Morning exercise that Kellyann recommends:
Kellyann also recommends looking into Cells or tissue Salts," otherwise known as homeopathic mineral salts. Hyland's brand often is a reliable and easy to find brand sold in most health stores.
When we’re stressed, our body goes into fight or flight mode, which negatively affects our body. Kellyann Andrews is back with more tips on keeping our stress levels low and how to return to the rest and digest mode. She also shares more success stories with the PES system.
[00:00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 454. Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. We have here today with us back on the show Kellyann Andrews from platinumenergysystems.ca. You were on episode 292, 293, 329, and 330. This time would be your fifth episode. Welcome back to the show.
[00:00:41] Kellyann Andrews: It’s lovely to be here, Ashley. Thank you so much. It’s such an awesome thing that you’re doing for people to give them the sense of their liberty because they can make their own choices.
[00:00:55] Ashley James: Absolutely. We’re raised in a system where we’re told how to think, where to go, and that we only have one system of medicine. And then we look around and realize, wait a second, I can think for myself, and there isn’t only one system of medicine. There are many systems of medicine. It’s not all one system fits all. You don’t take all the problems in your house to a plumber. Why would you take all your health problems to a doctor that only has one set of tools?
Now, MDs are fantastic diagnosticians. That’s really where they shine. That is not diagnosing everything. There are certain things that haven’t caught up yet in the MD-based world, but they’re great diagnosticians. They’re great to go to for emergency medicine. They’re wonderful at stitching you back up. But when it comes to chronic illness, the problem is that they don’t have the toolset, the philosophy, or the training.
[00:02:04] Kellyann Andrews: It’s not their department.
[00:02:05] Ashley James: It’s not their department, and there are so many wonderful MDs out there who really want to make a difference and who do make a difference. There are wonderful MDs who choose to become holistic doctors and they have to get a lot of additional training. But for some people who listen to this show who are sick of being sick and tired, they don’t know why they’re sick and tired, and they’re really sick of being given drug after drug. Maybe they don’t want to be given drugs to manage symptoms that create more problems. Then we need to look at all the different possible avenues for us.
A lot of times, listeners decide to take matters into their own hands and learn from many episodes like today’s episode and learn from people like you. And they decide to do things like daily supportive detoxification and nutrition just to help the body manage the daily stressors that we have right now. There are over 80,000 new man-made chemicals in our air, water, food, and soil. We just are not detoxing at a rate that we can handle to get rid of all this pollution, and then that leads to further deterioration.
Kellyann, you specialize in supporting the body’s ability to detox. We’ve talked about this in past interviews, and so I highly recommend listeners go and check those out. Today, you’re back here to continue the discussion of focusing on cellular health and resilience. Especially now coming into winter. Resilience allows us to bounce back, to resist illness, and bounce back from it. That’s what we definitely want to create within our health this idea of resilience.
So many of the listeners have shared that they’ve had amazing experiences with you with the Platinum Energy System machine, which I have shared in the past episodes my thrilling joy in using and experiencing the detoxification of working with your machine. Again, listeners, go back and listen to those past episodes because Kellyann fills us in on that. But a lot of interesting stories have come to the surface of listeners who have used your system with their children, with their husbands during times when they have a cold or flu, during times when they’re feeling really ill. They’re all noticing hugely positive benefits.
I have a friend who has a developmentally delayed son who’s very hard to understand in his speech. After one session, she was almost crying. She couldn’t believe it. She started recording him just to prove it to herself and show it to others. After one session, which is 30 minutes, he was speaking so clearly you could understand every single word. He said his name, he spelled his name, and he was talking like every other child his age. That was amazing that when we support the body’s ability to detox, it affects the brain, it affects the nervous system, it affects every organ in the body. What we need to do is look at how we can support the body’s ability to detox and have cellular health and resilience.
So thank you so much for coming back to the show to continue to share with us your information. I know you have so much you want to share today. Since we had you on the show last, how has it been working with all the Learn True Health listeners who have contacted you?
[00:05:58] Kellyann Andrews: It’s so lovely. I just so enjoy being in this field and having the insights and the understanding of toxicology and physiology. Just continuing the journey down the road with the people that are already using it. I mean, daily, they’re calling and saying this transformation has occurred or that transformation. So it’s just a total joy to hear the stories of recovery.
[00:06:33] Ashley James: Are there any specific stories that come to mind that you’d like to share?
[00:06:38] Kellyann Andrews: I mean, there was one case where a little girl was very autistic, very internalized. If you looked at her on a spectrum of introversion versus extroversion, she’d be way down major introversion. She was very inside herself. She was very grumpy. She was cranky. Disposition was not pleasant at all, and she was very impatient, demanding, and just irritable altogether. So they put her in the foot spa. Her father actually is a physician himself, a psychiatrist.
Anyway, she went into the foot spa and they said they knew something was occurring because she started to smile, then she started laughing, and then she started communicating and holding eye contact. So all the behaviors reversed towards the scale of extroversion within that session. At the end of the session, she was just happy. And then she went outside and she started galloping around the back garden. The father said he had never seen her do that behavior her whole life.
[00:08:02] Ashley James: Was this temporary or did they continue to see progress with her?
[00:08:09] Kellyann Andrews: They continued to see progress with her and her communication skills became more acute. There was another grandmother who had—I forget the age, I think she was six or eight, I think she was eight—an interesting story because she was always constantly having to check in with the mother when she was trying to write anything to find the words to assist her in the process. But as they noticed when she progressed through the sessions, she started to be able to initiate the sentences by herself. And then the grandmother called her an inventor because in the end she was just happily creating all these different stories and very finite articulate communication skills were occurring without the mother’s help anymore.
[00:09:07] Ashley James: I love it. I spoke recently to one of our listeners and she said that she’s had such great success with the PES. She’s really into holistic health and she has a son who I think participated in the Special Olympics so he’s quite athletic. But her husband’s really not into anything holistic, and they all got the flu, which I noticed any time I feel like we’re catching something like the cold or flu which isn’t often but when we do, we jump in the PES. We notice it speeds up our healing time.
So her husband was suffering the most out of everyone in the household probably because he didn’t take care of himself a great deal, and she exclaimed that it helped him so much to get better quicker that it started to almost make him a believer in holistic health. She was excited to notice that, but that’s what I noticed.
Our son has been doing the PES I think since about three, but he would come to us in the morning if he started feeling like he had sniffles or had a cold and he’d ask us for the foot treatment. I thought that was really cute. Without us prompting him, he said, “I want the foot treatment,” because he really did notice he started to feel better after it. That’s fun. Talking about focusing on detox, cellular health, and resilience, I’d like to get into that. How can we support ourselves to the point where we’re creating resilience?
[00:10:59] Kellyann Andrews: That is such a great question because toxicity and illness go hand in hand. That’s what Bruce Lipton was addressing in his book, The Biology of Belief. The focus needs to turn back into the body. We’re always looking outside of our body for the causative factors, but we’re forgetting that it’s the internal environment within the body that is such a key aspect because that is the key to the genetic expression of the epigenetics.
Whether health or illness is being expressed either on a physical level, emotional, or mental, the mindset, the attitude, and emotions are such a key thing as to what is actually environmentally going on inside the body. So at the core of health, there’s one major aspect, and that’s whether you feel safe or not. That’s the bottom line. It’s so interesting to come across this research.
It’s your own thoughts and feelings that you’re expressing that are communicating to the brain and the brain’s communicating to the body of whether you feel safe or not. So the brain and the body then activate a response accordingly to whether you feel safe or not, and that in turn activates your nervous system into action.
Now, if you feel safe, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system. But if you don’t feel safe, then you activate the sympathetic nervous system, which is the fight and flight response. This, at the core, is so important because just think about it for a second, Ashley. When you feel safe, how does that feel in your body? What does safe feel like in your body?
[00:13:27] Ashley James: Calm, warm, restful, peaceful.
[00:13:33] Kellyann Andrews: Exactly. So guess what you are communicating to the brain and the brain is communicating to the nervous system. When you feel safe, your body functions come literally back online because you are in a relaxed, at ease, mellow space. But what happens is that when the body and the brain respond to stress—that feeling of not safe—you activate something that’s called the cell danger response. So not safe again activates that fight and flight response, and the brain has sensors in it. So these sensors are monitoring the entire system the whole entire time like the control tower at the airport.
It’s monitoring what are the oxygen and pH levels in the body. Of course, stress and toxicity decrease oxygen and increase acidity. So now, the brain starts signaling a not safe alert and the cell danger response turns on. Now, this system of alerts was designed as a short-term response. But the trouble nowadays with COVID ongoing is it’s turned into chronic stress. So it’s become long-term stress and what that causes in the body is the cell danger response to be stuck on. When that happens, then the body is being triggered by those negative emotions and negative thoughts. When the body feels not safe, the person feels agitation, anxiety, and fear.
What happens when the body is in that feeling of not safe? It’s in the fight and flight response so here’s how the body responds. It’s set up to flee. The blood goes to the limbs. The energy is increased in the body so the body puts out more glucose. The heart rate goes up, adrenaline comes up, blood flow increases so it brings more oxygen and nutrients. The respiration increases, digestion, and immunity go down, and susceptibility and vulnerability go up.
This is where the bad microorganisms, the pathogens move into the body and when the stress is chronic, that’s what turns into chronic infections. So now you have a situation of inflammation, and the inflammation is caused by inflamed thoughts and feelings. I mean, when you just look at it so logically, you can just see.
So the key thing is that in that moment of stress, whatever that is that hits the button of reacting within your body being in nature, we’ve got to stay conscious in that moment because the fight and flight response takes you to the hindbrain and you just go into the step on the cat’s tail reaction. You’ve got to catch yourself in that moment because if you can consciously shift back to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is activated by feelings of safe, it governs your digestion, your immunity, your respiration, your heart health, your brain health, your ability to detoxify, and it also brings down inflammation.
So in the moment of stress, it is just so interesting to see and just look at this in your own life—how are you responding in that moment of stress? Because what is happening is you’re telling yourself, your biocomputer, and all of your biologies that you’re not safe and so you go into that fight and flight response. But what we need to shift to is to realize the impact that our negative emotions and thoughts are having on our biochemistry.
So anxiety, worry, anger, frustration—they’re all causing the sympathetic nervous system to go into overdrive in the fight and flight response, and it’s all activated by what you’re thinking. But what it’s affecting is your organs—your liver, your kidneys, your lungs, your spleen. And this all occurs when a person feels unsafe. So isn’t it interesting, Ashley, how Louise Hay completely focused on this in that if you look at her affirmations, she always brought in I am safe. So she intuitively got it, but she didn’t really understand the science behind it.
But even on a mental level, it impacts the body because the interesting thing about the body is the body only knows now. Whether the stressor is real or imagined, so it could be a negative projection, it could be anticipation, it could be an actual restriction or even a sense of loss of freedom. All of these are stressors and they all bring our ability to heal, repair, and have the immune system active. It all decreases all of the above. So what we have instead is a higher level of acidity and toxicity, and that also impacts the fight and flight response, impacts the body’s ability to detoxify itself. It actually inhibits the body to detoxify.
[00:20:33] Ashley James: I mean, we talk about detoxification as a concept. I think when people hear detox, they think of some major cleanse like doing a liver detox, a liver cleanse, or a colon cleanse. My neighbor, who knows I’m into holistic health, texted me the other day and said, “I want to do a lung and colon cleanse.” I think he even used the word detox. He wanted to detox his lungs, and I said, “Listen, we need to actually sit down and talk about this.” So we had a call. Because there’s one thing to think about detox as an annual sort of cleaning of the house. Sometimes people do a spring detox, like a spring cleaning where they drink a bunch of juice, do a bunch of yoga, and they just do like a week’s worth, a weekend, or something.
Sometimes people will do a fast, but it’s this idea that it’s separate from the rest of our routine and our life and that it’s this one time a year. It’s like taking letting the body have a vacation and we just nurture the body in this cleanse or detox session. But why is it actually important to focus on supporting the body’s ability to detoxify every day and incorporating that even into coming into the holidays? Especially now with the higher levels of stress and coming into a time where people might be drinking more, eating more sugar, taking less notice of what they’re putting in their body. What kind of routines can people incorporate on a small scale, on a day-to-day basis that supports cellular health?
[00:22:20] Kellyann Andrews: Where do we begin? I loved what you said there because the point is that it isn’t a once a year kind of event, it’s every day. I mean, would you clean your house once a year? Would you clean your car once a year? You do clean the chimney once a year, but that’s about the only thing.
The body gets clogged up by a continuum of toxicity coming into it. And as you mentioned at the beginning, the volume of chemicals that are now on the planet that we’re exposed to. The unfortunate part is that the planet has become 100 times more toxic in just 30 years. So a lot of these women that I’m assisting have children within that category of the last 30 years. The wonderful thing about children is that they do respond quicker because they haven’t been on the planet as long. But the unfortunate thing for the children is that they have been on the planet when it’s been the most toxic.
So there are so many different aspects that you can address, and the key of course is you’ve got to get the body moving. You’ve got to get the lymphatic system moving. I mean, there are so many different ways to be able to assist that, but the most important thing is that we’ve always got to bring back into the formula the emotional aspect. So if you’re going to go do exercise, don’t do something that you absolutely hate doing or that you’re resenting that you’re having to get up at 5:00 AM in the morning and go to the gym in the cold. Do something that makes you feel good, that you enjoy, that you love doing.
Being out in nature is the most quieting thing to the human nervous system and just to tune in. I remember when COVID first happened, I just stood on my porch and listened to the birds. I thought well the birds don’t know anything about all this that’s going on, and they were sounding so joyful and so chirpy because the noise of the humans had come down. So the joy of the birds had come up.
So when you can just tune your sensory perceptions into what makes you feel alive, what makes you feel energized, what makes you feel good? What are those things? Whether it’s aromatherapy, yoga, tai chi, or Shiba Fa, the key thing is to move the body. And when you do it in a method that’s slow and purposeful with the breath, you just have so much greater impact because the key is that when we get these toxins on board internally, toxins are inhibiting our bodies to detoxify themselves. They’re actually causing what I call log jam beaver dam.
Toxins are poisoning the nerve’s sensory perceptions and inhibiting the signaling communication of the body. The body’s ability to censor what’s going on in different parts, and it’s affecting our arcadian rhythms. So that’s where you see people with sleep disturbances, agitation, restlessness, and anxiety. When the body has so much on board in terms of toxic content, it destabilizes the cell membranes. It poisons the tissue and the enzymes. It poisons the entire neurological system.
Here’s an example of a woman that we met. Actually, she was a spa director at Sofia a few years ago. We were there, we had the equipment, and so we were giving sessions to the spa people. We walked in and this woman, I have to tell you, looked like she had—you spoke about partying—the world’s worst hangover. I mean, she just had this hangdog look. So I just said try to be polite, “What happened to you?” So then she said that she had just found out that she was living in a house that was full of mold. And she was down in your area. The volume of rain in the wintertime there, it’s not surprising. Anybody in that zone hasn’t got massive mold issues.
She was experiencing physically in her body that she had an extreme amount of fatigue, and at that time, why she had the hangover look was because she was just completely in a brain fog. I mean, her face was white. Her whole disposition was completely submerged. So what happened in the process of her detoxifying is that she released a lot of fatty content, and that was what was clogging up her lymph system. So of course, that was causing the inflammation in her body. So the sinuses started to drain the, lymph nodes behind the ears that were swollen actually shrunk during the session, which was really awesome. And at the end of it, her brain fog was completely gone. She was so thrilled, amazed, and shocked. She said, “This is the first time I’ve done any kind of intervention where I’ve had such dramatic results in the first session.”
But the interesting thing is that Dr. Stephen Genius is a doctor here in Edmonton, Canada. He said, and this makes such sense when you think about it, “The idea that heavy metals, chemicals are harmful to our bodies, and that they are in fact preventing our bodies from detoxifying effectively is the key to our present and future state of health. The body forces constantly are in a fight mode to try to stay healthy. Toxic chemicals and heavy metals compromise our immune system. Our detoxification organs—liver, lungs, kidney, colon, skin—cannot function properly to remove the toxicity.”
That’s what you saw in the case with this woman with mold was that her body was already compromised, and then she got assaulted with one more thing that literally just caused the dominoes to go backward in the wrong direction.
So it’s been such an interesting journey to see all these people coming in. The trouble nowadays, as you understand Ashley, is that 200 plus diseases and more are all increasing daily and they’re all autoimmune. So autoimmune diseases are diseases of contamination. It affects the body organs because what happens is the toxicity attaches to protein molecules and they’re contaminated. Now, they go throughout the body and they attach to healthy tissue, and the immune system finds them and it tries to clean them out and it goes after them.
So it’s misunderstood that the body is attacking itself. What it’s trying to do is just move the toxicity out. The bottom line is that we got to clean out this toxicity. For example, Ashley, with your own body, what signals and symptoms cue you that it’s time that you need to detox? What is the feeling inside your body?
[00:31:32] Ashley James: Well, when I was younger, I became very in tune with my body because I had an allergy to dairy. So for the first six years of my life, I wasn’t on a restricted diet. My parents didn’t know any better, I ate dairy, and was feeling sick all the time. I had a sore throat. Luckily, I didn’t develop ear infections, which is incredibly common for children who drink cow milk. But I did have constant sore throats, and sore throats for me was the first sign that my body was weakened. And then I have burning in the eyes and I’d feel tired.
And then we went to Dr. D’Adamo in Toronto. He had a clinic in Toronto and I believe a clinic in Philadelphia. I was six years old and he said you need to stop eating milk, yeast, wheat, and sugar. And overnight, my mom transformed our kitchen. So I grew up, from then on, living on soy milk, no sugar, and very less gluten, I suppose. We didn’t know gluten was back then, but we didn’t have any wheat in the house.
What I noticed is that my resilience went through the roof because I almost never got sick, and when I did, it would always start with a sore throat. That was my body saying you’re run down. If I pulled an all-nighter because I’m a kid, I don’t want to go to bed, and I’m at a birthday party or something or at a sleepover. But when I would run myself down or if I snuck a bunch of candy at Halloween, my body, when it was run down, would start with a sore throat. That was always my body’s saying okay, even if I didn’t have an infection my body would get a sore throat telling me it’s time to back up, rest, and start following a better protocol.
And then as I got older, that wasn’t my body’s first response. Since I’ve been pregnant, exhaustion because, of course, hormones in pregnancy are kind of crazy. I’ve had about four hormone-induced migraines, which started with the aura during my pregnancy, especially in the first and the beginning of the second trimester where I got the aura. I had blind spots like I couldn’t see in front of me, and I wasn’t afraid because I knew what was happening. I know it’s a migraine coming on that’s induced by hormones.
So I got the spots. The spots kind of clouding my vision I could hardly see. And what I have done each time to prevent it from becoming a full-blown migraine because I would never take any kind of pain medication, especially during pregnancy, right? I took the Magnesium Cream from livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. I love their Magnesium Soak and I got the Magnesium Cream. Listeners have heard it. If they’ve been listening to the show, they know how much I love that. There’s a coupon code, LTH, and I use that cream—the Magnesium Muscle Cream—and I rub it all over my neck. I drink plenty of water and then I jump in the PES. I get a session of PES and then I lie down in a darker room just to hang out. Each time, it has stopped the migraine in its tracks.
[00:35:20] Kellyann Andrews: Awesome.
[00:35:21] Ashley James: I know, it’s just amazing. That would have been a full day’s worth of suffering. Because when you get the aura, you have about two hours before it becomes—I mean, everyone’s different right, but for me, I have about two hours before it’s a full-on migraine. Each time I followed that procedure and I found that it was just so remarkably quick how I could just stop the inflammation in its tracks.
[00:35:48] Kellyann Andrews: Let me give you insight around that because I’ve had a series of car accidents in my life, and my poor head has been crushed too many times. Anyway, I used to get those visual—what do you call it—prism. A prism light where it’s almost like you’re looking in through the crystals that hang down from the chandeliers.
[00:36:16] Ashley James: Distortion.
[00:36:17] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, distortion and just like those weird mirrors in the circus. So anyway, one time it happened to me when I was out driving. Luckily, at that time, I was just coming back into the car and so I sat down. But I had just been to the health food store and in the front seat, I happened to have a whole bunch of biochemical tissue salts. The tissue salt line the Schuessler is the originator of it, and then Hylands is the brand. Well anyway, I had in the car #6, #8, and #10. So I just immediately started taking them like crazy about every 5 minutes, and within about 10 or 15 minutes, the whole thing completely disappeared. I had no headache, nothing. Because I always use my body as the field test. It’s like, okay body, is this what you want?
So it’s always a question of experience and experiment. So what I came to realize was those migraines, because the brain is so hypersensitive to acidity and so are the eyes, that it was an acidity symptom. So you did exactly the right thing because magnesium is an alkalizer, and then you went to the foot spa and that detoxified you of the acid. So when you download the acid and you uptake the nutrients that alkalize you, bingo, immediately there’s a shift.
Now, here’s an example, which is really quite interesting. So there was a woman who was opening a clinic during COVID. Can you imagine? I mean, opening a clinic at any time would be unbelievably stressful, and just the logistics of all that entails. But she was opening it in COVID time. I mean, if we want to talk about fight and flight, she was about 1000%. Anyway, I had her test her pH before the session. Then I usually wait about 20 minutes to half an hour after the session, if possible, because that gives the body that little bit of time to recalibrate, as I call it. Because we were doing a draining, she just went ahead and did the pH before, then she did the pH right when she came out of the system, and then I had her do it half an hour later.
So what was so interesting to see was before her session, her pH score was 6.5. After her session, her pH was 5. For me, my God, this thing’s supposed to rebalance my pH. What the heck happened? But then, I had her take it half an hour later and her score was up to 7.5. So what happened there was prior to her session, she had a mineral drink and it was full of alkalizing agents. So she brought her pH level up so I called that an influencer. That she took an influencer prior to her session. So the 6.5 was her influencer score, but after her session, that was her native score where her body was really at. Then having dumped the acid, and we knew she dumped the acid because her feet exfoliated like crazy. We’ve tested the water and we know that acid water helps get rid of all that dead epidermal skin.
So then we had a retest in half an hour later—having dumped the heavy metals, having dumped the acid—now she was at 7.5.
[00:40:40] Ashley James: When someone gets your foot spa—I think the term foot spa really doesn’t do it justice. It’s six different complicated technologies in one, and doesn’t it come with pH test strips?
[00:41:01] Kellyann Andrews: Yes.
[00:41:03] Ashley James: And they’re great. It’s my favorite brand, in fact, of the pH test strips that it comes with. It’s so much fun to test yourself before and after and see that, in fact, your pH does become even healthier after doing it. But you also did some interesting work with athletes, I believe. That you saw that it decreases lactic acid in the body. Can you talk a bit about that?
[00:41:29] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah. When the other people that have very high levels of lactic acid are people with Lyme. So we tested both Lyme patients and actually Olympic athletes. These Olympic athletes, I mean, if you want to talk about a diagnostic ability, these guys in the gym and the equipment that is available to them and the fine-tuning. I mean, their fine-tuning is just shaving seconds off their performance, but those seconds can make a difference between being a gold and a bronze. So their ability to monitor what is happening in the body is phenomenal—the equipment they have.
Anyway, so what they found was they had the athlete do his training performance. I mean, some of these people in what they do with the athletes—I mean, I feel so sorry for athletes—they actually train them to exhaustion. There’s almost not left in them. Then the pH got tested and the acidity was very high, but the lactic acid level was skyscraper high. So then what they did was they let the body just recalibrate and readjust after that normal adaption to see what the level of resilience was, and then test their agility, their flexibility, and their timing. I mean, it’s just so amazing how finite it is
So then what happened was did the same thing all over again, but this time after the training event put them in the foot spa. At the end of the foot spa, retested the lactic acid and it was street level again. And it’s really interesting because working with people with Lyme, we’ve also seen this recovery aspect. I mean, I’ve had so many Lyme patients phone me up and say yours is my go-to because it’s the only thing that makes me feel good. But you just think about that acid in the body. I mean, if you have acid on your skin, you know exactly what that feels like. Well, can you imagine what a poor little nerve cell feels like? I mean, it’s just incredibly overwhelming to the nervous system that level of acid, and it just so undermines the whole entire performance of the body and the body’s ability to be able to operate at any kind of level.
The number one thing that the body will do is to focus on getting that acid out of the body. We know that from examples of diseases such as arthritis where the body is literally cannibalizing itself in terms of its skeletal system because it can’t find enough alkalizing nutrients or minerals in the body. So it will pull from whatever sources it has because the body’s number one mission is to stay at a conscious level. That’s its number one function is to stay conscious, and it will sacrifice all other aspects.
So when we do things like extreme sports, extreme stress, or staying up overnight, we just completely knock the body’s balance and rhythm out of orbit. And then the body has to try to recalibrate, but it’s that recovery. How quickly are you recovering from these broadsiding events—the setbacks, the stressors? And that tells you a whole lot about where your body’s at. And if you’re able to recover quickly, then your systems are online. But if it’s taking you a long time to recover and you’re what I call dragging anchor through life, then you know that your reserves are low. But the number one thing is that you’ve got a high level of acidity on board.
[00:45:58] Ashley James: So you’d brought up what I notice in my body when I’m just starting to feel run down, acidic, or just noticing higher toxicity. I think that’s something really important to acknowledge that we need to become in tune with the first steps, the first signs that we’re going down the wrong path. Back before I cut out a lot of unhealthy foods in my diet, I just felt bad all the time and so that was kind of like my normal. I didn’t know because I was habituated. I didn’t know that was my normal.
A lot of people are walking around eating foods that inflame them, living a lifestyle that inflames them, and then they have to compensate by drinking lots of caffeine in the morning, drinking alcohol at night, up-regulate themselves, downregulate themselves, taking aspirin or Advil, taking in sugar just to manage, just to try to get through the day. They’re using substances.
[00:47:06] Kellyann Andrews: Self-medicating.
[00:47:07] Ashley James: Self-medicating throughout the day just to survive, and if we’re unconscious about that, we’ll just continue to drive our health deeper and deeper into the ground. And then you take that person and you get them off of—I’m going to say for me it was dairy, gluten, pesticide food, GMO food, and they’re eating less processed foods. So avoid flour as much as possible. So now you’re eating foods that are just whole plants, whole foods.
[00:47:44] Kellyann Andrews: I call it food in God’s format.
[00:47:46] Ashley James: God food. So walking through the Garden of Eden. I like to call it single-ingredient food. There’s an apple, I eat it. For those who choose to eat animals, just choose something that’s closest to nature as possible. Not a factory farm, but something that lived in a pasture and was very happy about its whole life eating organic, and living a full life that didn’t involve a factory farm. That makes a difference. You take that person off of everything that inflames them, and then a month goes by and they have a new normal. And then if you give them the old foods that inflame them, they, all of sudden, feel like they have a hangover the next day. That’s how I feel.
I remember the first time, we had cut out all alcohol because we decided to go sugar-free. Not that either one of us drank excessively. We would drink socially, but we cut out all alcohol, all sugar, we went gluten-free, and we were eating 100% organic. I remember we went down for Thanksgiving, this was 10 years ago just coming up to our 10-year anniversary. We each had a shot of Crown Royal. I don’t know what it is about Crown Royal, I always used to love it. I think it was just one shot each but we ended up, on the way home—because it was a three-, a four-hour drive home from Portland to Seattle with the traffic—we had both splitting headaches.
By the time we got home, we were hungover. We had splitting headaches and we felt as though we had partied all night long and had a hangover already. We hadn’t even had the opportunity to sleep, and we thought that’s so interesting that we came from such a clean diet and then went back to eating just sugar, dairy, and whatever was served basically at thanksgiving. How quickly our body said, no, don’t do that.
[00:49:53] Kellyann Andrews: You’re body said what the heck?
[00:49:55] Ashley James: What the heck? And that was us feeling the body revolting from feeding it poison. So if we eat poison all the time, we’re habituated, and that’s our new normal. But then when we take it up to the next level, now our new normal feeling even more energy, vitality. Once we start cleaning up our diet, we need to be in tune with what it feels like to start to go backward, slip backward? What is your body’s first warning system for slipping backward? For some people, it actually starts with emotions. We cannot disconnect the emotional body from the physical body.
So when we eat certain foods, we can have an emotional response, and it’s very apparent in children. You give children too much sugar, they become frustrated easily. They have temper tantrums. They cannot control their emotions very well. Adults do too, but we mask it a little better than them, and we ignore and push aside our emotions. We don’t realize that when you eat things that are inflaming your body, it can actually come out as feeling angry, frustrated, losing your temper quicker in certain circumstances, or everyone’s irritating you. So you feel normal but everyone else is to blame.
[00:51:18] Kellyann Andrews: Isn’t it interesting how toxic thoughts create toxic substances, and toxic substances create toxic thoughts?
[00:51:26] Ashley James: I think we just have to check in with ourselves and each go—for me it could be fatigue, it might be my first sign that my body’s going in the wrong direction or becoming more acidic, needing a detox, needing to come back to the foundations of health. And it can be something as simple as what does dehydration feels like in you? This morning I woke up and I felt like I’m a little dehydrated. I’m going to really push the water, even more, today and get in some minerals. I checked in with myself, but if we don’t check-in and go, okay, I have a little bit of tension in my shoulders. I might be wearing my stress. My mom would say don’t wear your shoulders like earrings.
[00:52:11] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, that’s a great expression. That is classic.
[00:52:15] Ashley James: Right. We both would wear our emotional stress in our physical body, and so we have to check-in. Check-in with yourself as you wake up in the morning, where’s the tension? Is there tension? Are you tired, or do you have mental clarity? Are you wide awake? Are you happy? Are you irritated? What’s going on? Your body is telling you right now if there’s something off or not, and it can be something very simple like really getting back to a cleaner diet. It can be needing to shift your thoughts into less toxic thoughts. I mean, it could be an accumulation of many things, but it does take checking in every day and then making little adjustments every day. That makes the biggest difference.
You’ve talked about why is it so important to have these healing thoughts rather than toxic thoughts. Because our body’s always listening to our internal dialogue, our body creates the stress response based on what we’re thinking and what we’re focusing on. So it is true that toxic thoughts create toxicity in the body and vice versa.
[00:53:21] Kellyann Andrews: Now the interesting thing is to see how broad range the signals or the symptoms of toxicity are in the body. So we already talked about fatigue, brain fog, and what I call dragging anchor. We talked about the headaches and the migraines, but mental confusion—a drugged kind of feeling—and then, of course, the classics are puffy eyes, baggy eyes, dark circles under the eyes. But most people will just try to minimize that they have gas, indigestion, irritable bowels, and reflux. They try to just ignore those signs, but the trouble with the body is the volume is very low at first and it increases up to a scream when you don’t attend.
So if people have sluggish or slow elimination, then that’s going to show up as acne and skin issues. But it’s so interesting, Ashley. I have people phone me up all the time and say how come I’ve never had this issue before and now they’re 40, 50, or 60. When the beginning, people used to phone us up when they were in their 50s, 60s, and 70s with degenerative issues. But now, we have people phoning us up in their 20s, 30s, and 40s with what used to be considered degenerative senior citizens diseases. But nowadays, we’re hearing that even teenagers are having heart attacks.
So some of the other symptoms that where you need to detox, the one classic one that people phone up all the time is about achy joints and muscles or stiffness. But even slight things like people have a low-grade fever, but the feeling level, the ones where people aren’t recognizing these are symptoms of needing to detox is depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, frustration, irritability, restricted breathing, sleep issues, restlessness, and pain. A lot of people aren’t associating that with the need to detox.
So I always say if you have symptoms in your body, you have toxicity on board. I was watching someone else’s podcast or video the other day, and this person specializes in toxicology issues. They were saying that 90% of illnesses out there are related to toxicology issues.
[00:56:26] Ashley James: Scary.
[00:56:28] Kellyann Andrews: It’s pretty astounding. But when you think, if you have an environment that’s highly acidic, it’s full of heavy metals, it’s got agriculture and industrial chemicals in it, the more toxins that are present, the more parasites love that environment. Parasites thrive in the toxic environment, and what does that do in the body? That decreases your circulation, it increases what I call a log jam or beaver dam where it impedes the flow of blood and lymph through the body, and basically, people have clog ups in circulation. Of course, that’s exactly what edema is. But they’ll have a clog up on an organ level. The increase of toxicity in the body causes increased inflammation.
But the saddest thing that I ever am exposed to is these poor children that are either ADHD, autism, or along that line, and they’re experiencing brain inflammation. What happens is that when the lymph system up to the brain gets clogged up—one of the things that have really been endorsed these days and I really need to bring this to people’s attention are the keto and paleo diets where they’re really emphasizing a lot of protein and a lot of fats. But what I’m witnessing in all our clients is that’s what’s clogging up their lymph system because they’ve got a hyper acidic environment and then they got all these fats on board. The liver and the gallbladders are not responding to be able to that load of fat in the body. It’s not digesting it and it’s clogging up the system.
So now, up to the brain, it’s congesting the circulation to the brain. Now the brain goes into an edemic kind of state. It becomes swollen, but because the brain cannot expand because of the skull, that’s where you’re seeing these children that are experiencing inflammation in the brain and they’re knocking their heads on the ground to try to stop the pain, to numb the pain. I mean, it’s just so horrifying. But what they’re finding now is that it’s the vagus nerve that controls the parasympathetic nervous system, and the vagus nerve is what actually Dr. Klinghardt has found. That 90% plus of his patients all have toxic vagus nerves.
[00:59:29] Ashley James: Can you explain for those who don’t know? What is the vagus nerve? What’s it responsible for? Why is it so important?
[00:59:36] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah. It’s the control tower at the airport. So the interesting thing is that what inhibits the vagus nerve—before I answer that question—is toxic thoughts, toxic substances, chemicals, and heavy metals, stress and stress patterns, physical toxicity, and of course the vagus nerve is right up above the jawline. That’s where all of the dental issues are manifesting, and so of course amalgam fillings, heavy metals, and all the chemicals that they use in dentistry are completely toxifying that. Of course, then you have viruses and infections.
The bottom line of the vagus nerve—so what happens is you have, first of all, the human nervous system. You have the autonomic nervous system covering all unconscious functions such as digestion, heart rate, respiration. So the vagus nerve is the signal highway that connects the brain to the rest of the body. It connects to the digestive organs, the liver, the lungs, the spleen, the kidney. It’s how the body monitors blood sugar’s heart rate, respiration, oxygen levels. The vagus nerve is the on and off switch for the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.
[01:01:19] Ashley James: So when you say Dr. Klinghardt, who we’ve had on the show. He’s the one that turned me on to the Platinum Energy System because he has had great success with the last 40 years working with children on the spectrum and seeing that detoxing them of heavy metals and eliminating things that are causing them to have inflammation, but especially detoxifying heavy metals from their brain. That they go from, for example, being unable to speak or hitting their head—nonverbal, to being able to make eye contact, talk, emotion, communicate in such a short period of time.
He’s been doing this for 40 years, and one of the big things he uses is your system in his clinic. He recommends his patients, especially those with Lyme disease, although he does have a lot of autoimmune patients that are sort of mystery patients, and he’s great at working with them as well. He’s been doing this for over 40 years. So I had Dr. Klinghardt on the show. But that’s what made me so fascinated was that we could speed up the detoxification of organs such as the brain to remove heavy metals using this method, and that was quite exciting.
He says most of his patients though have vagus nerve, inflammation, or toxicity. What does that mean to have nerve toxicity?
[01:03:04] Kellyann Andrews: That whole understanding is that you have a clogged lymph system going up to the brain. It causes inflammation, basically, through the neck, the carotid artery, and all of that area. The circulation is limited, so now the brain can’t get the nutrients up into it. But even more so, at night, you can’t get the toxicity out of it. So now, everything that’s up there is getting locked in and saturating into the tissues. So heavy metals are the number one thing that they’re finding that is inside the nerves.
What they’ve also found is that the heavy metals are like a doorway for how the toxicity or the heavy metals are actually using the nerves as a pathway. So when the vagus nerve gets toxic, it affects everything downstream, as I said, all those different organs. So what they’re seeing with vagus nerve toxicity is symptoms such as autoimmune, brain, and memory issues, anxiety, arthritis, even anorexia and bulimia, autism, infections, parasites, fungal, viral, bacterial. And then all of a sudden, because it controls the blood sugars as well, people are becoming insulin resistive. It also controls heart health, digestive issues, and systemic inflammation.
So people are experiencing things like fatigue, food sensitivity, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, heart issues, migraines, tendonitis, MS, mood disorders, and on and on and on because you just think of all of the organs that the vagus nerve connects with. Well, if the vagus nerve is toxic, the vagus nerve is not functioning normally, and now the sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive because of the stress levels, and people can’t go into rest and digest mode anymore.
You see people who have insomnia, what happens is when the brain gets too toxic, the whole entire brain area is antagonistic because of the hyperacidity because that’s not the environment it was designed to be in, slight alkalinity it was. And now, that’s just driving the nerves crazy. So it’s sort of like a mouse or a gerbil on a wheel. It just won’t settle down, and that’s why you find people that cannot sleep at night or they wake up and their brain is just like that mouse on a wheel.
[01:06:30] Ashley James: So many people have problems with anxiety and then they will become so desperate they turn to medication, which makes the system more toxic because it stresses the liver. Any time we take a medication—this is something really important to know. You can google this. This isn’t like far out there. It’s known, and it’s actually taught to MDs, but they don’t really stress it enough. Every medication, both prescribed and over the counter depletes, the body of something—vitamin C, CoQ10, and many, many different minerals. It takes the body effort to process. The liver has to process a man-made chemical. Medications are artificial.
Now, I’m not here saying don’t ever get on medication, medication is bad. What I’m saying is that we have to be very cautious, and we have to understand that any time we take one, it does harm the body. We need to be aware of that.
[01:07:40] Kellyann Andrews: The other thing is that it stops its signaling ability. Antidepressants, I mean, it just shuts down the body feeling. It’s a tough one because medications, as you have pointed out, do have their place in acute care. When you’re in the emergency room, you definitely want to have something that will stimulate your heart if your heart stops. However, where we get in trouble with medications is where we take them long term and they weren’t designed for chronic care. They were only designed for acute care. And then you do start to go into the side effects because that’s the accumulative toxicity effect in the body. A lot of times, it’s hyperacidity.
[01:08:35] Ashley James: Right. So here we have a person who has, let’s say, the toxicity of the vagus nerve. They are starting to realize they might have that because you’ve mentioned that one of the known symptoms or signs that we have is that we can’t turn it off. We’re constantly worried, we’re constantly stressed. We can’t get out of stress mode.
[01:09:07] Kellyann Andrews: Obsessive thinking.
[01:09:10] Ashley James: We can’t get into feeling safe mode. We can’t get into healing the parasympathetic nervous system response of rest and digest. That’s definitely a sign that we’ve been probably unhealthy for a while or going down the wrong path for a while. Whenever it finally sinks in, for someone to go, okay, now I need to make changes. I need to find a better direction. How do we start to heal the vagus nerve? How do we start to detoxify that?
[01:09:49] Kellyann Andrews: What’s really interesting is that for the longest time, I was just fascinated to watch clients recovering from the process of detoxification. I just thought, wow, it’s so brilliant what is occurring. But the brilliancy is the body knowing what it needs. If we would just trust our bodies to know, I mean, it has thousands of years of intelligence designed into it. That’s what instinct means is that there’s an inner knowing—a GPS system, a true north navigational system—that has the understanding of how to rebalance itself. What we got to do is to create a healing environment, and we need to create an internal environment in which the body can then come optimally on board again online.
What we’ve found by working with clients using our system is that one—the key factor is—get that lymph system moving. Because everybody who comes to us, and believe me, I have clinics sending me their most vulnerable patients. People that they can’t even work with because they have been so chronically sick for so long and they’re in such a state of inflammation and congestion. I call that state cellular constipation where everybody has a clogged lymph system no matter what their symptoms are. The severity of the symptoms equals the severity of the clog up. It’s like an LA freeway in traffic hour, nothing’s happening.
With the immune system, that’s like the UPS trucks can’t leave the warehouse. They can’t deliver the parcels. So when the lymph system’s clogged up, it just log jams the entire body’s circulatory system. So number one, you’ve got to get that lymph system open. You’ve got to get the flow happening because all the other drainage routes downstream will start to work. It’s like, as a simple visual, the liquid Drano commercial. The sink’s all clogged and nothing’s happening, and it sure doesn’t look pleasant either.
So the thing is that once that lymph system is moving, what we see categorically come out are heavy metals and then everything else that shouldn’t be in the body because the body’s wisdom knows what’s a nutrient and what’s a toxic substance. It is trying its hardest to get rid of that toxic substance. But when the exit routes are log jammed and beaver dammed, it tries to get it out any way possible, and of course, that’s when you see it coming out on the skin.
But what we found is that most patients have a history of mold toxicity, and then, of course, parasites, bad microbes, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals. But there is a commonality also with the dental work being done and of course the amalgam fillings, and that’s what’s causing the huge problem, of course, with the vagus nerve.
So you’ve got to open the lymph first. You’ve got to get hat drainage happening, especially out of the brain. Then what you begin to see is that the health returns. And the way that it returns is you decrease the acidity, you increase the oxygen—which increases energy, you increase the blood flow, you increase the lymph flow. Now the body can sleep and relax because its parasympathetic nervous system is back online, you see tension and stiffness go down, you see digestion and elimination go up, ang you see calmness return to the system.
[01:14:24] Ashley James: Don’t we all want that? You said we have intuition, and I believe we do. I really feel we’ve been trained to not listen.
[01:14:45] Kellyann Andrews: Wait. I need to pause there for one second. You have the right concept but we need to do a slight edit in that sentence. And it’s you that chose that. It’s the person themselves that chose that. What we have to do is we have to retrain the brain because you’re right, in a way. Society has trained us from school onwards to shut down the signals of the body. When you’re in the middle of class, you can’t get up to go to the washroom, it’s inconvenient, or whatever. So we do start to dummy down the signal. The body is brilliant at communicating but the key is are you listening and then are you responding?
[01:15:29] Ashley James: So it does take really listening. I interviewed Dr. Alan Goldhamer who co-wrote a book called The Pleasure Trap. It’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. He talks about how our brain developed over—however long we’ve been here, thousands of years. That we look to seek pleasure from eating, from reproducing, and from resting. That’s how we survived as long as we’ve survived is that we take the time to rest when we can. We take the time to reproduce, to procreate, to pass on our genetic code, and we eat.
The foods that give us the biggest dopamine hit are the foods that will also have the highest calorie density, and that really helped us a thousand years ago when there wasn’t any processed food. But it doesn’t help us now because now it’s so easy to acquire foods that are high in hyper-palatable ingredients that trigger dopamine. I think that part of it is society has trained us to not listen to our intuition, but we’re also—from a very young age—been marketed to look at substances like food and beverages to increase dopamine, to increase pleasure. We seek dopamine more the unhealthier we are because we have less and less dopamine when we’re sick, when we’re tired, when we’re toxic, when we’re inflamed.
[01:17:16] Kellyann Andrews: That’s like wanting to be in the rocking chair, be held, and just feel good. So we’re doing whatever we think on a self-medication level that tries to restore that feel-good aspect. But one of the things that can quickly help you that’s easy is just getting your oxygen levels up in the body because, of course, when the oxygen levels go down, that’s when you feel tense, stiff, tight, and your intercostal muscles can’t expand. So the tight tissue inhibits blood flow. It inhibits the intercostal muscles to have any flexibility for better movement, and then, of course, that even affects the hips in terms of flexibility and the pelvis being able to move freely.
So the more flexible you are, the more oxygen moves through your body, and it’s like the analogy of a fish through water. So the trouble too, which you pinpointed, is our lifestyle these days where we’re living sedentary lives because of our jobs. We’re sitting at a computer where we’re not mobile like we used to be in ancient times. As the stiffness increases, so does the poor circulation, and the body’s more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. So the way we think and how we feel also increases that tension or relaxation. It increases the acidity and toxicity or decreases it by how we physically respond.
So breathing is so not only essential—it can’t last long without it, but it actually will shift a degeneration cycle to a rejuvenation cycle. Chronic stress can be turned around to be instead of chronically stressed, you can be relaxedly alert, and it will improve your digestion, your optimal health. But the trouble is that almost everybody isn’t breathing the right way.
Now it’s really interesting even with the yogas. The yoga and exercise groups are training people to stop being chest breathers, shallow breathers, just the upper respiratory sort of your upper lung capacity. But they’re using the belly to breathe in and out so the belly should expand and the belly should contract. But in doing the investigation into the best breathing methods was nose breathing.
Now a lot of people have congestion in the sinuses. I mean, that makes it a little tough. But as you start to nose breathe more and more, I’ve found with clients that it starts to open up the upper respiratory, all of the sinuses. So nose breathing is number one to bring up your resilience and your health creation. So try this as a method. Do a big exhale first, but what I want you to focus on is your diaphragm not your belly. So I want you to focus on the diaphragm going up and down like an elevator.
So now do a big inhale but do it slowly and focus on your diaphragm and really notice how that diaphragm moves down towards the belly button with inhale. Now it’s almost the opposite. So now, when you do a big inhale, bring the diaphragm down, and then once it’s down then continue that inhale, and you have to train yourself to be able to do it. It can be a little frustrating at first because we’re not used to doing it this way, but then what you want to do is you want to take the air down to the lower part of the lung so that you actually expand the intercostal muscles to expand out because that is what creates more capacity and more volume.
So what’s very interesting—tying this back into the nervous system—is that the vagus nerve is connected to the diaphragm. So when you do diaphragmatic breathing, so literally it massages your organs, but it signals your body that you’re safe. So one of the things that you can do in that moment of stress—whatever the stressor is—you catch yourself completely tensing up. As you said, your mother-in-law saying about the shoulders up as earrings. So catch yourself in that moment of stress. Now, in your body somewhere is a center that signals you when you’re uptight.
So a lot of people it’s the gut. As soon as they have the stress moment, they get tight. Usually, people stop breathing or hardly breathe at all. But there’s a place in your body and you just need to find it, and how you find it gets triggered by stress. Find that part in your body that is your signal of stress, and what you do is you breathe right into that. But when you do that diaphragmatic breathing, you literally are choosing at that moment a new choice and the choice is to stay in the parasympathetic nervous system, not move into fight and flight, and just to stay in mellow mode.
When you stay in mellow mode, you can make brilliant decisions. You see that you have options. You look at your life more from an eagle point of view rather than an ant point of view. To an eagle, it looks down and everything is very small. All the issues in life are just put in perspective. It’s a very wide-angle camera kind of view of life. But when you’re an ant, everything looks like skyscrapers, and that’s when you’re in the sympathetic nervous system mode where you globalize that everything in your life is not working. Where it’s one aspect that’s not working and then you just need to shift back to your forebrain, which is the mammalian side of the creativity of thinking, the front part of the brain.
So the things you can do is one is diaphragm breathing, two is to bring your awareness to your forebrain, which is your thinking center. The back part of the brain is the reactive, animalistic, fight-or-flight part. So bring yourself to the front part of the brain. Now you can do that by actually tapping on the brain or just visually push on the brain because wherever the pressure is the attention goes. So by pushing on the forebrain, you literally cause your awareness to come to the frontal lobes.
But the other thing you can do is just now, at this moment, look throughout through your eyes very consciously. And if you’re in a room, outside, or whatever, look to see colors and textures as if you’re an artist and you’re going to draw this landscape or whatever. So just really focus on the difference between colors and textures. By coming to the forebrain through your eyes, you’re actually bringing the energy of the brain to the front of the brain and that will bring you into your thinking centers. Then you start to focus on solution orientation. But if you’re in the hindbrain, in fight and flight, you’re totally in that reactive mode, there isn’t any sense of options. There’s just a feeling of entrapment.
[01:26:29] Ashley James: Well, I think we’ve really illustrated the point of how physical health, diet, our lifestyle, and our emotions are all connected and they all affect each other.
[01:26:48] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, it’s interesting. On that level, just one more thing—which I think is really important because it ties into both the physical and the emotional—is at what frequency is your body operating at, and that is hugely impacted by your emotions and your thoughts. So when you have a setback, you want to see how quickly your resilience level is in rebounding out of that situation, is it a short-term thing, or are you carrying it forward? Do you continue to re-go over whatever derailment happened or do you move on? But what’s interesting, Ashley, is the frequency aspect of the human body.
Now, healthy is about 58, but when you have a cold of the flu, your frequency drops down to 57. When you have candida overgrowth, it drops to 55. When you’re receptive to Epstein Barr, it drops down to 52. And when you have cancer, it’s 42 and death begins at 25. So it’s so important to keep your frequency at a high level because that will affect everything in your body because your body is designed to operate at that set level. I mean, life is disturbing. It’s like a lake that’s beautifully serene and calm and then all of a sudden these storms come along. What’s your ability to recover from the storm?
[01:28:42] Ashley James: How quickly can you bounce back? How soon do you detect that there’s something off, and how quickly will you bounce back?
[01:28:50] Kellyann Andrews: One of the keys is your energy level, and that’s why I wanted to bring in frequency because there’s a huge correlation between your energy level and your toxicity level and the impact that it has on the mitochondria inside the cells. Because the mitochondria or your power creators are their energized bunny creators.
So when cells are toxic, they’re inhibited in being able to create energy. We need to make our mitochondria really happy. What makes them happy is breathing, water, and nutrients. So the key to cellular health is creating that energy, and the greatest thing that I’m so happy to share is that thiamine B1, is the fuel source for the mitochondria. It’s so amazing because if you feed the mitochondria, then their ability to do their job is just heightened.
But when the mitochondria aren’t functioning, the nerves aren’t able to fire properly. The acidosis in the body starts to cause edema and inflammation. The glucose utilization goes down. The blood flow goes down. The health in the gut goes down. The whole ability of the autonomic nervous system, its ability to function, and the signal goes down. So it all depends on the mitochondria. The mitochondria are key of course to be able to help the body detoxify.
[01:30:57] Ashley James: I just did an interview with the scientists behind Viome, the at-home testing company that helps with understanding what chemicals your bacteria make from the food you eat. Because there are hundreds of thousands of pathways of genetic expressions of your bacteria. Mitochondria are bacteria in our cells, and they have a unique relationship with the bacteria in our gut. They’re actually finding that our gut will send signals to our mitochondria throughout our body and that we want to, obviously, establish a very healthy microbiome that can also help the mitochondria.
We’re just scratching the surface in terms of understanding the importance of the bacteria in our body. Eating foods that contain highly processed foods, sugar, alcohol, oil has even been known to harm the good bacteria in our body while inviting and creating that environment—the petri dish—that allows the unhealthy, not only bacteria, but yeast and parasites to thrive. If people who are not really listening to the body, it isn’t until they’re really sick that they’re noticing a difference. But those of us who really listen and really focus on and listen to our body, we’ll start to feel off fairly soon into going down the wrong path.
That’s why I like doing a symptom inventory checklist. I write down symptoms, and I get all my clients to do this as well. Write down all your symptoms no matter how big or how small, even the ones your doctor says oh you have that because it’s genetic, you have that because of your age, you have that because you’re a woman or because you have a uterus, or because of your work. Whatever it is, write down every symptom you have and then make three columns: frequency, duration, and intensity.
So how often does it happen is the frequency. Duration, how long does it last? An intensity, on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it? Either it’s every how many times a day, how many times a week, how many times a month, and then you come back to that list a month from now. You can also even notice like on times during the full moon and during a new moon, do your symptoms get worse? Is your sleep disrupted during a full moon or new moon? Do you find yourself craving things, more tired? Those are absolute signs that you have an imbalance in the gut, whether it be a parasite, candida, or otherwise.
So we have to listen to the symptoms of the body, and then if your symptoms are getting worse and not better, we really need to pump the brakes and go in a different direction, figure out what’s going on. If you’re staying the same, okay, well that’s good, but let’s see what we can do to improve. Maybe pick one and look at what you can do to improve it. And then if you’re getting better each month, keep at it. It’s a fantastic way to just check in because we often forget.
I had a client once who made some changes to her diet and she started taking supplements and six months later she said I forgot I used to have weekly migraines. She hadn’t had a migraine in six months.
[01:34:31] Kellyann Andrews: It was a joy that she forgot.
[01:34:33] Ashley James: Yeah, but she was like I can’t believe it. I actually forgot. I had to remind her.
[01:34:38] Kellyann Andrews: I know. I see that all the time. It’s so fun people come in with all these derailments, and that’s why I have them—from a nursing background—monitor their own health and chart their progress. And that’s why doing the pH for three days is so awesome because it’s not just one moment in time. Because as we saw with the women who had it at 6.5, it’s what you did right before that made that difference. But when you track it for three days doing it three times a day—both urine and saliva—you get a whole different picture.
[01:35:10] Ashley James: Listeners can go back and hear our episode all about pH that we did.
[01:35:18] Kellyann Andrews: That was 293.
[01:35:20] Ashley James: Yeah, that was episode 293. You’ve shared stories in the past, but after sharing this information with us, do you have any more stories of client recoveries, returning to health after changing these factors in their life?
[01:35:39] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah. I mean, I could go on for days.
[01:35:43] Ashley James: Please do.
[01:35:44] Kellyann Andrews: It’s just so amazing. We had one girl who came to us, and she actually had down syndrome. Her own mom described her as a zombie, which is just really sad. But anyway, she had a series of sessions, huge lymph clog up, and then a massive download of other content including heavy metals. But it was like she popped out of the cocoon. She was so incredibly internalized and then she became literally like a butterfly just so outgoing and gregarious. When the downs people smile, it’s like their whole body lights up. But what happened was she initially had sessions at a clinic and then the mother purchased. So it was a month before we were able to actually do them in her home environment, and in that month’s period of time she clogged all up again.
So by the time she got back home, she was back in the cocoon again. I assisted her in the first session over the phone and it was so amazing because the mom said during the session she said oh, I think she’s feeling better because she’s smiling big time. So then, after the session, mom and I were doing the cleanup, tidy up, and all of the procedural stuff. So then I said we’ll have her go and just go check in with her body and see how she feels.
Well, she came back into the room and she was clapping, dancing, and singing around the room and I could hear her. I think that’s just such a perfect illustration, image, and visualization for all of us in whatever life experiences we’re having, especially in this COVID time where you just feel like you’re in a box and there are no doors. Can you imagine what this poor girl felt inside her body not being able to communicate? We’ve actually had autistic children have a series of sessions.
A teenager, I remember one time, after she cleared enough of this toxic content out of her body being in the brain, she was able to communicate what her experience was. One of the things was that she would never let anybody touch her and that she had to dress herself. Well, that sort of drove the family crazy because she was so slow in the process. But later she told the reason that was because her skin was burning, and if anybody touched her, it was just super painful.
[01:38:43] Ashley James: Do you have any stories that you can share of long-term working with your system for a while? What kind of results do people get after long-term use?
[01:38:58] Kellyann Andrews: I mean, whatever they experience in the short term just becomes more pronounced over time. We’ve had people who have been with us since 2004, and it’s been a fun journey because I had this one man. I think he came to us when he was in his 60s, and he was in quite a state. He had heavy metal toxicity‚ really extremely, and he had to literally go out and stand in the snow to calm down the burning of his feet.
After a series of sessions, he no longer needed that. Now he’s in his 80s and he phones me up and he’s just chirping away like a robin in springtime. He’s just so outgoing, energetic, gregarious, and just a happy camper. He says, “When I came to you in my 60s, I was really going downhill rapidly and I just didn’t even want to be here. But now, I get up at 6:00 AM in the morning. Do you know all those people that have to have a cup of coffee? Not me. I get up and I’m just ready to go.”
[01:40:20] Ashley James: I love it.
[01:40:21] Kellyann Andrews: So it’s really fun, but one of the cases that happened recently that really astounded me because I’ve seen a lot of people coming out of themselves, so to speak, when they’re introverted and going extroverted. But this man was really unusual. He grew up in a toxic sort of like an Erin Brockovich story. He grew up in one of the most toxic cities in New Jersey. They actually told me what it was but I can’t remember what it was now. It’s probably better I don’t tell anyway. So he ended up with cancer and went the traditional route in which then they did chemotherapy, radiation, CAT scans, dyes, meds, and the whole pathway.
So anyway, by the time I got to be with him, it was actually his wife who was my client. But she actually had crashed her own body because she was caretaking him, and that’s sometimes what we see is the caretakers end up going first because they’re so exhausted. But in this case, she asked me to look after him while she used the system to balance her issues out.
So I did the first session with both of them, and I mean when the guy came on the phone, I was just shocked. He spoke a few words and then there’d be this huge pause and then a few more words and a huge pause. So I was moving at about a fifth gear at the time so I slowed it down to first and just connected in the space, time, and place that he was in, and then just kept him going through the session and checking in. By the end of the session, he was talking like he was the old record player when you played it at 33 and it went to a very slurry kind of level. That’s how he was talking. But by the end of that session, he was talking like you and I, normally at a 45-degree speed. So then I had him get out.
Now this man was a lawyer, so you can imagine how much he would value his ability to communicate and his articulation. So he got out of the foot spa and I knew that he had had a shift because of the tone in the voice, the clarity, and the speed. I had never really experienced that so dramatically on an auditory level. We got him out of the system. Because of his mental orientation, I said, “So how are you feeling? Do you feel a little more alert and awake? And he said, “Yes.” I mean, it was like a disc jockey kind of tone and volume that came out of it and it was so awesome. And then what happened was he said, “And something else.” And I said, “What are you experiencing?” And he said, “Everything in the room is brighter.”
So I had him tune into his eyes. I said, “Okay, well let’s look through your eyes and tell me what you’re experiencing.” So he looked outside and he said, “Oh my God, everything has come back into focus again.” So I was just astounded. But you know what, when you think about it in Chinese medicine, of course, it’s the liver and the eyes. But the nervous system and the eyes, the nerves, and the eyes are the most vulnerable to high levels of acidity. Of course, he was loaded with heavy metals. I mean, he had a huge pH shift in his session and his skin exfoliated like crazy, so we knew that he had downloaded a lot of acids. But instantaneously, the body responded to that, and that’s what’s so great.
I mean, here’s a guy that’s in a chronic, debilitated for years kind of situation—able to do a reset. And of course, that’s the immediate thing, but then the clog up comes up. It’s like onion layers. So then you just have to continue to unlayer as the body starts to allow that toxicity to come out. But it’s just so astounding how significantly toxicity affects human physiology and especially the system.
[01:45:14] Ashley James: I love it. Well, these are the kind of experiences I’ve had with the PES. I have a family member who was, back in July, on many medications, using a walker, barely able to walk. Then started using it diligently three times a week, and about a month or a month and a half into using it diligently, he had a physical therapist coming to the house to offer in-home care. He took his blood pressure and said you have to go to your doctor right away. I’m very concerned. Your blood pressure is dangerously low.
They actually went that day to the doctor. I mean, I was so happy that they got such quick care given that with COVID, it’s been difficult at times. The doctor that day took him off of some medications and decreased the dosage of other medications. So he eliminated some medications. It’s been several months, he’s been using it diligently three times a week. He hasn’t changed his diet, he’s stubborn like that, and isn’t taking supplements. There’s only so much you can do, but what I did see is that he’s gone from barely able to walk with a walker to now he no longer uses the walker. There’ll be times when he crawls in and gets in the machine and then 30 minutes later he’s got a bounce in his step. He has color. Oh my gosh, he looked gray and white. He looked like a ghost. We really didn’t think he’d live very long, and now he has color again.
It’s really, really interesting to see the people use it for several months straight diligently how much they’re getting out of it. Now imagine if he then shifted his diet to be even healthier.
[01:47:30] Kellyann Andrews: The domino effect.
[01:47:32] Ashley James: Right. I’m hoping he also would benefit from shifting his thinking into healthier thoughts.
[01:47:44] Kellyann Andrews: But as they start to feel better that’s what’s really awesome. I had a woman who came to us in the beginning, and she had a fatty liver. Her liver enzymes were off the chart. Her blood sugar was so bad they wanted to put her on insulin. But you know what, it was their attitude. I was jokingly saying with my husband, “Boy, you can feel that person’s attitude 20 feet away.” So her attitude was just completely negative that it was like focused on everything in the world was wrong and what everybody else did was wrong.
But in the process of her using it for six months, she went back and got retested and no longer had a fatty liver, liver enzymes normalized, her blood sugars normalized. She lost 60 pounds of weight because she didn’t need the storage closets for the toxicity anymore, but it was the attitude change that was so awesome. She started going to a new sewing group, she became much more involved with their church, she became more social in the community, involved in causes, and now everything in the world was right.
[01:48:51] Ashley James: Beautiful. I love it. I’m a big, big fan of the PES. I’ve had great experiences. In our Facebook group, we have several listeners raving about the results they get with themselves and with their families. I highly recommend getting the system and using it for yourself. Listeners can contact you. So you don’t put much information on the website, you’re very hands-on. Listeners can go to platinumenergysystem.ca and talk to you, give you a call and actually talk to you. The feedback we get—the listeners have given—is that you are so giving of your time and so generous, and you really, really care and really help people. Everyone has had a very positive experience working with you.
If someone’s not sure they want to buy one because they want to try it out, you will help them find a practitioner in their area that has one so they can go and get a session. I know Dr. Klinghardt charges something like $80 a session, whereas if you own it yourself it would be like $12.50 a session. You’re obviously saving money in the long run if you have one yourself. But if you just want to try it out, I would definitely go find a practitioner if you can and get a few sessions and try it out for yourself.
[01:50:21] Kellyann Andrews: Right now that’s kind of interesting. Did you know that California just went into lockdown?
[01:50:27] Ashley James: Yeah.
[01:50:30] Kellyann Andrews: They even have a curfew now. So the ability to go to practitioners right now is limited, but also because of our presence—we’re in Canada. We don’t have a huge population of practitioners in the US.
[01:50:46] Ashley James: Well, I suppose it would just depend on what area they are in. It’s worth asking, right? It is worth asking. If you have the means, get one. You do give a really beautiful discount to listeners, and you’re so giving of your time. I’ve been very impressed with your system and your services. I know it’s helped me a great deal. My liver was inflamed and I’ve shared this before. I was struggling with the ability to detox heavy metals. Listen to my interview with Ben Lynch. He’s a naturopath actually local to me. We have not yet crossed paths in person, but I have interviewed him. His book is called Dirty Genes, it’s a great book. You can also listen to the episode to get really a really good glimpse into the book.
He talks about different things in our daily life that epigenetically shift our gene expressions to shut down our ability to detoxify. One of which, I mean these are simple changes you can make in your life. If you cook with a gas stove, there’s formaldehyde in gas. And if you don’t always have the hood on or the fan to suck it all outright, or if you have your gas oven on and you don’t have the vent on, we are inhaling. We’re increasing the pollution in our house, and considering many people around the world are now stuck at home almost all the time. They’re increasing their air pollution, which it’s known that the internal air pollution of our house can be 10 times more toxic than being downtown, outside.
[01:52:32] Kellyann Andrews: And you’re in it although these days.
[01:52:35] Ashley James: Little things. There are little changes you can make to help your body detoxify, and this is what I was looking for because my liver was really inflamed. I was waking up tasting heavy metals in my mouth. My body was creating a stench of burning rubber. It was very interesting. So I kept struggling and also my because my liver couldn’t handle it, every time I went to those weeks, every time I made a health change like eating even healthier my body would shed more weight, and then my liver would become even more inflamed because it couldn’t handle the toxins that were stored in the fat. Our body stores heavy metals in our fat tissue as a way to get it away from the organs if the liver can’t process it.
So here I had, for years, this difficulty with a hugely inflamed liver. I did not have fatty liver or cirrhosis liver, I’m thankful. My liver was distended, you could actually see it pushing outside under the rib cage. In the ultrasound, she said it was just a very upset angry liver, very inflamed. I was having problems. My liver could not detoxify perhaps because I have MTHFR gene expression that doesn’t allow me to methylate B vitamins. I was really focusing on getting all the nutrients that my body needed at the correct levels. Maybe there’s something inflamed in my diet, but really, it was my body having such a hard time with detoxifying.
My naturopath said, “Why don’t you try finding ways to bypass the liver sweating in a sauna and a foot a foot spa.” There are so many knockoffs out there. There are so many bad saunas out there. There are so many knock-offs of this technology that you sell, and I knew that.
[01:54:39] Kellyann Andrews: I call them the wannabes.
[01:54:41] Ashley James: Right. You could go on eBay and buy something for $200 that claims it’s what you do but it’s not. It’s a knockoff from China.
[01:54:49] Kellyann Andrews: I wouldn’t be putting my feet in that water knowing what I know.
[01:54:53] Ashley James: No, absolutely not. It’s quite scary, and I like how you’ve actually tested the water. Putting the array in the water and testing the water with the machine running with no feet in it. You share that information. You’re not actually creating more toxins by putting your feet in this water, and then you have results where you’ve shown what comes out of people and you have that water sent to a lab and tested.
So I spent a long time looking for the real McCoy, the right sauna that actually gets results at eliminating heavy metals, and also with your technology as well. I speak more about how I found you back in podcast episode 292, which is a great one to go back and check out to learn more about the technology of how this works.
But using your system and using the sauna, I have had such amazing results, and of course, adjusting diet to have more greens and more herbs that help the body get out heavy metals. My liver went back to normal. I no longer taste heavy metals. I no longer have a problem with detoxifying. My liver is happy. Actually, all my lab work—and I’m so proud of it. The last time I got all my lab work, which was about, let’s see. I’m 20 weeks pregnant and I got it when I was about 9 weeks pregnant. Okay, about 11 weeks ago I got all my lab work and it was the best lab work I’ve ever had. Every year, it just keeps getting better and better and better. My liver, enzymes, all of them are finally in normal ranges. I attribute that hugely to working with your system. I adore it.
Any time a friend comes over I give them a treatment and they love it. I’ve had some amazing experiences. I share that in one of the previous episodes where I had a friend who got in it, she was feeling very sick, she had a cold. Afterward, she was up and running and jumping around but also the water smelled heavily of something like Febreze and chlorine. She looked at me and it was shocking how much that water smelled heavily of these substances. She said “15 years ago, I was a maid and I never wore gloves. These are the chemicals that I used,” and they were stuck in her body and they got pulled out.
I was in a pool in February before the shutdown happened. I was swimming in a chlorinated pool, and then it was a few months later. I don’t remember if I took a break from doing the PES, but I remember two months later I jumped in the PES and the water smelled hugely of chlorine, like pool water chlorine. I thought that’s really interesting, and every time I do go in a chlorinated pool, which isn’t often, my PES water—even if it’s weeks or a month later—the stuff that comes out of me actually pulls the chlorine. Because I live on a well so I never have exposure to chlorine, and it pulls the chemicals from the pool out of my body. You can smell it in the water. I also feel like a million bucks. I feel lighter. I have energy, I have mental clarity, I feel amazing.
[01:58:20] Kellyann Andrews: Your body’s brilliant at detoxing. It knows how. You just had to get the exit roots open. I mean, we see that when we eat things like asparagus. The next time you go to pee you smell asparagus.
[01:58:38] Ashley James: Because the body is eliminating the sulfur.
[01:58:42] Kellyann Andrews: Right but also asparagus is great for the kidneys because it helps to detoxify the kidneys.
[01:58:50] Ashley James: Sulfur-containing foods—I mean, for some people it’s not healthy, but for most, it’s quite required by the nervous system. But also, it’s required in repairing cartilage. Cartilage requires sulfur. I thought that was really interesting.
[01:59:11] Kellyann Andrews: Well, you think of the sulfur drugs in terms of antibiotic, but that’s where garlic was a classic antifungal, antiviral, anti-everything. Get all the bad guys out.
[01:59:22] Ashley James: Eat your garlic.
[01:59:25] Kellyann Andrews: Just the bad guys out, but I always used to joke. It keeps the bad guys away, but it keeps the people who have the bad guys away too.
[01:59:35] Ashley James: Yeah, because you’re smelling wonderfully of garlic. That’s true.
[01:59:39] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, exactly. But you look at those cultures that have longevity built into them. They’re eating those kinds of foods. When you have a clean aquarium and you feed the fish the right food, is it really surprising that they’re thriving?
[02:00:00] Ashley James: I love that you do continue to bring up the analogy of having a clean aquarium because a clean aquarium invites the good bacteria in. For anyone who’s successfully had fish, I used to breed African Malawi cichlids that require making sure you have a very healthy tank. I used to actually have over 10 running fish tanks in my house. It was how I got out of my depression after my mom died. My boyfriend at the time just noticed that the only thing that brought a smile to my face was watching live fish, and so he encouraged me. I learned all about how to foster healthy fish tanks.
The first month or so with a fish tank is really messy because you don’t have an established microbiome. It’s kind of like taking antibiotics and all of a sudden all your good bacteria are dead. Now, whatever you eat, you’re either going to create crazy bad cultures in your gut or you’re going to create good cultures—same with the fish tank. So there are many similarities between managing a fish tank towards better balance and better health because that always invites the good bacteria, which sustains the entire environment. Thus also relating back to our own body, that the cleaner our body is the better the environment is for everything else to live in harmony.
[02:01:32] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah. The mucky aquarium is the analogy that—of course, as you pointed out—the human body, and the fish are the cells. But in the murky aquarium—the one that’s green, slimy, and yucky—is an environment that’s high acidity, low oxygen; but the clean aquarium is high oxygen, low acidity, slight alkalinity, and high minerals. That’s why the fish thrive.
[02:02:03] Ashley James: It has been such a pleasure having you here today. You’ve shared so much. Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview?
[02:02:11] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, a couple of things. How to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Again, just retrain the brain. So the number one thing in that moment of stress—whatever it is that’s triggering you to have a derailment—catch yourself on a breathing level and do that diaphragm breathing. So on inhale, the diaphragm goes down; on exhale the diaphragm comes up. And then if you can train yourself to be a nose breather it’s just better because you could create a higher level of nitric oxide, which helps to vasodilate your whole circulatory system.
The other thing is because of this time and the weirdness—I mean, we’ve never ever experienced anything like this on the planet where it is such a pivotal point in history that I so want to help you all in terms of being able to find balance. So here’s on the emotional level—Bach Flowers. Bach himself was a bacteriologist in England, and he was a Harley Street doctor, so really highly regarded. But anyway, he would get into emotional states, he’d go out in nature, and he’d be drawn to what made him feel good again. What was the balancing factor in nature? So he created (I think) 32 or so remedies.
But in terms of Bach Flower, when COVID first happened, my first response to COVID was to go to the health food store and get two bottles of Mimulus. How I remember that is when you’re on the computer and you hit the minus screen, so this is to minus fear. Mimulus is to minus fear. Willow the trouble with what we’re experiencing is it’s so, so easy to go into victim mode around all of these regulations and restrictions. So to stay out of victim mode because you want to stay in the driver’s seat, not be in the backseat of the trunk, you want that feeling that you’re the one who’s making the choices. So willow is great for that. Cerato is the one that increases your intuition, and that will cause you to stay in the forebrain.
And then because of all of these things that are occurring and all of the changes, walnut is really great for any kind of change and especially when there’s a resistance to change.
[02:05:05] Ashley James: Is that just eating walnuts, or is this something else?
[02:05:08] Kellyann Andrews: No, this is the Bach Flower walnut.
[02:05:10] Ashley James: Back Flower walnut, got it.
[02:05:14] Kellyann Andrews: These are all the remedies from Bach. So Bach Flower Remedies. The other thing that’s really important is to feed your nervous system. So in the cell salt line, Hyland’s is the brand that’s in the US, #6—there’s 12 in the line—is kali phos. Now, what’s really interesting about that, Ashley, is that it’s potassium. Kali is potassium. So a lot of us get a lot of sodium but we don’t get the balance of the potassium. So this is potassium phosphate and it physically feeds the nervous system and calms it down.
When I went on the doctor’s call with that company, they’re doing a webinar, and they had a person on there who’s whose client was a naturopath. He was telling the story and he said mainly the naturopath had women as his patients. But he gave all of his patients that one cell salt, #6 kali phos, and 80% of their symptoms disappeared on that one cell salt. That’s because we’re nervous system beings, and this literally feeds the nerves.
Now on the other level, B1 thiamine, anybody who has MS is completely deficient in thiamine because thiamine is involved in creating the myelin sheath. I mean, everybody does research on thiamine. You would be amazed at how significant thiamine is. But it’s number one for feeding the mitochondria.
Well, when you think of the mitochondria or your power cells in every cell of the body, they’re what create the ATP or energy—the glucose kind of thing—for the body to power up to do its signaling, to do its communications, to do its function, to do its enzymes, to do absolutely everything. With Ashley, the focus is always to feed the body.
So I always jokingly say when you go up in the mountains it says don’t feed the bears. So I say don’t feed the bugs. So instead, when you’re stressed, do not underline four times reach for what is classically called comfort foods because the last thing they will do is create comfort in your body. But instead, have a cupboard—and this is what I do. I have a cupboard that I open and then I create green drinks. So I’ve got about four different green powders and I’ve got turmeric in there, barley grass, then I took a bunch of chlorella, then protein sources, and all these things.
So anyway, in the moment of stress, take what would be normally an addiction to junk food and change that—train the brain to change the crave to power nutrients and feed that to your cells and watch what happens. And then the other thing was just a reminder about tapping your brain in the front. Either tap or press on it, focus on the eyes and look at colors and textures. That will bring you to your forebrain.
Now the things that will help to stimulate the vagus nerve, the interesting thing, Ashley, is the combination of essential oils clove and lime. What you do is you put it on the mastoid bone—the back of the ear has that rounded part. You put it right on there with some oil. Never put your essential oils on straight. You always want to put a carrier oil in there. So put that right on the mastoid bone and it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
But here are the other things that also do—the deep breathing, which we mentioned diaphragmatic breathing; yoga; and interestingly enough, gagging. So that’s quite interesting. Gagging actually stimulates it, but when you think of where it is right up in that jawline a little bit north, I mean, it’s right in that whole area. So gargling, your whole oil pulling process will stimulate it.
Freezing cold water will do it too. I mean, what have we all been told is to have a shower and end it with cold water, but I can tell you that probably 90% of this population is not doing that. I’ve just started to stimulate it myself at the end of a bath. I will pour cold water over my head and then part of it will go down my body. It is a shock to the system, but again you’re stimulating that zone of the body. And then things like singing, humming, chanting, laughter, and smiling.
The key to all that we’ve said today is really your body is so absolutely brilliant at healing, but it needs your help to do so by the choices you make daily. And as a matter of fact at the moment. So the first step in any healing journey is to create a clean healing environment. Amen.
[02:11:22] Ashley James: Amen.
[02:11:24] Kellyann Andrews: It’s awesome to be with you. I always love being with you. We could talk for days. But gratitude is so important. Just tell the people you love that you love them. Leave them cards. Let the world around know that you love them, acknowledge their good behavior. Just minimize their bad behavior, but acknowledge their good behavior. There’s a movie years ago and I wished I had remembered. I saw it when I was a teenager. It was about this woman who got married and her mother, as a wedding gift, gave her this book and it was a dog training book to train the husband including rubbing behind his ears, how fun is that.
I often think about that movie and it’s a question of training ourselves to the good behaviors, but to acknowledge the people around you. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. The more that you can focus on being a sunshine presence of love, not only does that hugely bless your own physiology, your emotional being, your mental being, but you radiate that out into the environment.
When you see all these people out in the stores, and of course, now the stores that are a whole other topic on toxicity what’s on the floors and making you do hand sanitizers. The thing is that when those people sergeant major you—use the hand sanitizer, I just smile at them and I say I’m sorry I can’t do that because I’m very chemically sensitive. But I just smile at them. I mean, it’d be really easy just to give them back their own energy level. But you got to switch it. You just got to change it around so that you’re giving out beautiful energy. Because if there’s ever a time on the planet that everybody needs love, and Jerry Jampolsky said that in his book, Love is Letting Go of Fear. If people aren’t coming from love, it’s because they’re needing love.
[02:13:48] Ashley James: And their vagus nerve is toxic.
[02:13:52] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah, their vagus nerve is toxic and it’s in dormant mode.
[02:13:58] Ashley James: They’re stuck in stress gear.
[02:14:01] Kellyann Andrews: Exactly. So when you smile at people, all those people that are so frightened because you’re within 12 feet of them, you just smile at them and send them this loving energy and watch what happens to their face. They just completely light up too because they don’t want to be in a state of fear. None of us do.
[02:14:24] Ashley James: And even if you’re wearing a mask I’ve noticed—and I thought this was really interesting that you can tell someone’s smiling by looking at their eyes. You can even see the shift in their face.
[02:14:35] Kellyann Andrews: Yes, it’s their energy level.
[02:14:38] Ashley James: Just because they can’t see you smile, you could actually hear someone smile. That’s what I learned. A long, long time ago, I was a sales manager for an international training company that did personal growth and development work, and I learned that people can hear you smile. Actually, listeners have given me feedback. They’re like I know you’re smiling. Just because someone can’t see you smile, maybe someone’s blind, they can feel it. They can feel the intention, the energy, they can hear it.
[02:15:11] Kellyann Andrews: It’s a frequency thing.
[02:15:12] Ashley James: Right. If they’re not looking at your mouth, they can see it in your physiology. When we’re actually authentically smiling, our whole physiology has micro muscle movements that change. There’s a really great woman on YouTube. I’m forgetting her name right now. It’s really great. She takes all these different political speeches and she gives you the insights as to their physiology—whether they’re lying, whether they’re apprehensive, whether there’s something else going on.
[02:15:46] Kellyann Andrews: Lie detector.
[02:15:47] Ashley James: Yeah, she’s a lie detector, but she’s actually a body language reader. There was one person that was doing a fake smile and she paused and she says, “See, they’re moving their mouth but nothing else is moving. They’re not actually smiling. You will know someone’s smiling when their eyes move, when their ears move, when they’re actually engaging all these muscles in their head.”
[02:16:13] Kellyann Andrews: Unless they’ve had Botox.
[02:16:17] Ashley James: Yes, that’s another thing But when someone’s authentically smiling, they’re smiling with their energy, they’re smiling with their voice, they’re smiling with everything.
[02:16:27] Kellyann Andrews: They’re smiling with their soul.
[02:16:29] Ashley James: Right. So use the energy of a smile as your shield, as you’re exuding love and acceptance. I think a lot of people need that right now.
[02:16:43] Kellyann Andrews: Yeah. We all stood in line to be here at this time, which is very, very interesting in terms of the pivotalness of this historical moment. I mean, the whole thing is that you came here to be an evolving—well, the only way that I can say it is an evolving sun presence because the more you can be sunny on the inside, you radiate that out. I mean, the challenges of moment-to-moment life are going to absolutely challenge that. I had a couple of derailments happen yesterday and I just caught myself laughing and just saying, okay, is this a moment of resistance or resilience? So we have to train the brain to resilience.
[02:17:40] Ashley James: Because when there’s resistance, things break. When you see something that’s resisting in nature, it breaks. Right now, we have lots of wind storms in my area. The branches that are not flexible break.
[02:17:57] Kellyann Andrews: The difference between an oak and a willow.
[02:17:59] Ashley James: Right. We need to have more resilience to bounce back, to be flexible, to flex. I interviewed a woman recently on reversing osteopenia and osteoporosis and preventing bone degeneration. She said it’s not about how much bone density we have. This is the misnomer. You can have bone density, but your bones can be fragile because they don’t have flexibility. She says the Japanese have one of the lowest rates in the world of hip fractures, and these people live a long time and they’re quite active. It’s because their diet has given them flexible bones.
[02:18:45] Kellyann Andrews: And they’re physically active.
[02:18:47] Ashley James: They are. Their bones are strong but they’re not so minerally dense that they’re fragile, that they have resistance, that they break under pressure. They flex under pressure.
[02:19:01] Kellyann Andrews: That’s why rebounds are so great because you’re actually creating three different forces on your bones all at the same time, but it creates that flexibility. The flexibility of the muscles in the bones is the same with the emotions and thoughts. So in the moment of stress, you’ll notice that you want to have a total no response, that you’re totally going resistant. But at that moment, if you can absolutely accept whatever is happening, then you can shift gears and move through it. But if you get stuck in resistance, you’re not going anywhere. It’s just going to antagonize your thoughts, your emotions, and your physiology.
[02:19:48] Ashley James: A lesson I learned from Tony Robbins—and I really, really love it. He says when something is happening that you’re resisting, that you disagree with, that you don’t like. Something is happening in your life and you don’t have control because it’s something that’s happening regardless. You ask yourself what’s good about this, not in a joking manner, in a really serious what is good about this? He gave the example of a client who is a lawyer and his partner was retiring, selling, or something was happening. I think he was also going through a divorce, but there’s so much wrong in his life. He’s losing his company, he was trying to make a partnership, he was losing his marriage, and he couldn’t see any positive way out of it. Tony kept saying the same thing over and over again, “What is good about this? What’s good about this situation? Honestly, genuinely, what is good about this?”
[02:20:53] Kellyann Andrews: What’s the silver lining?
[02:20:55] Ashley James: Right, but what good could come of this? What good could you make come of this? What is good here? And at first, he couldn’t think of anything, which is often the response. Then he started to see things. He goes, “Well, my son is graduating and I’ve always wanted to work with him.” I think he was also graduating as a lawyer, and there was no room in that other company for him and his son to work together. He, by the end of the session, had realized that now he has the opportunity to start a new company with his son. And then he’s like, “Well, now I’m not attached to this building I’ve been driving to, and I hate the location.” It was somewhere in LA. “I’ve always wanted to live on the beach and work on the beach.” Now that all these things have changed in his life, now he gets to actually do what he’s wanted to do but couldn’t because of other restrictions.
So by the end of the session, he had decided he was going to move to Venice beach, work and live there so there’s almost no commute, and spend a lot of his time with his son and build this new business. All of this was just so exciting to him, but at the beginning of the session, he couldn’t even see past all the bad. Yes, there are bad things. Bad things will always happen. And if we resist and push and resist and push, we’re constantly triggering the stress response. And if we look for what’s good about this, in this bad situation, what good can I make of this genuinely? We may find all these wonderful opportunities for healing, for growth that we never saw before because we could not let ourselves see that because we were too focused on pushing back and resisting what we didn’t want to change.
[02:22:45] Kellyann Andrews: It’s a classic of the hindbrain, forebrain response. So when you come to the forebrain, then you can see the options. But if you’re stuck in the back brain and animalistic fight or flight, you just feel trapped.
[02:23:00] Ashley James: Yeah. So do that deep breathing, do everything that Kellyann said to do today. Go to her website, platinumenergysystems.ca, give her a call. Check out the Platinum Energy System, I love it. Get those Bach Flower remedies and the essential oils that she talked about. Deep breathing is so important. Then catch yourself and turn your thinking into healing thoughts that don’t trigger the panic response in the body.
[02:23:28] Kellyann Andrews: Exactly. Love your body to health.
[02:23:32] Ashley James: I love it. Thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been such a pleasure to have you back on.
[02:23:37] Kellyann Andrews: Well, wonderful to be here and to visit with you. All right, God bless everybody because this is quite a time that we’re in. But the awesome thing is that you have full capability of turning this around in all of your lives, in all the ways to being—as Ashley just said—where’s the good in this?
Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
Quantum-Touch by Richard Gordon
The New Human by Richard Gordon
Power of Now+Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle
A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson
Episode 330 – Holistic Habits And Success Stories (Part 2)
Episode 329 – Stories of Success Through Detox
Check out the Healthiest Non-Toxic Mattress Webinar: LearnTrueHealth.com/bed
Check us out on Lbry
Most of us think that since we’re mostly at home nowadays, we’re already safe from harmful chemicals, but that could be far from true. Just because we don’t see or smell the chemicals doesn’t mean that it’s not harming us. In this episode, Andy Pace shares the things that we have in our homes that are toxic and off-gas. He also gives us some actionable steps that we can do to have a healthier home.
Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. Welcome to 2021. I hope you guys had an amazing December and got some time to rest and relax as I did.
I’m now officially in my third trimester of being pregnant with our second child. If this is news to you, I’ve mentioned it a little bit on the show. I used to be completely infertile. I was diagnosed infertile, actually, by an endocrinologist who told me I’d never conceived children naturally. I had severe polycystic ovarian syndrome. I had a bunch of other health conditions as well including type 2 diabetes, chronic infections, and chronic adrenal fatigue, and I used natural medicine and holistic medicine in the last 12 years to regain all of my health.
I no longer have any of those issues, and we conceived our first son totally naturally and on time and intended. We decided to go for it. The timing just felt really right for us, and we conceived again on our first try. We’re having a girl this time, we’re so excited. I’m now 27 weeks, going into 28 weeks pregnant. What’s amazing is this pregnancy has been so much easier compared to the last one, and that’s something that I want to explore in further episodes because I spent six years focusing on going from really poor health to getting myself to the point where I was fertile again and healthy. That was for our first son, and that pregnancy was still very, very difficult for me.
A lot of issues came up, and I addressed them with my Naturopathic physician and my midwives. We were able to have a healthy birth, but it was still very, very stressful, and difficult on my body. And so after we had our son, I spent the last five years—and of course doing the podcast as well—learning so much from all these amazing guests we’ve had on. I spent the last five years really focusing on getting to even the next level of health.
So if you’ve been a long time listener or you’re a new listener, go back and listen to those episodes because, in the last 453 interviews, I’ve really taken to heart so much of this information that we’ve absorbed from all these great guests, all the courses I’ve taken online, and of course, my continuing mentorship with several really old-school holistic doctors and Naturopathic doctors that I’ve been mentored by over 10 years now.
What happened in the last five years is I focused on really getting specific with what diet is the most healing and restorative for my body? What can I do to detox heavy metals, remove parasites, support my liver and other organs? I shed a lot of even further inflammation and weight, and I saw my blood levels be the healthiest they’ve ever been.
What’s really, really cool is I just had that freedom. The freedom I’m experiencing in my body is something I haven’t had since I was a child, and that is so exciting. I keep telling my husband when the baby kicks, I actually forget I’m pregnant, even though I’ve got this really big round belly in front of me. There’s definitely an obvious baby belly, but I forget through the day that I’m pregnant. So when she kicks, I’m like oh yeah, oh my gosh, I’m pregnant. And that’s so funny because, with the first pregnancy, I was so sick the entire time. I never forgot I was pregnant. And now I walk around, I just feel normal until the baby kicks.
That to me is a great example of what you can achieve with holistic medicine, what you can achieve with health. That there are these levels of health. And when you think you’re like I’ve spent the last six years, two years, one year, six months, or how long you’ve spent investing in your health. You might plateau and you’re like okay, this is good. I’m good. And then you learn something else and you decide to take it to the next level. Maybe do a cleanse, a detox, a fast. Maybe change up your exercise routine or your sleep habits. Whatever you do to take it to the next level, just look back after a few years of doing that and go wow, everything that I’m going through now is so much easier than it used to be. And that is such a cool, cool feeling.
I never would have thought that I would have achieved this much in my health 10 years ago, let alone 5 years ago. I’m so excited to be on this journey with you. Wherever you are in your health journey, whether you’re a total health nut like me, and you’re in really, really great shape, or like most listeners, they have some health complaints, they have some things. We have some listeners that are newer to the holistic space, and they’re really sick of suffering. They’re just really sick of medications that are not really helping them to get there, to get to their health goals, and they’re just ready. They’re ready to make some amazing changes.
In this podcast, my goal is to get you that information, to help you to achieve not only your health because physical health is just one aspect of your life. But when you have physical health, how much more ease you have to love yourself, to love your family, to be connected to your friends, to be connected to your creator, to be connected in nature, and have that energy moving through you and just experience the world. Your body is your vessel, and your experience of the world is greatly affected by the health of your vessel.
By giving your body everything it needs, all the nutrition it needs to achieve optimal health, you’re giving your entire life and all those you love a better experience, an increase in joy, vitality, and a sense of purpose. So continue on this path no matter where you are. Let’s make 2021 be just such an amazing transformative year. You get to say if this is your year of transformation, and I’m going to bring you episodes that are going to help you to continue to transform your life, to make it into the one that you want. The one that you see in your future as the one you want.
My goal was to have an easier and healthier pregnancy this time around, and I didn’t even know that it could be this good. I’m letting you know it’s so exciting the things that you can achieve.
Now today’s guest, I am absolutely ecstatic for you to learn from because this is an area we have touched on a little bit on the show. I mean, over 450 episodes, there’s a lot to cover. But the idea that everything in our surroundings—our carpeting, our mattress, the paint on the walls, all of this goes into our health. And our guest today is an incredibly experienced man when it comes to non-toxic environments. He has been in the building industry and focusing on materials used in homes, even in cars, and offices that are non-toxic for the human body long before we ever heard the word green, green technology, or green building. All that kind of came out in the ‘90s. He’s been doing this long before that, and he tells this story and it’s just absolutely fascinating. He has a lot of great actionable information.
And so if you’re thinking this year you’re going to renovate your bathroom, repaint some part of your house, or get new flooring, what’s really cool is you can contact him. We talk a little bit about this in the interview. You can contact him, and he’ll do really quick 15-minute consultations, and he’ll point you in the right direction so that it can fit in your budget and be non-toxic. He has so many great resources. It doesn’t have to be expensive to create a healthier environment for yourself. So just strap in, enjoy this episode. There’s so much to learn.
Now I want to let you know about a webinar that I was part of creating with Jason Payne, who is the founder of my favorite mattress of all times. I really took mattresses for granted. I was just sleeping on whatever, and then we went and bought what I thought was a really expensive mattress at a box chain store a few years ago, and it was the highest end one that was within our budget. I thought man, this is going to last us 10 years. It didn’t even last us three years until it was so warped that my husband and I were in so much pain and just so stiff every morning. I was really upset about that, and I looked and I looked and I looked.
I talked to a lot of other holistic people in this space, and the more I dug, the more I realized that most mattresses out there, first of all, are designed to only last a few years, are off-gassing really bad stuff for our health. They’re designed in a way that doesn’t allow us to have deep restorative sleep. So I finally found a mattress that I absolutely love. I did a ton of digging, and I cannot tell you what a life-changing experience this has been. I had the creator of this mattress on the show a while back, and then we decided to make this webinar so you can see and learn more.
What I want you to do is go to learnturehealth.com/bed. That’s learntruehealth.com/bed. Sign up for the free webinar. It’s going to teach you a bit about mattresses in general, non-toxic mattresses, what’s the difference between that and regular stuff out there, probably between that and what you’re sleeping on now. And in this specific mattress, how the technology works to make it so that you don’t have pressure points so that you stay in deep restorative sleep longer. You come out no longer in pain, no longer stiff. Some people have actually gotten off of pain meds because of this bed. It’s pretty amazing.
Check it out, learnturehealth.com/bed. Why this webinar is relevant to the topic of today’s episode is because this is just another thing in your house that you want to replace. When you’re ready to replace your bed, you want to replace it with this one because it is non-toxic, and it also will last over 25 years. That will save you a ton of money. If you think about it, if you have to buy a mattress every five years because they get warped or have to go to the chiropractor, you’re in pain, and so you’re compensating for that pain because you have a wonky mattress that’s off-gassing some chemicals. That doesn’t save us money and save us our health. This is why I love this mattress, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Go to learntruehealth.com/bed and check out that webinar.
Come join us in the Facebook group if you’re on Facebook. Just search Learn True Health on Facebook, we’d love to see you there. It’s such a supportive and wonderful community, and you can always reach out to me there in the community if you have questions. And of course, you can always email me, email@example.com. Thank you so much for being a listener, and thank you so much for sharing these episodes with those you care about. If you have any friends or family that are looking to renovate this year or looking to change anything in their home or office, you definitely want to share this episode with them. It’s going to make a big difference. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day, and remember, go to learntruehealth.com/bed and check out that webinar.
[00:12:12] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 453. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have with us Andy Pace, the founder of thegreendesigncenter.com.
Now, how I found Andy, it’s been quite interesting. If you’ve been a long-time listener, you’ve heard me interview the Sternagels. I had Teddy Sternagel and her husband, Ryan Sternagel, on the show. They have a child who had cancer and had been through treatments twice. His cancer came back. Thank God, praise God, I am so thrilled to share that their child is cancer-free. They did a lot of holistic medicine.
Through that, they really became aware of how toxins in our home, how things that we take for granted, that things that are completely “safe”, that are sold in stores are actually contributing to the amount of toxic load in our body, and thus contributing to cancer and other diseases. They became so acutely aware of this that they moved from Washington state. They bought a beautiful plot of land in Utah, and they built their home. Every single square inch of this house is non-toxic or the most absolute healthiest choice possible of material.
I asked Ryan, how did you do this? You became an expert on everything non-toxic. He goes, “No, you have to talk to Andy. Andy’s the guy.” So I said, “Andy, please come on the show and share with us…” Obviously, for those who want to build our dream non-toxic home, we’d want to talk to Andy. But for those who live in a house or even a rented house or rented apartment, there are so many choices we can make to make better choices for our home environment to decrease the amount of toxic load in our bodies and also for our pets.
I’m sure we can discuss this, but some people will spend thousands of dollars on their pets and not take care of themselves. So I got to tell you that the cancer rates for our pets have gone up, and pets live in our homes 24/7. They don’t get to leave much unless we take them out. They’re seeing now that it’s the toxicity of the off-gassing and everything inside the house that contributes to increases in pet cancer. And of course, if we’re seeing that in animals, we’re seeing that in humans.
So, Andy, I’m so excited to have you on the show today. You’re going to really open our eyes and share with us all the things that we can do to clean up our environment so that we’re living a non-toxic or the least toxic possible lifestyle. Welcome to the show.
[00:15:13] Andy Pace: Thank you so much, Ashley. It really is my pleasure to be with you and your audience today. It’s always exciting for me to talk to a new group of listeners out there in the world, and to hopefully open up some eyes to what’s really happening and how to make our living environments much, much healthier.
[00:15:37] Ashley James: Absolutely. We’re going to get into it. You have so much to share with us today. Now you do podcasts. Do you have your own podcast?
[00:15:46] Andy Pace: I do. It’s called Non-Toxic Environments.
[00:15:49] Ashley James: Awesome. And I’m sure my listeners will want to check that out. Of course, the links to everything that Andy Pace does is going to be the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. I’m really curious to find out though, what happened in your life that made you want to become an expert in non-toxic environments and non-toxic homes? Did you just wake up as a seven-year-old and you said I really want to become an expert in flooring, paints, and home design for green living? What happened in your life?
[00:16:16] Andy Pace: Well, quite a coincidence there, I actually kind of did as a child want to get into the business of selling building materials, and here’s why. My family has owned a commercial construction material supply company that dates back to the 1930s, and we’ve been here in Wisconsin ever since. When I was in high school, actually before that, as a small child I remember sitting around the dinner table. Unlike most homes, when you’re having dinner conversation, we weren’t talking about sports or school. I was listening to my mom and dad talk about these architects, these contractors, and projects. At a very young age, I just got really interested in the entire building process.
During high school and during college, I actually was helping the family company program computers. This is the late ‘70s, early ‘80s when computers really first started coming around, and I was setting up a computer system for our family business and again got to learn more. But when I got to college, for me, it was just a no-brainer that I was going to enter the family business of selling commercial construction materials.
For the first two years of my career, I was involved in working with some of the largest commercial architectural firms in the country and assisting them in specifying and detailing the proper products for certain types of applications. My specialty at that time was industrial coatings. We carried a couple of lines of these industrial coating materials—very specialty. They were used in very intricate applications of airplane hangars or humane society projects.
This particular one that really got me going on the health kick was a project that was a below-grade parking structure. So essentially, it was three underground floors of parking underneath a 20-story condominium complex. The architectural firm and engineering firms that were hired to do this project brought me in to make sure we supplied the right materials to cover the concrete to withstand all the oils and greases of cars.
Well, after our crew installed the primer coat onto the concrete—essentially, they prepared the concrete, cleaned it all up, put the primer on, and you have to remember that all of the products that we’re supplying were water-based because we knew this is an underground parking garage. There are people living and working in the condominiums and offices above. We can’t use anything that has a lot of solvent to it. We made sure to use water-based products.
Well, after the primer coat was applied, we started getting phone calls from people living and working in the condominiums above the parking garage. We couldn’t really understand why because we were using a water-based product. We made sure to put up plastic barriers so that the fumes wouldn’t carry throughout the building—obviously, that didn’t work. After we received a phone call from a United States senator’s office who happened to be in this building—I remember this vividly—about 20 minutes after that phone call and we were all standing around talking about how we’re going to proceed with this project, three of our workers collapsed.
[00:20:34] Ashley James: You’re all standing around?
[00:20:35] Andy Pace: Yes. Three of our workers collapsed. They couldn’t breathe. There were inhalation complications due to the coating that we were using, and we could not understand why. It’s a water-based product. Well, I learned the hard way—at the age of 22 years old—that a water-based coating doesn’t mean solvent-free, it doesn’t mean toxin-free. It means that 50% of the liquid component in the product is water. The other 50% can be whatever the manufacturer chooses to make their product apply better, cure faster, so on and so forth.
When this product was curing, it was an epoxy material. It actually sucked the oxygen out of the room. So we had three workers rushed to the hospital due to these inhalation complications, and they ended up being fine. But the important thing was it taught us a very vivid lesson. Just because something is water-based doesn’t mean it’s safe, and just because a manufacturer or somebody says oh don’t worry it’s fine, to not take that seriously.
[00:22:02] Ashley James: Just because it’s sold in stores. That’s something we really, really need to wrap our brains around. I’m from Canada, I live in the states. I love living here. This is my home, and Canada is also my home. But in both countries, I think we walk around feeling a little bit bulletproof. We’re privileged in that we don’t live in squalor and poverty. Obviously, I wish everyone in the world was taken care of, and that’s the utopia I wish we could create for us. But the truth is that we are so privileged. Just to be in Canada, in the United States—some of the richest economies in the world—we are definitely more privileged than other countries. So I think we walk around feeling a bit bulletproof.
People assume we don’t have any parasites. People assume that’s something that happens with one of those countries but not this country. And then when we look that the European Union has banned thousands upon thousands of chemicals that are in food, that are in building supplies, that are different medications, and they’re not banned here. You got to scratch your head. Why are there chemicals banned in other countries but are readily being used and are on the shelves here?
We have to really get that it is buyer beware when it comes to food, when it comes to anything you use in your home, when it comes to cosmetics. There are over 80,000 man-made chemicals that have been invented in the last 10 or 20 years. Our bodies don’t know what to do with these chemicals. The liver doesn’t know how to process it. And we’re seeing all kinds of health problems continue to rise. So that was your first big wake up, and that’s interesting because your family had been in the business for so many generations. But these chemicals weren’t around in the 1930s like they are now. There were different chemicals, but now there are some really scary chemicals available, especially when it comes to building homes.
What did you do in your business? You’re 22 years old, you’re getting a wake-up call around these solvents. How did you change your business? Did you go back to school? What happened next?
[00:24:38] Andy Pace: What I did was I just started researching, and this is before the internet. I couldn’t just jump on Google and start looking at article after article of these stories about chemicals and so forth. I actually had to do it the old-fashioned way and go to the library. I had to talk to people in the medical field. It’s interesting. What really did it for me was on this project, we still had a contract with the owners of this building to supply a coating and so we had to finish the job. But we realized we couldn’t finish it with the products that we started with.
I did a lot of research, talked to a lot of people, a lot of friends in the industry, and finally, the manufacturer that made the coating for us said, I think I know somebody who might be able to help you with this job. He put me in touch with a very, very small company out of—at the time—Riverside, California. A company called American Formulating and Manufacturing. I never heard of them. This company started in 1980-81, and they manufactured paints and coatings.
So I started a conversation with them, and it turns out that AFM was a company that was founded by a man who himself developed cancer being in the paints and coatings industry as a formulator in a lab tech. He made it his life-ending mission—literally, his life-ending mission because he died of cancer—to formulate recipes for paints, coatings, and specialty products that are completely free of the health hazards and toxins that got us into the problem in the first place.
I was introduced to the company, and I spent probably a good two years just trying to figure out what am I going to do with this information? Again, I came from the commercial construction industry. I’m used to working with architects, engineers, and contractors. But when I first started researching the materials from AFM, I thought to myself, I’ve got to go to somebody who I know in the field that can maybe give me some feedback. It just so happens that a good friend of mine was the head of buildings and maintenance for the largest medical complex in Wisconsin.
I reached out to my friend Jim and I said, “Jim, I’ve got this new paint product. The manufacturer claims that it is good for people who are subject to sick building syndrome, environmental illnesses, and something called multiple chemical sensitivity.” I said, “I’ll give you the product. Just use it in one room of the hospital so we can get some feedback so we know what’s going on with this.”
Well, he did that for me, and I was there when the painting crew was applying it to one of the rooms. It was amazing. I was watching this crew applying AFM safe coat paint on this hospital room. I couldn’t smell a thing. It looked absolutely gorgeous, and the crew gets done. They’re talking to Jim, the head of maintenance and buildings and so forth. I’m thinking to myself, this is wonderful. They must use thousands of gallons of paint a year. I would love to be able to work with a medical facility like this.
Jim comes back to me and says, “Yeah, they’re not going to use it.” “What? What’s wrong with it? He said, “They didn’t like the way it applied it. It was thinner, thicker, or something than what they’re used to.” Gave me all of these really ridiculous excuses why they didn’t want to use the paint. After doing this though, I remember getting one doctor and one nurse—separate times—who came up to me and came up to us during this and said, “This is amazing. Where can I buy this for my house?” I thought, well, it’s not available. It’s only available commercially for hospitals, schools, and so forth.
This nurse said specifically, “I have to make sure that whenever they’re painting in my department, that it’s got to be on my time off because I literally get headaches instantly when they start to paint. It could be 15 rooms down. I’m getting a headache.”
That’s when I really started looking at the whole chemical sensitivity thing. But it also dawned on me at that time, well maybe I should just start selling this to people who are asking for it, not try to sell it to companies who are just caring about the bottom line. Really, that’s what happened with the hospital is that I found out later on.
The next day, Jim calls me and he says, “I’ll tell you what. The reason why they don’t want to use your paint is because when the painting contractors have a contract for the hospital, they buy paint at this really low price in bulk. But they can also use it for all their side jobs. So they would lose that profit margin for all their side jobs. And they will refuse to use anything that takes away that profit margin.”
I learned, at that point, that hospitals are not necessarily always looking out for our best health. So, it really opened my eyes to the industry. From that point on, the conversations I had, we launched a catalog company—because again, there were no internet websites at the time—selling what we called Common Sense Healthier Building Materials. This was 1992 when we did this, 1996 I believe is when the United States Green Building Council was formed. And the late ‘90s, early 2000s is when the LEED program started, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The entire green building movement started in the late ‘90s really, and that’s when that term became so popular—the term green building.
What happened was those years of studying chemical sensitivity, chemistry, how it affects the human body and so forth—as soon as green building became the norm and became so popular, the entire health aspect was completely forgotten about by the industry. They just focused on energy efficiency and global environmental concerns, which are of course both important, but had nothing to do with human health.
[00:32:45] Ashley James: That is absolutely fascinating. I have a friend, she got a degree in green buildings. She’s one of the very few females in the industry in Seattle who manages these high-rise buildings. She’s right there at the top. She manages all the general contractors. She works with the architects and manages these two- to four-year projects where they build these huge mega buildings. She was passionate about, not only energy saving but non-toxic.
When we started this interview, I was thinking to myself, what kind of degrees did he get in this? But you were in it before there was even a class you could take.
[00:33:46] Andy Pace: Correct. There wasn’t anything. That’s the thing is that people who are actually getting degrees in sustainable building, sustainable management, or are becoming certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and the LEED program, nothing against what they’re doing. It’s fabulous what they’re doing, but you have to look back to the entire premise of green building and what is used as a metric to validate a building and it’s indoor air quality. In my eyes and many others’ eyes out there, the entire premise is false.
[00:34:39] Ashley James: Explain why. So we’re talking about indoor air quality. Why is measuring indoor air quality a false premise for certifying something as a green building?
[00:34:49] Andy Pace: Okay. We’ve all heard that stat that indoor air quality can be 10 to 100 times worse than LA on a bad day.
[00:34:59] Ashley James: Right. Especially that we’re all at home. I mean, so many people this year work from home. Many children are at home for school instead. I’m not saying that these office buildings or school buildings would be any better or worse but now is even more important to focus on the air quality inside our home and what’s off-gassing in our home. It’s interesting that you say that isn’t the best metric for a non-toxic home or a green home.
[00:35:29] Andy Pace: Well, it’s not necessarily that part. The fact that indoor air quality can be 10 to 100 times worse than LA on a bad day is actually true. But how do they measure? What is the main metric used for measuring indoor air quality?
[00:35:55] Ashley James: I was going to guess that it was some kind of measuring the amount of chemical particles.
[00:36:03] Andy Pace: Okay. Specifically VOCs. You hear this everywhere. VOCs are regulated by the EPA. VOCs have to be lowered in manufacturers’ materials, very similar to the CAFE standards of automobiles. For example, a paint manufacturer decides to start making a zero VOC paint. Not only does it meet the regulations for what a water-based low VOC paint is, but it also allows the manufacturer on the whole to manufacture some of their other products that are very high in VOCs because overall, the average is lower.
[00:36:50] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. And for those who don’t know what VOCs are, volatile organic compounds, can you just go back? For listeners who have no idea what you’re talking about, what are VOCs?
[00:37:01] Andy Pace: This ties a bow around this whole thing that I’m talking about. Let me give you the exact definition of what a VOC is. A VOC means a volatile organic compound. A volatile organic compound is any carbon-based molecule that’s readily vaporized at room temperature that could rise to the upper atmosphere combined with nitrogen and UV and create smog.
[00:37:31] Ashley James: So that really doesn’t sound like it’s applicable in a house.
[00:37:33] Andy Pace: No, and this is what I’m talking about that the premise is entirely wrong. Just because something is a VOC doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy for humans. And toxic materials—things that are harmful to humans—are not necessarily VOCs.
[00:37:59] Ashley James: So give us an example of a VOC that isn’t toxic. If I was diffusing peppermint essential oil in my home, would that show up as a VOC?
[00:38:12] Andy Pace: It can. How about this. Peel the skin off of an orange, it’ll release 850 grams per liter of VOCs.
[00:38:20] Ashley James: Clearly something that’s healthy for us or non-toxic for us to peel an orange.
[00:38:26] Andy Pace: You know what acetone is, nail polish remover?
[00:38:31] Ashley James: Yeah.
[00:38:32] Andy Pace: Open up a can of acetone in your house. Just open it up, let it sit there.
[00:38:39] Ashley James: I hate that smell so much.
[00:38:41] Andy Pace: Within 15 minutes, everybody who lives in that house will have detectable levels of acetone in their liver.
[00:38:46] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.
[00:38:47] Andy Pace: But according to the EPA, it’s not a VOC. So you have to remember the premise of the whole VOC regulation. It’s because of outdoor air pollution only. There is no regulation on the books based upon VOCs because of their inherent danger to humans. It’s alluded to, it’s talked about, it’s referenced, but it’s not actually a real regulation. The reason is because you mentioned it before. There are over 80,000 chemicals used in the production of building materials and home goods. Out of those 80,000 chemicals, only 3% have ever been tested for the toxicological effects on humans.
[00:39:40] Ashley James: Oh wait, hold on. I think that warrants a little bit more discussion. This is crazy. We assume that every drug on the market has gone through rigorous testing, right? And then we take that same assumption and assume that every man-made chemical that is available for our house, for our body, or for our food has been rigorously tested. And you’re saying that only 3% has been tested for safety with humans?
[00:40:10] Andy Pace: Correct.
[00:40:11] Ashley James: And they haven’t been tested in combination with other chemicals.
[00:40:17] Andy Pace: No, not at all. What happens is in the United States, when a manufacturer invents a new chemical compound—and keep in mind, this is happening at a more rapid pace because of things like the VOC regulations, and I’ll get to that in a second. The manufacturer comes out with a new chemical. It submits it to the EPA. I could be wrong about the exact number of days. I believe it’s 120 days that the EPA has to essentially approve it or reject it. So they get 120 days after the application date to approve it or reject it, and they could say, nope, we reject this because it’s going to kill off half the population.
However, because manufacturers are coming out with these new chemical compounds at such a rapid pace, and there’s something like a two-year backlog to do testing, the regulations as they are written today state that if the EPA can’t get to actually testing them within that time period or initially they rubber-stamp it approved.
[00:41:36] Ashley James: And how do they test it? On animals? Really, how do you test these chemicals?
[00:41:41] Andy Pace: That’s also kind of an unknown. The fact of the matter is that if they get 120 days to test and they don’t test it within 120 days, they have to automatically approve them because there’s a two-year backlog for testing. What happens then is they leave it up to the consumer to essentially file class-action lawsuits with other consumers who’ve gotten sick because of it.
If this were a true leave it up to the marketplace sort of thing where manufacturers were forced to disclose their ingredients, then I can see that would actually be, in my opinion, a better way to go because now you have a complete list of everything that’s in these materials. I’ll use paint because I know paint the best.
On the MSDs or the safety data sheets for a gallon of paint, it’s not an ingredients list. It’s essentially a list of certain chemicals that make up more than 1% of the volume or are not part of a proprietary blend. And they have to list those certain chemicals that may have a hazard component to them. When a manufacturer puts together something like a gallon of paint, you look at the MSDs, and you see three things listed, how could paint be made of three things? Well, it’s not. It’s made of 30 things. Most of those ingredients each make up less than 1% of the volume, therefore do not have to be listed on the safety data sheet.
That’s where the real bad stuff is hidden. You’ve got to remember that the VOC regulations, the safety data sheet regulations, everything out there are written for the protection of the manufacturer, not the consumer. The entire green building movement and indoor air quality component of the green building movement is based upon reducing VOCs in a space. Yet VOCs have nothing to do sometimes, most times, with the true hazardous component of what’s being used inside of a building. Because there are only a couple hundred chemicals used in building materials that’ll be classified as VOCs, yet there are 80,000 chemicals that are available for use.
We’re focusing on the wrong things. We’re not focusing on the toxicity of the ingredients, and the reason why we’re not is because we can’t. Because manufacturers are not being forced to disclose their ingredients. Because they’ve lobbied enough to say to every governmental agency out there that listen, I don’t want to give up my ingredients list because that’s proprietary. I don’t want somebody to copy my products. It really is difficult for somebody.
Believe me, I’ve given this presentation to architectural societies—a room full of people who have been practicing architecture for decades. They’re experts in buildings, and some of these people are experts in green buildings. I tell them about this whole VOC thing and their jaws just drop open. It’s not talked about whatsoever. It’s not talked about that the EPA actually publishes a list of 27 different toxic chemicals that are fully allowed to be used in zero VOC formulations of materials because they specifically do not create a low-level smog. Because they don’t react with nitrogen the way that most carbon-based chemicals do. Manufacturers are allowed to use acetone, ammonia, butyl acetate, and trichloroethane.
[00:46:17] Ashley James: These are chemicals that are stressing the liver, causing health issues. But because they don’t contribute to smog, they’re fine, they’re safe. I don’t trust the EPA.
[00:46:29] Andy Pace: Because it’s the EPA. They’re the environmental protection agency.
[00:46:34] Ashley James: Here’s why I don’t trust them. On 9/11, so many of the emergency responders and the volunteers have gotten major health problems. The EPA was very quick to say—and you can google this and watch news videos of it on 9/11—the air is safe to breathe. The air was not safe to breathe, and these workers and volunteers that were trying to find anyone alive in the rubble or they’re working through the rubble day and night were all exposed to what has either killed them by now or given them a lifelong crippling disease. And the EPA completely failed them. They should have said no, the air is not safe to breathe.
Anyone with an understanding of what was in that air would have said the air is not safe to breathe. They need protection. They need some kind of protection to go in there. That for me I have not trusted them since then. When we trust an organization with our health, we tend to become relaxed. We have to look at how our relationship is as adults with organizations because I think we sometimes become children. I trust this big organization that’s supposed to be looking out for me. It’s like we become children again trusting our parents to do the right thing for us.
So we have to get that it’s always buyer beware, always, always—even if there’s an FDA, a CDC, and all these alphabet soup organizations. They’re not the ones responsible for our health, even though we’ve given them that responsibility. We still have to do our research. We still have to know that everything that we put in our mouths, put in our bodies, and put in our environment is our responsibility. It’s scary. This is the dark side of the way our manufacturing is, the way our consumerism is. That it is buyer beware. And I love that you found the AFM so early on because it allowed you to find a company that was ethical.
I love finding ethical companies to work with like yourself who are going to spend a few more dollars to make sure that the building materials you’re using are safe. Now, what do you think about the environmental working group? Do you like them as a resource when it comes to looking at ingredients for what could be healthy?
[00:49:26] Andy Pace: I do. I certainly use a lot of the information they publish. I also look at the product declaration and health declarations that some companies are now having done by a third party. I think that there are certainly many more responsible manufacturers out there now than there ever used to be. I chalked that up to the fact that again, I was telling the story of how we got really started with this. The green building really hit its zenith in about 2005, 2006. At the time, I was actually the president of one of the largest architectural associations in the country. I was talking to friends and colleagues all around the country, and all they talked about was green building.
What happened in the late 2000s? The big recession happened. From a residential standpoint, it used to be that I’d have a customer come in and say, we’re remodeling the bathroom. I want to use this really cool concrete with a recycled glass countertop in the bathroom. I’d say, okay, well here’s the price. It’s a little more expensive than these other materials that are more commercially available. They said that’s all right. I love the fact that it’s recycled content. I think it’s going to be great to tell my neighbors and friends about it.
At that time, people were spending money to buy anything green because that was just the wave we were going on. Then the recession hit and nobody spent money on new homes, remodeling. It was the first time in history that when the new construction market went down, usually what happens is remodeling goes up. Well, first time in history where new construction went down, remodeling went down because people were losing value in their homes for no reason. We were finding that the homes were just overvalued. And so people were losing the equity in their homes. They didn’t want to put any more money into them because it’s just going to be a waste.
That didn’t really correct itself until about 2013. When those customers started coming back into the marketplace, it’s interesting. The individuals who were buying green for the sake of buying green before, a lot of those folks were coming back to us saying, “Hey, remember I worked with you a few years ago?” “Yeah, I remember.” They would say, “We’re remodeling one of our rooms, and we’re looking for healthy flooring or healthy paint.” Their mindset changed during that time. They realized that if they’re going to spend—as you pointed out before—a little more money buying something that’s green, well what is it doing for them personally?
They came back to the marketplace saying it’s got to help us personally as well if I’m going to spend more. I might as well buy something that’s actually healthier for us because while 50% of the world at any given time is going to tell you that the green building movement is garbage. We don’t have to worry about it. Probably closer to 95% of people would say yeah, but if it’s healthier for me and healthier for my family, now it’s worth it.
They almost re-educated themselves to say all right, here’s why we’re going to spend a little more because I don’t have to worry about the toxicity of this stuff. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in the healthy building market, and very rarely do I get a customer now calling up and asking me if there’s any recycled content in the product that they’re buying. They’ll say, “How does it affect my family? I’ve got somebody in the household who’s got an immune disorder.”
[00:53:56] Ashley James: I like that you said healthy building market because green like you’ve said, some kind of builder who’s been certified in green material, that might not even be non-toxic.
[00:54:10] Andy Pace: Correct.
[00:54:12] Ashley James: I’ve interviewed two people from this mold mitigation company that I really like, Green Home Solutions. I really like them because they invented a kind of enzyme that cracks open mold and digests it. So the mold is not there anymore. If you bleach mold, it’s still there. Even though it’s dead it’s still releasing the toxins. They have something that kills the mold and stops it from releasing its toxins, and then it even stops it for up to two years or something like that and it’s all-natural. It’s just an enzyme that’s completely safe.
In the interviews, they shared that these newer homes that are “green” are worse for mold than 100-year-old homes that are drafty. Drafty is actually good. Let’s say you bought a home that’s built in 2018 and it’s “green,” they made it so heat effective to keep in the heat so you use less energy, to keep in the air conditioning so you use less energy. There are so many barriers and there’s very little flow from outside air, and that ends up trapping moisture in parts of the building—either the basement or the attic. And then they’re seeing in these newer homes a ton of mold.
I thought that was fascinating because here I’m thinking we’ve been constructing houses for thousands of years. This is not a new science, and yet we expect that the latest in architecture and building homes—especially because they call it green—would mean that it is healthier and safer. So what you’re saying is that a green home isn’t necessarily healthier or safer, and could actually be more toxic because it’s trapped the air in thus keeping these chemicals, not necessarily VOCs, but these chemicals. Like you mentioned the acetone for example that within 15 minutes of inhaling it, it’s in our liver. Keeping what’s off-gassing inside the house, and then if it had mold somewhere in the house, keeping all the toxins inside the house and the house isn’t breathing enough, that’s kind of scary.
You do a healthy building. I don’t like the term green building because that makes us give up our power again. That makes us go, it’s a green building, I trust everything here. We stop looking. We stop questioning. So we have to continue to question even though something is “green.”
[00:57:07] Andy Pace: Yes. About 15 years ago, I created a building product rating system of my own. There’s a green garden, there’s a green seal, there are scientific certification systems, and all these different organizations’ floor score and so forth. All these third party solutions give us information about whether or not a product is considered green. Well, what I found was when I was trying to train my own staff here and trying to make it so that when a customer called up, everybody on staff would be able to give the same information, without influence, to our potential customers.
What we found out was, after our extensive research on this, there are actually 27 different reasons why you can call a building material green—27 different reasons—and all boils down to three main categories: environmental health, sustainability, and human health. So a lot of these reasons why products are called green essentially go into a category that we would call greenwashing, which is when a manufacturer or a salesperson essentially over exaggerates the overall environmental and health benefit because of maybe one little component, and I’ll give you examples.
There was a very large big box home improvement store here in the US that at the time, in the 2000s, they started adding these eco tags to several products that they were selling in their stores. Eco option or something like that, I forget what the terminology they’re using. This is an eco option, and they put an eco option tag on bags of fiberglass insulation, which first off it’s not an option. Here in Wisconsin, when it gets to be 30 below 0 in the wintertime, it’s not an option to use insulation. It’s actually building code, but they were selling it as an option because that’s an energy saver. They were putting an eco option tag on an electric chainsaw because it uses electricity to cut down trees instead of fuel. That’s a prime example of greenwashing.
There was a manufacturer here down the street that was making, I forget at the time what it was, but they started advertising in the trade publication saying that they were a green company because they have all local manufacturing. Nothing was made overseas until you found out that 98% of the components that they were using were manufactured overseas before they finally put it together here—greenwashing.
Patagonia, I love their products. They were winning environmental award after environmental award because of their eco fleece jackets, hats, and gloves. What eco fleece essentially is taking plastic soda and water bottles, they melt it down, they spin it into a fleece fabric. Great, you’re taking stuff out of the landfills. You’re taking stuff out of the ocean, which in and of itself is fantastic. However, the chemist that originally invented PET back in the ‘30s said in his original report that this product should never come in contact with human skin because it enters into the blood system, it can turn chemicals into trihalomethanes, and essentially eat the body from the inside out.
So we’re giving awards to manufacturers for poisoning us. These are all forms of greenwashing. And so I use this to create what I call my degree of green program. When a customer comes in, we have three main customers that come to one of our showrooms. The first customer comes in and says we are building a new house. It’s got to be as human toxin-free as possible. We have a seven-year-old with autism. She responds very negatively to chemical off-gassing and exacerbates her symptoms and so forth. We need a house that is as synthetic chemical-free as possible. Can you help us?
The next customer walks in and she says I’ve been on this earth for 55 years. I’ve been a burden to the earth for 55 years. Can you help me remodel a home using all recycled, repurposed, and renewed materials? I want nothing manufactured virgin for my house. The third customer walks in and says can you help me build a home with the lowest carbon footprint?
Now, which one of those customers is wrong? None of them. They’re all right in their own way. They’ve all developed their own personal degree of green. The first customer is about human health. The second customer, it’s about sustainability. The third customer is about environmental concerns. All of them are right, yet the industry as a whole treats everybody the same—they call it green.
[01:03:01] Ashley James: But the one who’s using recycled material, that’s not necessarily a healthy home.
[01:03:07] Andy Pace: No, not at all.
[01:03:09] Ashley James: And the one that’s doing the lowest carbon footprint isn’t necessarily a healthy home. It’s not necessarily a low toxic home either.
[01:03:16] Andy Pace: And that’s the thing. So yes, I focus on health. That’s what I do. I focus on human health first. What I do is I help customers who are trying to build a new home, I act as their consultant liaison with the architects, the contractors, and all their subs. I always look out for the customer’s best interest when it comes to human health first. And sometimes, that means you have to maybe give up a little bit of the eco-friendliness or the sustainability aspect. The healthiest floor material may not be made in the United States, might be made in the Netherlands. The healthiest paint product may not be natural, it may actually be synthetic.
These are the things that we have to look at and say there is no broad brush for everything. We have to actually look at the ingredients, and we use a heck of a lot of anecdotal information from the 30,000 customers I’ve worked with over my career to say, generally speaking, here’s what they can tolerate. These are the most chemically sensitive of people out there, and here’s what they say worked for them. So after we have enough knowledge and enough data of our own, we can say, on the whole, these are the ones that work the best.
[01:04:32] Ashley James: Fascinating. I interviewed a guy who—his name’s escaping me right now, but he worked for the DEA, that was it. He was going after the kind of like Miami Vice. He described it as like back in the ‘70s or ‘80s, he’s like Miami Vice. He was going after the mob basically down there. He went into a new office building and then he got poisoned so bad he was in the hospital. He got his whole detective team trying to figure out who poisoned him because they were taking down the mob, they honestly thought the mob had poisoned him. It took him years before he figured out that he was exposed to building chemicals.
Basically, back then, there weren’t any regulations for when they build a new building. These are high rises like condos and office buildings. And office buildings have different standards than condos. My husband was a union carpenter for 20 years and so he loved to point out the differences in building materials from living in an apartment to working in an office. There are a lot more regulations in an office building so it doesn’t burn down. I’m like why aren’t the same regulations in an apartment building? I always thought it was interesting, but they use different materials and so there are different toxic levels.
He was in an office building that was just built in Miami. They turned on the AC and all the air was recycled. There was no new air coming in. So you can imagine this is like a 50-, 60-story building with all the off-gassing of the new carpets and the paint. A few other people had a similar experience, but he was hit pretty bad. Who knows why. It could be genetics, it could be nutrient deficiencies. Whatever happened he almost died.
It took him I think it was 15 years to recover. He found a Naturopath that figured out what his issue was and actually nursed him back to health. But for something like 10 or 15 years, he had to live in the desert. He couldn’t be exposed to any electricity at all. Any electricity would cause his body to go haywire. He had to live in a house that was metal that had nothing that could off-gas, living in the desert, and he called himself basically bubble boy.
He wrote a book about it. It was a very interesting interview because it really made me see how some people who are exposed to these toxins cause lifelong debilitation, and if you continue to go to MDs who are not experienced in this realm, they might treat you for fibromyalgia or something that’s sort of like a catch-all without knowing that your migraines are triggered by this chemical or that chemical that’s just in your environment.
I have another friend. She and her daughter were debilitated for the last few years because she was exposed to PCBs, radon, lead, and furans—I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right. There’s an alternative school here in Monroe, Washington, and there’s a really good AP article on it. Basically, a major company that I’m not going to mention their name because of the lawsuit, and I don’t want them coming after me.
Let’s just say it’s a chemical company that was more recently, in the last few years, bought by a pharmaceutical company. There’s a huge class-action lawsuit with hundreds of students and parents, several of which have died of cancer and other diseases because of their exposure to these chemicals in the school building. The school district said the school was safe when it still wasn’t safe. There were PCBs basically dripping from the ceiling and leaking onto the children, onto their desks from these old light fixtures.
Just the horror stories that came out of this building. These are old buildings. They said that the chemicals are in the caulking, that they’re in the light fixtures. There are several building materials that were even 60 years later still causing health issues. We have major, major issues with old buildings like the ones with PCBs. And then we have issues with the very new buildings, right?
It’s not like you can say, oh well, my condo was once a schoolhouse that was renovated. It’s a 100-year-old building or a 50-year-old building so it must not have the 80,000 chemicals in it. That’s not necessarily true. What we’re looking at is any home can be toxic.
[01:09:38] Andy Pace: Any home can be toxic. The question I get quite often from clients is can you give me a time frame? If I’m going to look for an existing home, and I do have a number of clients who’ll actually hire me to help them go through Zillow listings to see which homes might be best for them. Is there a certain time frame that I should be looking at or that I should be avoiding?
[01:10:03] Ashley James: When were homes the healthiest? What era?
[01:10:08] Andy Pace: Interestingly enough, homes that were the healthiest were the ones built prior to World War II. After the war, this is when manufacturing really started ramping up with plastics. Could there be things like lead in the house? Yes, but that’s easier to remediate. Asbestos wrapping around pipes and insulation, easy to remediate. We can see it. We can take care of it.
[01:10:40] Ashley James: Copper pipes or whatever.
[01:10:41] Andy Pace: But homes themselves, as you said before, were built so energy-inefficient that it allowed for fresh air to come to the house. Homes that were built after the war and specifically homes built in the ‘70s and ‘80s are the ones that I typically avoid. The reason for that is the whole sick building syndrome and environmental illness thing really started becoming problematic after the oil embargo of the early ‘70s by OPEC. Because building materials and buildings themselves were being built tighter, more energy-efficient because of the cost of energy.
I mean even in commercial buildings that you could adjust the amount of fresh air coming into these commercial spaces, the building managers would essentially cut down the amount of fresh air just so they didn’t have to pay to heat or cool it. This is when we first started really learning about environmental illness inside of a building.
In the ‘80s, that really came to a head because this is when manufacturers really started ramping up with new technologically advanced building materials and things like building wraps that were used on the outside of a structure before your siding that would slow down water come into the building, but it would also slow down the water leaving the building—any moisture inside that cavity—and this is when mold started, and really to be a big problem in the ‘80s.
You had building materials that were made out of wood dust instead of solid wood. That wood dust was held together using urea formaldehyde-based adhesives, and all this is just a recipe for mold. Homes that were built to be sort of airtight but not really just means that moisture gets locked in that exterior cavity wall and eventually you’re going to find a mold spore on some of the lumber that’s going to proliferate because of the environment.
Homes that were built in the ‘90s, 2000s, this is when you started getting homes that were being built, utilizing a bit more of what’s called building science. But they still weren’t really focusing on the human aspect—a human living inside of the space. And now with what we call the healthy building, that’s first and foremost. That’s the very first thing we look at is the health of the human occupant. Everything else is secondary.
[01:13:45] Ashley James: As it should be. I mean, it’s your home. If you’re focusing on the health of the human, then the health of the pets is going to come with it. And it’s not like we’re doing this every day. You build the home once, and hopefully, you live in it for a really long time. If it does have a carbon footprint, if it does have an environmental impact, I mean you’re not doing it all the time. You’re doing it once, and hopefully, because you built it to your specifications, it’s your forever home.
[01:14:13] Andy Pace: That’s the thing. Part of the equation of building a healthy home is also to utilize materials that you don’t have to replace too often because every time you have to do a project in the home and bring in outside contractors, you’re causing disruption to family life. You’re causing disruption in the air handling equipment. You’re bringing in potential chemical toxicity. So if I can use a flooring material that’s going to last 50 years as opposed to something that lasts 20, even though that flooring material is a little more expensive, in the long run not only is it less expensive because it lasts twice as long, but it’s also going to cut down on any potential toxicity in the future.
We make decisions based on human health first. Now the number one question I get from customers is how expensive is it to build a healthy home? It’s got to be more expensive.
[01:15:11] Ashley James: That’s the first question my husband asked me last night. I told him how excited I was about this interview. We were cooking dinner and cleaning dishes, and I told him how excited I was. His first question was, “Well, I wonder how much more expensive is it?” I said, “I mean, Ryan and Teddy had spent pretty much all of their money on all the holistic treatments for their son.” I mean they told their story. This isn’t the secret, but they had to sell their house and they spent all their life savings on their son, and yet they were still able to afford to build their dream non-toxic healthy home.
I told my husband, I’m like, “Well, if Ryan and Teddy could do that after years of exhausting all their resources on saving their son’s life, it sounds like yeah sure, it could be a bit more expensive, but it doesn’t sound astronomical. It doesn’t sound out of one’s reach.”
[01:16:17] Andy Pace: Well, there are two things at play here. Number one, what are your tastes for design? Do you want plastic switchblade covers or do you want brass? Think about that. Do you always gravitate towards things that are in the higher price range because you like the better style and you like things that are flashier and so forth?
The other thing is quality level, longevity of materials plays the biggest impact. I actually had an email conversation with a potential client yesterday, and she just can’t wrap her head around the fact—she says, “I’m sorry, but every time I start doing research on healthier building materials, it seems like my prices are going up.” And I said, “Well, what are they going up from?”
What I mean by that is then let’s take paint for instance. Again, I know paint the best. If you’re choosing a gallon of paint that is considered low-cost paint, you put it on the wall, it looks fine. But in six months, the paint starts to dust and shock chalk off the wall, starts to lose its color, lose its luster. You can’t wash it cause it’ll wash right off the wall. This is what’s called an architectural grade or commercial grade paint. It’s used extensively in the commercial industry, and the reason why is commercial buildings are typically repainted every three to five years. That’s just the schedule they’re on.
Inside of a home, if you ever paint your house, you never want to do it again. It’s not an easy task. You have to move furniture. You have to mask everything. You got to take time off of work, or you hire somebody and you spend gobs of money but they do quality work. The fact is that most homeowners never want to repaint walls, or they don’t want to do it any more often than every 20 years.
So premium grade residential paint is far superior in durability, longevity, and color retention than any commercial architectural grade paint out there. When you call a contractor to give you a price on a home, you’re calling three contractors. Most often, these paint contractors are going to be bidding on paint that’s at a very low price point because they just want to get the job. And most homeowners, let’s be honest, don’t have extensive knowledge of paint. I wouldn’t expect them to.
People don’t call up and say I want this quality. This is the product I want. They just say, can you give me a price to paint my house? They’ll give them a price and there it is. 60% to 80% of the price that they get from the contractor will actually be labor and overhead, and a very smaller percentage of 20% to 40% is actually the material itself. If you double the cost of material, you don’t double the cost of the project.
When people compare pricing and they say it’s so expensive to buy healthy paint, the difference is when you buy healthy materials, 9 times out of 10 you’re also buying higher quality materials, longer-lasting materials because we’ve taken that into the equation. This is why we sell it because you’re not going to have to repaint in 20 years unless you get sick of the color.
So when you say this really price-conscious paint is $30 a gallon and your toxin-free, human-friendly paint is $60 a gallon, but ours lasts four to five times longer. And it’s free of toxins, it just so happens to be. So you’re not paying the extra because it’s healthy, you’re paying the extra because it’s better quality. So now let’s look at an entire home. Use that mentality for an entire home.
If you were to build a home-based upon big-box deals and lumber yard seconds, you can build a home for $120 bucks a square foot. If you’re going to build a home that you want to be your life-ending home, and you want to be able to resell this home and not lose value because of the quality, you want it to improve value. You might spend $180 to $250 dollars a square foot because it’s better quality. It’s lasting longer, and you can see it. You can feel it in the home.
So it has nothing to do with the health component, the pricing. It has to do with quality.
[01:21:13] Ashley James: So, if someone could have a budget and build their home, I mean they don’t need the granite countertops, they don’t need the brass light fixtures. If they have a budget in mind and their sole purpose is we want a non-toxic home, but I like that you say let’s look at investing a bit more if you can. Let’s look at what lasts 50 years versus 20 versus 5. If you’re doing this, you’re hopefully building your forever home.
Now, what about people because it’s less likely that everyone’s listening is going to build their home, although that is my dream. That’s my win the lottery; I’m calling you tomorrow. But if someone’s remodeling, and especially again, I hate to bring up the fact that so many people are homebound these days and may continue to be. Major companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have said that they’re thinking everyone’s going to be basically working from home for the next year. And then who knows with the schools, but many kids are homeschooling or long-distance learning.
So the whole family is at home—not everyone, but a lot of us—and you’re looking around going, man, I really wish I had a better floor. I know I’m looking at my carpet wishing I could replace it right now. And if I did, I’d replace it with something that was non-toxic, of course. So there are certain things that people want to fix up around the house, maybe even just choosing a caulking, looking at their bathtub going, wow, I really need to re-caulk this bathroom before some mold comes in. Or I want to repaint a certain area. Maybe a little do-it-yourself home project. Where would they go to get some resources? Your website is great. The greendesigncenter.com has great information, but could someone hire you to consult them on small projects as well around the house?
[01:23:11] Andy Pace: Interestingly enough, I think most of my day is spent on consulting calls with customers all over the world who just have a few quick questions. Unlike a lot of consultants that are hired only for projects, I spend most of my day on 15-minute phone calls. You have a couple of questions that somebody says listen, we’re looking at getting a new heating and ventilating system for our house. Can you just give me a few things to look for? Or we’ve got a contractor here and they’re helping us fix the deck outside. What should we look for a finish or for construction adhesive and so forth?
I would love to have our website be a 100% effective educational tool for all of these things, but the fact of the matter is that it’s impossible. It’s impossible to be able to service everyone just with the information online because everybody’s projects are so different. They all have their own little quirks and issues to deal with, and the only way that I can help is with that conversation. We talk it through, we figure it out.
I’ve got a wonderful client in Hawaii that will hire me every couple of weeks for between 15 minutes and an hour. He himself was a commercial developer for years. He’s retired now, but he said to me last time after working with him for about two years, he goes, “You know Andy, I’ve worked with a lot of consultants in my career. You’re the only one I can actually have a conversation with and you get it. You understand it.”
I come from the building industry, but I’m so used to working with people who have little issues that just need to be fixed. Whether I sell the product or not is kind of irrelevant when I’m being hired as a consultant because I just want you to get the best help that you can. If there is another company that I know of in your area that can provide the services or the materials that you need, I’m going to point you in that direction because ultimately, you’ve got to get this taken care of quickly.
The first customer that I can remember who I really, really went to school with, I’ll say, is a client in Northern Illinois back in ’95. She called me up and she said that she’s been living in one room of her home coated in aluminum foil for the last two years.
[01:26:06] Ashley James: I believe it.
[01:26:09] Andy Pace: I mean, you talk about the person you were speaking of who lives in an aluminum box. This is essentially what they did. There’s a product out there called Dennyfoil. It’s essentially an industrial aluminum foil that we use to cover things that are off-gassing. When nothing else works, this does. It’s ugly, it’s metallic, it’s shiny and slippery, but it works. When people have no other thing that they can do, this is what they do. She lived in that room for two to three years. For the last six months, her husband was remodeling the house and I was helping her husband choose materials and so forth. She was able to move into that house. Every once in a while, I still get a card or a letter from her just to say thank you.
I’m in business to sell materials and to sell my services, yes. But I can’t tell you what it’s like to have customers who call or email and say you saved my life. I’m not a physician. No, I don’t save people’s lives. I don’t think so. But there are people who have such extreme health issues they’re just looking for somebody to believe them, number one. Because let’s face it, a lot of these folks have been trying to go to their regular doctors and they’re basically being told they’re crazy because no, that can’t happen. You can’t be allergic to chemicals, so on and so forth. But they find somebody who understands it, has been there before. I myself have some sensitivities. I know what it’s like.
And then we have customers now that we have helped like the Sternagels who can live in a house that is safe for them and their family. I mean, it makes it for me getting up every morning and going to work, it’s remarkable and really indescribable.
[01:28:24] Ashley James: I love it. When they say you’ve saved my life, you’ve saved the quality of their life.
[01:28:30] Andy Pace: Yes.
[01:28:31] Ashley James: I mean, they certainly might have died sooner. I mean, we’re all eventually not going to be here in this body. Eventually, we all move on, and it is really about the quality of life that we can create. Having true health means being symptom-free and having a long healthy life that is as symptom-free as possible, as long as possible. I love hearing about 100-year-olds that run marathons. That’s the kind of 100-year-old I want to be. I don’t want to be the 100-year-old that’s suffering in tremendous pain. I want to be 100-year-old running marathons and gardening. I want to die when I’m 120.
The life I live now is what is going to determine the quality of my life later, barring any accidents. That’s what we need to think about when we invest in the health of our home. That that all these materials that come into our life, our food, everything we intake, everything we breathe in, everything we apply to our skin, everything we ingest, it all plays a role in whether we’re going to live that long, healthy, symptom-free life or whether we’re going to suffer now or suffer later.
In holistic medicine, Naturopathy, they look at what they call the Vis or the constitution. And there are two types of constitutions that people have, and you would know both of them because everyone has a friend in their life who has a very weak constitution. The weather changes and they’re bedridden or something. Maybe they eat a little bit of sugar, drink too much wine or too much coffee late at night, and the next day they’re wrecked. They just have a very weak constitution. Those people typically take better care of themselves than the ones like me who have a strong constitution. I can plow through anything. The iron stomach, I can handle anything. We typically don’t slow down to take care of ourselves until we pass out.
I’m imagining the three construction workers, three strapping young men who are standing there in that meeting probably feeling woozy all day not telling you until they completely pass out. They probably had symptoms, but they didn’t listen to those symptoms because it’s not manly to go, I have a slight headache or I feel a little weak. Maybe I need to sit down, and then they pass out. That’s the strong constitution. And in Naturopathic medicine, the ones who have a weak constitution actually typically live longer healthier lives, believe it or not, because they slow down to take care of themselves and listen to their body. It’s the people like me who had to wait for the cosmic 2X4 to hit me over the head before I went, oh I guess I should take care of myself.
So the ones with the strong constitutions, I’m speaking to you guys, even though we’re not affected necessarily by all the things that are off-gassing—although I hate the smell of acetone. My body goes ew, but I don’t get a migraine from it. I know other people do. Okay, my liver is processing it. I don’t want to over toxify my liver. My liver is doing a lot of good for me right now. But it doesn’t put me down and out to have acetone in my environment. Whereas other people, like the woman you mentioned who had to live for three years with aluminum foil around her, would be put down and out if she was inhaling acetone.
[01:32:10] Andy Pace: Without a doubt.
[01:32:12] Ashley James: Right. So those who are very quick to have symptoms typically will take better care of themselves, and hopefully though, they don’t go to the first drug available because that just masks symptoms. It doesn’t actually get to the root cause. And those of us who have strong constitutions who are like I could live in any home, I don’t care. Well, not everyone in the immediate family that’s going to be living in that home has a strong constitution. The husband might be strong, but the wife is always suffering or vice versa. So that’s one reason to really focus on having a healthy home instead of just toughing through it. And then understanding that those of us who tough through it will suffer later because eventually, the body will break.
[01:33:01] Andy Pace: I love the way you describe this because it helps to talk about the fact that everybody is different. The example I use with customers is everybody is born with a drum inside of their body, that all the chemicals and pollutants that we are exposed to on a daily basis, they all filter into this drum and then there’s a spigot on the bottom of that drum that filters it out of the body. Well, sometimes that drum gets filled up faster than others. Some people’s drums aren’t as big. Once that drum fills up and it’s actually filling up faster than it’s draining out, it starts to spill over the top. That’s what chemical sensitivity is. It’s the fact that the body says no more, I can’t do it.
There are three main ways that a person becomes chemically sensitive. One is massive exposure. This is where you hear of somebody who is exposed to a massive chemical. You said about the person you were talking about earlier, massive exposure because of new construction. And there’s probably some chemical—formaldehyde-based—that caused that exposure. I’ll give you a good example of that.
When the EPA built its own headquarters in Washington DC 30 years ago.
[01:34:37] Ashley James: Oh my god, I’m just imagining the disaster. Okay, go on.
[01:34:41] Andy Pace: So the EPA built its new headquarters, and within the first two weeks, I believe it was 1200 people who worked in that building had to go home because of getting sick. It turns out it was the carpet and the carpet adhesive that was causing everybody to get sick. To this day, 30 years later, there are over 100 people who are still on permanent disability.
[01:35:12] Ashley James: No. This is such a great example. So many people blindly trust that the EPA is out for our best interest. They wouldn’t approve a chemical in our environment that would harm us, but they themselves were poisoned by their own building materials that they were supposed to approve.
[01:35:36] Andy Pace: Correct. That’s because of just what they’re looking for. They’re not looking for human health issues. That’s an example of massive exposure. Or another example would be legionnaires disease. When you have these legionnaires in Philadelphia who are massively exposed to this bacteria. The second way that people become chemical sensitive is typically a high-impact medical procedure—car accidents resulting in surgery, childbirth changes the chemistry and electrical impulses in a person’s body. It’s something to do with a health-related issue that changes the chemistry in the body. So you hear this all the time that somebody just has a medical procedure and all of a sudden they get rashes every time they use a certain type of soap. It just changes the chemistry of the body.
[01:36:44] Ashley James: Sorry to interrupt, Dr. Joel Wallach—who’s one of my mentors, I’ve had him on the show a few times. He’s been my mentor for the last 10 years. 80-year-old Naturopathic physician who’s also a research scientist, a pathologist, a veterinarian, and has a degree in soil agriculture is really interesting. He would say that when we go through major health events, the body becomes depleted of certain nutrients.
For example, selenium is a trace mineral that the liver needs in order to recycle glutathione, and the body also needs in order to protect the thyroid. When we go through major issues like childbirth, an infection, or surgery, and if we’re not getting enough of that in our food, which so much of our food is depleted in certain minerals, then the body becomes more depleted. Then the liver cannot process toxins in the same way it used to because it’s just deficient.
He often says if people all of a sudden have these chemical sensitivities after some kind of health event, that we have to look at nutrient deficiencies that were exacerbated by these life events. Well, you mentioned legionnaires. For those who don’t know anything about that, can you fill us in?
[01:38:01] Andy Pace: A little bit. Legionnaire’s disease is essentially a bacterial infection that was caused by legionella—I shouldn’t say bacterial infection. It was actually a mold that was growing in the HVAC system of a large convention center. These people, these conference-goers, these American legion, the legionnaires—where this kind of came from—were getting sick. And after much research, I realized that this is what caused it. It was mold in the HVAC system in a stagnant drip pan that was not cleaned out properly.
[01:38:57] Ashley James: And so they end up having lifelong issues and exposure. So anytime they’re exposed to other toxins—that’s something that a lot of people don’t know is that when you’re exposed to mold, mold could actually live in your bloodstream and mold can continue to cause toxins for years to come inside your body. Just like a parasite would continue to grow or bacteria or yeast. It’s similar to that, and there are certain foods, herbs, and supplements we can take to mitigate that and help the body rid it. But that’s like that barrel that you mentioned.
I interviewed Dr. Stephen Cabral who wrote a book, The Rain Barrel Effect, and it’s almost the exact same thing that you said. Our barrel gets full, and we’ve got the spigot at the bottom. The spigot is like how healthy are your kidneys, how healthy is your liver, how healthy is your emunctory system to remove the toxins, and how much is coming in on the top. And then eventually, when it overflows, we’ve got these weird symptoms like someone will have migraines, someone will have rashes, someone will have digestive issues, and someone will just be exhausted all the time or be in pain all the time.
[01:40:19] Andy Pace: That’s what comes in the third way that people become chemically sensitive and it’s the most common—low-level exposure over a long period of time. And again, it’s just that barrel fills up. Maybe it’s when you’re 30 years old, 20 years old, or 80 years old, and at some point, the barrel fills up. What I see—and I’m not an MD nor am I a chemist, but years of experience showed me that when your barrel fills up, it’s typically something that is petrochemically related to what caused the spill that will cause the next symptom or the next reaction.
[01:41:09] Ashley James: Can you explain that?
[01:41:10] Andy Pace: And in our experience, formaldehyde is that key trigger. Formaldehyde is found in so many products around our home.
[01:41:20] Ashley James: Give us some examples.
[01:41:22] Andy Pace: Well, the best example I can give you is a carpet. Not to scare anybody.
[01:41:28] Ashley James: My bare feet are on the carpet right now. I’m kind of freaking out.
[01:41:31] Andy Pace: Okay. I will warn you that I have been told by some people that I scare them once in a while, but I don’t try to.
[01:41:43] Ashley James: I think every guest scares us a little. The thing is, we don’t want to be the ostrich with our head in the sand because that’s how we end up with long-term exposure, to begin with. And you’re not the total bearer of bad news because you’re giving us some resources to fix it. But okay, here we have formaldehyde and carpet. Is it all carpet or only some carpet? And does it eventually all off-gas, or is 50-year-old carpet, 20-year-old carpets, or 10-year-old carpets still have it?
[01:42:12] Andy Pace: So if someone were to ask me what’s the one thing I can do in my house today to make it healthier, I will always say remove the carpet. I’d rather have you live on a plywood subfloor until you can afford new flooring material. Now, I know nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to walk around their house barefoot on plywood. I understand the logistics of what I’m saying, but I say this because—and barring a couple of shining examples of some healthy materials that are out there.
A company called Nature’s Carpet from Canada, another one called Earth Weave from here in the US. They do make a synthetic chemical-free carpet that my most sensitive clients can actually use. But their materials—in the grand scheme of things—are used in 1/100 of 1% of homes in the United States, if that. So that’s why I say removing the carpet and here’s why.
There was a researcher chemist years ago named Rosalind Anderson. She did an amazing study on the effects of carpet and the effect of a shaft of light coming through a window and heating up a space of carpet. Because back when she was doing these tests she was using lab rats, she found that carpeting as old as 20 years old would still off-gas enough to literally kill laboratory rats.
[01:44:07] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. And just think anyone’s cat loves to go lie in the sun on the carpet.
[01:44:15] Andy Pace: Yes. So you mentioned before when you were talking about how this also affects animals, that’s exactly what I’m thinking of. How do I wrap a bow around this? Several years ago, I was introduced to a testing system that actually AFM used for their paints and coatings to prove the effectiveness of their materials. There was a very well-known scientist in Japan, Dr. Nagasawa, and he created a method to determine the emissivity of formaldehyde off-gassing from a fixed surface. I’m trying to explain this as easy as possible.
[01:45:11] Ashley James: I mean, by all means. If you want to get a little technical or get into the science, we’re all for it. You don’t need to dumb stuff down for us. My listeners are super smart.
[01:45:21] Andy Pace: I’m sure they are and so allow me to geek out a little bit.
[01:45:25] Ashley James: Yeah, please do. Let’s geek out. All right, let’s do it.
[01:45:28] Andy Pace: This is what makes me happy. So if you’re a building biologist or an indoor air quality scientist, you walk into a space, you’ve got a handheld monitor, and it tells you that you have elevated VOCs and elevated formaldehyde. You might even do an air capture test where you’re absorbing air into a tube and you’re actually looking in a lab either with a spectrophotometer or the types of devices to read what the chemical compound is in the air.
So a customer calls and says I’ve done these really, really intense tests and I found that I’ve got a formaldehyde problem in my house. Where’s it coming from? Well, AFM years ago started working with Dr. Nagasawa and found that he used the system to actually determine what in the house was releasing formaldehyde. We can all guess it’s from the carpet, maybe from paint that’s still off-casting, maybe from cabinetry, or this or that. But when you are trying to remediate something inside of your home and you’ve got a formaldehyde problem, you’re literally throwing darts at what you think can be the problem.
I mean I had a situation a few years ago where a client of mine called up and said, “All right, we’ve had two air quality scientists in our house. They tell us we’ve got elevated formaldehyde. The whole family is sick. And what we’ve determined and what they’ve determined is well it’s this we put in new prefinished hardwood flooring in our house. They have all said we’ve got to remove it and replace it with something else. So I’m calling you to verify that and can we get a flooring material that’s not going to off-gas formaldehyde?”
I said, “Yes, you can get a foreign material that’s not going to off-gas, but let’s just make sure it’s not something else.” Well, I drove up to Minneapolis, and I actually had what’s called a FRAT system—formaldehyde release attenuation test. We import it from Korea. We’re the only company in North America that uses this test. I use the FRAT system in her house, little sensors I placed all over the place to prove that it was the flooring material that was causing the formaldehyde off-gassing. After a half-hour, and I took those sample collectors from all over the house all over the floor, found that the newest new flooring material released zero formaldehyde. But yet they had ultra-high levels of formaldehyde in the house.
So I started thinking to myself, well, what else in the space could be releasing formaldehyde at that level? I checked cabinetry. I checked the painted walls. I checked the furniture. I even put a sensor on a return on an outlet thinking that maybe I’d get some off-gassing from the insulation in the wall that would come out through the outlet and maybe we’d prove it’s that. After about two hours of testing, it dawned on me, what’s the only other thing in the house that was new that could cause this type of off-gassing?
Again, this is a 5,000 square foot home, $50,000 or $60,000 dollars worth of new hardwood flooring, but every room had an area rug. I tested every area rug to find that the formaldehyde off-gassing from the area rugs was well over the toxic limit. We’re looking at between 300 and 500 parts per billion of formaldehyde coming just from each area rug in the house, and every room has at least one or two.
[01:49:32] Ashley James: I mean, okay, so it’s a hardwood floor but it’s a huge house—sounds really fancy. But these area rugs, are you talking about the kind you could just pick up at Ikea?
[01:49:42] Andy Pace: Sure. Once you find an Ikea, Target, or the ones you buy online for thousands of dollars, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that formaldehyde is used in the chemical dyes, formaldehyde is used as antimicrobials and flame retardants in the backing.
[01:49:59] Ashley James: So even if you get one of those really expensive Persian rugs, they still have the formaldehyde off-gassing?
[01:50:04] Andy Pace: There can. It may be less because there’s no backing to a Persian rug, but there are dyes used. This is what got me on the whole carpet kick. I mean really got me on the carpet kick. It taught me two things. Number one, for the cost of the testing, I improved this family’s life instantly. It’s a six-hour drive from where I live to Minneapolis. So I drove home, and by the time I got home, there’s an email from my customers saying everybody is starting to feel better already. All they did was remove the area rugs and put them in the garage. They were actually talking about either replacing the material or actually building a new home because they didn’t know what to do.
[01:50:56] Ashley James: What did they do with the area rugs? Did they throw them out? I mean, you don’t want to donate them. Were they waiting for them to off-gas?
[01:51:03] Andy Pace: That’s a dilemma. I mean, that’s one of those environmental sustainability dilemmas. You don’t want to throw it out to add to a landfill. You don’t want to donate them because it’s dangerous. Again, it’s not always dangerous to everybody because they don’t have as small of a bucket as they had. So I’m not exactly sure what they ended up doing with them. I do know that they replaced them with healthier area rugs and it made a difference.
So formaldehyde we know is a big, big trigger, and that’s why we use this FRAT system now to help test homes. I have clients around the world sending me samples of what they want to install, and we’re going to test it first. So let me get back to Dr. Rosalyn Anderson who is doing the testing of this carpet. It got me testing carpet in homes like regular wall-to-wall carpet, and people would hire me to test 30-year-old carpet. I’d find that 30-year-old carpet still off-gases toxic levels of formaldehyde.
[01:52:04] Ashley James: Does this test heat it up? I’m sorry to interrupt. Does this test heat up the carpet, or is it just testing it at the same temperature like 70 degrees?
[01:52:12] Andy Pace: Pacificity at room temperature. I’ve done some elevated heat tests just to show the difference. But when I test carpet in somebody’s home, I always test it at the temperature that they’re going to keep it at.
[01:52:28] Ashley James: You might be coming in the fall and their windows are open and it’s 67 degrees and they like it. But in the wintertime, maybe they crank up the heat.
[01:52:41] Andy Pace: About a 10- to 15-degree variance doesn’t do much. Do you know what I found that does more? Humidity. Now, this is where it starts to really get into the wonky building science stuff. I am finding that most people’s homes and the health of the occupants are just as affected by the elevated humidity or elevated moisture than they are from the chemicals themselves. And the reason is when you get humidity in a home or moisture in a home that gets into a surface, as it evaporates out of the surface, it carries with it the chemical footprint of where it was.
So chemicals in materials are more apt to become airborne and therefore ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by us if they come off of a surface with the humidity coming from that surface.
[01:53:42] Ashley James: That makes total sense because so much of the body is water and humidity allows for toxins to travel farther and also get absorbed by the body more readily. That makes sense. So if someone’s living in the desert, the formaldehyde coming off of their carpet is less, or the body’s ability to absorb it is less?
[01:54:08] Andy Pace: It comes down to the individual, but I find that the body’s ability to absorb chemicals—there’s just more chemicals available in the air when you have higher humidity.
[01:54:30] Ashley James: Okay. So that’s good to know.
[01:54:35] Andy Pace: This is where this subject becomes there’s no right or wrong, there’s just more information. The more information we get the better. When a customer says they’re having a problem in their home, I’ll ask them, have you done an air test? Do you know what the humidity level is? Do you like to open up the windows? And they’ll say, “Yeah, we painted today and we opened up the windows.” Well, that brought in more humidity. There are so many things that could cause, which is why this is just not an exact science yet, and we really have to take each customer individually.
[01:55:11] Ashley James: Right. We got off track, but you’re telling a story of using this special machine and you’re using it on carpets. You’re finding formaldehyde, which is only one of many things that off-gases from most carpets.
[01:55:34] Andy Pace: Correct. There are many things that come off of carpets, but we always look for formaldehyde as the one thing that we can not only test for but we can control.
[01:55:46] Ashley James: Now I interviewed Dr. Ben Lynch, it’s episode 225, and he wrote a book called Dirty Genes. I highly recommend that book, and he mentioned some simple things that we can do in our lifestyle right now to reduce toxic overload. But one thing he said, which just floored me because I’ve always cooked with gas, very seldom have I used an electric stove. I’ve opted for homes, apartments, condos, or whatever that has gas. I’m a foodie, I love cooking healthy food, but gas for me is so much fun to cook with versus an electric stove or induction stove.
He says if you cook with gas, you absolutely 100% of the time have to have the ventilation on, the hood on, and there are even homes and I’m surprised I’ve met two friends who have gas stoves and have zero ventilation, zero hood. That surprised me, but what he said was if you’re using natural gas, you are breathing in formaldehyde because formaldehyde is in natural gas. I don’t know if it’s just in it or they add it to it. But it is in natural gas to the point where if you don’t ventilate, you’re breathing in more formaldehyde.
What he said was—and I’m trying to remember, he obviously can say it in more scientific terms, but it essentially causes an epigenetic shift in our gene expression in the ability for our liver to handle toxins. So it shuts down or suppresses our ability to handle toxins, which then is going to make it worse.
[01:57:18] Andy Pace: It overloads the system, and that’s the thing. Now, the flip side of that is you start cooking using electricity and now you have to be concerned about electromagnetic fields. So this is where with our clients I’ll have to say, there is no perfect solution for everybody. There’s no one thing that helps everybody. So Ben is right in saying that if you’re cooking with gas, it has to be well ventilated, and I’ll take that one step further.
If you’re going to use a gas range top or stove, you better make sure it’s the absolute best quality unit you can afford because as the quality level goes up—and this is why I always recommend using Wolf, Viking, or Thermador. I know they’re very expensive, but when you get to the more expensive units, they have sealed burners. So yes, when you’re cooking you have to have the vent on. But what if you’re not cooking? What if the unit is just sitting there being unused? The lesser quality systems will actually leak little bits of gas out of each burner.
I own a natural gas detector, and I go around to some people’s homes. It’s like oh my gosh, this is a toxic level of gas that’s coming out. And beyond that, even with the expensive units, you have to be concerned about the connections of the gas pipe itself. Making sure that was done properly and you inspect it every couple of years to make sure it’s not leaking. Because that’s where you’re going to get natural gas leaking in your home passively without you even using the stove.
Nobody is going to run their exhaust hood 24/7 in case that happens. We only run it when we’re using the stove. So be mindful of the quality. If you know somebody with a meter or buy one yourself and just check it. I use it around the house all the time to make sure that my furnace isn’t leaking, my hot water heater isn’t leaking. I’ve used it in commercial buildings. I mean it’s just an invaluable tool.
[01:59:41] Ashley James: That is so fascinating. What other things are really common that is mind-blowing that people don’t know about?
[01:59:52] Andy Pace: So inside of a home, when it comes to chemical toxicity or chemical off-gassing, 90% of what you can experience in that indoor air quality is going to be because of things you can see and touch. Floors are number one. Floors are always the first thing we look for, and obviously, you know how I feel about carpet, but floors, in general, can be the biggest offender in a home. Second thing, walls and ceilings. All of your painted, wallpapered, or finished surfaces. The third thing would be cabinetry and woodwork. The last thing would be your own furnishings and finishes. Your window treatments, your furniture, your clothing, and things like that.
Those four things cover 90% of the potential toxins in your home. Insulation behind the walls, sheathing, roofing materials, additives in concrete—things like that only constitutes up to 10% of the toxicity. The problem is that when you’re remodeling a home, you typically don’t get involved in testing or fixing those things. You typically only have one chance to choose the right materials for those applications, and that’s during new construction.
So if you’re living in an apartment, if you’re living in a home that you just want to help and you can’t do anything structural, and I’m not saying throw out your furniture, throw out this, throw out that. When it comes time to buy something new, then let’s try to choose things that are organically sourced materials that are actually being sold as being free of health hazards and toxins.
You can’t really replace your cabinetry when you’re renting, but you can improve the indoor air quality by maybe getting a portable air purifier. Keep in mind that the bedroom in anybody’s residence, home apartment, it doesn’t matter. If you own, you rent, the bedroom is the sanctuary, it should be. This is where we spend, hopefully, six to eight hours a night and the body regenerates itself. You have to be in a pristine environment in order for the body to do its best work. Make sure that is the healthiest room.
[02:02:45] Ashley James: I have an Austin air filter and we got it a few years ago. My son has had some issues with asthma, which we finally figured out was related to some allergies, which no one in our family has these allergies so we’re like what’s going on. But sometimes kids will grow out of them. It has allowed us to dive into this world of looking to clean up the air quality even better.
A few years ago—I think it was about three years ago—there were some really bad forest fires in BC, in Washington, and the whole western seaboard was basically on fire a few years ago, as it was this last year. Back then we didn’t have an air filter. I wasn’t even thinking about it. We had all the windows open, and it was kind of really hot. I think it was maybe August or September. It was so hot out that we had a box fan blowing cool air into the bedroom. Of course, it was blowing all the smoke into the bedroom, and I wasn’t really thinking about it because there weren’t any forest fires near us. But the air quality was so poor that it damaged our lungs. All of us ended up, within a month or two, with bronchitis.
I talked to my Naturopath who said that pretty much all of her clients that didn’t have an air filter ended up with some form of bronchitis or pneumonia, and that’s what led me to look into this. I kind of was like hitting myself because I’m so into health, how could this have been in my blind spot? But this is how we learn. After research and talking to a lot of holistic doctors, I ended up getting an Austin air filter. It is an investment, it’s between $600 and $800, depending on the unit you get. I decided to get the one that removes mold and viruses. I mean really tiny particles, and we have loved it.
When we walk into the bedroom, it actually smells like a forest. The air changes when we walk in. It’s very interesting, and I don’t particularly feel like I live in a toxic home, but that air filter we run in the bedroom, and it really does change the feeling of the air, the smell of the air—just the quality overall. We run it all night long, and now I don’t even want to sleep without it on. I just love it.
[02:05:11] Andy Pace: That’s my personal favorite brand too. As a matter of fact, you speak of the fires that were happening a couple of years ago. I had a customer of ours living in Northern California that actually went around to all of her neighbors in her subdivision because she bought one from us, loved it so much she went to every neighbor in her subdivision and said if you want to improve the air quality of your home instantly, you need one of these. She organized the purchase of two pallets, two full shipping pallets of Austin airs to be shipped to her house so she could get them to all the neighbors.
[02:05:51] Ashley James: I just love her. The big one, the one that I got that’s like the big bedroom unit does 1500 square feet. When there is bad air quality from the fires, we move it out into the living room, which is kind of the grand room and it very quickly recycles or cleans out all the air pretty much in all the major living spaces in the house.
Don’t cheap out and get the small one because you can move it around. It’s on wheels and you can move it around different parts of the home. If you’re hanging out in the kitchen, living room, dining room area during the day, just have it running there. I’ve moved it into the office before. It’s a little overkill in a 200 square foot office, but better than getting the smaller unit and then regretting not being able to clean out the whole house.
[02:06:43] Andy Pace: Right, and the larger units just do it quicker also in those smaller rooms. That’s the only limitation of a portable is that it can only really purify the air in the space that it’s in. Because we sell the Austins and we’ve been very happy with that, but we have a lot of situations where customers are looking for a whole-house solution. They have kids in different bedrooms and people in different areas of the home. There are whole-house solutions as well, but tell you what, Austin has the highest amount of carbon in their units of any other system we’ve used before. They’re just highly effective, they work. They might be a little noisy for some people. I’m used to it.
[02:07:29] Ashley James: I like the sound. I don’t know. It doesn’t make a squeaking noise or any kind of high-pitched noise. It’s just a nice whooshing sound. It’s air moving, and I got used to it really fast and actually enjoyed the sound. We put it on medium when we’re sleeping, but when I first go into the bedroom, I’ll turn it on high and let it do its thing. And then I put it on medium and I find that that speed for me is great. I don’t like the sound of the low speed. I resonate with the medium speed sound. It’s not annoying at all for me. I do know some people who are like I can’t sleep with any sound on. And then for me, I’m like, okay, well then have it run on high for a few hours before you go to bed and then turn it off, or just try to get used to it.
[02:08:14] Andy Pace: yeah I turn it on high when I leave for the office, and I turn it on medium or low when I get home.
[02:08:19] Ashley James: That’s a good idea. And these filters last forever. They’re four or five years before you have to replace it. It’s not like something you have to replace every few months like the filters in your furnace. I was thinking, you have been in this business for so long, having been connected to so many people around the world, is there a country that’s doing it right? Is there a country that you can say like Finland? Is there just a country without a doubt, across the board, has healthier homes?
[02:08:51] Andy Pace: This is going to be an interesting conversation I think because I used to hear this all the time from people. I wish we did things like they did in Europe. Well, you have to remember that here in North America, the way we build homes is based upon what we have the most access to. In Europe, the way they build homes is what they have the most access to. It just so happens that here in North America, we are plentiful with hardwood. So homes since the 1600s have been built using a lot of wood. The problem is there are not a lot of homes that remain from the 1600s because wood is a natural material that eventually breaks down. It eventually absorbs water, warps, and molds, and cracks and is subject to weathering.
When I was in Italy many years ago, the villa that I stayed in was built in the 1400s. And it still operates today as a hotel 600 years later. The Colosseum built 2,000 years ago still stands. Why is this? And that’s because they use a lot of stone, a lot of concrete because that’s what’s plentiful there. Now, of course, they’ve adapted to the marketplace, and they’ve started using wood for a lot of construction. But you got to remember that they still have that mindset of using materials that last a long time.
Homes in Sicily when I was there on that same trip, they’re not designed to be the latest fashion and the latest color and craze. They’re designed to last because they pass them along to the next generation.
Carpet, this is a good example of here, in the United States, we use a lot of carpets. In Europe, they don’t use a lot of carpets. If they have carpet in their house, it’s typically a wool rug, and it’s typically a wool rug that they can roll up and take with them if they ever move because wool lasts 80 years. Whereas the plastic and synthetic carpets that we use here are designed to last 7 to 20 years at maximum because we typically either move or we get bored with what we have and we want to change it to make it look different.
It’s the mindset of that. They’re not as concerned about trends, fashions, and comfort per se. They’re more concerned about cost, longevity, and passing along to the next generation. So I guess I’d say Europe has a lot of things on us. Older countries than the United States, the United States is so young. We’re only a few hundred years old. When you take an airplane from New York to Los Angeles and you notice that 99% of what you fly over is greenery and not homes, they’re not people, you’re flying over unhabituated space.
When you go to Europe and you say well Italy’s got 50 some million people living in it, and it’s the size of the state of Wisconsin. We’ve got 5 ½ million people. It’s that there are more people there. They’ve been around longer there. They’ve learned to live within their environment. So that’s just the way it’s done. There are a lot of countries that still don’t do things like refrigeration for foods because they can’t afford it or they don’t have a good electrical grid. They buy the food that they prepare for the day, and whatever’s left they don’t save for tomorrow, they usually give it to the farm animals. That’s done. Tomorrow we’ll buy food for tomorrow. And so that’s the mindset they have.
They do a lot of recycling because they have to, they don’t have a choice. Now, I wish there are things that they would do that were better. I think the rest of the world does a very, very poor job in recycling specifically plastics. I think the United States leads the world in recycling, and the reason is because we’ve figured out a way to monetize it and make it worth everybody’s while. So there are things that we are doing here. I think from a health aspect, we’re doing some things that are better than what’s done in Europe. But I just think that they have that mindset of longer-lasting and therefore they look at things a little bit differently.
[02:14:20] Ashley James: Only coming from the standpoint of a healthy home, and I love that explanation because it’s true. It’s based on the history of the culture, it’s based on the materials that are readily available. But in terms of only looking through the lens of a healthier home or the healthiest homes, is there a country out there that is standing above the rest who has better regulations? Who their version of the EPA is actually doing their job, or they don’t allow for formaldehyde in their carpets? Is there any country that’s just really standing above the rest?
[02:15:04] Andy Pace: I think that there are a number of European countries that are doing some things that in my eyes just really stick out just from a common-sense standpoint. And I’ll be fair, there are some states here in the US that are also doing that. There are some states now where it’s building code you have to put in a heat recovery ventilator to bring in the fresh air. Because as we talked about a little while ago in our discussion, new homes are being built so tight that we’re not getting those natural air flows into the home, natural fresh air because it’s against the building science to have energy leaks.
Well, the state of Minnesota several years ago adopted into their building code that you have to have an air exchange system for new construction to bring in the fresh air because they recognize that these homes are being built so energy tight, so efficient that people aren’t getting enough fresh air so I think that’s happening.
[02:16:14] Ashley James: Right. Especially if someone has a few fireplaces going, they’re really burning through their oxygen.
[02:16:21] Andy Pace: It sucks all the oxygen out of the house, right?
[02:16:23] Ashley James: Yeah, scary.
[02:16:24] Andy Pace: Now, I worked with an automobile manufacturer many years ago—BMW out of Germany. At the time, ng this is when they just started manufacturing cars here in the US. One of their material vendors in Michigan was supplying a plywood component for their SUVs. So when you open up the back hatch there’s a flat panel and you lift up that panel, that’s where the spare tire was. Well, that flat panel was being made from plywood. It was Malaysian plywood that they were bringing into the states, and they were putting carpet on one side and paint on the underside.
Well, the SUVs for BMW were only being made in the United States, they weren’t making these in Germany. So they had to export essentially the SUV to Germany to be sold for the German market. The German government wouldn’t allow this SUV to be sold in Germany because the plywood was releasing formaldehyde.
[02:17:35] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.
[02:17:37] Andy Pace: And in Germany, if you make a car that’s to be sold in the German market, there cannot be formaldehyde in the air, in the cab. So this company had something like $2million dollars’ worth of cut plywood to be installed into the BMW SUV, and it halted production because the German government wouldn’t allow it.
Now, we were able to provide them with a couple of AFM coatings to solve that problem, and it met the requirements of zero formaldehyde because the safe coat coatings covered up the off-gassing.
[02:18:13] Ashley James: Now, did they give you a BMW X5 as a gift?
[02:18:19] Andy Pace: I wish. But no, it actually got me on the whole kick of finding manufacturers that utilize healthier processes.
[02:18:27] Ashley James: That’s really cool.
[02:18:28] Andy Pace: I mean, if you’re looking for a healthy vehicle, if you buy a BMW, it’s got to be one that was made in Germany for the German market that they also exported to the US.
[02:18:40] Ashley James: Could it be any German car though? I have a VW, I love it. I love my VW. I’ve had BMWs in the past, I’m not actually a fan of new BMWs anymore. In my opinion, their quality has gone down. We have a 1983 BMW and that thing’s still kicking.
[02:19:01] Andy Pace: Oh yeah, it’s solid.
[02:19:03] Ashley James: It’s solid. My husband just replaced the engine a few years ago, but the newer ones, they’re really only meant to last till the end of the warranty, and you do not want to be out of warranty. We saw that coming. But with the VWs, they’re a lot of fun. They’re really great on gas mileage. I’m very impressed.
[02:19:22] Andy Pace: I’ve owned many VW’s over the years, and I absolutely love them. So yes, German cars—
[02:19:28] Ashley James: Made in Germany for Germans, basically. You got to make sure it’s not made for the US market.
[02:19:35] Andy Pace: That’s it, that’s the thing. And a number of these manufacturers now are starting to make cars in North America, so that changes the dynamics. So you got to look for something that was built in Germany.
[02:19:49] Ashley James: We need to—as a consumer—petition the US government, and for Canadians petition the Canadian government to raise the standards.
[02:20:01] Andy Pace: Yes. This is the problem we get into because of lobbying by the big companies. And again, there is no standard for health. All the standards that are being written—at least what I’ve seen—are based upon VOCs. This whole concept of VOCs is just ubiquitous, it’s everywhere. People use a VOC like oh, I bought this paint, it’s zero VOC. I guess I’m safe. I guess I can paint in my house with the windows closed and no mask on. No, there have been class-action lawsuits against paint manufacturers because of people getting sick because their zero VOC paint is less healthy than their regular stuff.
The FTC here in the US has fined many paint companies because their zero VOC paint basically dupes the public. Utilizing a VOC as the one and only metric to determine whether or not a product is safe is dangerous because of everything we talked about before.
[02:21:14] Ashley James: Fascinating. Just because you’ve got a whole list of companies, give me a few more. So like you said, cars built in Germany. Not necessarily just BMW, but all cars built in Germany for Germans. Are there any other countries or major products that you are like yes, this is the one to go with when it comes to buying major, like you said, appliances or major purchases for the home?
[02:21:41] Andy Pace: So like I said before when you’re buying appliances, specifically gas appliances, getting the higher-end materials unfortunately are far more expensive but are less likely to have gas leaks. So that’s going to be things like Wolf, Viking, Thermador. Even the GE Profile, really good brand. These units will have sealed burners. It makes them more efficient for cooking because if it says that a burner is 16,000 BTU, you don’t want a leak that lowers the BTU output. So that’s what you’re paying for. You’re paying for that 16,000 BTU.
Again, it’s interesting how everything kind of comes back to this. The quality level of the product also means that it’s a healthier material. So if I’m buying 99¢ a square foot flooring from some big box store, chances are if the average price of similar material—just an average price—is $3 a square foot, and the price of really good material is $5 a square foot, chances are the 99¢ per square foot product is going to be inferior in quality and in health. There are some exceptions. There are always exceptions, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
[02:23:14] Ashley James: And those companies have to cut corners.
[02:23:17] Andy Pace: It’s coming from somewhere folks. It’s coming from the cost of manufacturing. Paint, I referred to this before. Paint that’s $20 a gallon is not going to last as long as paint that’s $70 a gallon. And I’m not just talking about AFM safe coat, I’m talking about Benjamin Moore Aura, which is $70 a gallon. Great product. It’s not necessarily considered healthier, but it’s a great long-lasting material.
Paints can off-gas anywhere from three and a half years to five years on a wall. Once it’s reached a full cure—coalescing of the film—the material still continues to off-gas, and this is something that I think a lot of people don’t understand. Chemical off-gassing and I referred to this throughout our conversation, is actually the release of unreacted chemical monomers from a cured or a solid-state of a surface. Paint can off-gas for three and a half to five years. Little bits and pieces of some of the components that come off as kind of like dust from a surface.
Formaldehyde can off-gas from the carpet. I’ve tested carpet up to 30 years old that still off-gases formaldehyde. Plywood because of the urea-formaldehyde used in the glues. I’ve tested 35-year-old engineered wood that off-gases formaldehyde because we cover it up with other flooring materials and it stops off-gassing because it’s covered up. Open it back up again and remodel, you’re just exposing it to come back out again.
So all these things can off-gas for very long periods of time. You may not smell it, you may not know it, you personally may not even sense it, but somebody in the house might. And you combine that with all the other things that are in the home that are off-gassing and it creates this chemical soup. So the average home that’s built today has anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 chemicals in it just from the manufacturing of the home, the building of the home.
Formaldehyde is just one of those chemicals. It happens to be the one that’s probably the biggest problem causer, but there are so many other things that come off of the surface. And then you have somebody that walks in the home that has freshly dry cleaned clothes or maybe, God forbid, they smoked a cigarette on the way home. And that adds another 2500 chemicals. You can see where we get inundated with chemicals on a daily basis.
There is no perfect way to take care of this, I wish there was. I wish there was the perfect healthy home. I wish there was a perfectly healthy product. So what we try to do as a company, as a consultant is to help lower the exposure. We’re never going to get it, 100% folks, it’s just impossible. But we’re going to try to get it lower. We don’t strive for perfection, we strive for tolerance. Let’s get that overall load lower so maybe it’s not going to fill up that bucket at all in your lifetime. Or at least get to a point where we make the home tolerable.
People who have lived in that one room of their home covered in aluminum foil understand they’re not going to get perfection. They want perfection because they’ve lived with this horrible problem for years, but they also understand if I can just make it tolerable, I know that when I leave my home I’m going to get inundated with chemicals from other people. But when I come home at least I’m coming to a healthy sanctuary, and that’s what we strive for.
[02:27:09] Ashley James: I love it. Well, you are such a fantastic resource, and of course, I definitely recommend listeners checking out your podcast so they could continue learning from you. They could give you a call and hire you for a quick consult like a 15-minute or a longer consult if they’re looking at replacing flooring or replacing cabinetry, or if they’re just got some concerns about what’s in their house, or thinking about repainting that kind of stuff. We haven’t even scratched the surface. You have so many years of experience, and you, like me, love to dive in and learn. You have had experience with thousands upon thousands of clients. I’m sure there are areas we didn’t even get to talk about today, but we did cover some really well-rounded things and shed light on more of the common things that people need to know about when it comes to the environment of their home.
I like that we touched on cars because we spend a lot of time in our home and a lot of time in our cars. Obviously less time on our cars than our home, but sometimes cars can be a more toxic environment especially in the winter. We’re not cracking open the windows, we’re not breathing in the fresh air, and we can quickly build up the things that are off-gassing—all the flame retardants and stuff that are in our cars in the air. You may not experience any symptoms now, but it is filling your bucket and other family members or pets may be worse off than you and not know it. That’s maybe why some people in your home are more prone to aches and pains, are more prone to headaches, are more prone to being fatigued, or having sleep problems. Very common signs of just the body having to deal with more toxins.
To wrap things up, what are some actionable steps that people can take? Should we just open our windows even if it’s the wintertime? You’ve already mentioned getting an Austin air filter. They could actually buy it from you, which is great. Are there any others—I don’t want to say quick fixes, and you did mention getting some handheld device that they can test to make sure their appliances aren’t leaking gas? Is there something they could do today, some actual steps they can take today to start to turn things around in the environment of their home?
[02:29:39] Andy Pace: So a lot of that has to do with their living situation, whether they own or they rent. But the first thing I’ll say is if you are just noticing a general uncomfortableness when you’re in your house, you have flu-like symptoms. I know right now it’s a little difficult because as you say, we’re all spending a lot more time in our homes than ever before, and COVID is running rampant. I myself have had it, and it can give you all those same flu-like symptoms. But if generally speaking, when you come back home to your place of living, if you just don’t feel comfortable—there could be anxiety issues. These are all symptoms of some type of indoor air quality problem. Be it from chemical exposure, mold exposure, or even electromagnetic field exposure.
So I recommend getting your air quality tested. There are some pretty inexpensive systems on the market that allow you to test the indoor air quality of your home to at least give you an idea of what we’re dealing with. And then from that, again, carpet is an issue, area rugs can be an issue, but most important is to make your bedroom a healthy sanctuary. At least try to get those six to eight hours a night of really undisturbed healthy time to allow your body to heal. Make sure you’re using cleaning materials that aren’t adding to the chemical toxic soup in your house.
Probably the best thing I can say for people who are renting is, as a consumer, at least the things that you bring into your house try to make sure that you are doing your best to eliminate chemical off-gassing. Again, it’s very difficult as a renter because a lot of times you’re buying furniture from the big boxes to fill the space and a lot of times, that furniture is made with formaldehyde laden particle boards and plywoods. But if you can, if the budget allows, find better quality materials. It means usually getting products that are made with solid woods. The side benefit is it’s going to be a healthier piece of furniture.
So things like that. Just think about how the product might be made, and maybe, if that means holding off on buying something until you can afford something that is of higher quality, that’s going to help you in the long run.
[02:32:32] Ashley James: I love it. Everyone wants to save money, but when you look at buying furniture the cheaper, the material the quicker the furniture is going to break down, and then you have to replace it more often. My bed, for example, I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of health experts before we settled on the type of mattress we were going to buy. And I am so thankful we did because the mattress we bought, not only is it non-toxic and they really pride themselves on this. They’ll even give you 100% of the whole list of chemicals or building materials that have been used to make this bed, but it’s also designed to make the deepest, most healing restorative sleep.
If you’re sleeping on something for eight hours and your face is right against it, you could be breathing in God knows what, and there are so many mattresses that have flame retardants and all that kind of stuff that you could be breathing in. I’m so happy that my bed is one of those that don’t. Just like you said, you make healthy buildings, and this is a healthy bed. It’s an investment, it’s a more expensive mattress. It’s double the price of normal mattresses, but they also have a guarantee that it lasts for 20 years or more. They stand behind that. They’ll replace your mattress if there’s any warping or at all for 20 years. Normally, people will replace mattresses every five years because they warp.
The cheaper ones just don’t hold up and they cause health problems like back pain and then you have to go to the chiropractor. Some people just choose to get on medication for pain not realizing that they’re cheaper mattresses they saved money on one end, but it costs them on the other end. It’s better to invest in the furniture and the bed that is going to last for 20 years and also be the healthiest for you, and I like that that goes hand in hand. The quality of your health is often something that’s going to last longer.
Thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been so enlightening, and I know my listeners are going to love following you. Andy Pace, it’s been such a pleasure. Your website is thegreendesigncenter.com, and of course, the links to everything that Andy does is going to be the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. And you’ve got your podcast. Give us the plug again, what’s the name of your podcast?
[02:35:01] Andy Pace: Non Toxic Environments, three words. You’re going to find it on iTunes, of course, and all the major podcast providers.
[02:35:10] Ashley James: Fantastic. And Andy, I want you to come back anytime you have some new exciting information or if there’s a topic which we haven’t explored yet that you think worth teaching us on. Come back, I’d love to have you back.
[02:35:24] Andy Pace: I would absolutely love to. You can tell I love to talk, so that’s not a problem.
[02:35:28] Ashley James: You’re in good company. We love to listen to you.
Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s interview with Andy Pace. Wasn’t that amazing, so eye-opening, especially I just love that story about how BMW. They can sell formaldehyde-soaked vehicles to us here in the United States, but they can’t manufacture their own formaldehyde-soaked vehicles and then import them from America into Germany because Germany has higher standards. I mean doesn’t that just blow your mind? And that happens everywhere.
And that story about the EPA’s own building is so toxic that it has done permanent damage to 100+ employees these last 10 years. I mean, they must just be kicking themselves. The idea that they themselves rubber-stamped and approved all the chemicals that were used in the building process of their new building, and is something we have to deeply consider when purchasing anything for our environment, for our home. Just because you can’t smell it and you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not doing irreparable damage to our bodies, to our families, and to our pets.
I’m just so happy that we had Andy on today so that he could share with us this information. This kind of information will empower you. And no matter what your budget is, there is a way to make sure that future choices are healthier ones or non-toxic ones for us, and I’m so looking forward to my future choices being more educated ones because of all the work that Andy’s done and he provides for us.
Now, be sure to go to learntruehealth.com/bed, even if you’re not thinking about buying a mattress right now, it’s still really good information to have. And please share it with your friends and family who might be looking for a mattress, especially those who have been in pain who are experiencing inflammation, stiffness, and regularly having to go to the chiropractor because they’re constantly out. They’re like, how did my neck go out, how did my back go out? I was just sleeping.
Well, they definitely have to see this webinar. Learntruehealth.com/bed, check it out. Let me know what you think. I am such a raving fan of this company because they have taken all the materials that are non-toxic to make an amazing bed, but then they created the science to make a bed be the healthiest for us in terms of the deepest, most restorative sleep possible. And of course, we go into discussing that and teaching more about that in the webinar. So go to learntruehealth.com/bed.
Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this episode and all the other episodes. And of course, you can go to learntruehealth.com and use the search function on the website to check out all of the rest of our great interviews. If you are curious about different topics, just type that topic into the search bar and you’ll find us. And if you’re on LBRY, be sure to check us out there as well. The links will be in the show notes of today’s podcast. That’s just another platform that you can find our podcast.
Website – The Green Design Center