An Interview with Rachel Muich, Owner of Firewood Acupuncture
Rachel Muich is the owner of Firewood Acupuncture in Denver, Colorado. Her practice specializes in Chinese herbal formulas, women's health, hormone balance, and facial rejuvenation acupuncture. We recently sat down with Rachel to discuss the benefits of acupuncture, how it plays a role in women's health, and how she practices self-centered wellness.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Acupuncture has many health benefits, including regulating the nervous system, providing pain relief, and improving mood and general well-being. One of the most amazing applications of acupuncture is in regulating hormones, which is why women struggling with infertility or painful cycles often find great success with acupuncture treatments.
This begs the question… how do these little needles have such a broad range of impacts?
"On a base level," Rachel explains, "acupuncture helps regulate your nervous system. When an acupuncturist puts needles in your body, they tell your nervous system to jump into that rest and digest mode. At that stage, all of our hormones are given a chance to turn over and re-calibrate a little bit. It doesn't happen overnight or in one session, but if you're teaching your parasympathetic system to turn on quicker, instead of having a more extended fight or flight stress response - which can escalate cortisol levels and mess with your estrogen levels - then we can tell your body its safe. We can strengthen that parasympathetic response to help keep you and your hormones more regulated. We're helping your body remember how to flow naturally, and how to have regular hormone production."
With all of these impacts on hormones, is acupuncture safe for pregnant women?
Acupuncture is not only very safe for pregnant women but also encouraged. Rachel explains that "acupuncture can help mitigate the side effects of morning sickness, pain, or inability to sleep. Many pregnant women I see come in because they're just so uncomfortable, and acupuncture gives them space to get their channels free and clear and the time to relax and calm down a little bit."
How does acupuncture benefit women's health care?
Rachel is proof that acupuncture can play an important role in women's health. Her first appointment with an acupuncturist was to find help after being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Several doctors and specialists told her that her only hope for relief from the symptoms she was experiencing were synthetic hormones and expensive pharmaceuticals.
"Within a few months of treatments, my cycle regulated, and something magical happened… I began sleeping better, my aches and pains lessened, and my digestion improved. This is because Chinese medicine is holistic medicine. It turns out that the root cause of my menstrual symptoms caused imbalances in other areas of my body. By addressing the other imbalances along with my root cause, my overall health improved, and I saw meaningful and lasting results in my quality of life."
“We can tell your body it’s safe... We're helping your body remember how to flow naturally, and how to have regular hormone production.”
How does Rachel use Jihi in her self-care routine?
Rachel uses Petal Milk daily, in addition to using it as a face serum for all of her facial patients. "I use Jihi in my daily routine- post-face washing serum goes on immediately. It's just been a product that I feel like I've really embraced as I've also been embracing self-care."
Rachel also uses Merrimint on all of her pain patients and herself. "Whenever we do cupping and gua sha, that's what I apply at the end of the treatment. I also use it on myself for my aches and pains - the feel of it is amazing. It's not an oil, it's not really like a paste. It's just like that balmy amazingness."
How does Rachel practice self-centered wellness?
Rachel believes self-centered wellness is the key to spreading joy and being the best version of herself for her patients. "By showing up for myself I can show up for my patients, and that makes me feel really good. There are times I've felt a little burned out because I'm not taking care of myself. When I realize this, I take action."
Rachel recommends focusing on yourself by making good choices and having a good self-care routine. "I try to show up for my patients. We're all spread so thin, and a lot is out of our control right now. All we can do is focus on ourselves, make good choices, and have a good self-care routine. Go for walks, do some meditation, and donate, where you can if that's possible for you. By focusing on yourself, you're actually helping society by having good mental health."