As Mark Twain famously observed, “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In the context of health concerns, this means that the tools most easily available to us—including our theories, assumptions, testing procedures, and technical skills—have a tremendous impact on the type of care we provide. Thus, health professionals in different fields may offer dramatically different assessments and treatments for the same condition.
Among the panoply of alternative approaches to wellness, Jin Shin Jyutsu(R) is emerging as a complementary therapy offered to patients in conventional medical practices. As part of a multi-disciplinary group practice in which I participate at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Jin Shin Jyutsu (pronounced “Jit-su”) has provided significant relief to patients suffering from a variety of complaints, while easily supporting whatever treatment regime their medical doctors may have prescribed.
The passing of an influential person, like Tokujiro Namikoshi, often demands a retrospective of the contributions they made to society and the positive changes they helped to implement. His death on September 25, 2000, at the age of 94, cast a formidable shadow on Japanese bodywork. Namikoshi was instrumental in the development and proliferation of Shiatsu, the Japanese technique of thumb and palm pressure on a pattern of certain points over the body to relieve pain, promote relaxation and stimulate blood and lymphatic flow.