Rx For A Healthy Night's Sleep: Holistic Healer Jeannette von Johnsbach Talks Eliminating Geopathic Stress

When I first heard about master wellness practitioner Jeannette von Johnsbach and her technique for healing the body naturally by lowering exposure to geopathic stress -- the distortion of earth’s natural energies by subterranean features like underground streams and fault lines -- I knew I had to learn more about her distinctive work and share it with my feng shui clients and followers. As part of The Andreas Method, her comprehensive and integrative system for boosting the body’s ability to self-heal, Jeannette uses her Good Place modality to actively helps clients avoid the harmful effects of geopathic stress in their homes.

Master healer Jeannette von Johnsbach uses her Good Place modality to help clients avoid areas of geopathic stress and facilitate self-healing.

Master healer Jeannette von Johnsbach uses her Good Place modality to help clients avoid areas of geopathic stress and facilitate self-healing.

I recently visited Jeannette at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles where she also offers her popular Biomeditation Therapy to discuss her work and just how significant reducing geopathic stress is to cultivating good health and energy flow within the home.

Sunny: It’s said that ancient cultures from the Romans to the Bavarians would test for geopathic stress before starting construction on any site. Just how important is it to identify areas of geopathic stress in the home?

Jeannette: It’s very important, especially for people who are terminally ill or in very difficult health situations. Because if they sleep in a very geopathically stressed place, they just can’t get better. They may get the best therapies out there. They may get the best food and nutrition. They may spend a lot of money on a lot of things but they will not get better because their immune system is struggling every night to maintain what it needs to do so it can be effective.

Sunny: Since the big deal about geopathic stress is that it weakens the immune system, which rooms of the home do you consider top priority when doing an evaluation?

Jeannette: We spend a lot of time where we sleep so that’s a very critical area. If somebody sits at a desk for a long time, that’s another area to really look at. Places where you move around all the time don’t really matter but where you spend a significant amount of hours of your day are worth looking at.

Sunny: I’ve read that methods for finding areas of geopathic stress range from using complex technology to simply observing how attracted certain animals and insects are to a specific location. For example, ants are drawn to geopathically stressed areas like magnets. Do humans, like animals, have the capability to distinguish between geopathically stressed and non-stressed areas?

Jeannette: Ideally, we don’t need anything except our body to be able to feel that, naturally. But we feel so out of touch that we can’t. So then people need technology to show it but it’s really not needed. The animals know where to lie down and where not to lie down, and if we look at nature -- the trees -- some will grow in one area and some will not grow in a specific area. So it’s actually very, very intrinsic of us to know about this.

Sunny: Awareness about geopathic stress is starting to build here in the states. In what parts of the world has it already been heavily researched?

Jeannette: In Europe -- Germany and Austria in particular -- there have been a lot of studies, scientific studies, especially over the past hundred years, hundred fifty years. So it’s not just the knowledge you have from the lay people or people that work with it in the traditional sense, but you have the other [scientific] side that keeps backing it up. So let’s take that and let’s make use of it instead of having people be sick and not knowing why.

Sunny: Let’s say you find that a home has a geopathically stressed area. How do you remedy a stressed area once it's been identified?

Jeannette:  There are a lot of things that are sold to remedy but some of them really don’t work that well. If you have a very stressed area, it’s best to move the place where you sleep to find a good place. That’s why I call my service the Good Place because it’s just the safest way.

To learn more about The Andreas Method, visit here.

To book a session for Jeannette's Biomeditation Therapy, visit the website for the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles spa.

Interior Paints & Your Health: What You Should Know

Think all interior home improvement paints are created equal? Think again.

While it may be fun to beautify a room with a colorful coat of paint, it's wise to know just how the chemicals in paint can seriously affect short and long term health. But how can you evaluate which paint products will be relatively safe?

Well the first thing to know is that paints have two basic classifications: oil-based (alkyd) or water-based (latex). Oil-based paints are the ones to seriously avoid, because they contain a high level of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These toxic, carbon based compounds off-gas at room temperature, not just during the application and drying processes but sometimes even after the paint has dried.

VOCs are bad news and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, may cause eye, skin, throat, and lung irritation, as well as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Long-term exposure, such as that experienced by professional painters, may even cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and the nervous system.

Latex paints, however, contain much lower levels of VOCs. But although some latex paints are even classified as ‘zero VOC’, they can still contain harmful chemicals in trace amounts. Crystalline silica, for example, is a chemical that may be found in latex paints, and per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) it's been classified as a human carcinogen.

Still looking forward to your next home paint job? Well don't worry. You can mitigate the health risks associated with interior paints by a) doing your research before you make a paint purchase and b) by handling the paints properly before, during, and after application. Here are some tips:

1. Make Sure Your Walls Are Lead Free

If your home or apartment was built before 1978, the year in which lead based paint was federally banned, have a certified lead inspector and risk assessor test the paint on your walls. If you do find evidence of lead, hire a certified lead abatement contractor to remove it.

2. Use Only Interior Paints For Interior Jobs

Exterior paints have to withstand harsh weather and other conditions, so are formulated with chemicals that may not be regulated for indoor use. Double check the label on your paint bucket to make sure you’re purchasing a paint specifically formulated for an indoor job.

3. Look for ‘Low VOC’ or ‘Zero VOC’ Interior Paints

Go for the lowest level of VOCs possible. A paint’s VOC level is usually advertised on the front of the paint bucket, near the name of the brand.

4. Refer to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) 

A Material Safety Data Sheet details the potential hazards of a chemical product, and gives instructions for its safe handling. The MSDS will let you know the specific amount of VOCs and other chemicals present in your choice of paint. Ideally, you want the VOC level to be as close to 0 gm/l as possible.

To access the MSDS for a particular paint product, go straight to the manufacturer’s website and enter the required product code. Some big box home improvement retailers also link Material Safety Data Sheets to the paint products featured on their website. Another resource for viewing an MSDS is the Household Products Database maintained by the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine.

5. Have Adequate Ventilation During and After Paint Application

While painting a room, keep all windows open to the outside. You can also use an exhaust fan or a box fan to direct vapors to the outdoors. If you have adjoining rooms, keep the door closed and temporarily cover any forced air heating vents so the vapors won’t travel.  And it's also a good idea to keep windows open for 2-3 days after paint application.

6. Keep Pregnant Women and Children Away

Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of paint vapors, so should be kept out of rooms undergoing paint jobs. People with respiratory issues should also avoid rooms being painted or rooms that have walls covered with drying paint.

7. Consider Natural Alternatives

Natural plasters, such as clay and lime plasters, are an alternative to traditional paints. There are no VOCs and the anti-molding agents are natural. These plasters also allow your walls to be more "breathable".

You don’t have to sacrifice beautiful color to have a healthy home. Just do your homework to find a product that’s easy on your eyes and also your health!

Hello Dali:
The Visual Brilliance of the West Hollywood Design District + Architect Gulla Jonsdottir's Exhibit at the 2015 WestEdge Event

When it comes to finding the best furnishings and décor for your feng shui needs, there’s nothing like the chic and innovative West Hollywood Design District in Los Angeles that boasts over two hundred high-end merchants for design, art, beauty, fitness, fashion, and fine dining. To truly get to know what the WHDD has to offer, you can’t miss the brilliant co-op exhibit from member brands at this week’s WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica. Renowned architect and designer Gulla Jonsdottir has curated the exhibit The oxymoron of a modern Salvador Dali hotel suite. With an opening gala on October 22nd and open to the public from Friday, October 23rd until Sunday, October 25th, the WestEdge Design Fair is the Los Angeles design event that you absolutely want to attend. Just a few days before the official opening, the vibrant and captivating Gulla and I met at West Hollywood’s Terrine restaurant where she shared the evolution of this evocative exhibit and her genuine passion for the West Hollywood Design District.

Sunny: This exhibit pulls from a collection of West Hollywood Design District innovators. What sparked the idea for a Dali inspired exhibit?

Gulla: I travel a lot for work and pleasure so I stay in a lot of hotels. And a lot of them are lovely, they’re boutique, they’re wonderful. But then I thought, “If I was going to travel somewhere to like a weird place, I wonder who I would want to design my hotel suite?” And I thought, “I want it to be something like an adventure.” So I thought: Salvador Dali. He’s totally out there, he’s one of my favorite artists, and I thought that would be kind of interesting. So I’m paying a homage to him.

Sunny: Artemide, Robert Kuo, MASS Beverly, and Minotti are some of the WHDD merchants represented in this piece. What drew you to the artists you picked for the exhibit?

Gulla: When I was going to, for example, Minotti and MASS showrooms, I was picking a few pieces and the lady who works at the store said, “Do you realize that everything you picked is by the same artist?” I had absolutely no idea. I was drawn to those pieces and they just happened to be by the same Italian artist Mauro Mori. It was all made by hand. It was all nature.  So he would take a whole tree and carve it and make a bench or a stool out of it. He would cast it in bronze. It was really humanly made.

Sunny: You’re known to incorporate visuals and materials from nature into your architectural designs as well as your products. What can we expect to see in terms of natural influences in this exhibit?

Gulla: There are a couple of artisans that I’ve hired to work with me to do everything by hand so the central piece is a 10-foot plaster flower or like a concrete flower with a mirror in the center. That’s the focal point of the eye-- the Dali eye. Then I worked on a design with an area rug with one of the vendors that kind of looks like mother nature, like earth cracking, kind of sexy.

Sunny: The West Hollywood Design District has truly expanded over the past few years. How do you feel about its evolution?

Gulla: I feel proud to live and work in the West Hollywood Design District. It’s inspiring to be around all the different designers, arts galleries, and boutiques. I can see it growing really wonderfully every year.

For tickets to the WestEdge Design Fair: http://www.ten31.co/westedge/consumer.cfm

For a full list of merchants within the West Hollywood Design District.

For more on Gulla Jonsdottir's G+ Design firm: http://www.gplusdesign.com/

For an exclusive interview with Gulla Jonsdottir on her design influences and the use of the feng shui element metal in her work: http://www.spacesbysunny.com/sunny-says//elemental-influencers-gulla-jonsdottir