Jiro Murai (1886-1960)
Jiro Murai came from a family of medical doctors in Japan. As he was not the first born son, he was not required to follow in his father’s footsteps as a medical professional and he was free to follow his heart. He worked in silk production and had fun participating in eating contests.
In 1912 he became terminally ill and even his family could not help him. Seeking solitude in his final days, he retreated to his family cabin in the mountains to die, instructing his relatives to return after 7 days to collect his body. It was here that he practiced sitting in Zen meditation, breathing and using Mudras associated with Tantric Buddhism to prepare himself for his transmigration.
For six days he experienced his body cooling and on the seventh day a tremendous heat enveloped him. When his body returned to normal, he knew he had passed the crisis and he was healed. Jiro’s world had changed and for the next 34 years he dedicated his life to the research, practice and understanding of how Life Energy from Source flows in the human body. He finally named the practice “Jin Shin Jyutsu®."
Jiro studied the Kojiki Records of Ancient Matters, which he believed held the story of human physiology. He also received some documents from the private library of the Imperial family since he treated one of the Imperial family members. Through Jiro’s studies he revived a many centuries old healing art that had long been forgotten.
After World War II the Imperial family gave Jiro Murai permission to share and teach Jin Shin Jyutsu® (as it is known today) to the general population of Japan. Jiro continued to standardize his discoveries of the energy flow in the body through practice, research, documentation and drawings until his final lecture series in 1957. Jiro’s two main protégés were Mary Burmeister and Dr. Haruki Kato.
Mary Burmeister (1918-2008)
Mary (Ino) Burmeister was introduced to Master Jiro Murai in 1946. Mary was a young American woman teaching English in Japan. When Jiro met Mary, at the home of a fellow student, he asked Mary, “Would you like to take a gift from Japan to the United States?” Mary was honored and immediately accepted the invitation to attend Jiro’s lecture series.
For the next 6 years Mary studied with Master Murai and introduced her father Uhachi Ino to the lecture series as well. They developed a profoundly deep and meaningful relationship with their mentor. Mary departed Japan in 1953 to America and continued to communicate with Jiro for many years. She fulfilled her promise to him and continued to study and translate her lecture notes into English while practicing the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu® on friends and family.
As knowledge of her healing hands spread, it was not long before Mary was treating and sharing this with anyone who found their way to her door. Mary authored two textbooks for practitioners, and three self help books. She continued to practice and teach Jin Shin Jyutsu® throughout the United States.
Due to high demand, Mary chose 4 instructors in 1986, whom she trained to teach her 5-day workshops; Muriel Carlton, Philomena Dooley, Wayne Hackett and Pamela Markarian Smith. 4 years later, Mary taught her last class in Santa Rosa, California. It was at this time that Jin Shin Jyutsu® Inc. was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Haruki Kato (1928-2014)
Dr. Haruki Kato was introduced to Jiro Murai by Mary Burmeister’s father, Uhachi Ino the year 1953 in Japan. Haruki’s mother received regular sessions of Jin Shin Jyutsu® by Uhachi and Haruki was allowed to observe these treatments. It was then that he decided to study Jin Shin Jyutsu® with Jiro and become the youngest student at the age of 25.
Haruki studied with his teacher from 1953 until he passed away in 1960. He then became the successor of Jiro Murai’s teachings. Haruki opened his own clinic in Japan and published a Japanese Jin Shin Jyutsu® textbook in 1993. He also authored two textbooks in English for practitioners.
In 2002, Haruki taught a class in Hawaii and in 2007, a class in Osaka, Japan. Sadaki Kato, Haruki’s only son is teaching from his father’s texts today.
Pamela Markarian Smith (1936-2015)
Pamela Markarian Smith, a young woman living in California, was suffering from multiple unknown ailments that caused her to have skin disorders, respiratory illnesses and severe migraines. After exhausting all treatments of the medical community, she was facing exploratory surgery as a last resort. It was then that someone recommended she visit a woman who practices a Japanese healing art. She took the advice to heart and this was the beginning of Pamela’s journey into what became her life’s work.
Pamela received treatments from Mary Burmeister for several months and her symptoms began to “go away”. Over a short period of time she was able to completely get off her medications. One day Pamela called Mary a healer and Mary said: “I’m not a healer, anyone can do this.” For the first time in her life, she made the decision to manage her own well being and began learning the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu®.
Pamela found her life’s passion and started to study under Mary. Pamela’s dedication to Jin Shin comes from a deep spiritual belief which paralleled and was the foundation of Mary’s teaching. When Mary would speak about “The Breath That I Am” and “Now, Know Myself” Pamela felt like she was “coming home”. Mary and Pamela had a loving and profoundly respectful relationship that continued throughout both their lives.
Mary moved to Scottsdale, Arizona and in 1973 Pamela moved to Santa Rosa, California where, following in Mary’s footsteps, she started treating and sharing Jin Shin Jyutsu® with anyone who would listen, and there was a large audience. Following her two years of teaching for Jin Shin Jyutsu Inc., it was agreed that Pamela would venture out and create what is known today as Jin Shin Institute. Pamela co-founded JSI with her longtime partner Maggie Crocker. Pamela created 3 textbooks, a DVD set of a full workshop and Self Help materials.
Philomena Dooley was educated by the Sisters of St. Louis in Ireland, her native country. In 1955, she received her degree in general nursing, S.R.N. in Surrey, England. And in 1957 she received her degree in midwifery. S.C.M. in the North East of England. After graduating she spent six months as a district midwife and six months in the delivery room of a small maternity hospital in the coal mining area. During this time she gained the experience of a lifetime.
In 1959 she emigrated to the U.S.A. to a prearranged position at the Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was full of life and enjoying her position as head nurse on a medical / surgical floor. Seven months later she was hospitalized with a severe pain in her legs, and within 24 hours she suffered a pulmonary embolism. This began a nineteen year journey of western medicine with many more health projects and complications along the way.
Her overall health was in decline and in 1978 she was introduced to Mary Burmeister and Jin Shin Jyutsu®. She received sessions with Patricia Meador and Mary in Arizona. On her return home she was feeling totally renewed. A medical check up gave her the all clear. No more medications were needed. No blood thinners, no pain meds, no ace bandages nor elastic stockings. Now with a new lease on life, she was invited by Mary to study with her. She became a practitioner and developed a wonderful practice, seeing people from all walks of life. She later began teaching Jin Shin Jyutsu® and presenting classes all over the world. With her input, Jin Shin Jyutsu® was introduced to Morristown Memorial Hospital in 1994, and it is practiced through out the hospital today.
In 1986, Alexis Brink came to New York from Holland to be a dancer and joined The American Dancemachine Company. She sustained a knee injury which took her out of rehearsals for weeks at a time. One day a friend recommended for her to receive a session from master practitioner Philomena Dooley. Philomena gave her a short session, showed some Self Help techniques and that was the end of the injury.
This miraculous event started her on the path to become a Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner.
Within several years of study, Alexis observed, practiced and experienced the art and learned the foundation, as she watched and worked with her teacher Philomena and her clients. Philomena has been her mentor ever since. Together they went and studied privately with Dr.Haruki Kato in Japan. Alexis also attended Dr. Kato's seminars as well as his son's, Sadaki Kato.
Her intention of sharing Jin Shin Jyutsu® with a larger audience led her to the meeting of Pamela Markarian Smith, who founded Jin Shin Institute in 1991. Pamela's devotion to Mary Burmeister and the integrity of the work was apparent.
In January of 2015, Alexis Brink became the chosen successor of the Jin Shin Institute by Pamela Markarian Smith. Alexis holds the same philosophy as Mary and Pamela, that Jin Shin Jyutsu® is a healing art which is important to keep practicing, teaching and sharing in order to create continued awareness around the world, for generations to come. It is with humility and honor, and through her love for Jin Shin Jyutsu®, that she will continue the legacy.
Alexis Brink, LMT, is a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu® since 1991 and has maintained a private practice in New York City. Alexis has taught classes in Jin Shin Jyutsu® at the JCC of Manhattan and at the New York Open Center. She offers study and mentor groups, as well as private tutorials and apprenticeships. In addition, she has taught Self Help classes to nurses and other medical professionals at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Integrative Services and Valley Hospital in NJ. She has taught students and teachers in the New York City Public School System. She introduced Jin Shin Jyustu® in her native country Holland, and continues to teach in the US and Europe.