Up until the age of 15, I was blessed with pretty good health. The odd cough or cold or infection here of there – probably to do with the fact that my diet mainly consisted of nutella on bread, and vitamins were pretty much a foreign body for me – but generally, girl did good. Fast forward to my 15th birthday (literally 12pm on the day itself) and I found myself about to be having an emergency appendectomy – why oh why do we have the goddamn thing when it does sweet F A anyway? – with a whole host of problems to follow.
No seriously, I now have 3 incurable long term illnesses. Lol, yay me!
That sounds so much grimmer than the reality that it is but you know, just putting it out there for those that only see the picture perfect Insta-life.
But despite the fact that my health is pretty darn shoddy (BRB while I fetch the violins), one thing that worries me the most is my stress levels. I am a born worrier/stress head/over analyzing Olivia/[insert your own choice of worrier synonym here] and day to day life, paired with the fact that although I have a job that I adore, it is seriously stressful at times, means that sometimes the stress gets a little too much. I work for myself which means only I am responsible for paying my mortgage
and coffee, copious amounts of food and flights to New York and I put an extreme amount of pressure on myself to constantly be producing good, relevant content. Oh and pair that with the day to day stresses as well that we all have to cope with…
We got one seriously stressed out, run down gal pal on our hands here.
But instead of constantly running to western medicine, recently I’ve invested time into looking into other, more natural alternatives and this is when the Hayo’u method become a part of my life…
Now, I’m going to be totally honest – I mean, this is me after all, brutal Betty is practically my middle name – before meeting Katie Brindle, creator of the Hayo’u method, the idea of Chinese medicine to me was just a bit of a fad. I just didn’t get it, like, surely some odd tea leaves and ailments and needles poking out of everywhere ain’t doing nada for my stress levels? But Katie’s Hayo’u method is different, and the way she spoke me through what Chinese medicine is and what it can do (alongside western medicine) really did completely change my narrow minded opinion. [insert hands up/hallelujah emoji here].
Katie realises that we are really busy with extremely limited time – I mean, sometimes I can’t even squeeze a Grey’s Anatomy in before bed #firstworldproblems – so she created the Hayo’u method which consists of 1 minute rituals that you can do anywhere, at any time… something that all of us can squeeze into our hectic schedules. Katie created the method after her own personal trauma – she was in a car crash, suffered extremely bad whiplash and ended her dreams of becoming an opera singer – and because she has a passion for educating people about how we can heal ourselves with the wisdom of Chinese medicine. Essentially it’s all about regaining a balance of energy as the Chinese believe that energy plays a huge part in physical diseases (I know. I know that first off this sounds like some sorta tree hugger nonsense but bear with me.. ) and after discussing my own health with Katie, she quickly established that while I have a lot of inspiration and the ability to burn the candle at both ends – this obvs means working late, girlfriend is the biggest granny in existence and hasn’t entered a club in about 4 years – 3 areas of my health is where the imbalance of energy has taken it’s toll and this is why I had to get stuck into the method to give myself the best shot of rebalancing everything again.
I could genuinely go on about this for an age because there is so much more to it and my descriptions definitely aren’t doing Katie’s work justice so I’ll link up everything you need to know about the Hayo’u method again here and move onto the rituals themselves because after all, these are what will hopefully make a difference for you too. But in short, Hayo’u believes in self care, it believes in understanding our own bodies and using simple rituals to prevent us from having to go to the doctors for western medicine, but if that’s needed – which a lot of the time it absolutely will be – it’s a method to go alongside it and give your body the best chance of being it’s best self.
The breathing ritual is ridiculously easy and consists of Expel, Descend, smile. And in much easier terms, take 3 deep breaths to expel stale air, then with your eyes closed… breathe in through the nose for 5 counts and out of the mouth for 5 counts, and as you’re breathing out, imagine something that really makes you smile and, well, smile away.
The breathing technique be it simple, does an amazing job at calming the mind, slowing your heart rate and basically helps you to be the sassy, cool, calm and collected gal pal that I know you are.
I know exactly what you’re thinking, “Oh, so you tapped your body all over and did some funky smiley breathing thing, does that actually work?”
Well, yeah… for stress and anxiety, absolutely, and there are a few reasons as to why I think it did. I think it reduced my stress levels because there is nothing more relaxing/soothing than taking a moment to yourself to just breath. It instantly slows down your heart rate, the rapid beating in your chest and for me.. allowed me to take myself out of the moment. I also, if I’m being totally honest, believe that just doing it, actively taking out the time to try and help and heal myself automatically gives you that boost of positivity, of wellness, of mindfulness. And I think that in itself made me relax a little more too.
Now, before you think I’m packing my bags to run off to join a cult and spend the rest of my life around a campfire singing kumbaya, I do feel a responsibility to you all to be completely open minded about this. What works for me, might not work for you. And 100% vice versa. I also don’t want anyone with serious illnesses thinking that this is all of a sudden going to be a cure, because it isn’t… but it isn’t intended to be. For example, it was mentioned that I may be able to tolerate gluten after using this method because my body will heal itself enough to tolerate it. That won’t happen. Coeliac disease means that every time I eat gluten, the villi on my bowel is damaged irreparably, and the sad truth is that no amount of rituals will stop that from happening. However, I do feel that the breathing, the tapping, the twisting and the general realisation that I actually have to look after this body that I’m living in has definitely improved my fibromyalgia symptoms in a way the western medicine hasn’t been able to so far.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Not to mention my biggest worry of all, my stress levels. The rituals, and the Hayo’u method’s overall outlook has helped me become a more calm, chilled, balance and I actually think a better version of myself, and I think that alone is pretty frickin great.
I am aware that I have rambled for a helluva long time about this but I think it’s only natural when something so new, and so different comes along and the majority of my readers won’t know about it. Because as much as I laugh at myself and joke that this corner of the internet serves no other purpose than silly rambles, the truth is that I do have an audience, and I do have a responsibility to share anything that might help you, help yourself to heal.
So to wrap this post up and let you get back to your cups of tea and biscuits… the Hayo’u method is something that I 100% recommend each and every one of you try. If you’re stressed or anxious, please just take a minute out of your day. If you have other illnesses and western medicine isn’t quite cutting, try this alongside it. After all, what do you have to lose?
*This post was kindly sponsored by the Hayo’u method but all photo’s, thoughts and extreme love of simple things that make a huge difference, 100% my own.