History The History of the Art of Jin Shin

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 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’s two main protégés were Mary Burmeister and Dr. Haruki Kato. Jiro studied the Kojiki Records of Ancient Matters, which he believed held the story of human ailments. 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 2 the Imperial family gave Jiro Murai permission to share and teach Jin Shin Jyutsu 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.


Mary Burmeister (1918­-2008)

Mary (Ino) Burmeister was introduced to Master Jiro Murai in 1946. Mary was a young American women teaching English in Japan. Mary and Jiro met at the home of a mutual student. When Jiro met Mary 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, Jiro Murai. Mary departed Japan in 1953 to America and continued to communicate with Jiro Murai for many years. She fulfilled her promise to Jiro and continued to study and translate her lecture notes into English while practicing the 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 the Art of Jin Shin 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. In 1990, Mary taught her last class in Santa Rosa. At this time is when 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 the Art of Jin Shin 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 Jin Shin textbook in 1993 in Japanese. He also authored two textbooks in English for practitioners. 

Haruki taught two classes in English in Hawaii, one class in 2002 and the other in Osaka, Japan in 2007. 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.

Pamela found her life’s passion and started to study with 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 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 co­founded JSI with her longtime partner Maggie Crocker. Pamela created 3 textbooks, a DVD set of a full workshop and Self Help materials.

Philomena Dooley

Philomena Dooley RN, LMT, is a well respected instructor and practitioner of the Jin Shin Jyutsu. After her work as a nurse and midwife, she has been practicing Western and Eastern Philosophy and energy medicine for over 55 years. She teaches the importance of harmonizing body energy. Philomena brings to her classes a rich experience and understanding of the human body as well as the total being. Her knowledge is conveyed with grace and wit and is spiced with fascinating anecdotes. Her classes are attended by students from all over the world.

Alexis Brink

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 and that was the end of the injury.

This miraculous event started her on the path to become an Art of Jin Shin 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 the Art of Jin Shin 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 *make link* chosen successor of Jin Shin Institute by Pamela Markarian Smith. Alexis holds the same philosophy as Mary Burmeister and Pamela Markarian Smith, that Jin Shin is a healing art which is important to keep practicing, teaching and sharing to create continued awareness around the world, for generations to come. It is with humility and honor, and through her love for the Art of Jin Shin, that she will continue the legacy.

Alexis Brink, LMT, is a practitioner of the Art of Jin Shin since 1991 and has maintained a private practice in New York City. Alexis has taught classes in Jin Shin 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. Alexis continues to give workshops throughout the United States and Europe. She introduced the Art of Jin Shin in her native country Holland.