I’ve shared a lot with you in the past about my health and as the months go by, I think it’s important to keep you updated on how things are changing for me and progressing. I got the lovely opportunity to meet Katie Brindle, the founder of the HAYO’U Method and speak to her about my life, my issues and more. Katie is a Chinese physician (read her story here), but her focus isn’t just on acupuncture or a lot of weird herbs like most people think Chinese medicine is. Katie works with us to help us understand our bodies, how to combat stress on our own and really take care of ourselves. She doesn’t want us to become dependent on a physician to ensure we get better, the best thing we can do is self healing and learn the techniques Katie teaches with her HAYO’U Method.
Most people my age will have a few ailments and stress, which can be self treated with the methods that Katie posts about online (see them here), but for me, my story is a lot more complex. I got to chat with Katie and speak to her on a personal level, much more in depth, about how my life has been since I was born and what problems I have encountered which have led to my health being the way it is now – and what I found out was incredible. Things you don’t even think about or realise are connected and my story is fascinating to me, so I want to share the whole thing with you, in a series of posts with updates, as well as teach you what I have learned from Katie and how to help yourself as well.
My Story From Birth
It started at birth when I accidentally breathed in and swallowed meconium when I was born, which damaged my brand new internals straight away. I could have died so they had to immediately clear my lungs and give me antibiotics to stop infection, so as soon as I was born, I went through a lot of extreme trauma in order to save my life, which has actually damaged me internally. As a baby, every time I was fed I ended up living off of gripe water because I would have constant colic and indigestion and when it was time for me to transition to more solid food, it took me a couple of years longer as I could only manage the soft and mushy baby foods. As I got a bit older, I still constantly had trapped gas all the time and an upset stomach, but then I started to develop more issues.
I had a lot of problems with my kidneys and bladder, getting many urine infections and needing more antibiotics to fix them, which ended up doing a lot more damage to me internally as antibiotics do cause a lot of problems. I also ended up with asthma as a child too, all of this was in my first 0-7 years in age. Just after my 7th birthday, I ended up with glandular fever for the first time and missed a lot of school from being constantly tired and having a sore throat and flu like symptoms for months. It was extremely stressful and tough on me as I was so young, and still today my glands in my neck remain prominent. I did eventually get better from the glandular fever and even though I still had a lot of kidney, digestion and lung problems, I was doing ok.
Then came another 7 year cycle of my body changing and at the age of 13/14, I got glandular fever again, which led onto having M.E as you already know. My digestion got even worse at this time and I developed a huge amount of food intolerance’s and sensitivities, which also led onto chemical sensitivities and exhaustion beyond control because my body was struggling to cope with all the trauma it had been through (from problems and antibiotics) and the hormonal and puberty changes that it had to contend with at the same time. Antibiotics are fantastic because we need them to get rid of our infections and acute problems, but they do kill off your good bacteria as well and push problems deeper down inside your body, which build up into what’s known as heat. By this point, my body has had so much heat in it, it’s boiling up like a kettle and can’t take anymore in, so it tries to escape in various ways by avoiding my main organs and manifesting as problems. This heat comes out in my skin, my nerve endings, my bladder, my liver, my eyes and head, my digestive system… the list is endless, but it’s a safer way for my body to channel it than letting it go to my main organs, like my heart.
My body is so built up and on the verge of exploding from all of this over the last 27 years, even environmental factors and simple things like scents or too much information at once is too much for me. When I am in my calm environment of nature and outdoors, just being quiet, I feel so much better. I’ve mentioned to you before that I get temporary paralysis, and that’s also a form of it trying to escape and my body protecting itself. I’m sure you’re aware that I have had gastritis for ages now too, which means my digestive system is incredibly inflamed and full of acid, and certain foods trigger it too, creating more heat inside me, so there’s a lot that I’ve been through with Katie in order to get me on the right path, with this personal programme which is tailored to me. So let me share these with you.
The lovely Katie and I (above) came up with a plan and regime for me to do on a daily basis to release the heat and help me get better. These are a series of rituals, along with eating and avoiding certain foods, de-stressing, and learning certain movements, breathing techniques, and some Qi-Gong movements to help keep the flow of blood going around my body properly and channel the heat/problems out safely.
The Breathing Ritual
This one is my absolute favourite! It can help anyone, you don’t need to have medical problems and ailments to do it either, it’s perfect for calming down your anxiety and stress, all while making sure you have the right amount of oxygen in your body. I have quite a small nose and small nostrils, so I often find myself doing shallow breathing on a regular basis. As Katie has said numerous times, the breath is the most important thing about living. Without it we would be dead in minutes, so making sure you breathe correctly is important. Katie has taught me to sit calm, relax, breathe in deeply and slowly and then as you breathe out, you imagine a smile (or something happy) on your stomach. This works because meditation is difficult in the Western world as we have so much distraction and a noisy brain, so focusing on something in particular is great. I do this 5 times and after the fifth one, I find a nice sense of calm washes over me and I know my body has received enough oxygen to really function. There’s more to it than just that, so you can learn how to do the breathing ritual by clicking here.
The Drumming Ritual
This one is really important as it helps keep the flow of blood and oxygen around your body without it getting stuck or being held up in one place. It distributes it evenly, which is perfect. You can drum or gently press (I have to be gentle as I’m very delicate) over your body in a certain routine. I start on my arms, then my chest, then my stomach and down to my legs, then move up to my back. You can find out more about this in the morning routine and what order to do it in, but it’s great for making you feel refreshed. I do this one after I’ve done the gentle shaking one below.
The Twisting & Shaking Ritual
This one made me laugh originally and I felt a bit silly doing it, which is common I’m sure, but it really does work! Not only does it help get tension and stress out, but it actually gets anger out and I can vouch for that too! You stand up straight and shake all over, especially your arms and legs, and it’s really satisfying to do. Another thing to do after this is the twisting your torso and arms, which you can also find out more about the whole set in the 1 minute routine.
My View On These Methods
I started doing these rituals and routines with Katie after speaking with her back in May, so I have been doing them for two months now as I wanted to get a good, in depth experience, first hand, with the HAYO’U Method. I have made a lot of improvements, not just with my stress levels, but with my problems as well. My diet has improved and I’m no longer eating foods that cause heat (gluten especially) and my symptoms have subsided quite a lot. They aren’t fully gone as this has been building up in me since I was born, so it’s going to take a good long while to get better, but everyday I am doing my rituals and routines, especially the breathing, and as time goes by, I feel myself improving. Each period that comes around though (I know, sorry guys, girl stuff!) I do suffer a bit at the moment as it’s the body’s way of releasing the heat safely and detoxing, but I’m making steps forward and then steps back, but the overall view seems to be a positive one and I’m extremely happy to share this journey with you!
I definitely encourage you to check out the HAYO’U Method and Katie Brindle’s story as she’s absolutely amazing and such an inspiring woman who has dedicated her time, travelling the world and learning Eastern medicine and practices, just to help everyone else. I can tell shes extremely passionate about what she does and she’s a great, positive influence to have in my life, so definitely check her out, I’m not just saying that. I’m very happy to know Katie and let her be my guide on this journey to health and wellness.
The basic self-care methods apply to us all, not just me, so you can help yourself by taking the preventative and restorative health elements of Classical Chinese Medicine, and utilise this during the period of grace between stress occurring and manifesting as a physical problem. Katie’s aim is to equip you with a greater understanding of the origins of your stress, show you how you can help yourself to address it, and ideally avoid health problems for the rest of your life. HAYO’U is derived from the Chinese word for wellness – so let’s change the way we think about our health for good. Did you like this post and find it interesting? I will of course be keeping you updated on my journey and health, so definitely keep checking back! Lorna xx.