There’s a particular magic to crisp, sunny Autumn mornings. There’s a nip in the air, our gardens are ablaze with a riot of colour and nature gifts us an abundance of harvest. Autumn also heralds the time when our immunity tends to fall off a cliff. As the temperature drops, our circulation naturally suffers. Decreasing daylight and the dry air of heated homes and offices all contribute to a propensity to succumb to coughs, colds and other health niggles.
Here to give you some top tips on sailing through the colder months in good health, is Chinese Practitioner Katie Brindle. Her Hayo’u Method is distilled from the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine, combining easy techniques and accessible products to transform your health and beauty. Inspired by the remarkable and largely underestimated benefits of Chinese self-care, Hayo’u Method was created by Katie to teach people how to master their own health, with simple daily rituals that are powerful, effective and pleasurable.
The Chinese approach to health is that prevention better than cure. It’s time to take back responsibility for your health. Be aware that small changes, like these four one-minute rituals, will help negate the need for treatment when practiced daily.
The best way to look after your health at this time of year is by boosting your circulation. Why? Because circulation helps to move infection-busting white blood cells around your body more quickly so they can detect and prevent infection.
Exercise reduces the impact of the stress hormones which make us more vulnerable to colds and flu. Being active helps dissipate these hormones instead of allowing them to build up in our bodies and wreak havoc on immune function. The Hayo’u Method Reset and Body Restorer rituals will both help you improve circulation Learn the Reset Ritual and Body Restorer Ritual.
Health and beauty are intricately linked. You can spot the signs of stress, illness and ageing in your face as well as your body. Not to mention, looking good on the outside improves your mental state too. Hayo’u distils the healing and beauty techniques of Eastern therapies into one-minute rituals that are as easy to do as brushing your teeth. Beauty is a reflection of your internal health. Learn the Beauty Restorer ritual here.
Treating the mind and body as a whole is the Chinese way – and it works for both mental and physical illnesses. Ignoring the power of the mind can be the primary limiting factor in our health. The mind can directly affect the body. Studies have shown that meditation and deep breathing actually change not only our brain waves, but also our immune response and our circulatory patterns. The Hayo’u Method offers a simple one-minute breathing technique you can employ any time of the day that stress hits. See the Rescue Breath ritual here.
Stress causes inflammation which causes all manner of mental and physical health problems. Practice the Hayo’u Method on a daily basis to reduce your stress.
Gua sha is a Chinese self-massage technique suitable for your face and your body. The best way is to use crystals, but you can feel a benefit for free by using a Chinese soup spoon.
The lovely thing about gua sha is that it is such a holistic treatment. There’s really no wrong way to do it. I have a suggested ritual which people often use when they are getting started – because it’s a new concept it feels reassuring to have instructions to follow. This ritual works really well as a general treatment, but you can really do as much or as little as feels good to you, or depending on how much time you have in the day!
- Warm oil between palms then massage liberally and firmly into body, using slow, deliberate strokes and noticing areas of stress, tension or pain.
- Use a firm pressure and slowly sweep the Body Restorer™ across the body. Start with the chest, then along the neck and shoulder and finally move on to the back, focusing on anywhere that feels tense. Do around 8 strokes in each direction and repeat on the other side.
- The press-stroke action can be performed over clothing during the day to release stored tension in the body. Use the pointed edges of the tool to work into knots and areas of tightness.
Gua sha shouldn’t be painful. If in doubt, start very gently and work up to the pressure of scratching an itchy insect bite. We say 8 strokes as a guide, which is enough to effectively bring up a red flush. If in doubt, stop.
We associate redness with bruising and pain in the West, but in this instance, it’s actually both healing and intensely satisfying. Most people feel a sense of weightlessness, pain relief, greater energy and many even report feeling ‘lighter’ after a treatment session.
Gua sha produces an anti-inflammatory effect that lasts for days after treatment. It has been shown to exponentially increase blood flow to the surface of the skin, which scientists believe works in a number of ways.
Firstly, it helps disperse toxins by increased circulation and aiding the lymphatic and immune systems. Then as the blood is reabsorbed by the body it promotes an enzyme with anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
Using a gua sha tool allows you to work deeper into the muscles and fascia than by using fingers alone, so you can consciously release where you are knotted or tight.