Origin of do-in
Do-in is a self-massage technique of Chinese origin, based on Taoist philosophy. Also known as “tao-inn”, do-in etymologically means the path of energy.
The do-in is based on the main principles of Chinese medicine, it is clearly inspired by finger pressure and energy circulation techniques.
Principle of do-in
From Chinese medicine, do-in is a self-massage that promotes the circulation of energy, Qi, inside the body.
Circulating in the body through the meridians, Qi is one of the five Vital Substances (the other four being Blood, Body Fluids, Spirits and Essences). These Substances serve to maintain the balance of the organism, which is expressed in Chinese medicine in the harmony of the Yin and Yang life forces.
Twelve essential circuits, the meridians, run through the human body and carry Qi to the organs. So there is a meridian for the energy system of the liver, bladder, stomach, etc.
When a meridian is blocked, energy accumulates in one of the points of the course, resulting in poor energy circulation. Some points get blocked, while others lack Qi. If an organ receives too much Qi or, on the contrary, does not receive enough, it goes wrong and no longer performs its vital function correctly.
The do-in allows to regulate the energy inside the body by digital pressures at the strategic places of the circulation of the Qi.
It is often accompanied by other practices such as relaxation, visualization, meditation, breathing and opening energy channels.
Why self-empower yourself according to the do-in principles?
The Chinese consider do-in to be the art of living in harmony with oneself. Self-control would allow this vital energy, Qi, to circulate in a diffuse manner in the body, in order to revitalize it, to preserve it from disease and old age.
According to the techniques used for massaging, the do-in relaxes the parts of the body put under tension throughout the day, frees the body from its blockages and participates in the elimination of toxins.
It is then used to relieve several types of pain, particularly related to osteoarthritis, rheumatism or back and neck pain.
Ideally, the do-in massage is performed in the morning to revitalize the body after a night’s sleep. However, it can be used at any time of the day to relieve muscle tension related to poor posture at work or stress. In fact, it does not require any material or special place for its practice.
In all cases, practitioners recommend the practice of do-in in a seated position. In Japan, the traditional posture is seiza, which is like sitting on your heels, but a comfortable chair does the trick too.
The duration of a do-in massage is very variable: short if you want to act directly on a pain and a specific point, long if you want to obtain lasting results. What matters ? Be consistent in practice.
Like morning gymnastics, the do-in follows a well-defined pattern of execution that follows the points along the meridians. In order to acquire the right gesture, it is essential to refer to a competent practitioner or to rely on a rigorous bibliography.
Contraindications to do-in self-massage
There is no contraindication to the practice of do-in self-massage. However, as in acupuncture, it is best to avoid pressure around the stomach in pregnant women.
Do-in is also not recommended in cases of high fever, hemorrhage, hemophilia, contagious disease, skin disease or on recent scars.
the seiza : the first step of the do-in massage is to settle down comfortably in the position that suits you best, the seiza (on the heels according to the traditional Japanese posture) if possible. You may be able to change positions during the exercise if you feel uncomfortable. Get rid of anything that might hinder the practice (jewelry, etc.).
The salutation : place the palms of your hands on your thighs; in the extension of your left thigh, slide your left hand on the ground, ditto with your right hand. Join your thumbs and forefingers to form a heart, lower your bust while exhaling until you reach your hands. This exercise allows you to empty your lungs completely, then to stand up while inhaling fully.
The sequence: after warming up the hands, wrists and arms, the do-in massage is performed in the following direction: skull, face, ears, neck, shoulders, ungrateful area between the shoulder blades, chest (breathing), waist, feet, legs, pelvis, kidneys, back, stomach.
The pressures: using his fingers, his hand or his fist, the practitioner stimulates key points in the circulation of Qi. Pressures, pinching, hammering, friction, gentle massage… there is a whole range of gestures. The more tired you are, the lighter the handling and pressure.
When a point is painful, the energy is stagnant. It is therefore necessary to disperse it gently by massaging the point in an anti-clockwise direction. If, on the contrary, the energy is lacking, it is necessary to stimulate the point by stronger pressures, without prolonging them more than three minutes.
The do-in practitioner can teach you several techniques that you can reproduce in all circumstances at home or on the go.
To ensure the good practice of the do-in, it is essential to learn about the experience and training of the practitioner. These elements make it possible in particular to guard against sectarian aberrations linked to well-being activities.
The do-in practitioner is often a person experienced in the practice of shiatsu, trained by an official body providing comprehensive training and applying a code of ethics. You can have your practitioner recommended by someone you know or by the French Shiatsu Federation. It offers a directory of professionals classified by region.
Duration and price of a do-in self-massage session
An introductory do-in massage session costs 20 to 90 euros depending on the region, for one hour. The workshops offered year round vary between 250 and 400 euros.
Once the techniques have been acquired, they are easily reproducible at no additional cost, since your hands are the only instruments necessary for the practice.
Learning do-in self-massage techniques in the form of sessions or workshops is not reimbursed, neither by Social Security, nor by mutual insurance companies.
DVD on do-in self-massage
– “Do In, the way of well-being”, Marion Gauthier, Roland San Salvadore, dir. David Garnier and David Kleinpoort, 2008.
Books on do-in self-massage
– “Do-in, self-massage “, Dominique Launay, ed. Chariot d’Or: a complete and essential exercise booklet to acquire a healthy foundation in the practice of do-in.
– “Do-in, the way of energy “, Anne-Béatrice Leygues, ed. Marabout: a book that lists specific exercises, adapted to all and to all situations.
– “Do-in shiatsu: find well-being, revitalization techniques “, Clara Truchot, ed. Le Courrier du Livre: the author offers theoretical and practical content on both shiatsu and do-in, which makes it possible to understand the differences between one and the other.
Websites dedicated to do-in self-massage
-, the self-massage do-in school created by Dominique Launay.