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Can you feel the connective tensions in your body? And do you apply that to your therapy?

Hi everyone! I'm Norio Tomita, a Japanese native who now lives in Montreal and I'm glad to communicate with you here.

Since I became therapist, I've been working hard to analyze and find the physical reasons of latest Japanese osteopathic techniques. For example, in case of lower back pain, some therapists take care of from only a few points on the legs.

Of course, I found some explanations in the book "Anatomy Train", but I personally feel more specific lines in my body, and it seems more similar to the Chinese meridian muscles (Jing-jin, which are different from acupuncture meridians).

I talked with some therapists about that, but most of them know the myofacsial connections just as approximate knowledge but don't actually sense them as real lines in their own body.
Then I learned that they call people like me as being "meridian sensitive".

If some of you are interested, we could share about this topic.

Also, I'll be in NY in October to give my professional courses and if you are around, why not meet up !

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Anyone that stretches can feel those lines, regardless of whatever you want to call them.

Hi Norio, 

I can't say that I necessarily feel the Jing-jin lines you mention in my own body.  But, then I don't really feel acupuncture points in my body either, unless something is just really wonky.  I also don't feel particular myofascial connections.  I feel more restrictions and they can be virtually anywhere.  What I am good at is reproducing on my own body what a client may describe as a pain issue, and locating the pattern where it is coming from.  But, that is not the same as randomly feeling "myofascial connections", if that makes sense. 

My background is chiropractic, massage and post-grad orthopedics... so for me it's more about the health history first, what the client tells me, and then tracing it onto my own body and from there, then feeling the clients body.

The closest I have to personal knowledge of Japanese bodywork is that I have a Japanese client lives part-time between Japan and the states.  When in Japan she only sees a Shiatsu therapist.  She prefers that style of bodywork, and says that even though I don't provide Shiatsu (and I don't really do a style of pressure point work, mine is more smooth), much of what I do still affects her in the same way.  

I chalk this technique with the Qi, up to having worked with a specific style of martial artists over the years, and since I know one of the higher-ups in the art who is also a friend and acupuncturist, I have picked up how to work with the body when it has Qi issues, though, I would not say I am even close to great at it.  The best way to describe it, is I "feel" where I need to be and work it.  Though, I also know to ask the correct questions, and in particular when working with a martial artist, I know that depending on the kata they are working on, the meridians will begin to open up slowly as more energy is forced through them. 

Now, I am wondering if this also occurs with the Jing-jin, which I have read are secondary meridians is part of this process I've been told about for when the meridians are becoming larger/more bored out.  It will certainly give me something to talk about with my friend.

Since you mentioned Jing-jin (The Sinew Channels), I am hoping you can shed some light on some different techniques and where the Jing-jin come to play in regard to these...

I look forward to hearing more from you!  :)

It's a pleasure talking with you.

The reason why I started this topic was because I found some differences between the points to care with the "trigger point method" and some Japanese techniques.

To my understanding, in the trigger point method, it seems that what is causing tension and problems is a point located in the middle of the muscle and that is where we should focus for treatment.

But in some Japanese techniques, you identify the point of symptom/pain and then should rather focus on different "connected areas". In the latest techniques, most work on the edge of the bones.

At first, I didn't understand the system, but after obseving my clients and tried to feel it in my body, like Pueppi wrote, I started to feel the line in my body, and found that Anatomy Train is similar but not precise enough.

I don't feel it as qi flow like Qi Gong practitioners, but realistic physical lines of tension.
I would like to show some examples, and am drawing the images for that.

Thanks for responding.

Did you happen to have any input on the questions I asked... regarding: Anma and Jing-jin points, and if Jin Shin Do has anything to do with Jing-jin points?

Also, I looked at your website just now.  Do the Jing-jin have anything to do with the Japanese Seitai Techniques you are teaching, or is that something completely different?

I see that your work contains Shiatsu. Can you also expand on if that has anything to do with the Jing-jin points you are discussing in this thread?

Sorry for my slow response.

I'm not familiar with Jing Shing Do nor Kobido, that's why I tried to search the information in Japan.

I'm not a specialist of Jing-Jin yet, but the some of the points of Jing-jin seem to be on the tendon or the bone edge which is the same that I deal with in my technique. It seems that the therapists who created this technique felt more tensions on the bone edge rather than trigger points in the middle of muscle. Im on the way to match the points of my technique and the points of Jing-jin.

For the example, in case of releasing tension of Erector Spinae, I gently stimulate the medial proximal bone edge of Tibia. Once I release that  "something" that I feel stuck to the bone, the tension on the lower back decreases without touching that area at all. I believe that that "something" is shrunk myofascia, but I'm not sure yet anatomically. The connection of myofascial tension could be explained as Superficial Back Line by Anatomy Train, and Tai Yang Meridian Muscle by Jing-Jin.

To answer your questions, It would be a long answer, so please give me a bit of time.

Thanks for your continued replies.  I look forward to reading them.  :)

Although I have not actually experienced Jing Shin Do, I could say that it is a massage using meridians. As you probably know, the treatment method utilizes the meridian lines that associated abdominal organs and organized in 5 elements. They diagnose the Yin and Yang of each meridian, if it is Yin, it compensates, if it is Yang, it suppresses. Chinese Anma and Japanese Shiatsu follows the way.

On the other hand, Jing Jin is not associated with abdominal organs, but rather it is defined as a more physical tension link. It is originally said that it is particularly effective for treating skeletal muscle disorders. So I think that it is very helpful for elucidating the symptoms attracting attention as myofascial pain syndrome.

I feel a tight linear tension link like Jing Jin in my body, The sense that it contracts and shrinks, so that the whole line is pulled, and the sense of lowering the mobility of the joint. Moreover, I also feel that many of the points that attract are near the bones' protrusions. 

In some of the Japanese bodywork methods I have learned, some points are similar to the one of Jing Jin, but rather they try to find the points where the myofascia contracts on the protrusion on the bone edge. In one school, they gently stimulate the bone edge by nails to release «shrunk something  » from the bone, and in another school, they try to feel the connection between THE stiffness on the bone and tension on the surface skin, and release it with stroking the skin.

As an example, I would like to show the Achilles heel.

When relaxing the tension of the Achilles tendon, they dont massage the Achilles tendon nor calves. but gently stimule the points like I drew as red line on the image. This technique seems feeling same tension link like Jing Jin, but the point to deal with is different from the Jing Jin.


Thanks so much for adding to this thread.  Your comments are really appreciated.

Norio Tomita said:

"As an example, I would like to show the Achilles heel.

When relaxing the tension of the Achilles tendon, they dont massage the Achilles tendon nor calves. but gently stimule the points like I drew as red line on the image. This technique seems feeling same tension link like Jing Jin, but the point to deal with is different from the Jing Jin."

This is quite interesting.  I would say that I work the Achilles in this manner as noted in the picture.  I don't work the tendon itself, however I may add work in the calves to expand upon a Achilles-type of issue.  And, I work more than with "gentle stimulation" of that area, when I am addressing such an issue.

Can you describe how the Jing Jin style would differ from the normal Japanese bodywork styles, as noted above in regard to the Achilles tendon?

Meridians , Jingjin, Sinew Channels, Tendino-Muscular Meridians, Kinetic Chains, Anatomy Trains, or Muscles Chains, are all one and the same to me. If there is pain either symptomatically or on palpation anywhere on that chain , I want to clear out that entire Chain.
Taking the Achilles tendon example. It’s on the Bladder Meridian. Or as the Anatomy Trains people call it, the Superficial Back Line. It runs from the bottom of the foot, up the back of the leg, over the buttocks, up the paraspinals, up the back of the neck, over the top of the head to the eyebrows.
It’s like one single band. So for that Achilles injury, like I said, I’d want to clear out any tight tender areas anywhere on that entire Tendino-Muscular Meridian, because it could be causing strain on that Achilles. In the attachments are examples of the Kinetic Chain, that the Achilles tendon is part of.
There are probably many ways to do it? Rolfers deep tissually strip the chain. Im trigger point guy, so I’m hunting trigger points on the chain. Ive heard it called Meridian Massage. If I bend forward to touch my toes, I can feel that chain.

Thank you Pueppi, thank you Gardon.

To answer the question by Pueppi, I think we could care the symptom with less power and less points by sensing Jing Jin lines, rather than Meridian lines. Yes, there are same number of meridian lines and Jing Jin, and they are similar each other, as Gordon wrote. But the original definition of Jing Jin is different from Meridian Line(its not connected to the abdominal organs), and it indicates the physical aspects rather than Meridian Line.

 Shiatsu basically uses "push" technique, as the name means "finger pressure". They identify the meridian line that is related to the symptom, find and relax induration while caring for that meridian line. To care the pain of Achilles tendon, they deal with Bladder Meridian, as Gordon wrote, push along the line including Tsubo and the induration they feel by their fingers. But basically, the purpose of the treatment is to adjust the balance of Qi in the line, or among the lines, rather than conducing direct result to the symptom.

On the other hand, we can recognize Jing Jin lines more simply as physics. If the Achilles tendon becomes tense, there is more specific tensed line  than Superficial Back Line of Anatomy Train. As the definition of Jing Jin said «all lines starts from distal », first point I would care is a base of toe. The care point that I presented last time was 2nd point to care

(but anyway I presented because it was easy to draw in the picture and explain). If the tension of Achilles tendon is rather outside, theres induration at the bone edge of fourth toe sesamoids. And in case of inside, at the bone edge of 2nd toe sesamoids. With just taking care of these 2 points by gentle stimulation, more than half of tension decrease.

I dont know what the induration I feel is anatomically. But in Japan, its popular for orthopedic surgeons to observe myofascia by ultrasound diagnostic system, and they found that there is a little fat between the bone and tendon near the joint, and the fat change the shape and helps the tendon to slide when we move our joint. Once the fat get hard and stick to the bone, the flexibility of the tendon obviously decrease. I believe what I feel is the fat on the bone.

Base of the toe. That’s interesting. One of the ways that I would take pain out of the Achilles tendon would be to manipulate the tissues at C1, the occipital area at the base of the skull( BL10) on the same side. Besides being on the same Tendino-muscular meridian as the Achilles , C1 has a relationship with L5 which inervates a large area of the foot., especially at the base of the toes.
Anyway, I hope you are figuring out what you want to figure out. Bottom line is that it works. Ok, gotta get ready for work.

This is a very interesting conversation.

Gordon, I am beginning to think that you are working less with the meridians and more with the Jing Jin points.  You may want to see if you can find a chart of their locations, and assess how they may or may not be part of your current work.  Perhaps you are not working exactly on the *meridian* points.  Just a thought, but it may actually give you the information you have been looking for, to tie in with your "holographic acupressure", since the Jing Jin seem to be more "physics" related.

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