Tapping your way to better health
Bestselling author hopes the holistic approach that healed her autoimmune disorder can help others
Author Shalini Joshi Yamdagni's book Instant Pain Relief is a candid testimony of how she was healed of debilitating chronic pain using the holistic approach EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), commonly described as tapping.
Since the recent book launch, it has reached Amazon's Best Seller and No.1 in the Holistic Medicine Category.
What makes this a compelling read is the simple fact that it highlights how pain is life's way of getting us to take the first step towards healing ourselves when modern medicine fails.
Born in India, Yamdagni, who has lived in Thailand for most of her life, is also an EFT practitioner who has provided relief to hundreds of people around the world using tapping and affirmations through her online sessions.
Her book explains the inherent belief that unresolved emotions and feelings such as anger, anxiety, fear and stress can cause us persistent physical pain if not dealt with swiftly. She has focussed on the narrative that our thoughts create our reality.
Shalini Joshi Yamdagni, author of Instant Pain Relief. Photos Courtesy of Shalini Joshi Yamdagni
While we have all experienced chronic pain at some point in our lives, be it in the form of a throbbing headache, a stiff neck, sore throat or a sharp pain somewhere in our body, many of us are quick to relate this to an injury or physical illness.
This is often followed by a cocktail of medication, therapies, and lifestyle alterations to reduce the pain. The outcome doesn't always go in our favour. Many experience only temporary relief.
Using EFT, the evidence-based self-help therapeutic approach, helped Yamdagni out of a state of limbo; from a medical condition that had left her bedridden for months.
To better understand what made her decide to pen this personal journey of recovery, one has to understand the medical conditions she faced not once, but twice.
In 2007, she was diagnosed with costochondritis, inflammation of the cartilage that joins the rib to the breastbone, and because of this she experienced constant chronic pain. Over the months, despite the strong cocktail of medication prescribed to her, nothing helped.
Back then the only approach she knew towards the wellness of her body and health was medical.
The fact that she was not responding to the slew of treatments that included ultrasound therapy physiotherapy, acupuncture, and hot and cold packs, added to the daily stress.
"Nothing helped and my pain, which was localised initially in my left rib, had now spread all over my ribs, back and neck. This meant that I was in constant pain. I was with a rib belt and leg support and even with that, it did not help," said the author.
Despite the illness, Yamdagni, who was 38 at the time, continued to drive her five- and six-year-old children to school and herself to work.
"Doctors couldn't figure out what to do with me after eight to nine months into this back and forth going for treatments routine. Eventually, a doctor said maybe I need to be on complete bed rest indefinitely, and that maybe my moving around was aggravating the pain. I thought to myself, Thailand is an international hub for medical tourism, and so despite having the best doctors, medicine and treatments at my disposal, I was coming to the realisation that nothing was working and that I was stuck with this disease for life.
"As instructed by my doctors, I quit my job and was on full bed rest. It was a very depressing phase of my life."
Courtesy of Shalini Joshi Yamdagni
While living through the uncertainties of ever getting healed, Yamdagni discovered a tool online called EFT tapping "which combines elements from ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology to relieve stress and pain. Tapping certain parts of the body creates a balance in your energy system as you tune into what is bothering you".
She said the areas to tap include the face, under the arm and on the top of the head. The method is simple and can be taught to children.
"Within two months, I healed myself completely of months of chronic pain through tapping," remarked Yamdagni. "In a tapping session, you say an affirmation aloud while using your fingers to tap specific points of your body. Basically, the affirmation identifies what issue you are working through. So while tapping those points, you think of what is upsetting you.
"What happens when you do this is it not only clears the negative energy, but also the thing that was upsetting you isn't an issue any longer, while the pain you originally felt is also reduced."
Fast forward 12 years to 2018, which Yamdagni describes as "one of the worst years of my life, the experiences of which eventually led me to write this book".
Speaking on this she said: "First of all, I learned a few things about my daughter that she never told me before that shook my world. Around that time, a close childhood friend of ours was going through an ugly marriage breakup. On top of that my dad had a stroke.
"This all happened in the same year. It was an emotionally charged period of my life. So in 2018, after a whole year of stress, even though I was doing my tapping and clearing every day, I found that every joint in my body was in pain. Eventually, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.
"Every tiny joint in the left side of my hip, knees and ankles and the little joints in the fingers, everything hurt. It was so bad that I could not hold a phone in my hand for a minute. My chest felt like I had thousands of rods weighing me down."
Life had thrown her yet another curveball, however, this time Yamdagni was angry at herself and questioned why as an EFT practitioner for 12 years, at that point, she had allowed herself to get that sick.
"In 2019, I decided to take a break from receiving clients for the next four months, going on a deep-dive healing journey. During this time I realised there was rage, guilt, shame and anger packed in me from all the stressful experiences I had gone through during that year. I was tapping and clearing myself daily while bringing emotional support to the people I loved who were hurting. During the course of being there for others, I realised that I had not cleaned up the deep emotional pain I was experiencing.
"Having to weather a number of personal crises one after the other was rather overwhelming, while I was looking after myself, I suppose it wasn't enough. It was personal relationships that made the experience all the more emotionally draining."
Investigating the origins of her illness, it took her four months to get to the bottom of what was causing the physical condition to flare up.
Looking back, she said: "I was trying to find out what the left side of the body pain meant as everything I was experiencing had a meaning in it.
"It took four months [of using EFT/tapping] to completely heal my autoimmune disorder."
Yamdagni said a person's body is divine in intelligence, thus it is well aware when something is interfering with its proper functioning.
"Once I healed my autoimmune disorder in 2019, I said that is it, I have to write a book on my journey on being healed of chronic pain. I knew someone out there could benefit from it."
Mentored by Joe Vitale, a famous author and renowned personal development expert, she was encouraged to write a conversational book about her road to recovery using EFT.