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High Touch Acupressure

by Heidi Ritz(more info)

listed in acupuncture, originally published in issue 38 - March 1999

This ancient Japanese healing art form utilises gentle touch on specific acupressure points, over clothing, to stimulate the body's own innate healing capacity. It works on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies and you do not have to believe in it for it to work!
High Touch may resemble a laying on of hands but it does not involve massage, pressure, manipulation of bones or muscles, drugs or any other substances. It is just like looking after your car; chiropractic adjustments are like working on the frame, massage is bodywork and High Touch is tuning the electronics.

The Five Elements chart

What is High Touch Acupressure?

High Touch is a first generation translation of Mary Burmeister's Jin Shin as taught to her by Master Jiro Murai, of Japan.

Because of its gentle and unobtrusive nature it surpasses many other forms of energy therapies. The treatments follow the ancient principles of oriental energy therapy, sharing many of the same concepts upon which acupuncture is based. High Touch Acupressure, however, utilises the lifeforce that emanates from our fingertips, which, when applied with a very gentle but penetrating touch, supports rather than pushes the natural flow of the body's energy. This loving partnership enables the energy to circulate to whatever depth the person needs, often accessing levels of the energy flow that other modalities do not usually reach.

High Touch with its ancient oriental roots is truly a magnificent healing art for the modern western world. It belongs in the hands of the most sophisticated healing artists, as well as the layman. It is a God-given art of healing, given to every person who seeks health, balance and consciousness.

Stomach Flow acupressure chart

Kidney Flow acupressure chart

Origins of High Touch

For thousands of years the people of the Orient have practised various forms of energy healing that were passed down from generation to generation. Some were simple recipes of hand movements and daily rituals, others were complete mythologies of the internal universe. High Touch Jin Shin is one of the latter.

Master Jiro Murai wrote the first modern version of this art in Japan. He lived during the early part of this century and was a man of great intellect and intuition, with a highly developed power of mind over matter. He had a profound understanding of the science of acupuncture as well as the deepest intuitive knowledge of natural healing arts at all levels.

Jiro means "second son". In traditional Japan this was of great importance in terms of roles. The first son having to follow in the father's footsteps, the second son being free. Jiro Murai certainly was a free spirit, as a child taking any dare, and by the time he was a young man his riotous living had ruined his body. Although his father was a doctor, nobody could help him.

Jiro read about the great men who had meditated to receive enlightenment and as a last resort went up to the mountains, alone for a week. He went into a meditative state and was guided to do some simple fingerholds. Over and over he fell into a deep state of unconsciousness, feeling colder every time he came to. The seventh time he was burning from head to toe, feeling rivers of fire running through his body... and when it was over he was well.

He vowed to bring this healing art back to mankind, donating his findings to the oldest shrine in Japan, Isai. Jiro gave up all normal life and practised this art releasing every point and every energy meridian hundreds of times. Travelling throughout Japan he would treat everyone with digestive problems one day, the next treating everyone with head problems. After having treated enough cases he would write down his findings.

Jiro Murai died in the early nineteen sixties. Two of his students, Mary Burmeister in the U.S. and Haruki Kato in Japan, continued teaching this art as handed down by Master Jiro Murai. Today many thousands of people benefit from this art form.

The High Touch Network

Betsy Dayton studied with Mary Burmeister through lectures that were more like storytelling. As Mary told her stories, she translated and passed on this profound folk art of healing in everyday lives. In 1980 Betsy founded the High Touch Network, whose purpose is to support the study of ancient knowledge in new ways for our modern times. Much of the essence of the art is transmitted from person to person because it is an interactive art.

The use of the High Touch material requires initial training by a qualified instructor.

Betsy Dayton and certified instructors offer classes throughout the U.S., England, Germany and Spain.

How does it work?

Our bodies are built up of a continuum of energy. In Dr Robert Becker's books, The Body Electric and Cross Currents, he calculated the electrical frequencies of different parts of the body. "The body is totally electric, controlled by a supercomputer, the brain. The brain gets information from all parts of the body, then communicating back along the electrical network which functions need to be activated."

We have energy centres; the chakras, energy points; the safety energy locks, and energy movements; ascending (up the back) and descending (down the front) energy.

We also have what are termed as the 'jumper cables' which are our hands. Energy moves out of our right hand and in to our left hand. They are our plus and minus poles with which we can literally jump start our 'battery' body.

Even when there is chronic fatigue there is still energy present, it has just been blocked up somewhere. By touching specific safety locks you can release the blockage thus freeing the energy to run its natural cause.

Heidi's mother had severe M.E. for 5 years. She only received two treatments by a practitioner and was shown which points to work on herself. After 41/2 months of purely doing self-help for up to two hours a day she was completely recovered. She is in her mid fifties, has resumed work and now has more energy than most people half her age. She still practices High Touch on herself on a daily basis.

Who is it for?

High Touch is for everyone and anybody who wishes to increase his/her quality of life. A wheelchair bound person will notice more dramatic results than a healthy person, whose energy level will simply go up, the immune system will be stronger and stress will become part of the past.

Everyone's health has room for improvement, whether you are a top athlete or someone suffering from M.S. Heidi's most dramatic case studies are from those clients who come with the worst illnesses. Children and the elderly seem to recover and heal far more quickly than us 'youngsters'. Client 'C' is a 93 year old lady who had had pain in the spleen area on a daily basis since she was 17. This pain vanished after holding a couple of acupressure points for about 3 minutes. The therapist explains this by stating that if you can touch someone on exactly the right points when the pain is present, you can release the long-held blockage in just a few minutes.

For client 'D' who had chronic toothache this did not work so quickly, it took 21/2 weeks to clear. This is generally the case when the pain is new. Old, over-the-years pain is 9 out of 10 times released in just a few minutes.

Needless to say the 93 year old lady now treats herself on a daily basis (not having been interested in this healing art before) and she has not had a cold or flu since.

Her son, client 'E' who was treated once a day for a week for lactose intolerance is amazed at the change in her. He, too, is a convert as not only is the lactose intolerance no more but all the aches and pains of a 60 year old have been replaced by health and vitality. The sparkle in his eyes is a true pleasure to behold.

Philosophy underlying High Touch

Behind all the acupressure techniques is the belief that harmony and balance are the very essence of life. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, we experience disease and pain because of a poor balance between the yin and yang in our lives. The yin is defined as the feminine passive principle, the yang is the masculine active principle.

Balance is health. Health is balance. Our culture emphasises the yang energy – the throwing ourselves out, the driving of yourself. The yin is often neglected, it being the need to reflect and to replenish the energy vessel.

Yin gives the energy to the yang to be expressed in some outward way. The space programme is a dramatic example of the yang, thrusting out into space. It was interesting that on one mission an astronaut (Gerald Carr, Skylab 4 mission) complained about being so task orientated that there was no time to reflect. He was feeling what happens when we don't replenish ourselves – if we don't cultivate the yin we become exhausted and out of balance.

When we are out of balance, out of harmony, our bodies tell us very clearly. We have aches and pains, or our emotions tell us. Relationships become negative, we become depressed. High Touch is one way to focus on feeling what is going on in our minds and bodies and to clear away anything that is blocking the balance in our lives.

Re-programming dis-ease

So what exactly does an imbalance in the yin and yang mean?

It is simply when these two aspects are either exaggerated or collapsed, giving too much or too little energy to a particular part of the body, which therefore, cannot function properly.

If this state remains for a longer period it goes right down to a cellular level, eventually becoming part of that cell's memory. This is where the chronic illnesses are stored.

More importantly it is the emotions and negative thought patterns that are logged at the cellular level. In turn these have been placed there by stress, trauma, accidents, social conditioning, etc. and it is these which need to be changed back to positive mode.

High Touch Acupressure goes right down to this cellular level, addressing and re-addressing these past experiences. The client is able to view the past from a bird's point of view, almost like watching a film, then able to let go of these negative thought patterns.

The time factor

This (at cellular level) is where the time-factor comes in. The longer a person has had an illness, a negative emotion or stress, the longer it will take to clear.

As a 'rule of thumb' it takes one month per year of illness to be cleared. In her own practice Heidi has also seen faster results. M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Epilepsy are two of the illnesses which do take a few months to clear. At the opposite end of the scale are allergies and skin problems which only take a few weeks to be released. Also it must be said here that these dis-harmonies do not come back, not even in a slightly different version.

Once a blockage is cleared it is gone, it has been expelled by the body's natural eliminatory system. Every single person on this planet is unique and has his/her own time frame for healing.

Client 'F' had minor hayfever, weekend headaches and PMT. Client 'G' had severe hayfever, epilepsy and left brain damage, leaving his body deformed. After only one treatment, with a great deal of mucus coming out, the hayfever was completely gone. For client 'F' the hayfever took several weeks to clear although it was no where near as bad as client 'G's. For 'F' it was the headaches that cleared after 2 sessions. The epileptic person's right side of the body also straightened out (after a few months of treatment) thus not looking disabled any longer.

The healing process

In other modalities this is often referred to as a 'healing crisis'. This does not apply to High Touch as the practitioner only stimulates the body's own healing process, allowing it to do the healing in its own time.

Symptoms of the healing process range from sneezing, coughing, increased bladder and bowel movements to, at worst, an ache in the affected area lasting a maximum of 36 hours. The latter is very uncommon, most patients simply experience sleepiness, the odd sneeze (usually rather loud!) and bladder movements for a few hours after treatment.

Treatments, Courses, Training

Mary Burmeister who brought this healing art back from Japan still treats clients in Scottsdale, Arizona. She no longer teaches, having handed this on to several qualified instructors.

Clients are booked in for one hour every day for 6 or 7 consecutive days. This is also how Heidi works when she travels abroad and it is an option for people who wish it. This is a very powerful way to release any blockages in the body which are unbalancing the system.

Treatments normally occur once a week for a duration of anything between 3 to 10 sessions. Even after the first treatment the client is given self-help to do, thus optimising the healing effect.

There are practitioners throughout England, mostly in the South as the courses to date have been held there. One day introductory workshops as well as the five day practitioner classes are available.

Treatment is always determined by the wrist pulses, being read on both arms. By listening to the 'body's wishes' the practitioner goes straight to the cause of the dis-harmony, not to the effect. For example someone who has lower back pain needs either the liver or gall bladder meridian treated, depending on the exact location of the pain. Similarly any eye problems are also either liver or gall bladder related imbalances as this is where the meridian surfaces. If you imagine the meridian like a long piece of string with the originating organ in the middle of the string, then the extremities for gall bladder are the cheekbone and the big and fourth toe. Therefore if there is not enough energy emanating from the centre, it is these ends of the string that will suffer first.

All these meridians have been mapped out for thousands of years by the ancient healers of the Orient. All we have to do is to re-tune into this healing art once again. It is as simple as listening to your own body, something we have forgotten how to do in our hectic lifestyles. The good news is that it can be re-learned, initially through a practitioner, then gradually becoming a way of life.

Further Information

For more information you can access the High Touch Network work on: 4910 C. Hannah Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA. Tel.: 001-360-378-4901 or contact the author, Heidi, directly on Tel: 020-8330 3627.


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