Those of us who have (or had) adrenal or chronic fatigue, or have experienced a burnout, know it too well that even when we rest, our mind rarely does. When our thoughts are racing and the inner dialogue never seems to stop, the body is almost buzzing from the inside. There are many practices and meditations that help you quieten your mind down and ease the emotional arousal, but I’d like to share this particular exercise that works for me like magic.

The exercise I’m about to share was described in Peter A. Levine’s book “In an Unspoken Voice” by (which I mentioned in the previous post), and it is taken from a system of energy flows called Jin Shin Jyutsu.

What is Jin Shin Jyutsu and how it works

Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient Japanese art (as opposed to a rigid technique) that uses placement of hands on different areas of the body to restore harmony and balance of the body, mind and emotions through gentle touch.

“Jin Shin Jyutsu works with the life energy that flows through our body on pathways similar to the acupuncture meridians. Along these pathways are specific areas (26 on each side of the body) called “Safety Energy Locks.” These locks act like circuit breakers, locking when the flow of energy in a pathway is too much, too little, or stagnant. By locking, they protect us from further disharmony. When a Safety Energy Lock is blocked, symptoms such as pain or dysfunction will appear in that area of the body. By using hands as “jumper cables” to specific Safety Energy Locks in certain sequences, practitioners can unlock the blockage and release imbalance and symptoms. Once the energy flows freely, harmony and wellness are restored.” [1]

This simple and non-invasive form of acupressure can be performed by a trained practitioner or can done on your own as a wonderful self-help tool. It helps to harmonises the vagus nerve, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, relieve stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.

Try it for yourself and see if it works for you!

Jin Shin Jyutsu body holds to calm your nervous system and quieten the mind

Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit or lie down with your eyes closed and breathe naturally. Keep each hand position from two to ten minutes, or longer if you like.

Position 1.

  • First, place your left hand on the chest and the right one on your forehead (pic. 1)
  • Focus on your breathing and the sensations in your body, notice how you are feeling.
  • When you are ready, place the right hand on your belly while keeping the left hand on your chest (pic. 1a).

Position 2:

  • Place your right hand under the left armpit (around the area of your heart), keep the left arm relaxed (pic. 2).
  • Make sure you are not tensing your shoulders. Breathe normally.
  • When you are ready, place the left hand on your right upper arm, while keeping the right hand where it is, just below the armpit (2a).

As you do these holds, you may feel a slight shift in your mood, feelings or physical sensations – notice the difference however big or small it may be. Be receptive to these changes.

For more relaxation exercises, check our post on How to rest when you are chronically tired – relaxation techniques for adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue and burnout.


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