About Jill: Jill Blakeway is the Clinic Director of the Yinova Center in New York City. A licensed and board certified acupuncturist and clinical herbalist, she specializes in the care of women and children. A gifted acupuncturist and herbalist, Jill’s skill is in taking a system of medicine that is 3,500 years old and focusing this wisdom on the problems of modern women living in New York City. Women come to her for help with a range of conditions from PMS to menopause and New York Moms appreciate her safe, natural solutions for a wide variety of childhood ailments from constipation to bed wetting. In 2005, the New York Times named Jill as one of the top acupuncturists of the year, referring to her as a “fertility goddess,” as Jill is known for her work enhancing the fertility of women who are having trouble conceiving…
“When women consult me about getting pregnant my first task is to reconnect them with their reproductive cycle” says Jill, “I teach them how to recognize their most fertile period and give diet and lifestyle advice. From there I begin to help them improve their general health, balancing hormones, building the uterine lining, eliminating premenstrual symptoms and regulating the menses. Often this is all that is needed for conception to occur. If assisted reproduction techniques are needed, however, research has shown that acupuncture can increase the efficacy of IVF by up to 50%.”
Jill divides her time between New York City and Upstate New York where she lives with her husband Noah, daughter Emma and their dog Louie.
LM: As a gifted herbalist and acupuncturist, how did you get interested in Acupuncture and Asian Medicine initially?
JB: Years ago, I struggled with a chronic medical condition, swallowing antibiotics for six months with no improvement. My doctor said he was out of options, and finally sent me to a Chinese medicine doctor. Just a couple weeks of acupuncture and Chinese herbs sorted out the problem. My whole world turned upside down! This was a completely different paradigm than I’d ever been exposed to. That it worked at all was, frankly, a bit hard for me to believe, even though I’d experienced it myself in such a profound way. But I was drawn to understanding it better. I started reading everything I could get my hands on, and asked a lot of questions. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know, and ultimately I went back to graduate school for a M.S. Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine.
LM: What type of acupuncture training/education did you receive prior to obtaining your license?
JB: I complete a four-year M.S. In Traditional Oriental Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California.
LM: Was there a defining moment or experience that showed you your path, or did it come about gradually?
JB: While in school I went to a lecture by a doctor who changed my life again. She was trained in China in both conventional gynecology and in acupuncture and herbology, and so she talked about what Chinese Medicine could do that Western medicine couldn’t. But she also covered what Western medicine could do that Chinese medicine couldn’t. This vision of collaborative medicine excited and inspired me, and I’ve strived for that complementarity in the way I’ve worked ever since.
I have worked in several hospitals including San Diego Hospice, Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, NY and Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, where I founded the inpatient acupuncture program. This experience gave me insight into how to integrate Chinese medicine into a Western medical system and how to communicate with doctors in a way that helped them to understand Chinese medicine better.
My patients appreciate that I regularly consult with their doctors about their case. I want to keep the doctors apprised of what I’m doing, and I want to fully understand their plans. I want to be sure our efforts will work together well. There are herbs I won’t give, for example, if I know a woman is taking drugs that function in a similar way. Most doctors are very receptive to working with me, and I believe that’s because my hospital training means that I speak their language. So I don’t call up and say “I’m treating So-and-So for kidney yang deficiency with blood deficiency.” I translate for them just as I translate for my patients, talking about hormone imbalance, and how herbs and acupuncture can level the hormones out.
Doctors’ biggest complaint about alternative medicine is