Just one session of Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient form of touch therapy similar to acupuncture in philosophy achieved a considerable improvement in side effects of cancer treatment.

Jennifer Bradley, a Jin Shin Jyutsu integrative practitioner from the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center presented the new study at the 2012 Markey Cancer Center Research Day.

The study involved 159 current cancer patients, who were asked to assess their pain symptoms, nausea and stress before and after each Jin Shin Jyutsu session by using a scale from 0 to 10, with zero being defined as no symptoms.

The team discovered that from the first session of Jin Shin Jyutsu onwards, each session demonstrated that patients felt a considerable improvement in pain, stress, and nausea, with the average decrease on the scale being 3 points for stress and 2 points for both nausea and pain.

Bradley declared:

“I was pleased to see quantitatively the improvements that patients noted in these primary areas of discomfort. It was interesting to note that regardless of age, sex or diagnosis, cancer patients received a statistically significant improvement in the side effects from treatment. It is encouraging to note that Jin Shin Jyutsu made improvements in these areas without adding additional unwanted effects that so often occur with medication interventions.”

Jin Shin Jyutsu is considered part of an integrative treatment plan available at the UK Markey Cancer Center and is offered free of charge to all cancer patients, and even though patients can refer themselves for the sessions, half are referred by the patients’ physician or Markey staff.

A Jin Shin Jyutsu session consists of patients being lightly touched on 52 specific energetic points (Safety Energy Locks) as well as on their fingers, toes, and midpoints on their upper arm, their upper calf and lower leg. The touches are predetermined in a specific order, known as “flows”, and patients remain fully clothed for the sessions apart from their shoes.

The sessions were performed in various locations, i.e. in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room, the Chemotherapy Outpatient Clinic, or in the patient’s hospital room, although the researchers note that the greatest overall improvements were observed in those held at the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room. They note that sessions in the treatment room generally lasted longer than the other sessions.

The study had several limitations, such as not including controls for several parameters, like the time between sessions, location and duration of the sessions. Bradley and her team are planning to control more of these variables in a future study. They want to access patients’ medical records over the time of their participation in order to assess changes, such as patients’ medication usage for cancer and symptom management of pain, stress and nausea.

Bradley concludes:

“The American Cancer Society has noted that quality of life is an issue for all cancer patients; those undergoing treatment, late stage patients, and cancer survivors. There is a need for additional research to develop evidence-based interventions that have a positive impact on the quality of life for all of these individuals without adding to their burden. From what I have seen in my office and the results shown in the study, I believe that Jin Shin Jyutsu has great promise in this area.”

Written by Petra Rattue