Eczema. symptoms, treatment & prevention

Eczema and stress – explaining the connection

In the UK, one in five children and one in twelve adults have eczema. Typical symptoms include inflammation, soreness and itching.

Stress is widely recognised to be a key culprit for atopic eczema. There are three main reasons as to why.

Firstly the skin is the largest excretory organ of the body. Stress creates toxicity, inflammation and heat in the body which the body tries to eliminate via this excretory function.

Secondly when under stress the body increases inflammation in the skin as the body moves to protect it.

Thirdly, during periods of stress the body diverts blood flow away from the peripheral organs including the skin, to provide muscles with additional energy. This limits oxygen and nourishment to the skin cells and waste product removal from them. The thickened and dry skin is a sign of blood deficiency, as blood is needed to nourish the skin.

This combination means that the skin is weakened at a time when it is required to work at its hardest.

How does Chinese Medicine treat Eczema?

The Chinese approach is to treat the internal root cause of illness as well as just the symptoms. It’s this difference which makes Chinese medicine so effective.

Stress affects people in different ways because we all have different imbalances and weaknesses. Chinese Medicine attributes eczema to weakness in the lungs and/or excess heat in the body. Skin assists the lungs in supporting the body.  So when our lungs are overwhelmed by the stress response, our skin is also impacted.

According to Chinese Medicine, stress and lifestyle can both contribute to inflammation, or heat in the body, causing the symptoms of redness and broken itchy skin. Chinese Medicine believes that heat also obstructs the flow of blood to the skin.

Stress creates heat in the heart, because an increased heart rate means it has to work harder.  A hyperactive heart may cause heat in the blood. This heat will try to escape via the skin, causing skin problems like eczema or rosacea.

Although the problem is multi-layered, the solution itself is surprisingly simple. Rebalance your natural circulation process, clear the heat, support your lungs and manage your stress response. In Chinese Medicine we believe this in turn will help reduce inflammation, negating the underlying need to expel it through the skin.

How the Hayo’u Method can help

The Hayo’u Method is based on ancient Chinese breathing and bodywork techniques – both scientifically proven to be effective in reducing stress and supporting the body. The Hayo’u Method works for eczema because it:

  • manages stress
  • engages your parasympathetic nervous system
  • regulates blood flow
  • reduces heat in the body
  • strengthens the lungs
  • supports the skin
  • calms the heart
  • strengthens the digestive system.

Beauty Restorer Ritual

Firstly we need to clear the eczema at surface level, gently encouraging circulation and reducing that inflammation is going to help. Our Beauty Restorer™ massage tool is made from 100% Xiuyan jade, revered for its cooling, healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies has shown jade to naturally emit far infrared rays, deep enough to penetrate human skin. Far Infrared rays are invisible waves of energy that have the ability to penetrate all layers of the human physical body, including tissues, muscles and bone.

FIR slightly elevates the surface temperature of the body. When we slightly induce a very small temperature increase, we can enhance our body’s functioning on multiple levels. When your cells reproduce, they can repair anything that was damaged in your body.

But when additional infrared rays come in contact with jade — especially when the jade is heated — the health benefits are exemplified. When jade absorbs FIR, it emits the rays continuously. Even the natural heat from your skin warms jade sufficiently to do this.

The key is to very gently press-hold on the area. Hold one side to the skin, then once the jade has warmed up keep it there then turn it over and use the other side.

Learn the Beauty Restorer Ritual here.

The Rescue Breath Ritual - Hayo'u Method

Rescue Breath Ritual

Deep breathing will support the lungs which is at the root of excema. Saturating the body with oxygen will engage the rest phase of your nervous system to slow the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

The exhale technique at the start of the exercise was traditionally used to physically expel heat in the lungs via the breath, thus reducing the need to push it out through the skin.

At the start of this article we made the link between emotional stress and eczema flare-ups. Your brain is directly connected to your skin via nerve fibres. If the brain becomes overstimulated, the skin becomes overstimulated, causing an itchy rash to appear. So use this breathing technique to calm your brain and see if it helps calm your skin. It works to turns off your fight or flight reflex and stimulate the Vagus nerve, which connects your brain and your stomach.

Learn the Rescue Breath Ritual here.

 The Reset Ritual

This simple one minute technique assists your circulation, heart, lungs and general immunity. It helps to strengthen your digestion and also improve your flow of Qi (energy) and blood around the body – which in turn helps the skin.

The shake, drum, twist action of this one-minute routine will release tension at the start of the day. It’s another way to invigorate the whole energetic circulation of the body. In addition, the Reset Ritual dislodges toxicity held in latency, stimulates the defensive energy of the body against disease and improves the function of the internal organs.

This technique directly affects the body’s energy channels, which can help to drain excess heat from the skin.

Learn the Reset Ritual here.

The Body Restorer Ritual

There are numerous reasons why Gua Sha is so effective in treating eczema.

  • Firstly because the action boosts blood flow by 400%, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the heart and lung  area.
  • Secondly the action simultaneously and exponentially boosts and clears blood flow thus rejuvenating your circulatory system.
  • Thirdly, focussing Gua Sha on your chest area will assist the heart and lungs because it helps the body to clear heat from the root of the issue before it reaches the skin.

Furthermore, we’d recommend use of our Hayo’u Body Oil for the lubrication necessary for Gua Sha. The combination of natural ingredients – such as Lotus flower and Frankincense – have been specifically selected to relax the body.

Remember, you must never Gua Sha directly on Eczema and never Gua Sha on broken skin.

Learn the Body Restorer Ritual here.

Mineral Bathing

Bathing is used the world over to relieve stress, simply because hot water relaxes your muscles. Relaxed muscles send a message to the alarm centres in the brain that there’s no threat, thus immediately engaging your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).  

If you suffer from Ezcema , total immersion in water may not be advisable. A foot bath may be a great alternative.

Chinese Medicine believes that soaking the feet is an efficient manner of detoxification, as the slightly raised body temperature unblocks energy channels in the body. Simple soaking can be surprisingly effective. Six meridians (liver, gallbladder, kidney, spleen and stomach) reach the feet, each of which has more than 60 acupuncture points. The feet have points that correspond to many parts and organs of the body.

Soaking in hot water activates blood and energy throughout the body. In herbal foot baths, the skin absorbs elements through the skin and these travel through energy channels to target points.

So add Hayo’u Mineral Bath to charge up a bowl of warm water with our magnesium rich blend of salts and minerals. Magnesium helps the brain produce neurotransmitters that induce sleep and reduce stress.

Please note that this method can and should sit alongside any Western advice. Adding these practices to a clean, balanced diet and ongoing care with topical creams should start to bring back balance to the whole body.

Disclaimer: Gua Sha is a treatment designed to relieve muscular pain and tension and improve circulation. Results vary according to age, strength of body, skin type and medical conditions. If you are under the age of 16 and over the age of 60 or suffering specific medical conditions we do not recommend using the Body Restorer™. At no point should treatment feel painful. Always start gently, observing the reaction to your skin and proceed with caution. If in any doubt, contact us at or seek medical advice. This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.

Supporting studies:

Breathing, inflammation and the vagus nerve

Assessment of the Effects of Pranayama/Alternate Nostril Breathing on the Parasympathetic Nervous System in Young Adults.

Anant Narayan Sinha – Published 2013 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research

Gua Sha and microcirculation

Effects of Gua Sha on Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Male Volunteers under Normal Condition and Weightlifters after Weightlifting Training Sessions

Gua Sha therapy could facilitate the parasympathetic nervous activity and modulate the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic activities

Real People. Real Results