Jiriki was created in the 1990’s by Yu Yagami, an acupuncturist, chiropractor, yoga practitioner and instructor living in Japan.
In 1976, at the age of 23, Yu opened an acupuncture chiropractic clinic. In spite of its success, he begun to question whether this work was really treating the fundamental issues of his patients’ health. He found out that patients were relying too much on their therapist without changing their lifestyle or believing in the body’s natural ability to heal, and this meant that they were often coming back with recurring symptoms and asking for further treatments to maintain their health.
Yu started to think that in order to find a long term solution to the patients’ fundamental issues and chronic diseases, pains and discomforts, he needed to train them to work on their body awareness and lifestyle, and to learn to apply by themselves some the acupressure techniques in order to tune into the body’s natural ability of healing. With all this in mind, he started training to become a yoga instructor in an ashram in Gifu, Japan, and he taught yoga there for nearly 10 years.
In 1993, thanks to the combination of his knowledge and practice as chiropractor, acupuncture therapist, and yoga teacher, Yu created a healing movement practice called Jiriki. This discipline aims to teach practitioners to apply therapists’ techniques to their bodies in order to treat chronic disorders without outside help. Jiriki takes also inspiration from various yoga movements, which help to mitigate ongoing tightness and mis-alignments of the body.
Yu has been promoting Jiriki across Japan for the last 30 years, giving classes, holding instructor training courses, organising workshops and retreats, as well as writing articles. To date, there are about 20,000 people regularly attending Jiriki classes throughout Japan, with 500 instructors, trained by Yu, teaching them. Yu has also published over 25 books and DVDs about Jiriki, covering general health issues such as eyesight recovery, weight management, dementia and ageing, all by using his holistic approach.
Today, his daughter Marie has joined him to continue his work, with the mission of bringing Jiriki worldwide. Her classes and workshops are taught in English, allowing a wider audience to experience the healing wonders of Jiriki outside of Japan. So far, Marie has travelled to UK, Spain, France, and Canada to teach her classes.