The Origin Story of Yoke Wellness
Hi, I’m Ravi Jaipaul, founder of Yoke Wellness and I want to tell you how getting hit by a van on my bicycle led to me being healthier than I ever have been in my life.
It was a really chilly, crisp December morning and I’m riding my bike to a spin class (ironic). It’s early, there’s no traffic on the roads and it’s great for getting my legs moving. The wind feels great in my hair, the only sound being the steady hum of my chain and two wheels. This feels alive. I notice a van coming the opposite way from me — I glance down and see my lights are still on, see the traffic light is green and am halfway through the intersection when, without warning, he turns directly into me.
Within the blink of an eye, I am airborne → through the side of the van → hurtled into a streetlamp, landing face up on the cold pavement. It happens faster than you can snap your fingers*. I hear someone running my direction screaming “Oh My God, You Just Killed That Cyclist.” Then it hits me. She’s talking about me. Fear consumes me, as I realise I can’t use my neck, I can’t stand up, I could barely even try to give her a “thumbs-up” sign to show her that I’m okay. My body, which was just moments ago at the peak of an early morning cycle, now, immovable. Stopped. Broken.
It takes 3 ambulance members and 3 police officers to un-tangle my body from the pole, trying to not move my neck in case it was broken. As a nurse, I specialised in Emergencies, so when I saw one of the busiest hospitals in the country clear a trauma bay for me I knew it was going to be bad. My girlfriend arrives and I get scans of my head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis. Diagnosis: a concussion (or ‘traumatic brain injury’ the Doctor said), left wrist sprain, left knee sprain, bruised ribs, potentially punctured lung, severe neck sprain, memory loss and what looked like years of recovery. I head home, not knowing the change that was about to come.
My brain is scrambled, I can’t remember anything, I have no energy, I have no energy, I don’t sleep well or I sleep 18 hours at a time. I found myself screaming at my incredible girlfriend, a huge-hearted person who took care of me every single day while I was ill. I wasn’t able to function at work. This was going nowhere good. My girlfriend was going to hate me, my business was going to let me go and I was afraid that I wasn’t ever going to remember anything again. I wanted to find the old Ravi again. I wanted my partner to be proud of me, I wanted to get back up from this.
As a nurse who has helped thousands of people recover, I had to become a patient. I kept doing what everybody tells you is the right thing to do — lots of rest, and sleep, and rehab. Do what we tell you and eventually you might feel better. Take these pills, they will help. I kept having setback after setback — they brought me in 4 months later to have another X-ray of my neck fearing it may be broken. So I peaked, and after asking all my health professionals for advice, I was frustrated.
I started getting curious into my own health, and looking into ways I could heal myself. I poured through medical journals, blogs, books, podcasts, casting the net as far and wide and crazy — trying things that ranged from changing how I slept, how I awoke, what I ate, how long I spent in front of the screen, what supplements I took. I experimented on myself like I was my own lab rat. I started feeling better, and that’s when my best friend introduced me to an acupressure mat. Have you ever seen one of these?
It looks freaky! It’s a mat with like 8000 spikes! I was like “Woah, i don’t like needles.” She said she used it for sleep every single night. I lay on it for 10 minutes and felt my blood … moving. My skin tingling. A warm feeling. Felt energy that had been trapped… flow again. I had the best sleep in months.
So I added the acupressure mat to my healing, and along with everything else I was doing, it amplified the healing effects. Finding my body the right tool, the acupressure mat, was like giving my body permission to heal itself. To heal myself.
I stopped snapping at my partner, I started to get my energy back, I started excercising again. I even got back on my bicycle. I was starting to get the old Ravi back again. I’ve come a long way since that fateful day in December of 2018.
And it’s sparked something in me that wanted to share it with as many people as I can. So I created Yoke Wellness, and the Acupressure Mat & Bundle, to help as many people as I can find their own wellness.