Jin Shin Jyutsu® (JSJ) is an ancient art of harmonizing the life force energy of the body.
It uses 26 sets of key locations (safety energy locks) which are located in the major energy channels of the body. Gentle touch may be applied by the person to themselves (Self-Help) or by a practitioner to restore balance in the energy field to promote optimal health and well-being. It induces a sense of relaxation, reduces the effects of stress and facilitates the body’s own profound healing capacity. It is given to patients on 23 units at Morristown Medical Center (MMC) in New Jersey where I give it to patients in the Surgical and Medical Intensive Care Units, two step down floors and the pre and post-operative areas to help reduce the symptoms of pain, anxiety, and nausea, recovery from anesthesia and side effects of chemotherapy. Self- Help is taught to patients and their families to further assist in the healing process.
MMC is a magnet hospital. The role of nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction and RN turnover play in Magnet recognition and and in preparation for American Nurse’s Association rolling out the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation I proposed to the president of the hospital (our former CNO), that we try to replicate a study done in California in 2014 at a small community hospital teaching nurses six hours of JSJ Self Help and looking at the possible effects on personal stress and self- efficacy. The effects of regular self-care on work team’s productivity and quality care is now being acknowledged in the nursing literature.
In January of this year we began our research study.
We followed the schedule of classes taught in the previous study as well as the materials used in the teaching and we added a control group to strengthen our study. The purpose of this randomized comparative study was to evaluate the effect of training nurses in JSJ Self-Help methods and caring efficacy for patients and impact on nurses’ personal and organizational stress. A repeated measures comparative design was used. Coates self-care efficacy scale and the Personal and Organizational Quality Assessment (POQA-R) instruments were used to measure caring efficacy and personal and organizational stress, respectively.
Nurses (N=41) from MMC, were randomized (1:1) to an education group or a control group. The control group was allowed to cross over to an education group after completion of the last set of surveys; thus, there were two cohorts. Education consisted of three, two-hour classes which included background, techniques and practice at home. I taught all classes for this study. Surveys were completed at baseline, at the completion of the last class, and one month after the last class to determine sustainability.
The results provided insight to stress experienced by nurses and interventions to improve personal well-being. The study found a steady increase in emotional vitality over time for the educational group. Changes between the educational group and the control group were statically significant. Emotional Stress scores were lowered in both groups at various time points in study with a statistically significant difference between the groups. Caring efficacy showed increases in both groups but a statistically significant rise was seen only in the education group.
JSJ self-help may be taught easily; classroom demonstrations are aimed at providing a foundation to reduce stress and support well-being in a hospital setting. This can be a valuable cost-effective tool for nurse leaders to share and role model for staff to improve morale. We are in the process now of developing JSJ Self-Help classes to be taught throughout the hospital to nurses and other personnel.
Catherine is a board certified Health and Wellness Nurse Coach and Jin Shin Jyutsu(JSJ) Self-Help instructor working as an Integrative Medicine Practitioner at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. Since the COVID-19 crisis, her focus has shifted from helping patients at the medical center by providing interventions to help with their pain, anxiety and nausea relief to helping nurses with strategies aimed at decreasing stress and increasing resiliency.
In 2017, Catherine did all the teaching for a research study looking at the effects of teaching JSJ Self-Help to nurses and their stress levels; physical, personal and professional. Those results show that JSJ Self-Help is a viable option for stress reduction in nurses.
She is also an advocate for making core competencies in self-care strategies part of any initial nursing education program to help with stress reduction during the student years, helping transition from student to professional nurse and helping nurses to remain actively engaged in the profession and not get burned out.