Kyo and Jitsu

In the 1970s Shizuto Masunaga introduced the concept of Kyo and Jitsu into the theory of shiatsu. Similar to the oriental principles of Yin and Yang, Kyo and Jitsu are used to describe the energetic condition of the organs and body regions. Kyo refers to a condition of lacking or weak energy (Yin) and Jitsu a condition of overabundance (Yang).

In his description of Kyo and Jitsu Masunaga resorts to an image of a person as a spherical ball (likened to an amoeba). A balanced energetic state manifests in a harmonious round form, whereas imbalance in the flow of energy, can be imagined as indentation or bulge.

An outward protuberance represents area of excessive energy (Jitsu), whereas voids show regions of lacking energy (Kyo).

Noticeable are the areas of excessive energy, the Jitsu- areas. The areas of weakness or Kyo- areas are initially inconspicuous, yet ultimately constitute the deep cause of the problem. A Jitsu area feels hard and at the same time elastic. It sometimes literally protrudes "out of the meridian", especially when the area is being stretched.

A Kyo zone, conversely, is limp, even in a fully extended position. The region appears soft, yet at deep penetration both resistance and tensions can be perceivedIn very tense people, however, the Kyo regions can hard to discover. Firstly a state of relaxation needs to be reached, so that these "weaker" regions can be accessed.

The understanding of Kyo and Jitsu is, however, not only limited to this physical- physiological access. Kyo and Jitsu can be much more fully understood, as functions that interact with each other or as frequencies of the body, which can be balanced through specific shiatsu approaches -such as for instance the two handed technique.

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