Body-Wise Soul-Wise Healing

6 Holds for Supporting Digestion

  1. Elimination
  2. Elimination
  3. Regulation
  4. Activation
  5. Activation
  6. Metabolism

Although these holds can be applied individually, as a sequence they are designed to allow the body to function effectively. It is often helpful to open up the elimination functions first, so there is less toxic buildup in the body. Jin Shin Jyutsu activates energy and fluid movement through the body, so it is useful to drink plenty of water to help flush out any toxins after sessions. If your digestion is very sensitive, you may want to avoid doing sessions on a very full stomach. Others might find that it is helpful to use the first hold to help food settle in the stomach after a meal – also in babies with reflux.

1. Digestion: elimination

Holding the inside of your knees helps bring energy down from above your waist. It also helps everything move – forward, on, down, etc. Therefore it helps with

  • Sluggish digestion
  • Elimination – through activating movement through the digestive system
  • Headaches due to digestive imbalance
  • When food does not descend easily through the stomach or intestinal tracts
  • Migraines that have origin in the digestive system, and when the feet are cold (best done at first sign of discomfort)
  • Bloating and gas

You can hold right hand to right inside knee, and left hand to left inside knee. Or you can cross your hands to help opposite upper body discomfort.

2. Digestion: elimination

Holding the outside of the knees, on the bone (head of fibula), helps bring energy up to take care of pelvic and lower abdomen functions that relate to digestion.

  • Aids in regulation of diarrhea (right side)
  • Aids in regulation of constipation (left side)
  • Left side will support illeoceacal valve (lower right abdomen)
  • Helps muscle balance tension and relaxation through the intestines (peristalsis, cramps, etc), and rectum.
  • Helps regulate body temperature (right side warms, left side cools) if intestines are inflammed or overall too cool
  • Helps to bring rhythm, strength and peace by stabilising the pelvic girdle.

3. Digestion: regulation

Holding the (front) lower edge of the ribcage, either side below the sternum, along the lines of the 10th and 11th ribs, helps drain energy down through the abdomen and diaphragm area. If this diaphragm line is tender, it is very helpful to hold from the centre/sternum out along the ribcage line, and at each position to wait until you can feel a pulse. If the pulse is very sluggish or very heavy, wait until it balances out before moving on along the ribcage line. If the centre (solar plexus) is too tender, you can also start at the outer edge and move inwards.

  • Right side aids in proper digestion of proteins
  • Left side aids in proper digestion of carbohydrates
  • Helps all digestive functions, including eating disorders
  • Helps babies develop their digestion (hold with one hand over diaphragm/solar plexus and other hand under midback/kidneys to make a ‘baby sandwich’) and calms babies with reflux and other upset tummies.
  • Helps sleep through supporting healthy digestion, e.g. insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, sleep walking
  • Helps us adapt to new situations, digest life,and integrate experiences
  • Is helpful for office workers who may not move around much during the day, to help the digestive tract move and absorb nutrients

4. Digestion: activation

Placing the right hand on top of the head, and the left hand about 1″ below the navel, helps the digestive juices.

5. Digestion: activation

Place one hand on the opposite side cheek, just below the cheek-bone, and the other on the same side collarbone – for example, right middle and index fingers just under the left cheekbone, and left hand on the collarbone near the junction with the sternum.

  • Aids in activating and regulating the stomach function
  • Settles overly acidic systems
  • Aids in calming and clearing the mind when worried and when thoughts wind round and round without moving on or being ‘digested’
  • Activates and strengthens overall digestive function
  • Helps appetite imbalance
  • Right side helps loose weight – this includes mental weight, or burdens of the mind
  • Left side helps gain weight

6. Digestion: metabolism

Holding the seat bones on both sides (e.g. sitting or lying on your hands, palm up or palm down, whichever is more comfortable) helps bring energy up from the feet to regenerate the body. It helps the whole digestive system to quietly regenerate, and metabolise.

  • Digestive discomforts when there is not enough energy to fuel digestive processes
  • Helps spleen to balance appetite
  • Metabolism – to harmonise over/underactivity
  • Helps energise kidney, liver, spleen and pancreas
  • Fatigue – a quick pick-me-up
  • Weight balance – helps body lose/put on weight as needed – recommended to hold for 20mins per day for 3 weeks.
  • Circulation and bowel regulation (especially when used together with holding groin)


The Jin Shin Jyutsu information provided is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your own physician or other healthcare professional, whom you should always consult about your individual needs and any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention and before starting or stopping any medication or starting any course of treatment, exercise regimen, or diet.