MDI Hospital is again breaking ground at its new Community Health Center, this time with the addition of an acupuncturist. Devereux Hopkins, LA.c, of Northeast Harbor is now offering the alternative treatment two days a week at the Southwest Harbor location.
Adding an acupuncturist to the medical staff of a hospital is uncommon. “Typically, acupuncture is offered in private practices or clinics. It is rare to have it offered through a hospital-based system,” said Community Health Center Medical Director Julian Kuffler, MD, MPH.
Hospitals in the United States have traditionally embraced a western model of health care that promotes diet, exercise, medications and surgery to prevent and treat disease and injuries. But in many communities like MDI an increasing number of people have begun looking for alternative practices like acupuncture for preventing and treating injuries and illnesses.
“Our decision to offer acupuncture was patient-driven,” said Dr. Kuffler. “People here look for alternative approaches to everything,” said Dr. Kuffler. “So it makes sense that we would incorporate acupuncture into the mix of services we offer. This is another example of MDI Hospital’s commitment to providing our neighbors the care they want and need.”
“Acupuncture has been around for over 6000 years, and we’ve only been practicing western medicine as we know it today for the last hundred years” said Dr. Kuffler. “There is a tremendous amount of accumulated knowledge in the practice of acupuncture.”
Licensed by the state’s Board of Complementary Health Care Providers, Hopkins also had to fulfill a rigorous set of criteria before being credentialed by the Hospital. “The credentialing process for alternative practitioners at MDI Hospital is just as rigorous as it is for a physician or an allied health professional,” explained Dr. Kuffler.
“Our community has come to trust that MDI Hospital will provide only qualified, evidence-based care, regardless of the modality,” added Dr. Kuffler.
Hopkins, A graduate of the The College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in the United Kingdom and the Worsley Insitute of Classical Acupuncture, has been practicing acupuncture since 1991.
An ancient Chinese system of medicine, acupuncture involves the use of fine needles, inserted along a network of pathways called meridians to restore balance in the body’s energy, or Ch’i.
“Acupuncture can help with many things, from addiction to digestive disorders to depression” she added. “If energy is out of balance, I try to bring that energy back into balance so the body can heal itself,” said Hopkins.
“There’s a real beauty to this because it deals with natural laws,” said Hopkins. “It’s a good fit for this community because of the rugged beauty of the place, so people here have a relationship with the natural world that enables them to understand the concept of energy and being part of it.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment for acupuncture with Devereux Hopkins at the Community Health Center, call 244-5630.