Common steps and sub-activities
Mudras are combinations of trigger points and the positions of the body needed by one person to enable the trigger point to be pressed in the right way. A mudra is thus practised by one person without help. They are intended to be used both to support spiritual advancement and to help in both mental healing and physical healing.
They are just one more approach in which one can achieve Stimulation using trigger points.
In effect the person applies the necessary pressure to themselves using no other device than their own body. Mudras have the advantage that you are in complete control of what is done and when, but the disadvantage is that there are some combinations of trigger points that are beneficial spiritually and from a health point of view, that are either not possible by one person alone, or require someone who is either extraordinary supple and young, or a contortionist. If you are old, not supple, not a contortionist and need these latter combinations you need someone to help and the various acupressure
It is commonly believed that mudras derive from Yoga and thus are Indian in origin. The Hindus had a good understanding of both nadis [meridians] and trigger points, as such there might be reason to believe that the practise is a Hindu one. But there appears to be good evidence that mudras as we know them today are a fusion of good ideas from both India and China. Buddhists, Hindus and Taoists use the method.
In China the practise of touching trigger points on the body for the purpose of enhancing physical and spiritual well-being was known as Anma. It owes its development to the people of Northern China and the practise was first described at the time of the Yellow Emperor [2697 – 2596 BC] in a text known as the Nei Ching.
The earliest version of the Nei Ching of which we are aware dates from around 200 BC, whereas the oldest extant copy of the complete work comes from the Tang Dynasty. Compiled by Wang Ping in 762 AD it exists at present in both Chinese and Japanese. A faithful translation of the work exists in English but at the time of writing it was a bit expensive.
Tao yin (sometimes referred to as Taoist yoga) also known as Do-in is the Taoist precursor to Qigong massage and was also based on the same basic concepts.
Jin Shin Jyutsu comes from Japan. The name appears to derive from the Taoist concept of the Shin as Higher spirit and the techniques are thus intended to be spiritual as well as healing. In effect, it is the art of meeting with your Higher spirit. The techniques have travelled a long way since they were originally devised and we have no idea whether what is currently taught in the USA for example, bears any relation to the original. Yet again, all the names get changed, making it very difficult for people to see that Jin Shin Jyutsu’s Energy Flows are simply the meridians [or nadis!!] and the Safety Energy Locks are trigger points!
When Buddhists came to China in the 1st century AD, the use of Anma had been integrated into Taoism and were by then in full use spiritually and medically. It appears that the Buddhists combined what they knew of nadis and trigger points and their own yoga practises, with those of the Chinese and from there we get a combined and extended system which is the Mudra system. Many of the branches of Buddhism including for example Zen Buddhism use mudras in this enhanced form.
The reason that both Zen Buddhism and Yoga incorporate so many physical exercise to increase suppleness is that the use of mudras needs the suppleness!
Given that the Chinese system of meridian and trigger point mapping is the most advanced of the systems there is good reason to try to go for any teachings that are as precise as those on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
TCM aims to heal, but incorporated is spiritual healing as well, as such the only real difference is who does it to you! With mudras, remember, you are doing it to yourself.
This site does not aim to give you lessons on how to achieve all the myriad mudras that exist. You need a qualified teacher to help you who both understands what you are trying to achieve spiritually and what sort of healing you seek.
There are mudras for helping with hurt, mudras to help with various organ illnesses, organs to help in spiritual evolution and mudras to help in achieving peace and calm.
On this page, we have provided some examples. The names don’t matter as they can change enormously from one system to another even though the postures are identical, but an example name is provided, just to give you a feel for the method.
Praying is a form of Mudra.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Mudras - Cleansing mudra
- Mudras - Dynamo mudra
- Mudras - Ease mudra [lalitasana]
- Mudras - Fearlessness
- Mudras - Fountain rim mudra - Lower belt meridian
- Mudras - Fountain spray - Upper belt meridian
- Mudras - Savasana - the 'Offering mudra'
- Mudras - Sokuchi-in - Earth witness
- The Means of achieving spiritual experience - Shaivism – 06 Enacting ritual and ceremony