Hi, my name is Mel Hopper Koppelman and I am an Acupuncturist and a practitioner of Integrative Medicine. I’ve been interested in health and wellness for as long as I can remember. My mother was an eminent endocrinologist and when I was little, I used to sit with her and look at slides of people with various metabolic disorders (yes, this was disturbing but also very interesting). I loved playing with her stethoscope and using her reflex hammer to check the reflexes of my cabbage patch kid doll (which were surprisingly lively!).
Training to treat
It was a circuitous route that led me to the field of functional medicine and acupuncture. While volunteering in India after college, I developed amoebic dysentery, which was treated at a hospital in Delhi. However, my symptoms lingered and developed into a chronic disease. When I returned the United States six months later, no one could figure out what was wrong with me. After seeing dozens of doctors, nurses and specialists, I would repeatedly get sent away without a diagnosis. One ER doctor even told me that if I actually had had dysentery for over a year, I’d be dead (thankfully, he was wrong!).
With mixed feelings of desperation and intrigue, I turned to Chinese medicine and the healing power of food to aid in my recovery and the results were nothing short of transformative. I immediately knew that practicing this type of integrative medicine was my true calling.
I went on to train as an acupuncturist, founding my own clinic in the United Kingdom in 2011 and receiving a Masters with Distinction in Acupuncture in 2012. Immediately upon beginning my acupuncture practice, it became very clear to me that a major contributing factor to most of my patients’ health issues was diet and in order to become completely well, it was often necessary to help people change what they eat. This line of thinking led me to discover Functional Medicine and in 2015, I completed a Masters degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine at the University of Western States.
Getting to the Root of your Health Issue
It can be mystifying and disheartening for patients and their healthcare providers to have clear diagnoses but not see the expected improvements of otherwise proven protocols. The diet change that resolved your sister’s psoriasis – or that of every other patient in a particular dermatology clinic – may not resolve yours because your skin condition is actually the result of an underlying infection you didn’t know you had. The diet that helped your partner to lose a ton of weight? It would never work for you because of an untreated parasite. You may blame age for your challenges with fertility but detailed testing may reveal a significant nutritional deficit affecting hormone levels.
Our surface symptoms can’t tell the whole story, which is where thoughtful and comprehensive lab testing – with results interpreted from an Integrative Medicine viewpoint – becomes essential. In my holistic healthcare practice, better information leads to better health. I work with individuals and with other healthcare practitioners to provide appropriate, sophisticated (and easy for you) lab tests; interpret and explain the results; and provide clear, thorough, holistic, evidence-based, data-driven, and doable-for-real-people treatment plans that make people healthier.
Improving Public Health
When not treating patients, I am the executive director of Evidence Based Acupuncture, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving public health through better information about acupuncture’s considerable evidence base. I have published numerous articles about acupuncture research and I frequently travel to speak at conferences, both here in the US and internationally. I am a research supervisor and guest lecturer at the Northern College of Acupuncture Masters programme in York, UK. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the awesome Rhode Island food scene, taking long hikes with our puppy and reading books about biochemistry. (Seriously).
I love helping people to become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves possible. Contact me today to find out how I can help.