Teri Meissner, a Certified Jin Shin Jyutsu® Practitioner, and Jin Shin Jyutsu® Self Care Instructor, answers in this interesting, informative interview not to be missed. Terri also shares an uplifting story of healing achieved through a Jin Shin Jyutsu® Treatment to an elderly patient before his surgery that will surely touch your heart.
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Teri Meissner – Jin Shin Jyutsu Healing From Infancy To Adulthood
I would like to tell everyone that with this show, what we are doing is all about giving people options so that they do not have to suffer from a lot of different things that go on in the world and life. We are interviewing very inspiring people who have amazing stories to tell and also wonderful people who can provide healing of all different kinds on this planet of ours and goodness knows we need it. We are honored to have Teri Meissner who is a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner and Jin Shin Jyutsu self-care instructor. Before we even get going, I know everyone in the audience is saying, “What is Jin Shin Jyutsu.”
I like hearing you say that. Jin Shin Jyutsu. I’m very intrigued. Teri, are you there?
I am. Hello.
Enlighten us on what the Jin Shin is.
It’s balancing and harmonizing practice. It’s a relaxation and stress-reduction practice. It’s a mind-body-spirit practice and an energetic wisdom practice all rolled into one.
Is this a meditation-style practice?
It’s more of a meridian practice. There is a component of meditative quality to the practice when you practice on yourself using self-care exercises. If you go to a practitioner and you get a practitioner treatment, a full treatment, there is a meditative strong deep relaxation quality to it because the practice stimulates the relaxation response. It calms the nervous system. It boosts the body’s natural healing process, but it also takes you out of your mind to a quiet place, so there is a deep meditative quality to it. It’s very similar to other practices like Reiki in that the touch of light. It’s an energetic practice, but it’s quite deep for some people and quite profound for some people because there are so many other layers to it. It’s simple to practice but it’s quite something to experience.
It’s simple to practice but profound in its effects, it sounds like to me.
For some people, it’s incredibly profound, and for other people, it’s wonderfully relaxing. People have a very unique and individualized experience with the practice. For example, if you went and saw a practitioner and had treatment on a Friday at 2:00, you’d have one experience. If you went back the next week on Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning, you might have a different experience because you are different every time of the day, every day of the week.
By different experience, does that mean a different healing experience?
Each person’s body is different. Each person’s relationship to how they experience the practice is going to be different. For some people, light touch is incredibly quieting and will relax them and they will go into a deep quiet space. For other people, they get energized by the practice. They feel like they have a lot of energy and they can do lots of different things.
The practice works well with people who have symptoms of pain, nausea, and fatigue because I work with a lot of cancer patients and their caregivers, as well as a lot of different places where I teach self-care practice. The hospital where I used to work was in the process of doing a research study and they found that patients who had Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments either before or after a surgical procedure had less pain, less nausea, less fatigue, less time staying in the hospital, and needed less pain medication.
There’s a physical aspect to the practice which is quite amazing, but there’s also something about the practice that calms the mind. It reduces anxiety. It decreases stress. It stimulates the relaxation response. It’s quite deep in all of the things that it can do, but for some people, it may do 1 or 2 things. For other people, they may feel all of those things happening at the same time.
When you talk about meridians just briefly so people understand what you are doing. You are doing a light touch of the meridians. What does that mean with the meridians?
There are Asian practices like acupuncture and acupressure. A lot of people are familiar with those these days. Those are both meridian practices. There are all these different energetic pathways that crisscross the physical body. It also works on all the layers of the physical body like the skin surface the deep skin, the circulation patterns, the nervous system, the organs, the tissue, the fascia, and the bones on the physical body.
Also, it works on the mind, the mental and emotional body. It works on the psychospiritual body and the energetic body as well. It works in all these different places and all these different pathways. There are all these different pathways that run through the body, but they also run on the energetic elements as well and they are all connected.
When you access the meridians, in Jin Shin Jyutsu specifically, there are 26 access points on the front and the back of the body on the right and left side. Fifty-two points in total. The points aren’t like a point in acupuncture or acupressure that is needle-specific. They tend to be areas like the size of the palm of your hand and they tend to be at the joint.
They are at the shoulders, neck, hips, elbows, wrists, knees, fingers, and toes. Those are all access points for Jin Shin Jyutsu. The difference between acupuncture and acupressure in Jin Shin Jyutsu is that in Jin Shin Jyutsu the touch is light and the areas that you access are much larger. It’s very easy to practice on yourself. It’s easy to practice with other people or with other people. It’s very forgiving whereas, in acupuncture and acupressure, you need to be on the exact needle-specific tiny meridian point. Jin Shin Jyutsu works with the meridians but in a different way.
I know that you also do work to help children at the Ronald McDonald House and all of that. Is what you do something that can be helpful for parents with children and all of that with kids’ issues and stress and different things and with their health and all of that?
This practice is great for lots of different types of people. I have worked in my private practice. I have worked in hospital settings. I teach the practice in a self-care scenario with patients and caregivers who have cancer. They are caregivers. I work with children and adults. I have worked with women who are pregnant with babies in utero and I have worked with people up to 103 years old in the hospital. I worked with lots of different populations who have lots of different medical projects that they are working with. I have also worked with people who want to keep their health in a good state. They like to do this as a preventative practice.
This is either preventative practice or it can speed up healing in certain ways. Am I getting that right?
The body has its natural healing process and what this practice helps is it helps to stimulate that. For example, if you cut yourself, your body is going to create a scenario where all these different situations are going to happen in the body. Your hormones are going to be released. These cells are going to start to repair. Blood is going to clot. All these different things are going to happen to take that cut that you had and to protect the body by healing itself. Jin Shin Jyutsu helps to stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
How did you get into this?
Many years ago, one of my kids’ physicians, their pediatrician, suggested that we go and take my daughter to see a practitioner because she was having a lot of trouble sleeping. The practitioner was interesting and great to me. He put my children on the massage table and created a treatment for them. I brought both my children. They both fell asleep immediately and I was like, “What is this? I want to know something more about this. This is incredible.”
When kids or people have sleeping problems, it can also help with those issues?
Jin Shin Jyutsu helps with a variety of projects. It helps with insomnia. It helps with all sorts of things. Digestive projects. It helps with headaches. When you have pain and discomfort, it helps to alleviate that by relaxing the muscles and decreasing the stress so that your perception of pain changes. It also helps to boost circulation so that when there’s circulation to the areas where you are feeling discomfort, as the circulation pattern starts to open, you feel less pain.
That’s one of the principles of the practice. It’s all these energetic pathways. When they are flowing and moving in balance and harmony, you are in a great place. When you start to feel pain or discomfort, oftentimes many of the different pathways within the body and the energetic flows are not flown to their optimal level.
When there’s any stagnation or accumulation because the pathways are not clear and open, then you feel pain and discomfort. All Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioners or someone who’s practicing self-care through Jin Shin Jyutsu self-care exercises do is help the pathways to open and balance so that they can flow in their natural progression.
You say about all these energy blocks. When you say with kids, how do kids know or how would we know if our kids are having an energy block like something that could be fixed, but we don’t understand?
I don’t use the word block per se but I’d like to use congestion and stagnation or not flowing optimally because all of these things happen in our bodies every day. We don’t pay attention to our bodies, but there’s an innate wisdom that occurs with the body. Our heart beats and our brain functions. We have cascades of hormones that are constantly being stimulated and refreshed and moving through the body creating all of these different things that are happening on a daily basis that we don’t pay attention to.
Babies like adults have inner wisdom. When babies suck their thumb, it’s because they want to calm themselves. Sucking your thumb for babies is very calming. In Jin Shin Jyutsu, the thumb is one of the areas on the body that has a lot of different energetic pathways that go through it. When you stimulate the thumb by holding it, let’s say, and breathing that helps to calm the digestion. It helps to calm the nervous system. It helps to stimulate digestive function.
Babies innately know that, and you both are probably practicing Jin Shin Jyutsu since you were babies and don’t even realize it because how many times do people when they are talking to someone or they are thinking about something, place their hand in a fist on their cheekbone. When they are thinking like the Rodin Thinker. That’s a Jin Shin Jyutsu point.
How many people when they are talking to somebody might cross their arms at their elbows or their upper arms? Those two are Jin Shin Jyutsu accent points. There are lots of different ways to use the practice to stimulate the energetic response in your body, to calm yourself, or to boost your energetic capacity, and you do it naturally.
Like you are saying do you always recommend that you come in to do this with a practitioner to learn and then something you can do on your own? Is this something like yoga that you practice over and over with the group and practitioner, but you can do it at home if you need to?
There are two different ways to experience the practice. You can go to a practitioner and have a session. There are 6,000 practitioners that are practicing this practice all over the world. You could take a self-care or self-help class. There are instructors who teach self-care practice. I teach here in New York in Hospital Cancer Centers and institutions medical and hospital institutions, as well as other organizations like the Open Center.
I’m teaching a workshop. It’s an introduction to Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-care at the New York Open Center. I’m teaching a follow-up workshop which is a five-hour Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-care workshop at the Open Center. There are lots of different ways you can learn the practice. There are books that teach the self-care aspect of the practice.
There are videos on YouTube. A colleague of mine at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has produced self-care videos for cancer patients and their caregivers, which are some of the very simple basic self-care exercises that I would teach as well. She has videos that they have produced for the hospital and their patient population.
There are a lot of different ways and easy ways to learn the self-care aspect of it. I have taught Jin Shin Jyutsu self-care not only in hospitals, but I have taught in the New York City public school systems. I have taught children as young as 3 and 4 all the way up through High School this practice. It’s very easy and gentle. It’s a combination of breath and light touch and anyone can practice it. Lots of people can feel benefit even if they just started learning about the practice and started to learn how to do it.
I’m so intrigued to know that there’s so much self-help out there. It’s mind-blowing that none of us realized this. There’s so much you can do for yourself. I had no idea.
That’s exactly why this show. We are sharing this with people. I’m wondering, Steph and Teri. When you talk about what this can do for people, when people are grieving, I’m thinking about what happened in Florida and all that when teenagers are going through all the things that they go through and all. Is this a practice that can help them also to calm themselves and to deal with those very strong emotions?
It is used in lots of different settings. It’s very interesting because in the self-care portion of the practice when I teach it, there are all these different attitudes and emotions and each finger on the body is a shortcut or a representation of different attitudes and emotions. The ring finger which is the finger next to the little finger helps with grief and sadness by holding that ring finger and it sounds silly.
How could just holding a ring finger and breathing calm me and take the edge off of any sadness or experience? What’s amazing is it’s quite simple but very powerful and can. When I was working in the hospital, I worked in the integrative medicine department at Morristown Medical Center with surgical patients. I would see patients before they went to the operating room or when they came out in the recovery room and they would get Jin Shin Jyutsu treatment.
A lot of my patients’ vital signs were being monitored. What was amazing was that you could see people’s blood pressure drop. You could see people’s oxygenation levels increased. Their heart rate would calm and slow down to a comfortable level because a lot of people have a lot of anxiety before surgery. It was extraordinary how holding someone’s finger and having them breathe would calm them. You can see from the medical monitoring how valuable the practices are in real-time.
Do you have a very inspiring story about an elderly patient that you worked on and how you helped them with it?
I worked in the hospital and I was working with a patient before their surgical procedure. I gave them probably 10 to 15 minutes of Jin Shin Jyutsu slow pattern. I held different parts of their shoulder, their fingers, and their back. This elderly patient looked at me and said with tears in their eyes that she had such a strong sense of peace, which for them was the first time that they’d ever been touched that way. They were so happy to be able to experience that in their lifetime and it took them 80 years to finally feel that sense of peace. That was quite something considering they were going to have a major surgery.
Could you imagine going through your entire life without that peace like that long to get it to? That’s so hard to hear when you realize that there are so many things you could be doing like this that can alleviate that so much earlier in your life.
The thing for me was more the flip side of it, which was I was so happy to be there to facilitate them to feel that while they were still here on this planet. To get that sense of peace and to feel it on a profound level is quite something and quite humbling. I thought of it as the opposite of sad. I thought it was quite joyful.
I’m always the Debbie Downer. I was like, “That long.” It is pretty great that they did have that opportunity. With this show, hopefully, we can help others experience that so much sooner. It’s my point too. They don’t have to wait and be so upset and understand all these things. There are so many things I hear like this.
It’s so simple to fix and alleviate so much pain and anything that you are experiencing. There are so many options out there besides popping yourself full of medicine and medicating yourself thinking like, “There’s something wrong with me. There’s something wrong with all of us.” We are machines and we have to be fixed and we don’t fix ourselves.
It’s interesting to me because I don’t apply to this fixing peace. The practice helps your body be where it needs to be. It’s like you get out of the way and the practice works with your body to bring optimal balance and harmony. It’s not like we are fixing things. Practitioners don’t fix people. People have to work on themselves.
This practice can bring awareness. It can bring some people a sense of peace, relaxation, and stress reduction. It can do lots of different things for lots of different people. I do agree with you that the fact that you are creating this show to enlighten and educate people is phenomenal because a lot of people don’t have access to some of the more esoteric practices that are out there. This practice has been around for literally thousands of years and it wound its way to the United States probably in the 1950s because a Japanese-American woman by the name of Mary Burmeister had learned the practice in Japan from a teacher. She brought it to this country and educated people and now there are practitioners who practice this all over the world, so it doesn’t take a lot to bring awareness and to educate.
We are going to be sharing this everywhere for people who want to learn about this and you are going to be at the New York Open Center and all. I would assume it’s easy for people to contact you and to find out more about this and get together with you or find a way to people in this community, I would think.
Let’s all say goodbye here. Teri, how we can reach you?
You can reach me through my website www.JSJNYC.com.
We will put it on IreneWeinberg.com and we will put everything and your contact info so people can reach you directly we will share it on social too and everybody can find us. Hopefully, try some new techniques for self-love.
Teri, thank you for spreading the information about the show because I’m sure a lot of your people would be very interested in this. I’d love to know you are such a wise person. You help so many people and you have experienced so many people through all that you do. What is your tip for helping people find joy in life? How do you find joy?
I find joy in keeping things very simple and being able to look at the little things and appreciate them. Something that lights up all my senses is something that I look forward to like walking in the park listening to beautiful music, or enjoying something beautiful like food. Anything that lights up all my senses is something that brings me to the joy spot, as well as Jin Shin Jyutsu because I practice a lot of self-care. I also go see other practitioners as well to enjoy the practice so it keeps me in the sweet spot.
You are doing such good work. You must feel good every day. You are helping so many people.
Thank you so much. I love what I do and I love bringing this awareness to other people. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.
It’s so our pleasure and I’m sure we will be together again.
I love learning about Jin Shin Jyutsu. I love saying it. That makes me happy.
What might make you happier is maybe you’d like to experience it first hand.
Stephanie and I will have a field trip and come and visit you, and share perhaps on Facebook sometime what it’s like so that people can see that.
We can do a live on Facebook and give people an insider peek into how this works and how simple it is for people to be able to do this. Like you said from being pregnant to 100 and some years old, anybody can do this and it’s cool to show everybody that anyone can do it. We already know how limber Irene is. We will have to set those dates and we will figure it out because I know our audience does love to see those. We need to plan some more. That’s fun. I like to do those. I’m intrigued. We will be in touch, Teri. Thank you for giving us a little insight. It’s been fun.
It’s been wonderful. Thank you, Teri.
Thank you guys for tuning into another episode. If you guys are interested in learning more about Teri, it will be on the website IreneWeinberg.com, or you can always reach out to us on social. Tweet us, text us, and email us. We love to chat as you can see. Until next time.
Bye for now.