Katie Brindle, Hayo'u

Chinese medicine is the parent of all medical systems, it has all the answers.

As our days get busier and we sink into the routine of late nights and feverish multi-tasking, it isn’t uncommon for stress and its effects to accumulate in our bodies. The symptoms of dull aches and tension we often feel in our bodies are often a reaction to stress and repetitive tension. Speaking to Katie Brindle, a respected physician of Chinese Medicine and founder of the holistic Hayo’u Method, we discuss the principles of Eastern medicine and its perspective on stress. Drawing from these methods and techniques, she also shares simple, yet effective self-massage treatments that can be applied to ease and reset the body’s muscles and restore one’s internal equilibrium.


Stress is primarily a physical response, with the body going into ‘fight or flight’ mode when confronted with threatening or stressful situations. It is a protective, primal response that releases adrenaline into the bloodstream, drawing the circulation to the muscles needed to take action. Whilst the threats to our safety have changed since the age of the hunter-gather, an increased heart-rate and a rush of adrenaline can be triggered by a blunt email, a family crisis or a newspaper headline in the modern age.

Prolonged periods of stress can cause the body to stop using this response as a short term survival mechanism, leaving us in default ‘fight or flight’ mode. Psychologists research into the effects of stress on the body has shown that this heightened state causes a build up of toxic stress hormones in the body, putting undue strain on our organs. By learning to confront and manage our stress we can avoid chronic illness, fatigue and reduced immunity .

Katie Brindle, Hayo'u

People don’t really properly understand what’s going on with their body. They don’t really understand what the stress response is doing to them.



Fundamental to Chinese medical practice, the relationship between stress and illness is only now becoming more widely accepted in the Western medical world. As a holistic medical practice, Chinese Medicine considers the body as an integrated system that comprises of both the physical and energetic body. For instance, the energetic and physical effects of anxiety and stress often manifest as physical symptoms and maladies. According to the principles of Chinese medicine, both acute and chronic stress increases the levels of toxicity and heat, or inflammation, inside the body, disrupting the circulation.




In an attempt to restore the balance the body self-regulates, through excretion or by depositing toxicity in joints and tissue. This buildup of toxins is what causes the symptoms of stress that include a stiff neck, aching joints and backache. With our body working overtime to regulate, sleep patterns become disrupted and the digestive system becomes sluggish or irregular. To calm the parasympathetic nervous system and switch off the ‘fight or flight’ response we can stimulate the vagus nerve through breathwork, exercise and massage. Central to the Chinese Medical system, these techniques inspired the development of the Hayo’u Method.

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Jade Gua Sha Massage Tool

Hayo'u Gua Sha Body Oil


De-stress Treatment Body Oil


Gua Sha Massage Tool


The Art of Self-Massage

Praised by the likes of Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth and Elle McPhearson, ‘Gua Sha’ is an ancient Chinese treatment that stimulates healing and detoxification. Sharing similar principles to cupping, Gua Sha involves press-stroking the skin to treat and help prevent and counterbalance the effects of stress.

Designed to help the body to expel toxicity via the surface of the skin, the press-stroking method works to improve blood circulation and help decrease chronic inflammation. By manually encouraging the circulation, you are helping to give your lymphatic system (your body’s filter) a boost, aiding detoxification.

The Technique


A smooth scraping tool is necessary to effectively perform the Gua Sha Method. Adapted to manoeuvre the body’s natural curves, the combination of friction and pressure removes metabolic waste and encourages better circulation. Whilst tools made from jade are a common preference for their durability and anti-inflammatory effect, the Hayo’u  Body Restorer is crafted from thin, stainless steel for a more direct approach. When using the scraping tool, a slight redness will appear on the skin, this is an indication of increased circulation and will fade after a few minutes

Using Hayo’u’s Body Restorer, pressure can be applied through clothing or, an oil to relieve bodily tension. Try this routine, morning evening and during busy periods to address moderate levels of stress. Initially, you will notice an improvement in sleeping patterns and continued use will help to strengthen the body’s circulatory and immune systems. We have outlined a few simple self-massage techniques below that focus on the main areas that hold tension,

The body reset massage


  1. Take the curved edge of the Body Restorer  and press-stroke in sweeping motions from the clavicle down towards the breast. Repeat this eight times on each side of the chest.

  2. Now using the concave edge of the Body Restorer, press-stroke in a downward motion along the sides of the neck towards your shoulders. Again, repeat eight times on each side.

  3. Finally, using the curved edge press stroke the lower back from the middle of the spine outwards, repeating eight times each side.


Watch Katie demonstrate the Gua Sha technique below




Launched in September 2016, Hayo’u was founded by Chinese Medical practitioner Katie Brindle. Rooted in ancient Chinese Medicine, The Hayo’u Method offers self-care treatments and beauty products to transform your health and body.