A few weeks ago, I spent the most incredible two hours with Katie Brindle, a Chinese medicine expert. Katie’s on a mission to bring the wonders of Chinese medicine to the masses, and de-stress us all in the process. “Stress is the gateway to solving more acute health issues like depression, sleep problems, physical pain and so on – all of which Chinese Medicine has the power to address,” says Katie.
When Katie asked if I’d like to go along for a consultation, I said yes with one clear thing in mind: my fertility issues. It’s well known that stress can have a huge impact on fertility and in a weird old catch-22 situation, infertility can cause stress (which causes infertility – you get the idea). Since this is something I’ve been dealing with – with medication, an operation, crazy hormones, anxiety, depression and (yep) stress, it seemed to make sense to give alternative therapies a try.
And I’d been dabbling a little in Chinese medicine already – a couple of months ago, one of the school mums put me in touch with a fantastic acupuncturist and I’ve been seeing her regularly, ever since. Apparently my body responds well to acupuncture (when I was told this, it felt like my body was being given a gold star by the teacher!) so I was really intrigued to see if a session with Katie could help too.
Katie first discovered Chinese Medicine in 1992 when a car accident gave her whiplash – after a year of being in pain, she turned to alternative therapies and was amazed at how they helped. After the birth of her first child, she suffered from health problems and again, turned to Chinese Medicine. Before long, she had left her job and started a degree in acupuncture.
“I haven’t looked back,” she says. “The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I attended as many lectures as I could, I read voraciously and I travelled to Asia where I met some of the masters of ancient medicine. And the more I learnt, the more I wanted to share my new-found knowledge. I’d talk to anybody who was interested – dinner party guests, supermarket checkout staff, parents at the school gates – absolutely nobody was immune! They’d invariably tell me about their health and I’d give them some basic tools to help. Every time I saw their eyes light up as they understood how to take control of their own health, I’d just get more convinced that this really was the way forward.”
Having worked as an acupuncturist ever since, Katie wants to revolutionise how we look after ourselves – she noticed that so many of her patients could have benefitted hugely if they looked after themselves better between appointments. With that in mind, Katie has launched The Hayo’u Method – a website and resource with simple one minute rituals that you can fit into your busy life. “It’s such a small investment in your health, but with an incredible return,” says Katie.
The one minute morning ritual
Best done just before you hop in the shower every morning, this ritual helps to invigorate the circulation and wake up the muscles. “Just shake out your whole body, top to bottom, like nobody’s watching,” says Katie. Why? “Shaking your body from top to bottom dislodges any stagnation, so it’s a great exercise to do in the morning to prepare your body for the stresses of the day. Shaking relaxes and warms up all the muscles, organs, joints and fascia of the body. It can make bone marrow strong, strengthen the spine, and support the kidneys and adrenal glands. Lymph flow is enhanced so that more gunk is cleared out and your immune function is improved. Blood flow increases and hormonal secretions will benefit your skin.”
The drumming, as Katie explains, will release muscles, joints and gently dislodge toxicity held in latency, stimulate the defensive energy of the body against disease, and improve the function of the internal organs. Watch the video to see Katie explain in more detail…
THE ONE MINUTE BREATHING RITUAL
This is a great ritual to do in the shower every morning – but also, whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious. “Focusing inwards calms your mind,” says Katie. “And using your lungs to full capacity will slow your heart rate and oxygenate the blood properly.” Watch the short video to see Katie explain how to do it…
My consultation with Kate was a real eye opener. She started by explaining – in a really easy to understand way – how Chinese medicine works and how we can use it to combat stress by directing positive energy around the body to regulate the organs, glands, circulation, metabolism and other bodily functions.
She asked me LOADS of questions – really grilled me on my health and lifestyle. It was fascinating because she made me delve deep into my memory – recalling stuff about my daughter’s birth and the following months that I’d forgotten (probably buried by my mind). She told me that my liver Qi was all out of whack (I groaned and asked whether that meant I have to give up wine – PHEW, I don’t) and she gave me some drumming rituals to do, to focus on the liver.
All in all, it was an utterly inspiring few hours. Since then, I’ve been doing both the morning ritual and breathing ritual (the latter is particularly useful when the five year old is having a meltdown) and I’m really interested to see whether they make a difference to my health and wellbeing.
The BRILLIANT thing about all of this is that Katie’s website has lots of information and articles, which explain Chinese Medicine in more detail, and why the Hayo’u Method could work for you. Check it out and if you start doing any of the rituals, let me know how you get on!
This post has been commissioned by The Hayo’u Method and as always, all thoughts and views are my own. For details on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.