An RT Intervention for Coping: The Use Finger Holds To Handle Strong Emotions and Pain
As recreation therapists we are often tasked with teaching our clients ways to deal with stress and strong emotions. We teach deep breathing, meditation, distraction techniques, DBT and CBT skills, and more.
Finger holds are a type of acupressure that is easy to learn and practice. It originates from the ancient Jin Shin Jyutsu practice of Japan. Through the use of finger holds individuals can release stress and better manage strong emotions. Jin Shin Jyutsu also releases energy that is blocked within our bodies that can cause many physical symptoms such as pain and discomfort.

In the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, there are 5 major “attitudes” that correspond with the fingers and thumb. Try these holds to target particular feelings or sources of stress. Each finger also corresponds to issues of pain, illness, or discomfort in the body.

• Hold the thumb for Worry
• Hold the index finger for Fear or Anxiety
• Hold the middle finger for Anger
• Hold the ring finger for Sadness or Grief
• Hold the little finger for Low Self-Esteem or Trying Too Hard
Researchers have studied the effects of finger holding techniques in reducing pain in women post cesarian section and have shown that it is an effective pain reducer.
Take just 5 minutes a day and try the finger hold techniques.

How To Practice Finger Holds:

• Simply wrap your hand (you can use left or right) around one finger at a time on the opposite hand.

• Hold each finger for 2-5 minutes, breathing in deeply as you set your intention on harmony, peace and relaxation.

• Breathe out slowly, letting go of stress and imbalance.

• Switch hands and repeat on the other side.

• Finger holds can be done on others.

*For info on calming activities specifically for children, please check out this article here: 25 Calming Activities for Children with Anxiety

Check out this video to learn more.

Balance your body, mind, and spirit and heal yourself with your own hands using this clear, step-by-step illustrated guide to the practice of the ancient Japanese healing art of Jin Shin—written by a trained expert with nearly three decades of experience.

You might be surprised to learn that the majority of today’s most common ailments including anxiety, backaches, colds and flu, digestive issues, immune disorders, migraines, and insomnia, can be alleviated naturally by restoring and harmonizing blocked, stagnant energy. The art of Jin Shin, based on the Japanese healing art of energy medicine, is practiced throughout the world. While related to acupressure and massage therapy, this holistic practice uses only minimal pressure and gentle touching with the fingers and hands to redirect or unblock the flow of energy along the body’s fifty-two points (twenty-six on each side of the body)—called Safety Energy Locations, or SELs—areas where energy tends to get congested. This simple, non-invasive process allows your body’s energy to flow smoothly, and with balance restored, you will experience a sense of wellbeing and calm.