Podcast producer: Chris Robertson
Life is feeling pretty overwhelming now as we feel more chaos, uncertainty, divide, fear, and worry than ever. More things than ever feel out of our control.
What I love about this podcast is that it centers on the small things we can control, like our thoughts and energy, which can also help us craft a better future. One of my favorite parts of this podcast with Dr. Jill Blakeway, author of the book Energy Medicine: The Science and Mystery of Healing (paid link), is at the end. Here's a snippet:
Sophia Ruan Gushée: "You've been an energy healer for many years before you wrote the book... Yet, how were you changed by working on this book?"
Jill Blakeway: "This book changed me so much...I think what I realized is that we have a responsibility to manage our own energy and that what we think does affect not just ourselves and our future, but other people too. And that what you put out into the Universe creates a wave that means the Universe comes in to support you. And I developed a trust in the intelligence in the field around me that I did not have when I started the book."
In Jill's book Energy Medicine: The Science and Mystery of Healing (paid link) and this podcast, Jill talks about her experience as an energy healer and how writing Energy Medicine changed her and her team. When I read the book, I was particularly fascinated by what scientists at world-renowned institutions have discovered about our energetic blueprint, its destiny, and what can influence it to promote healing and wellbeing.
As you listen to this podcast, which was recorded in April 2019, you'll also hear Jill talk about:
Dr. Blakeway also co-authored the bestselling book, Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility (paid link), with a reproductive endocrinologist about how to conceive naturally. The New York Times has described her as a “fertility goddess” and named her as one of Manhattan’s top acupuncturists. Passionate about helping women achieve a healthy pregnancy, she credits much of her success to combining the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine with modern, conventional biomedicine.
She also authored a book about women’s sexual health called Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido (paid link).
Dr. Jill Blakeway is also a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist, clinical herbalist, and founder of the Yinova Center in NYC. As a practitioner, she is known for her intuitive approach to Chinese medicine and particularly for her skills as an acupuncturist and energy healer.
Below are edited notes from the podcast with Jill Blakeway, author of Energy Medicine: The Science and Mystery of Healing (paid link).
Background on writing the book.
Jill Blakeway: I set off to explain me to me out of personal curiosity. People were telling me they could feel energy coming out of my hands and that it was helping them. Like any responsible practitioner, I had the sort of questions a thoughtful person would have, like, How much of this is placebo? Who's doing the healing? Are they healing in response to a prompt? Is something coming through me as something coming from me? And so I started to ask scientists, to start with, and then healers and spiritual people, What is this energy that heals us?
Early childhood trauma can heighten one's sensitivity to energy.
Jill's experience as an acupuncturist led to many questions that guided her research.
Charlatans: She wrote a whole section on charlatans.
[10:20] Stagnant and blocked energy
[12:06] Memory is cellular, we now know that, which is footnoted in the book.
[13:48] Is there ancient or collective wisdom on certain parts of your body storing certain kinds of energy or memories?
[16:04] Power of resiliency...But I do think that bodies have an extraordinary capacity to heal given the right conditions.
[20:38] How sounds and vibrations can influence our health.
They are waves, vibrations that carry information.
Certain sounds resonate in different parts of the brain, which I think is quite interesting, and they can show that in MRI.
[23:08] Resonance, and EMFs have an organizing effect.
A student at the engineering department at Princeton created a machine that could be changed with the human mind. And from there, they began to gather data and they realized that this machine was changed more when there are more human minds with the same emotions and intentions. So they've taken this machine to everything from yoga retreats to the Trump inaugural. It's called a random event generator, and it generates random numbers that become less random as we focus on it, particularly if we all focus on it or we all focus together. And they found that when we focus with love and compassion together, the machine starts to become less random. But also, sadly, when we focus with fear. So I believe we get entangled with our emotions through our intention and through our minds, and that we have to be careful what we succumb to. Because as you know, love expands. Love is a very expansive energy and fear contracts. And we're seeing a very sort of fearful world right now. We're watching countries contract on the world stage and we're watching contraction happen. And so it became very important to me to write about this material and this research that they've done over many decades at Princeton.
[31:12] I spent a lot of time looking at how the human energy field can be measured. Aspects of it get measured all the time.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [33:16] And now I'm remembering an example you write about also with leaf... Even after a leaf has been cut in half, there is some sort of photography that could still detach the missing half.
Jill Blakeway: Yes, the energetic imprint of the missing half is still there. And I looked at that and that led me to look at phantom limb pain, which is also a phenomenon. And I did have a patient when I was a hospice practitioner with phantom limb pain. And in desperation, I'm feeling rather stupid, actually, for doing it. I put the needles where his leg would have been on the bed as an acupuncturist. And then he told me his pain had got better. And I didn't know whether that was placebo, which it could have been to mean, or had I affected the energy fields of a leg that was no longer bad. And as you probably remember in the book, I go to Yale to a conference of mostly Ivy League scientists who are willing to investigate unusual phenomena. And I met a lot of phantom limb researchers there who will tell you that there is an energy field that continues after the limb has been removed. And I think those leaf studies gives us a glimpse of that.
[34:40] Our energetic blueprint for health and abundance
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [35:02] What do you think happens when we die, would the energy blueprint still be around?
Jill Blakeway: Energy, as you know, doesn't dissipate. It just transforms. That's the first law of thermodynamics. I looked at this in the book, particularly in relation to hospice, because as you probably remember when you read the book, when I was working in hospice, I was able to feel very strong energy above the crown of people's heads as they were dying. And in fact, I got quite good at predicting how long people would take to die based on how strong that energy was. It got stronger as they headed towards death. So I believe we transform. This is the bit that in the book I call it the little basic mystery that is just outside of our reach. And it's why the book is called The Science and Mystery of Energy Healing, because, of course, none of us actually know what the next step of this journey is or if we go on or if we come back. We don't know that.
But I believe that we transform vibrationally as we become less material. And I base that on my own experience in hospice, where I watch people become less of the earth. In Chinese medicine, we'd say there yin was declining, which is the bits of us that are material, but their yang became very free-floating. Although it wasn't strong in the conventional sense in the body, itt was powerful and I was amazed by how much I could affect people's pain, for instance, with acupuncture in a hospice setting, even if they were in extreme pain. And I think that's because that energy field was very active. And so acupuncture was a good modality to use with them, which is why I was doing it in a hospice. But I believe that we transform vibrationally and that that is part of the mystery of what happens when we die.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [37:00] I know this is a really big, deep question. But what do you think is the purpose our life or the human race? Your book talks about how interconnected we are with all living beings...
Jill Blakeway: Yes, I mean, that is the big question, isn't it? I think at some points, all of us in our lives ask ourselves, Why are we here? What is the point? What is it about? It's a hugely extraordinary mystery, I think, for all of us. And certainly I have wrestled with that. And I wouldn't begin to be an expert on the meaning of life. To be honest, except that I saw that we connect in ways that we don't understand.
...If I had to hazard my own guess at this, I would say that we're here to love one another... That love is meant not to be grasping and not to be exploitative, but to be deeply compassionate and empathic. And I think that's why we're here. We're here to learn that.
[39:12] I also think that we're here to experience duality, which is what makes that love so hard. Neil Donald Walsh, who was a mentor of mine for many years and who I featured in the chapter on God in this book, says that we are here to experience duality.
And the ancient Chinese echo that because they would say that out of the Dao, which is nothingness, comes yin and yang, which is a polarity. So I think we're here to have the full gamut of human experience. We're here to experience the light as well as the dark, the good as well as evil. And throughout it all, our exercise is to love each other.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [40:00] The book mentions electromagnetic fields providing an organizing or regulating effect.
Jill Blakeway: Yes. In Chinese medicine, we would say that your chi, your energy, is your body's intelligence. It's the bit of your body that if you have two extra drinks at dinner knows how to detoxify; or if you catch a cold sparks your immune system to mount a response; if you cut yourself, prompts your body to heal. And so that intelligence can be prompted. It can be prompted by suggestion. It can be prompted by acupuncture needles. It can be prompted by hands-on healing. It can be prompted by drugs: pharmaceuticals. It can be prompted by surgery and be prompted by all sorts of things.
But your body has an ability to heal itself that we take for granted every single day. We stub our toe and it hurts, but it gets better... The kind of thing in minor ways and in more major ways.
And that, I think, is the responsibility of your energy field. It holds your blueprint for life, and it is responsible for restoring, what's called in biology, homeostasis, for bringing you back into balance.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [41:10] Do you think our energy blueprint is dynamic in that we can expand it or contract it? Or is it a bit predetermined?
Jill Blakeway: I think it's for the most part it's dynamic. But we come in with some predetermined factors. In science, we would say that's your genetics. In ancient Chinese medicine, they called that our Jing, our prenatal essence. So we come in predisposed. In some Eastern religions, they would also call that your karma.
We can influence it. We can influence it through very material things, like how we eat and whether we exercise and what we eat and the ways we process stress. But it can also be influenced through the energy fields.
And to give you a really good example of this, there is a Japanese study that shows that Qigong Masters, who are energy healers in the Chinese medicine tradition, hands-on energy healers, have a frequency that comes out of their hands that's a thousand times greater than the largest frequency in the human body normally, which is the heart. It's a particularly low frequency.
Interestingly enough, at some of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country, that exact same frequency is used to restore broken bones that's used electrically. If they pass electricity through broken bones, they heal. And it's the same frequency that comes out of the hands of Reiki masters and Chi gong masters and people like that.
So it's possible to effect the energetics with actual electricity, running electricity through a bone, heal soft tissue, a bone quicker. And it's also possible to do it manually by way of a healer.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [42:58] What are your thoughts on how we're affected by the energy fields from our technologies now and electricity around us more than ever?
Jill Blakeway: That must be having an effect. It may well depend on how healthy and resilient your body is. I think it's probably having more of an effect the more run down you are and the more depleted your chi is.
And so the toxic cocktail we live in--the combination of toxic chemicals were exposed to through food and through household cleaners and in our daily lives--depletes us. And I think that makes us more susceptible to having our energy fields affected by all the devices, all the Wi-Fi or the pinging and that kind of thing that goes on. So I think it's having an effect. And I think that's really the cutting edge now of this kind of research.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [43:54] One take away from your work has been the importance around being with others who have great energy and you can't get that remotely. I mean, you can get some of it through technology like Skype, or you can sometimes sense really positive energy. But it's so important that we continue to have sit down dinners, Face-To-Face and connect in person.
Jill Blakeway: I agree. One of the things I see here in New York is that people become more and more isolated because more or more they're working from home and they're freelancing and they get everything delivered. And they're not communing.
And I think we are communal people and that we heal each other and we affect each other positively and negatively when we're together. So I see that as a problem.
I like the fact that acupuncture can't be delivered by Skype, that our patients have to come to see us and that we actually touch our patients. I think it's very important for them and for us.
And I think we're seeing a great hunger actually, as people start to work remotely. We see communal workspaces growing up and people working in coffee shops. And I think what they're looking for is that kind of energetic connection that you get with other people.
[45:15] Distance healing.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: I didn't realize that energy healers could help a patient mutely.
Jill Blakeway: Yes. Distance healing is possible. It's not something I do or I'm capable of doing, actually. But that is why some of the scientists I talked to wanted to not call this energy because it doesn't dissipate over a distance. And I didn't go into too much in the book because I had enough information for several books, to be honest. But I have experienced distance healing and I have experienced profoundly gifted distance healers. So that would be an example of time and space not being what we think they are at all time, not being linear and space not being as separating as we believe it is amazing.
Sophia Ruan Gushée: [00:46:50] You have been an energy healer for many years before you wrote the book, as you said earlier. Yes. How were you changed by working for this book?
Jill Blakeway: This book changed me so much...I think what I realized is that we have a responsibility to manage our own energy and that what we think does affect not just ourselves and our future, but other people too. And that what you put out into the universe creates a wave that means that the universe comes in to support you.
And I developed a trust in the intelligence of the field around me that I did not have when I started the book. It's given me a piece, a belief that there is an intelligence greater than me, that if I open up to it--and I teach in the book how to open up to it--it will guide me and will create more than I can possibly imagine. And so I have a faith in that, that I didn't when I set out in the book where I was tried to micromanage all areas of my life and was living to a certain extent in fear like we all do. And this book made me trust much more than I did before.
And ironically, it was the science that made me trust. Because the spiritual information I already knew, but it was a bit theoretical to me. But once I saw the studies of the origins at Princeton and the way that love connects us and the way we affect each other, I began to have a great faith in something bigger than myself.
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