I am one of those strange individuals that thrive off of stress. I like lists, I like deadlines and I like overloading myself with work. Even when I was on holiday it took me days to be able to sit down in the sun without thinking about something work-related. Stress is one of those things that creeps its way into our lives without us even realising. Sure, traumatic events cause stress, but you'd be surprised by how much every day life can stress us out as well. And if you think stress just leads to the odd headache and a few aches and pains, you're way off the mark.
A little while ago I met with the lovely Katie Brindle, the creator of the HAYO'U method and the lady who I will forever know as the person who helped me handle my stress. The HAYO'U method is a form of one minute exercises that help to heal the body naturally, whilst de-stressing at the same time.
THE MORNING EXERCISE (60 SECONDS)
- As soon as you get up, shake your body (you'll look insane) to help dislodge toxins and get your blood flowing. Do this for 15 seconds.
- Next, twist the body as if you were wringing out a sponge. This will help to dissipate the toxins from the body and increase blood flow which will help you improve your digestive function and release tension stored in the body. Do this for 15 seconds.
- Last but not least, firmly drum on your skin to help get rid of any stubborn toxins in the body. This will also help you wake up your muscles. Do this step for a total of 30 seconds and repeat every morning for the full benefits. It'll help the body over time, but it'll wake you up straight away!
Like most people I don't have the luxury of going out and getting hour long massages and facials every week - nor do I have the time to attend yoga classes multiple times a week to help me unwind. I'd like to, and sometimes I do manage to squeeze the odd session in, but in general I can't quite commit to that sort of, well, commitment. So when Katie told me that her techniques would only take up a minimum of two minutes a day I thought - you know what - that is the sort of thing I can do. And I have been doing it - every single day.
Now, call me crazy, but I've always been a firm believer that we as people can fix a lot of our own ailments, without tablets or doctors appointments. I used to get the worst migraines, and at one point I was so desperate to find a cure that I found myself on the weird corner of Google looking at facial accupressure. I tried it out, and amazingly enough I haven't had a bad migraine since then. So when Katie started explaining the benefits of Chinese Medicine to me during our meeting I was all ears.
THE BREATHING EXERCISE (60 SECONDS)
- Get comfortable (I like to do this in the bath for full relaxation benefits) and take a big breathe in through the nose. Hold it for a few seconds.
- Breathe out through the mouth and engage your stomach - try to imagine yourself forming a 'smile' with your stomach muscles. This will help to engage your PNI (Psychoneuroimmunology) which, long story short, is the interaction between your brand and your immune system.
- Repeat this exercise five times - or more if you can! Doing this will bring more oxygen to the body and will help to release stress in the body. It'll also help to strengthen you against any future stresses!
Don't get me wrong - I'm generally a very healthy person, but recently I've been suffering from really bad bloating that - at one point - resulted in me being unable to move out of bed due to the pain. After talking to Katie it dawned on me that these digestion issues occurred around about the same time my Mum was diagnosed with lung failure. Alongside that, a few other personal issues, plodding through my final year of uni and working alongside, it became clear to me that the bloating was a result of stress, overthinking and worry, not the amount of pastries I was eating (although that probably didn't help).
Bare with me on this one, but, what emotion would you say comes from the heart. Love, right? And what about the lungs, the stomach, the spleen? We often ignore the emotions that effect the rest of our body, but it turns out that - in Chinese Medicine - every major organ is effected by how we feel. And the stomach? You guessed it - that's effected by worrying and overthinking - AKA stress, stress, stress. Did I say stress?
The idea behind HAYO'U is that you treat the problem, not just the symptoms, so instead of just trying to de-bloat I've begun to focus more on my overall stress levels, which in turn has helped me with my bloating. I almost feel guilty for writing this blog post, because all in all I'm simply just telling you guys to breathe - something you do every day. But trust me, it works. It may sound crazy, and you may think that it won't work for you, but if all it takes is a few minutes out of your day then hey, it's worth a shot, right?
In fact, Katie's so certain these rituals will work for you that she's offering them up to you for free. You can check out her tutorials on the side of this post, or you can have a browse on the HAYO'U website if you're feeling extra info-hungry.
WILL YOU BE TRYING OUT THE HAYO'U METHOD?
*This post is in collaboration with the HAYO'U method, but I genuinely love it!*