Nowadays, Rachel Brumberger owns her own acupuncture practice and helps people find holistic approaches to being happier and healthier.
But it’s not where she started her career. Her journey began when her search for a new career trajectory crossed paths with seeking a solution to her own ailments.
Building a Business Rooted in Passion, Belief, and Serendipity
“Prior to acupuncture, I was working in the nonprofit world and in higher-ed administration,” explains Rachel. “I was starting to look at what I wanted to do with my career. I needed to make an adjustment and I knew I wanted to be working with people one-on-one.”
At the same time that she was in search of a new career path, Rachel was also looking for solutions to her own long-term ailments.
She explains, “I was experiencing this massive swell of symptoms I’d been having since my teenage years and even since I was a kid. They were becoming overwhelming to me at that point.”
That’s when a friend introduced her to acupuncture.
“I never intended to be an acupuncturist,” says Rachel. “But I went to see a friend at a student clinic and they were able to help me alleviate a lot of the symptoms I’d be dealing with. And get underneath them, too. It was the first time in my life I felt like my health situation could really shift. And this same friend encouraged me to go to an open house at the school where the student clinic was located. It just so happened that I’d also been hearing about this same school on the radio. In fact, I grew up down the street from the original location of the school and frequented the building on post office trips with my dad as a kid. Who knew!”
She adds, “It was this serendipitous moment in life that pointed me in the right direction.”
Rachel wasted no time getting enrolled, and the rest is history.
“I was enrolled within a month,” says Rachel. “It was so quick. I fell in love with the acupuncture program. I felt like the teacher was speaking to my inner three-year-old. All the things I’d ever pondered about life, he was teaching.”
Providing Holistic Help in Keeping People Healthy and Happy
Today, Rachel’s work focuses on broader approaches to holistic health.
“I always considered myself to be more holistic,” explains Rachel. “I never approached my practice from a ‘people-in-parts’ perspective because not being seen as whole was something I’d experienced personally. So, I wanted to focus on the whole thing: body, mind, and spirit.”
She elaborates, “Emotional health and physical health are the same things. Endorphins are endorphins, no matter how you get them.”
“I’m an acupuncturist and I’m vested in being holistic with my patients,” says Rachel. “I make sure that we’re not just taking care of what’s showing up as suffering, but also what’s causing those symptoms in the first place. This includes things like autoimmune issues as well as digestive issues, depression, women’s health, and other types of injuries.”
She adds, “Lots of people associate acupuncture with pain management but, at its root, this medicine was never solely pain focused. In East Asia, acupuncture was all that was available until travel, trade, and industrialization changed medicine across the globe. So, while our practice is best known for pain management, it is and always has been very holistic.”
Offering an Innovative and Elevated Experience for Patients
Rachel prides herself on offering her patients an experience they often struggle to find elsewhere.
“I’ve remained incredibly fascinated with this medicine ever since I got into it,” says Rachel. “I love being with my patients, showing up for them, and making them feel seen, heard, and validated because that’s one of the big things missing for people when they’re suffering from something. And I love helping them put it all together in a context that’s understandable.”
She elaborates, “That’s what’s so amazing to me about medicine from East Asia: it’s so comprehensive, and when you break it down for people, they come to understand themselves better with less judgment so they can actually heal. Everything gets better when people feel whole: life, relationships, work.”
And that’s what gets Rachel out of bed in the morning.
“It blows my mind what can happen with one person and even one needle sometimes,” she says. “There’s nothing rinse-and-repeat about it. Everyone’s different. And everyone needs a unique solution to their suffering. It never gets old to me, studying and learning and applying it in my practice. It’s incredible.”
Finding a Workspace That Helped Alleviate Her Entrepreneurial Challenges
As much as her work is dynamic and ever-evolving, Rachel began struggling with some of the less glamorous sides of entrepreneurship.
“My former partners and I closed a wellness center at the end of 2019,” explains Rachel. “We had built our bricks-and-mortar practice from the ground up. But after going through a ton of challenges with the powers that be in the building, we each needed to shift gears a bit. We decided to part ways, find some respite from dealing with the facilities breakdowns we had been dealing with, and explore our independent options freely.”
That left Rachel wondering where she was going to go with her practice.
“I was dealing with this whole puzzle of how life works when you run your own business,” Rachel admits. “Being a mother, evaluating where I lived, both my husband and I work, juggling costs, deciding whether to take on a new lease. I was in a transitional time, so I started looking for a coworking space because I needed a break from being responsible for my workspace. I didn’t want to have to worry about bathrooms breaking, air conditioning not working, things like that.”
And that’s when she found Launch.
“I was looking at a space in a building and one of the building’s owners recommended Launch,” says Rachel. “And the people at Launch ended up being phenomenal: welcoming, interested, easy, forthcoming about everything I needed to know about the facility and membership. It alleviated all the things I didn’t want to deal with in a workspace.”
She adds, “As my career had seemed to be, it all happened very serendipitously.”
Since being at Launch Workplaces Bethesda, she’s felt at home and enjoyed her working experience.
“There’s a productivity aspect to being there,” she explains. “I’m an extrovert so this made it possible to be in the presence of other people and have my energy filled up in that capacity. Everybody is doing what they need to do to be successful. The staff is lovely. It’s physically and energetically clean, too. There are fewer distractions than at home and it has all the hardware I need.”
Planning for New and Exciting Initiatives in Her Practice and Career
Now that Rachel is able to focus exclusively on running her business, she’s looking ahead at a bright future full of exciting plans and opportunities.
“Looking forward, I have quite a few dreams floating in front of me,” Rachel shares. “I’m just looking for the connectors. I’m hoping to create some sort of retreat healing model where people can escape to when they need space to make the massive changes they want to make in their lives–like a healing vacation. There are lots of cool spa-like places to do that, but fewer clinical places.”
She continues, “I’m also working on a book and looking at how to build the next level of my clinical practice, deciding between multiple locations or a single location. On top of that, I just started teaching acupuncture students and supervising in the student clinic where it all began. Overarchingly, my plans are driven by the desire to make holistic healing accessible for everyone, no matter where they’re at in their path.”
And if you’d like to learn about our flexible office services or to book a tour of one of our Launch Workplaces locations, contact us today. Our team is here to help and answer any questions you might have.