March 6, 2022

On Emojis and Jin Shin Jyutsu: Seeing With the Hands of Prayer

A slash of sun glanced off Our Lady of Lourdes in Northampton, Mass.


As I got closer, a person's belongings became visible.  At first I wondered if the owner was present.


Friend and creative spirit Melly Mel liberally uses emojis in ingenious ways.  The gratitude he often expresses inspired me to focus just on her hands.


I then shot an in-camera multiple exposure, layering images.

Seeing With the Hands of Prayer

In the healing system of Jin Shin Jyutsu, likened by some to acupuncture without needles, placing fingers at specific different places on the body can balance energy, thereby unifying a person with the universe and generating health.  Pressing your thumb into the palm of your other hand is one recommended technique. According to The Touch of Healing, a book about Jin Shin Jyutsu, this approach is akin to joining hands in prayer.  

"The ancients knew that this was no mere symbolic gesture but a practical, hands-on way of achieving harmony with the universe."

The next time I use the prayer hands emoji to communicate gratitude or thanks, I will strike the pose as well.

John Nordell teaches courses in the Visual and Digital Arts Program that he created at American International College in Springfield, Mass. He blogs about the creative process at   Instagram: @john.nordell