Rachel Brumberger

Acupuncture, Women’s Holistic Health, Chinese Herbs


“I get to offer my skills not just as a Chinese medicine practitioner, but also as a healer, to my patients in my treatment room. I witness miraculous things occurring among my patients because I have the foundation for being a healing presence and the foundational principles and skills to practice this medicine with integrity.”

What drew you to your healing discipline at MUIH?

At the time, it was a convergence of my own personal healing journey and a desire to shift my career in order to align with what was showing up as my greatest strengths and interests. The universe has a funny way of pointing me to true north; there were many interesting “coincidences” that coalesced and when I started to listen to the clues I landed right where I was supposed to be.

Why did you choose MUIH for your academic program?

In addition to the number of “coincidences” I described above, I called upon my courage to attend an open house (thanks to my then acupuncturist who was a clinical intern finishing the program). As I walked onto campus, it felt like home.

I chose the school before the acupuncture program. I knew I belonged at MUIH but the question was where exactly? So I attended some discussions and observations. Then I attended a “Bobservation” which was an observation class that Bob Duggan, one of the co-founders, taught – I understood it to be like a capstone experience for the students. What I observed and learned that day spoke to something very deep within my heart. It was that day that I knew in every bone of my body I had found my place in the puzzle of life.

Describe your path since graduating from MUIH.

Since graduating in 2013, I’ve started an LLC called Third Space Wellness along with my classmate and fellow acupuncturist, Joy Andrews, and a local yoga teacher, Samantha Dublin. We founded Third Space Wellness on the philosophy that third spaces are necessary – they are where the living of life happens; between home and between work, third spaces are where community members come together to learn, heal, enjoy life, and meet others with whom they can “do life with”. We are currently practicing acupuncture in Silver Spring, Maryland, and providing wellness consulting and local wellness event programming, and are making headway at expanding our operations in a full-scale wellness center in which we can fully express and put into action what we learned at MUIH about applying healing to all aspects of living. We’ve written more about our vision on thirdspacewellness.com.

I’ve also been engaged in the Chinese herbal medicine program, which I will complete in December 2014. I volunteer time with MUIH as well, supporting some of the operations of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department.

What have you accomplished that is a result of the education and skills you received at MUIH?

That’s a big question. In my book, every experience builds upon the next so the question might actually be, what haven’t I accomplished as a result of the education I received at MUIH?! I came to the table with gifts, skills and talents that I understood and were quite useful in many circumstances. The honing of all of that has taken much greater shape in my learning in the acupuncture program, women’s program and is currently still occurring in the Chinese herbal medicine program. I think the best way to answer this is to tell you that I have cultivated an observer for myself using the teaching and skills I acquired at school… I myself can live life more easily — knowing more intimately how to keep myself in wellness and even health. I can show up for others more fully and more consistently without as much of “my stuff” (e.g. my ego, my opinion, etc.) in the way. That’s just the beginning…I get to offer my skills not just as a Chinese Medicine practitioner, but also as a healer, to my patients in my treatment room. I witness miraculous things occurring among my patients because I have the foundation for being a healing presence and the foundational principles and skills to practice this medicine with integrity. I’m taking it to the next level with my partners at Third Space Wellness and that’s because at MUIH I learned how to express better what is in my heart. It’s really happening and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished so far.

I didn’t even get to tell you about the difference it’s making in my personal life…maybe another day!

What has been your most exciting or fulfilling professional experience to date?

There are many, very many. Whether it’s at one of the wellness events we offer or when I see a patient in full bloom – such as when one tells me that they learned something about themselves that they didn’t know before and how inspired they are to delve deeper – that’s the best. In these moments I get to see someone brightening right in front of me – something clicks and they reconnect with something deep and personal, they begin to fall back in love with themselves and they recognize their wholeness. Then it spreads to their loved ones and others around them. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Are you achieving your professional goals?


What advice can you offer recent grads?

Stay the course. Even on the days when I feel a bit slow on the uptake, I stay the course. I give myself some time to let the proverbial fog pass (with as little self judgment as I can remind myself – or even ask a classmate to remind me – to put aside) and then I check-in deeply with myself about what matters, what I am committed to, what I am passionate about and what I love. Things come back into balance and the stuck-ness moves.

What would you like to do next?

It’s already happening, every day my “what happens next” is occurring. I’m looking forward to opening the literal doors of Third Space Wellness so we can give all this healing (and by healing I mean services, community, education and more) to people who are seeking it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I think we’ve covered it!

Rachel Brumberger completed her Master of Acupuncture in 2013, a Post-Master’s Certificate in Women’s Holistic Health in 2012, and will complete a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Chinese Herbs in 2014. Visit her website at thirdspacewellness.com.