "armoring," and the 130 practitioners did the Basic JSD Neck/Shoulder Release on each other, as well as a few more points. They were very enthusiastic. That was the first big step for JSD to be known in the Shiatsu community in Italy.

Now JSD practitioners are part of APOS, which changed its name by adding "Bio Natural Discipline" (so it now is the Associazione Professionale Operatori Shiatsu e Discipline Bio Naturali), thereby opening up to include and represent JSD and foot reflexology. This will help the development of Jin Shin Do® in Italy. My next class for APOS is in November in Sicily!

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