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My Dad, ALS, and Jin Shin Jyutsu

In 1996, my dad was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. During the course of this fatal disease, the motor-neurons that send messages to the muscles in the body die, resulting in paralysis. The mind is not affected. There is no known cause or cure. 

Michelle w Dad at ALS Walk
Michelle with her Dad at an ALS Walk

Initially dad experienced difficulty using his right hand and arm. The disease then progressed to the other arm and both legs. Eventually, his speech and breathing became impaired. He was using a bi-pap machine to assist in his breathing.

It was a couple of years into his disease that I discovered Jin Shin Jyutsu®. Dad was one of my first willing "guinea pigs." One day, I was giving him a treatment when the Hospice nurse came to examine him. Upon checking his blood pressure she became very surprised: his blood pressure was the lowest it had ever been. (His blood pressure was typically high.)  My step-mother suggested that maybe it’s the Jin Shin Jyutsu, to which my dad nodded as emphatically as he could, saying yes!  He was able to feel the Jin Shin Jyutsu relaxing him.

In November of 1998, my father was faced with perhaps the most difficult decision of his life. The bi-pap was no longer providing ample breathing assistance.

Basically, he had to decide whether he wanted to have a tracheostomy and live the rest of his days on life support, or pass on. After several grueling days in the ICU at the Cleveland Clinic, he decided to have the surgery.

When he returned to ICU after the surgery, I sat beside him to share Jin Shin Jyutsu. He was really out of it and not consciously aware that I was there. As I slipped my hand under his left shoulder blade, I felt his whole body relax. It was as if his entire being exhaled a big sigh of relief. It was amazing!

Dad lives at home now, communicating through eye blinks. Whenever I ask him if he would like some Jin Shin Jyutsu, he always says yes. We use Jin Shin Jyutsu to help harmonize the imbalances he experiences, whether it be constipation, UTI, lung congestion, depression, or whatever.

Over the years I have explained to dad what some of the flows are, and if I ask him what flow he wants, he usually requests the "10-flow" because he knows it is the "abundance flow." If nothing else, I hold my dad’s fingers, because simply holding the fingers, one at a time for a few minutes each, can harmonize the entire being! I am grateful that we have Jin Shin Jyutsu as a tool to help us through this time.

Postscript:  This article was written in 2000.  In May 2009 my dad passed away.  He is a true hero in my eyes.

For information on Suncoast Jin Shin Jyutsu's special program for ALS, see Jin Shin Jyutsu with an ALS Patient.

For more information on ALS, visit

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Jin Shin Jyutsu® 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.


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