We all reach a point in life where we either learn to trust the universe or continue surging ahead thoughtlessly, like a bull towards the matador. It probably takes certain frame of mind to become comfortable with trusting life in general and in my case, this year some work opportunities lead to unexpected gifts in the sense that my body or mind ( or both ) get the unexpected gift of exactly what they need in the moment in time. Meeting Katie Brindle, a former opera diva and a founder of The Hayo’u Method in June turned out to be one of such gifts.
A dear friend of mine told me about Katie a little elusively during one of our lunches in spring, saying that she was testing something and that the person that she saw was incredible, with more information to follow in due course. I nodded and put the conversation to the back of my mind. A few weeks later, my friend sent me the press release and made the introductions. Knowing that I was planning to travel in July and August, as if by magic, she managed to make my appointment happen, balancing it between my kids being on a summer holiday and Katie’s busy work & personal schedules. I was intrigued.
Arriving a little early for the appointment, I found myself walking through a council estate just off Notting Hill’s Westbourne Grove, wondering if I got the address right. In my slight confusion I called Katie to double check and within a few minutes a blonde woman with the most unusual, beautifully husky voice beckoned me in. Tall, blonde and with piercing eyes, her looks commanded my immediate attention, yet I felt surprisingly comfortable in her presence.
Katie led me into the living room, telling me this apartment was bought by her many moons ago and now worked as her occasional London base for work, while she lives in the country with her family. We set down at a table, Katie poured me some hot chrysanthemum tea, which managed to cool me down on a hot summer day and we started talking. Two hours flew by and our conversation took me on an intriguing journey, an impact from which I feel to this day.
Hayo’u Method is distilled from the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine. It combines easy techniques & luxurious products to transform your health and beauty.
Inspired by the remarkable and largely underestimated benefits of Chinese self-care rituals, Hayo’u Method was created by Katie, who, as an experienced Chinese Practitioner, wants to empower people by teaching them to master their own health.
Katie, a striking woman both visually, as well as personally, was on a path of being an opera diva, when a car crash put an end to her singing ambition. Health issues from the crash lead to a career crisis, so Katie tried working in marketing, as she liked communication with people by the means available to her. She also worked for the BBC, helping to launch something that didn’t exist before – their website. Having observed Katie from the sidelines, I think she is clearly a person who gets things done and is someone who doesn’t rest on her laurels, nor is afraid of challenges life throws her way.
Clearly not satisfied with her achievements, Katie studied various forms of massage, reflexology, acupuncture, which led her to visiting China, a country whose wealth of knowledge, culture and experience we Westerners often struggle to understand. So Katie continued to expand her knowledge, while asking herself one important question: ‘How can I simplify all that knowledge and let the Western consumer benefit from the ocean of experience?’
Over the past decade as a consultant, Katie noticed that patients who adopted her self-care techniques, improved much faster than those who didn’t. By structuring this knowledge into a simple explanation, particularly when it comes to stress, which is the underlying cause of many modern diagnosable ailments, Katie created daily practices, followed by the products for everyone to benefit from & the Hayo’u Method was born.
“My first goal with Hayo’u is to distil Chinese medicine and evangelise about its absolute brilliance and relevance. My method is all about offering one-minute solutions, clearly explained, that are a pleasure to do, but nonetheless incredibly powerful. Very quickly people understand that this is as easy and effective as brushing your teeth.”
Katie is a strong advocate of Western and Chinese Medicine working symbiotically for optimum health. However, few people in the West appreciate this focus on self-treatment, which is wonderfully accessible to anyone, no matter their state of health. More widely, Chinese medicine is still often misunderstood, mistrusted and un-contextualised, which Hayo’u has set out to change.
Self-care is known as the first pillar of Chinese medicine. So for Katie, the main focus as practitioner is on her patient’s quality of life, particularly as we are in the grip of a health epidemic, that concerns our eating habits, our state of mind and the way that we often ignore small symptoms that can later lead to significant issues that affect our overall wellbeing. So, when you come for a consultation with Katie or do one via Skype, Katie aims to read you like a book – you have to have an open frame of mind, that goes without saying, following which Katie gives you the tools that you will need to integrate into your daily routine.
The Hayo’u Method rituals are:
- the Rescue Breath Ritual with which to start or to end the day with.
- the Reset Ritual, for when you feel energetically depleted.
- the Body Restorer Ritual, which is done with the Gua Sha steel body tool that helps to get rid of stress & toxins from your body & last, but not least,
- the Beauty Restorer Ritual that helps rejuvenate your face & your complexion with the facial, jade Gua Sha.
Each ritual can take as little as one minute ( five at most ), so the argument ‘I am so busy, I have no time’ can’t be used as an excuse not to. What appealed to me as consumer, is the fact that Katie gives you the tools, but YOU have to do the work. There is no magic pill, nor the result that she will promise you without you putting time and effort into your own future wellbeing. We live in times of incredibly fast speeds and often empty promises, so Katie’s method, which rests on ancient traditions and modern experience, is something that genuinely resonates. Your body has symptoms and you need to understand what your body is telling you, in order to address the problem, before a small niggle becomes a huge burden to deal with.
It took Katie about five years to perfect her method, achieving a balance between the solution that makes sense to the consumer, while not being scary or overwhelming in its magnitude. And while Katie does offer 1-to-1 consultation, she also offers regular free virtual case classes via Facebook, where she covers a variety of topics, from diet & weightless to acne & eczema. She is here to help & to be a knowledgable soundboard, but regular appointments is not what Katie’s method is about. She is here to share what she knows and to help you understand what you need to do and why – the rest is up to you, my dear reader.
Each one of us is unique and over the course of a lifetime each one of us will develop unique patterns and symptoms, that experienced practitioners like Katie are able to decipher. Do the method and see the improvement, because when you understand WHY you are actually doing something, you realise that you CAN change things. Katie gave me an apt comparison of a brushing our teeth in the morning – it is a habit most of us have, because we all want healthy and beautiful teeth. Well, Hayo’u method can be easily compared to the toothbrush and the effect is achieves for our bodies & minds.
Strip things down & deal with them. Most people don’t become ill all of a sudden – it takes time!
World Health Association calls ‘stress’ an epidemic of the 21st century. It really rings true, especially when you notice how often instead of saying ‘hi’ to each other, like we used to, we are more inclined to say how tired or stressed we are. And stress can lead to a lot of illnesses, most of which we don’t want to develop. What Katie does is get down to the root of the problem, looking at the symptoms that you will describe to her and then she shares the knowledge that relates directly to you in the moment in time, giving you the opportunity to put a potential wrong right.
When it comes to the actual consultation, without you initially realising, Katie digs deep. She asks you questions about how you feel, your aches or pains, your diet, your fitness habits. As I talked, Katie asked some more questions, some of which caught me off guard, clearly demonstrating that she drew more from my answers that I deemed possible. For example, how could she know that I am drawn to sweet foods – after all, I didn’t ask for sugar in my tea?!
Katie also reminded me again & again in the course of our conversation that from 1930s Chinese traditional medicine was officially banned in China, as Chinese grew ashamed of their almost shamanic traditions & intentionally or unintentionally went backwards. Luckily, years later the wealth of knowledge and strength of traditions won the battle, but what we often see in the West isn’t a true representation of the genuine Chinese practises, so please be careful when you choose a practitioner of Chinese medicine, whose clinic you might see on many high streets nowadays.
During the consultation Katie looks at the five elements that are part of your energetic & emotional profile, which weave in & out of your body, making you who you are. Each element – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water & Wood should each represent about 20% of you, to be evenly balanced, but in actual life that is rarely achieved and one element often ‘compensates’ for the other. In my case, for example, one of the five elements was way above the ‘ideal’ 20%, so the other four, as a consequence, were lower than 20%, as a result.
When our Yin & Yang are balanced we feel good, balanced, powerful, happy, in tune with who we are. We are kinder to ourselves & to others, with no need for conflict or raised voices or tempers. When we are out of whack we become irritated, lose our sense of direction & easily prickle, when someone criticises us. When you are in balance you aren’t easy to rock & feel the righteous sense of legacy that flows through your veins, knowing what your mission on Planet Earth is. This is something that I genuinely want to achieve in my life, on a personal, as well as professional level & I know many of you can relate to that sentiment, irrespective of where you live or what you do.
Interestingly, after my consultation, Katie told me that Chinese medicine is female energy all the way in the sense that it is discreet & quiet, yet very powerful. It is something that I thought over, while drinking a cup of tea one afternoon, after doing a Reset Ritual, considering the effect another of Chinese practises, acupuncture, that I have on a regular basis. Without giving too much away yet, I would say only that I like the way both acupuncture and Katie’s rituals make me feel – grounded, a better version of my often frazzled self, with the effect of either lasting not a day, but much longer, like a slow releasing natural medicine.
What Katie told me about my constitution made sense & armed me with the personalised knowledge, including my birth star chart, based on my date & time of birth, something that Katie doesn’t routinely do, but felt I could handle it. I started implementing her advice later that week & will tell you about it in more detail in part two of the post dedicated to Hayo’u Method. However, I will precipitate things and say that many of my ‘traits’, which used to puzzle me, now made sense. For example, why I feel like falling asleep around 3pm, when in actual fact I need to run & feel capable to deal with the tasks at hand. Why I become irritable & not when I am hungry. When I need to rest my body. How I should set the table in order to eat properly. I understood my body’s needs & went home deep in thought, grateful to the lessons learnt. Katie gave me the answers to my body’s needs, which seemed both pleasurable and achievable. In the post to follow, I will share whether I did succeed in implementing the practises into my daily routine, why Katie’s products enhance the rituals (but you can use your favourites with equal success) & why each ritual is unlike any other I have tried before.
To find out more about the Hayo’u method, please click here or follow Katie via Facebook or Instagram (@thehayoumethod)