Hi, my name is Mel Hopper Koppelman and I am a registered 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 metaoblic 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!).
It was a circuitous route that led me to the field of functional and complementary medicine. 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 2011 and receiving a Masters with Distinction in Acupuncture in 2012. Immediately upon beginning my acupuncture practice, two things became very clear to me: 1) acupuncture is magical and 2) a major contributing factor to most of my patients’ health issues is their diet and if they are going to become completely well, they will need to significantly change what they put into their bodies. This line of thinking led me to discover Functional Medicine and I have been hooked ever since.
I put these ideas to the test with my own father’s health and have been encouraged by his successful transformation. He had been found to have high cholesterol when he was in his 30’s and had been on statins and the standard “heart healthy diet” of processed carbohydrates and low-fat stuff ever since, obediently avoiding many of his favourite foods. In his mid-60’s, he was putting on weight, was constantly hungry and classed as “pre-diabetic.” At my urging, he has eschewed wheat in favour of nutrient-dense foods, re-introducing eggs, and other foods he had been told are “bad for you” by his doctors. He has now lost about 20 pounds, his need for daily anti-inflammatories, half his dose of statins and the “pre-diabetic” designation, and his cholesterol numbers have never looked better. He now sees a doctor who practices Functional Medicine and is the healthiest he has been in decades.
In doing this research, I discovered that the fundamental dietary recommendations made by doctors and governments are not supported by the research evidence.
In familiarising myself with copious amounts of research to make the case to my father, an extremely analytical retired lawyer, that eating eggs and healthy saturated fat won’t kill him, I have opened a Pandora’s box of studies and evidence about diet and nutrition that goes counter to the standard advice of the medical establishment. Reading the work of researchers such as Weston A Price, Dr Mark Hyman, Gary Taubes and others, has completely transformed my views on diet, medicine and health.
I love helping people to become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves possible. Knowledge is powerful stuff, and it is my sincerest hope that the information available here will help you on your journey to wellness.