Acupuncture is woo. It’s among the most familiar and widespread forms of altmed, and many otherwise reasonable people have been mislead into thinking that it might have something going for it. But despite the barrage of newspaper articles (based on press releases regarding poorly designed studies or worthless metastudies) claiming otherwise, it doesn’t; acupuncture produces no results beyond placebo. So, someone who promotes themselves as a “board certified Acupuncturist” is probably not someone you should turn to for medical advice. Jill Blakeway is precisely that, as well as a “clinical herbalist” and, according to her website, “former Professor of Traditional Asian Medicine” at Mercy College (which, given that her education consists of a “four-year M.S. In Traditional Oriental Medicine”, is rather striking). Pure woo, in other words.
Blakeway is the founder of the YinOva Center in New York City and the author of Sex Again: Recharging your libido and Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility and of The Fertility Plan (with Sami David). She also teaches Gynecology and Obstetrics in … the Doctoral Program at Pacific College of Oriental medicine in San Diego. That is, needless to say, not a respectable educational institution. According to her website, “Jill’s gift is for taking a 3500-year-old system of medicine and making its deep wisdom speak to twenty first century New Yorkers.” Apparently she claims to be able to help patients with “PMS, migraines, menopause, low libido, digestive issues, back pain and pretty much anything else you can think of.” More worrisomely, she caters to parents who want “safe, natural solutions for their children for a wide variety of childhood ailments.” To address these issues YinOva Center offers a range of dubious traditional Chinese medicine treatments, including acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, oil pulling and traditional Chinese medical diagnosis (uh oh). They also have a naturopath (Carla Kreft) on staff.
Blakeway has made several TV appearances, including on Doctor Oz, and has been a firm ally of Oz when critics have pointed out his dubious tactics and misleading medical information. Needless to say, Blakeway’s understanding of evidence and efficacy is … deficient.
Diagnosis: Another horrible, horrible person. Oh, she’s probably nice and kind and caring and all that, but the paving on the road to hell and so on – at some point stupidity and delusion becomes indistinguishable from evil.