Ancient Japanese Healing Technique for Rapid Stress Relief – Finger Holds

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Learn to use this practical, hands-on method for a happier and healthier life. Please click the link below to read about the Jin Shin Jyutsu Practice called the Finger Holds by clicking the link below.  I have an earlier post on March 11, 2015, with a YouTube video showing how to practice the Finger Holds. Remember to breathe while practicing. Practice often, every day for benefits to build, emotions balanced and more. Please share this easy Practice for well-being with others.  Here’s to your good health! Namaskaram OM

Source: Ancient Japanese Healing Technique for Rapid Stress Relief

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58 responses »

  1. I personally am always massage through my hands before a dance class because I find that it releases tension throughout my whole body. It is interesting to read about this technique and gain more knowledge on it. By following the video, I was able to find specific tension points that released muscles elsewhere in my body. I think this is a valuable exercise for everyone. It is a simple thing to do at any point in your day.

    Additionally, I have been doing the Isha Kriya every night. This practice helps me mellow out and conclude my day. I also just find myself saying the quote throughout the day, and this helps me find my center and awareness.

  2. “When I’m not actively creating fear, I can feel it all the time”, is what Pam Doremus said at the end of the video, and boy have I never related to something more! Generalized Anxiety Disorder is something that runs in my family and everyone has their own point on the spectrum. I would say I’m at the point where I don’t need modern medicine to alleviate myself, but I do need alternative techniques besides actually worrying and damaging myself in the process. I’ve always appreciated my hands because they have helped me accomplish many things such as learning new languages and playing the violin. But to know that I can use simple techniques such as pressure to my hands to tap into my worry and alleviate it? Sign me up! This is why I took Yoga in the first place, it will discipline me and disrupt my normal routine (in a great way) while giving me the tools needed to tackle the stresses of school. I thoroughly enjoyed learning which fingers connect to which energies in our bodies. When following along with the video, I found myself latching onto my index finger the most. Fear is a strong emotion in me, and when I was holding that finger I could even feel my pulse! Mix the pressures with the deep breathing and bam! Alleviation activated! I can say that I am at least tackling my fears more consciously, despite them still being present.

    As for my Isha Kriya, as of Friday, September 29th, I have practiced at least four times this week. This time around I have done it after teaching my morning classes, so typically at around 8:30am to 9am I begin my practice. For the most part I have kept my eyes closed the entire time, but I felt the need to yawn or move my hands somewhat. Truthfully, I do not like doing things out of obligation, which is the mindset I come in with for the practice. However, within about a few minutes into the practice, I find myself letting go of such thoughts and am in the moment of the practice and breathing. When I was doing the Isha Kriya Friday morning, there were distracting noises outside, but with enough focus on my breath and aligning my thoughts, those noises became simple muffles in the distance. It was cool to notice these changes at the end of the practice. I am in my room, on my bed when practicing, and I follow along with the video as per usual. My favorite part is at the end where the music begins because I get slightly emotional because of the melodies played. Music is something that I feel strongly about, so when I hear the music being played I can’t help but visualize a scene to match the mood of the melody. I feel a lot happier after doing the IK and ready to take on my day. I was even participating more in my morning classes, so there’s been an improvement in my mood for sure.

    • Thanks for investing time to create a good yoga journal essay! Glad that you are moving beyond hesitation and sticking with the practice and realizing benefits, it keeps getting better, Namaste

  3. Name: Tyler Lamphere

    This is my personal favorite yoga practice. Its simple and relaxing. I use this practice whenever i am stressed or anxious and it helps a lot. I practiced the finger holds three times this week and did all five fingers, it was a peaceful experience and i felt much more calm and relaxed shortly after finishing it. I would definitely share this practice with a few of my close friends because they are interested in yoga as much as myself.

    I completed my Isha Kriya 4 times this week at my home. I’ve noticed that i have become less stressed after completing the IK and feel like its a good thing for me to continue doing in my daily routine. I make time for the IK and set a reminder on my phone in case i happen to forget. I prefer to do the IK alone but ive talked to a few friends who also do yoga and they find it very helpful for themselves to practice it.

  4. I found these pressure points on the hands very interesting. I knew about some of them, like the pressure point to relieve headaches on the thumb nails but I did not know about the rest. When I was doing them I definitely felt relaxed. When I tried them I was not in a very stressful mindset so I am excited to see if they work when I am really stressed. In general, I have a hard time relieving stress, so I am interested to see if these work and too do more research regarding the subject.

    This week I have practiced my Isha Kriya 4 times. Every time I do it, I feel more relaxed and I feel like I am getting better at concentrating during the IK. Doing them before bed is also working really well for me because it helps me to fall asleep when I am in such a relaxed state of mind. Doing the IK in the morning usually makes me want to go back to bed because I feel so relaxed after it.

    • The Finger Holds work best when done regularly and then energy is balanced and emotions are less apt to erupt, keeping our peace longer, and health free of illness, don’t wait to be sick or stress its more difficult then to manage the shift needed. OM

  5. While reading this article, I kept thinking about how people tend to hold themselves while in front of a crowd, or speaking to their friends. Now I want to be more aware of their hands and movements, be more aware of how their body reacts. Although it may be seen as invasive, I started to reflect with my own movements and actions. My body tends to move towards these place when feeling ill, nervous, angry etc. It is very interesting how to body knows where to go unconsciously even without the knowledge of this essay. These methods hold up to be true for myself. After completing the reading and the video, with a healthy amount of self awareness I know that I will find alleviation through this practice.

    This may not be entirely academic or completely on the topic of this essay but I do want to share this. I remember my mother always being a nervous wreck, she was usually anxious or sad or angry about so many different things. Whether it was on the way to swimming practice, or school, or the supermarket, wherever we were heading I remember always massaging her hand. I remember holding her hand and pressing between the thumb and index finger. It always felt like a giant ball, I would squeeze squeeze squeeze until she would almost yelp with some pain. She never really liked it when I pressed hard in this area, but for some reason I felt as though it would help her. I remember telling her this. This was probably between the ages of 8-14.

    I have been preforming the Isha Kriya every morning around 7am. I have felt more focused within this practice. I am starting to notice the separation of the mind and the body. I am thinking less about what I will do that day, or if my foot is shifting to another place. I can feel myself getting closer and closer to wrapping my arms around the Isha Kriya; embracing the totality. Even when doing the seven OM’s the vibrations feel stronger as if they are traveling further inside the room. I can feel those vibrations traveling from my stomach and through my chest. Unfortunately I have not shared this practice with others, but I do share my experience of this practice with a close friend that constantly practices Yoga. She is excited and happy to hear that I have been preforming a meditative and awakening practice.

    • A little Yogini you were when 8 years old! The hold you were doing was perfect for headaches, how intuitive. A good Yoga Journal essay and great that you have embraced your practice so wonderfully! OM

  6. Very interesting to see how Tom Wilford mentioned that when people are stressed or in pain the natural movements (hand rubbing/chest holding) show that the body knows where to go to relive that tension. When I’m overthinking or rushing to meet a deadline I noticed I push either sides of my cuticles, inward towards my nail bed, until my thoughts are clear and I get out out of the mind block. Not knowing that pressing the sides of the thumb are a major pressure point to relieve stress.

    My best friend who moved to California face timed me this week and was hysterical about a relationship. I sat with her on FaceTime, told her to breathe deeply/calm down and shared the finger holds with her. We sat together for about 15-20m on FaceTime and by the end of our conversation she and I where both amazed at how quickly she calmed down and her mood changed. It’s so powerful and empowering to know that some of the simplest practices, have such impactful benefits on our spiritual, physical and emotional health.

    After learning these practices last class I started to practice them throughout my day and deeply breathing during breaks at school and work. While practicing finger holds at work I noticed that when stressful situations arose I breezed through without complaining or even acknowledging that I was over booked with no support on one the busiest day of the week. To have a easily accessible practice that can be applied in any environment is comforting and keeps me mindful of how to deepen my daily practice. I’m extremely grateful for the knowledge & insight shared in this course and I’m excited to share my knowledge with loved ones!

  7. The Japanese healing technique taught me a lot about how to handle my stress. I did not think that through pulling my fingers, I would release built up anxiety I have. When I think about it, I have been doing these techniques for a while without realizing that it helps. Sometimes I’d pull on my index finger because I didn’t know what else to do with my hands when nervous. I thought they were just hands that were used to grab items, move things and write. But, it is also used to affect the emotions in our body. The thumb is worry, the index finger is fear, the middle finger is anger, the ring finger is sad and the pinky is connected to trying to or low self esteem. I did not realize how much power my fingers posses. I am a bit of a worry wart, and knowing that I use to suck on my thumb when I was younger makes me wonder if that was a way of me handling my stress. Constantly sucking on my thumb made me feel calm and I wonder now if it is because I was pulling while sucking. Another finger I felt was useful to pull during this exercise was my ring finger. I can be a very sad person sometimes because I overthink about things I shouldn’t overthink on. I can be very hard on myself sometimes and knowing that I can at least stop it through giving my fingers signals is interesting, but worth a try.

    While doing the finger technique, I pulled on my thumb because I worry a lot. While watching the video and pulling my thumb, I didn’t quite get it at first. But, I gave it a try five more times and really put strong faith to feel. Without faith in the technique, you aren’t really wanting the best for yourself. So, I used strong faith to help with believing that I can change my way of thinking through pulling my thumb. The body is an amazing structure. We can do things little by little to fix what we think only doctors can fix. Little do we know, we have the power to change ourselves. There is a book I have read called, “Heal Your Body,” by Louise L. Hay and she speaks about how to overcome our mental and physical illnesses through the use of affirmations. It is a great and informative read.

    A person who can use this technique is my grandmother. She just got brain surgery a few weeks ago and I know she isn’t in the best head space. So, maybe showing her these techniques will help with some of the worry and sadness she may have. I also know that she constantly worries about how things would be like for us if she wasn’t here. I love my grandmother dearly and hope that this finger technique can relieve some of the stress she holds in.

    To be honest, I practiced the Isha Kriya about three times this week. I did it on Tuesday and Wednesday. Before, getting up on Tuesday for work, I did the Isha Kriya once and then the night before bed, I also did it again. On Wednesday, I did the Isha Kriya in the morning again, but forgot to do it at night. I am realizing that doing the Isha Kriya before starting my day is a great way to get me in a calm state of mind. I know I should be doing more, but I have had a lot on my mind and I see how not making time for things only hurt me. The Isha Kriya is a practice that I am realizing that I have to take serious if I really want to change my way of thinking and living. I see that as a person, I am growing more and more into someone who wants to take things serious. I even see it through chanting to my Gohonzon, I don’t take it as serious as I once did. This whole week has been a test, and I see the changes I am going through and it needs to change.

    • Just excellent, by writing these words here you are clearing up energy and setting an intention going forward. Remember we are simply cradling our fingers not pulling. Your Grandmother may definitely benefit and you can do it for her to show her initially. Namaste

  8. It is great to learn more about finger holds. This is something I have been doing intuitively for many years. I work a lot with children and this is one of the methods I use to help calm down children of all ages when they are feeling stressed, or anxious, or when they are even inconsolably upset. For one family I have cared for for years it has become a bed time ritual that they love. I give foot massages with lavender oil and end with a hand massage as they are laying in bed with eyes closed. This hand “massage” mostly consists of hand holding with firm pressure, and even intuiting which finger needs the most attention. This is something I started doing after discovering the soothing effects that has, and helps the children relax their minds and prepare them for a good nights sleep.

    I wonder if the stress relieving benefits also have some relation to hand holding as an expression of love and trust between to people, friends, romantic partners, children and their caregivers.

    I have practiced the Isha Kriya four times this week.

    • Great that you are using healing tools with the children you care for. Know that hand holding and massaging are different, it is a systematic cradling of each finger starting with the thumb to pinky finger, doing all 10 to lift the vibrational qualities and then balancing occurs. Yes hand holding is a communicative and supportive way that caring folks can offer one another. OM

  9. As someone who works with my hands, I am often extending much of my body’s energy through my extremities. I work as a carpenter, stagehand, guitarist, and a writer, doing all kinds of work with my hands. It is important to stretch before and after some of these activities so my muscles and tendons do not tense up and stay agile. I find that restoring energy to the rest of my body through my hands with this practice allows me to focus in on where my hands are cramping, and where I have ignored pain in the rest of my body. Each digit is connected to nerves that flow through the rest of the body, so focusing on each individually allows the energy to flow back to the centers from which it came and with which it is shared. I would recommend this activity for anyone who strains their hand muscles through physical labor, practicing an instrument, or spending hours at a computer every day.

    Additionally, I practiced the Isha Kriya three times this week. Each time was after I had completed any and all necessary tasks for the day. I find it most relaxing and refreshing to perform it when all other stressors have subsided. I hope to achieve four practices of the kriya by next week. I am finding it easier to cope with stress as I move forward with the practice.

  10. These finger holds are very interesting. This seems like a case of mind over matter, but I would be interested to learn if there is actual scientific evidence to support these practices. Nevertheless, mind over matter is great if it actually helps. In my Brain and Society class we learned that sometimes placebos can work just as well as the actual treatment. The finger holds are a nice way to bring oneself back from their stressors, and become mindful. I often suffer from migraines and I find that such techniques are not helpful for me. Often the pain is too great and only sleep will relieve it.

    The Isha Kriya is becoming slightly easier for me as I progress, but I often find it hard to quiet my thoughts. They’re constantly racing through my head, and I find it hard to focus on one single task in my life. I have been doing the Kriya every other day but I hope to do it every night.

    • There is scientific evidence for the Finger Holds, and know if you can feel your own vibrations that is a real thing, not a placebo, consciously moving energy is a valid self help practice. Regular practice helps everyone to learn to still their thoughts, it’s not easy but worthwhile for developing higher levels of consciousness and overall success in life, OM

  11. Since being taught this I have been using it in conjunction with the Isha Kriya or prior to the IK. I find it only adds to the experience of being fully charged and relaxed free from worries. I have recently been doing this in my morning and nightly showers being that it is my recharge or relaxing down time where I am alone to reflect and focus on my thoughts and my day as a whole. It also helps me in there specifically because my voice can echo off the walls which I feel only enhances the experience for me as well. It’s interesting how in the beginning of the video it talked about how children can practice this without even realizing it and it made me think of my own comforting tools. Often when my significant other sees I’m stressed or overwhelmed he tends to rub and caress my hands as I talk everything out. Something that’s so simple has such a huge impact on my energy and putting our energies in sync and now I’m thankful to formally understand and know how to do it on my own.

  12. The Japanese believe that each digit on the hand is connected and deeply rooted to the emotions of an individual. The thumb being associated with worry, the index finger with fear, the middle finger with anger, the ring finger with sadness, and the pinky finger with self esteem. The technique involves holding your fingers with the opposite hand for at least one to two minutes each. In theory this is supposed to balance all opposing forces in the body to aid in relaxation and the even distribution of energies in the body. I feel my time will be best spent holding the thumb and middle finger, as i often deal with the constant worry that i am not doing enough in life. I often have fits of anger that i have been learning to deal with through use of the campus athletic facility and meditation practices such as the isha kriya.
    I practice the isha kriya technique at least 4 times a week. In the morning on wednesdays and tuesdays and during the afternoon on mondays and thursdays. I feel these to be the best times for me as i am all over the place any other time, and these times just so happen to coincide with my schedule. I feel that i can recommend these two techniques to my roommates. As i am empathetic to their academic woes and believe the isha kriya and finger holding technique may help them along their journey. I can say that since starting yoga i have felt more limber and relaxed. Namaste

  13. I honestly had no idea about these finger holds. Each finger relaxing a different organ in the body is pretty interesting to learn about. I usually do a little stretching and breathing before doing anything. I might try doing the finger holds in the future, especially if it helps to relax my organs like this.

  14. I think we always tend to underestimate how important the fingers are in relation to our physical and spiritual body. They allow us to complete nearly everyday activity, and thus we put a lot of pressure and stress upon them (I know from typing and writing a lot that hand and finger pain is never pleasant). Knowing that there is a simple stretch which not only eases the fingers, but the rest of the body, is very exciting. It can easily be incorporated into everyday activity just like anything else the fingers do.

  15. I was aware of the finger holds however, I did not know what exactly each one meant. From personal experience, I always hold my thumb when I am stressed. I find it extremely comforting to do these finger holds and I practice this quite frequently. Additionally, I practice this at least once a day, usually before my Isha Kriya.

  16. I have found that I have actually subconsciously been doing finger holds as a nervous habit for a while now. Just not ever with the intention to calm down or benefit my body, just because I didn’t know what I was actually doing.

    Finger holds are a really great way to be conscious of your self-mindfulness and health while also going through your daily routine. I have found that I am able to do finger holds, now consciously, in classes, while waiting for different things like appointments, public transportation, etc.

    As for my practice for isha kriya, recently it has become a little difficult to do it. Just because my schedule got very cluttered this week particularly. But I plan to make up the time I’ve lost between tonight and tomorrow to get back on track with my practice. I usually do it in the mornings in either my room or the common room of my apartment. This week I have done it twice so far.

  17. I watched the YouTube video, posted on March 11 2015, before I went to class this morning. In my class today I was taking a test that I was pretty nervous about so I thought it would be helpful to work on the finger that is connected to worry. I did this for about 3 minutes for both hands, each time holding my thumb, and I did notice that I felt somewhat less nervous about the test. I also did this practice during the test to help relive some of my nervousness and I do feel like it worked.
    I have practiced the IK 4 times since our class last week. I feel for me the most beneficial time to practice the IK is at night before I go to bed. I find that as time goes on the IK is getting somewhat easier to do and it is become increasingly easier to not focus on everything else going on in my life when I am practicing the IK.

  18. I find the practice to be a stress reliever especially due to the simplicity of it. Unlike the Isha Kriya, you can do this anywhere that you please to reduce stress and better your health. Certain people with whom I would share this with are family members that need stress reduction and relaxation. Also, those who do have their share of health issues, it could be of use to them.

    My Isha Kriya practice is four times a week, I often practice in my room sometime in the afternoon. I eventually have begun to feel more comfortable while performing this practice. It was an issue of insecurity for me at first. I have always used my phone to mark the time for the Isha Kriya, now I currently my friend joining my practice with me.

  19. Being a musician, I thoroughly enjoyed this video. Playing instruments that require a lot of hand movement, I found it relieving to learn about all these different points within our hand and comfort treating each point can release. This could be super beneficial to the working class individual, or in all honesty, any individual undergoing forms of recent stress.

    As for my Yoga, this week I was only able to do my Isha Kriya two times. I had a rough schedule this week traveling back and forth from Purchase to connecticut everyday, not leaving me with essential time to complete my nightly routine. I still continue to practice my Yoga within my dorm room, but I’m planning to branch out to the outside. It might be a good change of scenery. I like to believe that I am seeing a difference in my posture,at least being more consciously aware of my posture. I still follow the instructional video, and I haven’t yet shared the practice with anyone.

    • The Finger Holds are valuable for all persons, but especially those who use their hands in their work. Perhaps even the knowledge of how each finger connects to organ flows and emotion may help folks who use their hands in their profession become more inclined to add another level of respect. Please do find time for your IK practice it will bring you the needed benefits to progress safely in the class. OM

  20. While I found that practicing the finger holds released tension, I did not experience the specific emotional benefits that the chart described. However, this practice is generally beneficial for making the hands more limber.

    So far in my experience with yoga, it often seems like the hands are not given as much attention as, say, the abdomen or legs. With these finger hold exercises however, the same amount of physical relief is expressed. By making my hands limber, it in turn impacted how I felt throughout my body, spreading from my arms inward. The way in which the energy from my hands spread to different areas of my being, quite frankly, surprised me. I will definitely be adding this exercise to my regimen.

    • The vibrations do become more pronounced when practiced regularly. Once the vibrational quality rises the energy can begin to balance all aspects connecting to the organ flows and the emotions. It is not just a limbering exercise but a very deep healing practice, OM

  21. Doing the finger holds in class defiantly had a calming and balancing affect that was very comforting, The next day I was babysitting and the little boy I was watching was having trouble getting to sleep so I had him hold his index finger and it did help calm him down. Through the reading I was excited to learn that this practice was connected to Reiki. I grew up with Reiki (my mom gave me an attunement at 2) and I use it often for physical pain but the finger holds are great for healing the mind. I’m excited to bring it in to my life.

    I also thing the connection to certain organs is important. Before taking this class I didn’t think much about my organs as individual things. Well maybe the heart and lungs but these finger holds and the class in general has caused me to think of each organ individually and how it’s health is effecting my body as a whole. Now in know that Cat-Cow Pose in not just helping my back but it is also helping my intestines and digestive tract.

  22. I have done the finger holds a few times this week, typically when i am painting and waiting for a layer to dry. The process is simple and easy enough that i could pretty much do it anywhere. I could also see myself sharing this simple technique with my grandfather or mother, as it would take no time and possible re leave some stress in there day. The only fingers i noticed a large bodily change is during the 4th and 5th depth when activating the lunges and heart. This could be due to the sensitive of my lunge and heart through smoking but i noticed the greatest a mount of east during these two holds.
    When i comes to my IK practice, i have tried to use the wall less but I am still not there as quite quickly i fine my self slouching forward, the largest improvement i have noticed during my IK is the rhythm my body is now accepting during the breathing and chanting.

  23. I’ve practiced this method at least twice now and I do have to say it is quite relieving. I personally can’t explain what is going on but, it just gives me peace. It actually relaxes me more than the isha kriya. I wonder why that it is but, I’m excited about what else this practice will offer for me in the near future.
    As for isha kriya I’m still practicing at night before bed but, instead of 4 times I was able to practice 5 times since our last class. I want to get all the benefits I can from the practice.

  24. The finger holds is a new experience for me. I felt the affects as i was more aware and at peace. Its especially strong while doing them in combo with the Isha Kriya. Its amazing how you can feel the vibrations of energy being emitted throughout the body. I will start doing this in combo with the IK with each practice. I’m beginning to become more comfortable with the practice and stronger day to day. The effects are beginning to thrive and grow on me.

  25. I have always been considerate of pressure points and of these connections within our bodies that are larger ban they appear. The hands are no exception to this I see now, and I am looking forward to applying this practice into my routine. Maybe I will be a less anxious person if I put attention towards my thumb. My isha kriya has been going well. I have been practicing 5 times a week, I try to do it in the morning throughout the weekdays. I have found it to be a comfortable way to start the day, especially days where I am anticipating business, or stress. I feel clearer after doing the isha kriya. I’ve been doing the isha kriya in a clearing outside of my appartment block, I am trying to enjoy the good weather while it lasts.

  26. I am surprised that something as simple as holding one’s finger can help reduce stress. It is quick and can pretty much be done anywhere. Previous to this class I had never heard of the power of the hand and I think its something I will definitely be trying from now on during stressful situations. I also find it astonishing that each finger helps with a specific organ.

    I’m still practicing the Isha Kriya the required amount of times, and so far the breathing has improved. I was sick when we first started the meditation and that was making it hard to follow it properly but since my nose is no longer congested I can breathe way better. One thing I am still struggling with, is doing the chanting out loud. I feel better when we doing it in class since everyone is following along but when I do it alone I tend to just whisper. Besides the chanting, I’m still practicing it before I got to bed, I sleep a lot better and it helps me stay away from the my phone.

    • Don’t you deserve the full measure of the benefits? Chanting creates a vibration that brings forth the benefits, try to take charge of your life and stop being bashful, OM

  27. I actually learned a little about these ancient japanese healing techniques before! I would practice them with my younger siblings. Learning that a lot of the tension in our body is a result of the tension in our minds is really amazing to process. I think this experience is especially valuable to share with people you’re close with. It’s a productive way of mutually understanding each other better and checking in with each other. I was telling my mother about the Isha Kriya and how it may help her as she is also looking for more ways to de-stress as her job is very demanding. I think what we both connected on and have noticed is finding the time to do it is what is the hard part about the practice but also the first step in trying to receive the full benefits it has to offer.

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