Stepping into Nada Moe's Star Valley home is like stepping into another time and place.
It's not what you see that transports you. The house itself is a log cabin right out of, well, the mountains of northern Arizona. And while the garden that surrounds it is pretty darned stunning, it's a typical pretty-darned-stunning northern Arizona garden.
No, there's something else, something invisible, about a visit to Moe's house that takes you back centuries to Egypt, India, China, Japan ... and any other ancient, mystical country that once practiced the holistic healing art of Jin Shin Jyutsu ("jin-shin-JIT-soo"), of which Moe is a longtime student and certified practitioner.
There are few known written records of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Moe says. Almost everything that is known about it has been handed down by word of mouth over the past several hundred years.
According to legend, it was brought into 20th century culture in the early 1900s, when a Japanese man named Jiro Murai who had been diagnosed by conventional doctors as being terminally ill used the principles of Jin Shin Jyutsu to make a complete recovery. He spent the next 50 years of his life researching and sharing the art, the name of which, translated literally, means "the Creator's art through compassionate man/woman."
Just after World War II, Mary Burmeister, a Japanese American, was working in Japan as a translator. She was sought out by Master Murai and asked to attend one of his lectures. Of that experience, Burmeister later wrote that, "I was filled with humility and awe of the 'why' I was here. My 'search' ended and an art of living opened up for me."
Burmeister studied with Master Murai for many years and eventually returned to the United States with the "gift" of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Several years later, she began treating and teaching others after founding Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. in Scottsdale.
Among her students was Nada Moe, who has since racked up 27 years of experience.
"The whole purpose of Jin Shin Jyutsu is to bring balance to the body's energies, which promotes optimal health and well-being, and facilitates our own profound healing capacity," Moe said. "It is a valuable complement to conventional healing methods, inducing relaxation and reducing the effects of stress."
Similar in theory to acupressure or reflexology, Jin Shin Jyutsu employs 26 "safety energy locks" along "energy pathways" that feed life into our bodies, Moe said. "When one or more of the paths become blocked or stagnated due to illness, injury, stress or over-exertion, holding these energy locks in combination can bring balance to mind, body and spirit."
A session generally lasts from one to two hours. Although Moe's clients lay on their backs on a portable massage table, Jin Shin Jyutsu does not involve massage, removal of clothing, manipulation of muscles, or use of drugs or substances. It is a gentle art, practiced by placing the fingertips on those "safety energy locks" to "harmonize and restore the energy flow," Moe said.
"The idea is that as the energy flows freely, the body will heal itself from everyday stress," Moe said. "Potential illness will be staved off, since all systems are working harmoniously. Think of it as 'tuning up' your energy system, with the hands of the practitioner serving as jumper cables."
Moe begins her sessions by "listening" to her client's pulse by holding both wrists which indicates the areas of the body that are weak and in need of balancing. She then "holds" particular pressure points: a spot on the shoulder together with one on the opposite knee, for example. The touch is gentle, steady and generally pain-free: any tenderness, Moe said, is caused by a blockage and tends to dissipate as the area is held.
While Jin Shin Jyutsu is not a replacement for proper medical care and diagnosis, Moe emphasized, "it is a way to wake up the body's own self-healing ability and get it to do its job more efficiently."
In Moe's experience, she said, it has helped sufferers of carpal tunnel, arthritis, bursitis, tennis elbow and sciatica often after just a few sessions.
"While our western society is conditioned to view physical work as effective only if it's vigorous, Jin Shin is extremely subtle," she said. "In fact, you may wonder if anything is happening at all. But you will see changes."
Nada Moe charges $45 per 90-minute Jin Shin Jyutsu session. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call 474-5332.