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Havre de Grace Physician Now Practicing Medical Acupuncture

Dr. Carol Cooper has taken an alternative path to healing the sick and the weary. A graduate of University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Copper has been practicing family medicine for over 20 years. But sensing a frustration in her patients and a need to explore her interest in alternative medicine, Havre de Grace resident Dr. Cooper recently completed an additional 300 hours of training in acupuncture in order to narrow her field of practice to medical acupuncture.

“About 15 years ago, I had a back problem and I went to a doctor who practiced acupuncture. I loved it, and my back improved, and I didn't have to take arthritis medication. I promised myself then that one day I would pursue acupuncture.”

In 2008, Dr. Cooper, who still has part-time hours at Patients' First on the weekends, opened up her part-time acupuncture practice. She treats patients with common medical disorders that include: headache, neck and should pain, back pain, sciatica, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression and weight loss, just to name a few. “The most common reason for acupuncture is neck, back or arthritic pain. I have a lot of success with migraine headaches as well,” says Dr. Cooper. She adds, “Acupuncture is a safe alternative to pain problems, and it works for the most part.”

According to Dr. Cooper, acupuncture is becoming more accepted by the medical community. By definition, acupuncture is part of a complex medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dating back to the second century BC. Chinese theory states that the insertion of flexible, fine, sterilized needles into specific points in the body along pathways called meridians restores the “qi,” or natural flow of energy through the body. “I find acupuncture so much more rewarding and relaxing. It takes place in a calm setting, and I get the best feedback from my patients,” says Dr. Cooper of her private practice in Havre de Grace's Par Excellence salon. “And I do not prescribe any drugs. Usually after one, two or three sessions people feel better,” she continues.

If there is a negative to using acupuncture as a treatment for pain, it is that most insurance companies don't cover it. Dr. Cooper says that most people over 65 need acupuncture but can't afford it. The initial visit is one and half to two hours long and costs $125. Follow up sessions are $75 to $100 for an hour.

Dr. Cooper also works with half way houses in group settings and using auricular acupuncture treats patients with drug addiction, alcoholism and nicotine dependence. “I think the biggest reward of my acupuncture practice is helping people without causing any harm, or using medications or surgical interventions, yet still having positive results.”

Quick Q&A:

What is your favorite television show? Sixty Minutes
What is your favorite food? Shrimp
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be? Pocahontas. I am kin to Pocahontas, she is my 13 generations grandmother.
What do you do to relax or have fun? Garden, spending time with my husband, and I like to travel.

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