Jill Blakeway is a three-time author, licensed acupuncturist, entrepreneur and a “fertility goddess” — or so says the New York Times. Her newest book, “Energy Medicine: The Science of Medicine and Healing” (featured in our #BlogHer Book Club last month) focuses on recent, cutting edge research supporting ancient healing methods, Jill’s own experiences as a healer, her understanding of energy forces that surround and connect us all, and how we can better understand ourselves and those around us by harnessing those energies. She is also the founder of The Yinova Center in New York, has treated a multitude of high-profile clients, and has even appeared on an episode of Real Housewives of New York! Jill is truly a Jack-ie of all trades — and we are so pleased to have her with us!
Make sure to catch Jill’s Energy Workshop in the Greenhouse at #BlogHer20 Health for a mid-conference pick-me-up. Get grounded, tap into the energy matrix around you, clear away your stress and strife to let your inner power shine! Read on for our interview with Jill!
Have you always been interested in holistic medicine? How did you first become involved with its practice?
Like many practitioners, I first encountered Chinese medicine as a patient. I was utterly taken by the ritual — the slender needles urging my energy into balance — and the swift recovery I made afterward. And I was curious to learn more. That interest culminated in me studying for a Master of Science and subsequently a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and a rewarding career as an acupuncturist and herbalist.
What would our readers find most surprising about you?
That I’m just like them! New patients sometimes expect me to be self-righteously healthy, but I’m not. Like most people, I’ve had my own health struggles and challenges. I try to make choices that support my body, but I’m not obsessive about it. Eighty percent is perfection, as the saying goes! I think this makes it possible for patients to confide in me about the issues they are struggling with. They know I won’t judge them. Shame is a barrier to getting the care we need and at the Yinova Center, I try to remove it from the equation so people feel safe to open up and ask for help.
How did you turn your passion for holistic medicine into a thriving business?
I simply put one foot in front of the other. My aim was always to create a safe place for people to come to receive the best quality complementary care. It was as simple as that. I view most decisions, including business decisions, as a choice between love and fear. So every time I reached a crossroads I would ask, “What would love do?” The answer to that question has always been, love would expand and open up and that’s what has made the business thrive.
Tell us all about your new book, “Energy Medicine”! What can readers expect?
When I started to write “Energy Medicine: The Science and Mystery of Healing”, I had questions about why the patients at Yinova thrived under our care and I set out to answer them. I wanted to know more not just about how acupuncture works but how people heal themselves in response to physical and mental prompts.
What I discovered was much more profound in its impact. Not only is there an energy that heals us, that same energy also connects us in ways that science is just beginning to understand. My journey took me from the scientific to the mystical and back again and I hope the reader is as fascinated as I was as I traveled the world to meet with researchers and healers.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to grow their brand while remaining authentic?
Be a thought leader, rather than a thought follower! I have never worried too much about trends or what other people are doing. Instead, I follow my heart and communicate about the things that I feel passionate about. I often tell people that the books I write come through me, rather than from me and it’s true. I feel inspiration bubbling up in me and I write it down. Likewise, I didn’t model Yinova on anything else in the marketplace. Instead, I looked at the community I live in and created the kinds of services that I wanted for myself and my family and that would support and help the people around me.
Any health tips or advice for the working woman (i.e., someone who sits at a desk 9—5)?
Breathe! When I was writing “Energy Medicine”, I submitted my body to science. I had an EEG of my brain and an EKG of my heart to measure what I was doing when I treated my patients. It turns out that my heart and my brain go into resonance, which means they emit the same frequency. I do that by breathing slowly, at a rate of 5 breaths per minute. That’s when the magic happens and I connect with my patients.
What’s one health trend you’d abolish if you ruled the world?
The idea that one thing is going to solve everything or that there’s a one-size-fits-all solution to a health problem. People are unique and the ways their body becomes imbalanced are as individual as they are. At Yinova, we make a different herbal formula for each patient, based on their constitution and their current pattern of disharmony and we adapt that formula as their body changes. No one’s health is static, so look for practitioners who measure your body’s response and continue to fine-tune your care as a result.
Any former clients who might surprise our readers?
You won’t find Yinova name-dropping the people we treat on our website or asking famous people to publicly endorse what we do. We don’t talk about any of our patients, because everybody, including celebrities, deserves privacy when it comes to medical matters. I believe people heal when they feel safe and that confidentiality is a key component in that sense of safety
However, I do think people would be surprised by how many doctors seek out our care. At Yinova, we’re known for our ability to integrate Chinese medicine with our patients’ biomedical treatments. I wrote my first book Making Babies, with a doctor and my most recent book Energy Medicine, explains the science behind acupuncture and other healing methods. This means that people with a science background find what we do appealing and I think people would be surprised how many of them seek us out.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping people. At Yinova we treat all kinds of patients from tiny babies to senior citizens, but one of our major specialties is in reproductive medicine. Helping couples, who are suffering from infertility, have a much longed-for baby is a wonderful way to earn a living.
If you had to give one health tip to our attendees, what would it be?
Get regular acupuncture! I’m an acupuncturist so I would say that, wouldn’t I? But I really do believe that it’s one of the best ways to stay in balance, mentally, physically and emotionally. In Energy Medicine, I give a full scientific explanation for how acupuncture works. We know way more than we used to about this ancient art and there is a lot of scientific evidence to back up its use for everything from anxiety to back pain to menstrual problems.
You own your own business (The Yinova Center), gave the first acupuncturist-led TEDTalk, are now a third-time author AND you once appeared on the Real Housewives of New York! What’s next for you?
Yinova now has three thriving centers in New York and we’re looking to spread the love and create centers that serve communities in other parts of the country.
I’m also keen to write another book. When I was researching, I discovered a body of scientific evidence about how our consciousness affects our fellow human beings and the world around us. I think that in these troubled times, we would all benefit from understanding how we affect each other energetically. How fear and cruelty spread like a virus and how love and compassion create expansion and positive change. I’ll be thinking and writing about that over the next few months.
We at #BlogHer are so excited to have Jill with us at this year’s health event. Be sure to join us for Jill’s mindful moment on stage to learn all about how to harness your energy to take action on decisions that serve you and your business – and how to avoid burning out!