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Hidden Gems: Meet Chrysten Cloud of Cloud Forest Acupuncture + Holistic Healing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chrysten Cloud.

Hi Chrysten, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
When I was seven my parents enrolled me in a mediation class called the Silva Mind Control Method. Learning how to meditate at a young age laid the groundwork for me to be aware of my breath, emotions and what was happening in my physical body. Being able to get to a meditative state at such an early age helped pave the way for the healing path upon which I would later embark. I had learned the importance of balance and how to watch my breath. I learned how to sit with uncomfortable feelings or emotions and watch where they might get stored in my body. When I was 12 my grandma took me to NYC to visit my uncle who at the time was a yoga instructor. I took my first yoga class and I was terrified that I had just joined a cult. However, I soon realized that deep breathing and stretching was something that came so naturally to me and I loved it!

After I graduated high school I became certified and started teaching yoga classes of my own. In my 20’s I went back to visit that same uncle who was now an acupuncturist and herbalist in NYC. We were out at dinner and someone from the restaurant had fallen in the kitchen. My uncle ran over and wrapped the man in cabbage and brought him some herbs to help with the pain and swelling. I watched while my uncle put tiny needles into this man’s feet and hands as his pain subsided. It was that moment when I knew I wanted to learn how to wrap someone in cabbage one day. After I graduated from college I enrolled in a 4 1/2 year master’s program to become an acupuncturist and herbalist. I had a calling to help people heal not just their physical body, but their spiritual body as well.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Deciding to enroll in Acupuncture school was not an easy decision. I knew I wanted to be an herbalist and poke people with needles for a living. The 4 1/2 year program was intimidating and I didn’t think I had it in me to take on all that student debt. When I started looking more into the program I found out that most students would take 5 1/2 years and then another six months to a year to complete their state board exams. I also learned that a very low percentage of students would not even finish the program. However, the material and coursework was exactly what my soul had been craving and it was what pushed me to keep on going.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a board-certified physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the state of California. I hold a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Herbalism from Yo San University in Venice Beach California. I am licensed by the California acupuncture board and the NCCAOM.

I created a space for people to feel relaxed and to recover from the stress of a busy lifestyle. I enjoyed creating my clinic in Atwater Village for people to be able to take an hour from their lives to reboot and recharge. I offer cupping, gua sha, moxa and prescribe herbal formulas. As the owner and practitioner of Cloud Forest Acupuncture + Holistic Healing, I specialize in women’s health, healthy aging, postpartum care, stress management and esoteric acupuncture.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I don’t consider myself as a risk-taker in the traditional sense. I do think there is a level of financial risk when you decide to take on student debt.

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Image Credits
Eugene Lee

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