Tonight’s Meet a Mom is Dr. Yael Markowicz, a West Harrison mom of 2, who practices at Touchstone Acupuncture in Mamaroneck. She is a doctor of Chinese medicine and specializes in women’s health and fertility, pregnancy, postpartum as well as orthopedic, autoimmune, and digestive issues. She utilizes acupuncture, herbal consultations, body work, and nutritional counseling to support her patient’s health and well-being. Dr. Markowicz shares with us what brought her to the Sound Shore area, more about her practice and gives advice for busy moms who are looking to prioritize their health.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally? Where do you live, and names/ages of kids, etc.?
Hi! My name is Yael Markowicz. I was born in Israel and immigrated to New York when I was 3 years old. My childhood consisted of moving around every two years due to my father being a violin maker and constantly searching for the perfect workshop to base himself. After graduating from Stony Brook University, I moved to Cremona, Italy to study and work as a violin maker for 8 years. While living in Italy, I began avidly practicing meditation and yoga, tai chi, and becoming extremely curious about holistic medicine. In 2008, I realized that I needed to follow my dream, so I moved back to New York to pursue a doctorate in Chinese Medicine. I went to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and immediately after graduating opened up my private practice on the Upper East Side. After a few years, I met my soulmate, Dr. Daniel Markowicz, who is an orthopedic surgeon at HSS, and we quickly started a family after getting married in 2015. After having our daughter, Idina in 2017, we moved to West Harrison and I sold my practice in the city to embark on the journey of motherhood. It was really important to me to move to a community where I wanted to build roots due to moving around so much as a child. I love the community that we live in. My son, Philip, joined our family in 2018 and starting this year they both will be at Purchase Elementary School. In 2019, I felt the itch to start practicing again, and I became part of the Prana Prenatal Yoga Center in Port Chester and started building up my practice here in the Sound Shore community. After Covid, I was blessed to join my colleague, Dr. Kathy Casey, in her beautiful healing space, Touchstone Acupuncture, in Mamaroneck. I feel extremely blessed to be practicing in such an amazing community and I’ve had the joy of meeting and helping so many incredible people.
What brought you to the Sound Shore area? What is one of your favorite parts of living here?
My husband had been working at White Plains Hospital and doing a reverse commute for many years from the city. Once my daughter was born it was extremely obvious that we needed to leave the city and plant our roots in the Sound Shore area. My favorite part of living here is the community of people, the schools, and the proximity to NYC.
Tell us a little bit about your educational background.
DACM Doctor of Chinese Medicine
L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist
LMT Licensed Massage Therapist
CD Certified Doula
Certified Yoga Instructor
What drew you into the health and wellness field?
My own healing journey sparked up a desire to help people, specifically women, in having a voice and better options for their health. I’m extremely passionate in helping people gain control of their healing journeys, so that they can live with hope and feeling their best selves.
Through your practice you offer acupuncture and body work? Can you tell us about those experiences?
In my practice I incorporate acupuncture and body work, but I also think it’s extremely important for each patient to have a plan on how they can make positive changes towards a healthier life. I coach my patients on nutrition, breathing techniques, yoga positions, and how to incorporate certain rituals that can improve their health. I take all of my knowledge from being a massage therapist, yoga and meditation teacher as well as my past experiences being a violin maker in order to provide my patients with comprehensive care.
Who would be a good candidate for acupuncture?
I really love this question because the reality is that every single person at any stage of their life can benefit from acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. It is really important not to wait until we are sick to get help. The philosophy of Chinese Medicine is that we want to make sure our bodies are functioning optimally and we avoid getting sick. This is a preventative medicine and I often hear my patients say that when they are consistent in coming in to receive acupuncture they truly feel their best and tend to not get sick during those times. I specialize in women’s health and my sub specialties are autoimmune disorders, fertility, pregnancy and postpartum, but I have a wide range of conditions treating males and females in my practice.
Tell us a little bit about your nutritional counseling and herbal consultations. What would an initial appointment look like for one of these services?
I typically spend the first 20 minutes of a session going over food journals that I provide during the initial session and have diagnostic tools such as examining the tongue and feeling the pulse, both of which help me see any imbalances or disharmonies in the body. Once I come up with a diagnosis, I am then able to prescribe herbal formulas to anyone who might need them. If I have a patient that is unable to come into the office, I am also able to do telehealth in which, during this time, I will take a complete look at their history, nutrition, examine their tongue, and provide them with an herbal formula and a nutrition plan.
As moms, we know we often put ourselves and our health on the back burner. What is one piece of advice you could offer to busy moms?
My favorite piece of advice that was given to me when I first became a mom, was that it’s okay if it looks messy – meaning, if I need to take 10 minutes to sit in my closet to meditate, even if my kids bang on the door or come inside to sit on my lap, I do my best to stay in the zone for a couple of reasons: even though I am “ignoring” them at that moment, they’re learning that mommy needs a break to take deep breaths so that she can be a better mommy, and they are also learning the importance of taking a pause despite what it looks like. I find it to be important to involve my kids in choosing healthy food options, as well as my routine. They watch me doing yoga, meditating or reading food labels. This way you are taking care of yourself and also teaching them what being healthy looks like. If you can’t find the time to meditate, take a pause to have a dance party in your living room to move your body and get the qi flowing so you can release some stress.
Finally, we love to support local businesses – what are some of your favorite family friend spots in the Sound Shore?
Our family favorite to eat with the kids is Bartaco in Port Chester, they are extremely kid friendly. We also love to support Miller’s Toy Store in Mamaroneck. They have a great selection and amazing customer care. When my husband and I need a cup of coffee we love taking the kids to Laughing Horse Coffee. We get our caffeine and the kids have a great selection of treats. As for me, my all time favorite Go-To is The Granola Bar in Rye.