Arriving at the Tower Bar restaurant at the Sunset Tower Hotel, actress Shiva Rose is in a befitting rose-colored, demure, high-necked blouse and matching lipstick; hair that wafts and waves over her shoulder, and a welcoming smile. It's hard to believe the wellness-and-beauty entrepreneur behind the "healthy holistic" blog the Local Rose and eponymous skin-care line was diagnosed with lupus and other autoimmune disorders — and told she might have as little as one year left to live. She credits, in part, her decision to embrace a holistic approach to her illness, for her ability to manage her symptoms.
Here, Rose shares with us some of her favorite Los Angeles wellness hot spots, and a prescription for holistic, happy living:
You've said walks in the forest are really healing for you.
One of the things I've found really helpful is walking barefoot on the grass, mud, sand. I use the term "Earthing." It's a grounding method to connect with the Earth that way … some believe it can neutralize harmful free radicals and reduces inflammation.
What are your favorite places to hike in and near Los Angeles?
One of my favorite places is Temescal Canyon [not necessarily barefoot!]. There are a lot of beautiful places to hike in Malibu too. I also love Ojai — my phone doesn't get service in a lot of places and I can really unplug. There's just an energy you feel up there; they say it's a spiritual vortex. It has a healing energy. I like hiking Matilija Canyon in Ojai. One of my favorite restaurants in Ojai is Farmer and the Cook. They grow a lot of their own organic food.… I'm half-Persian and lived in Iran until I was 10. We had lambs, you'd walk to get your goat's milk, you'd walk to get your bread from the oven … it was a more rural, simple life. Now I grow food in my own backyard, I raise honeybees, I have chickens.… You go back to your roots.
I was surprised to see Bee's Wrap Sandwich Bags on your website marketplace, since so many of the other offerings are beauty products.
I really started using them for my own health. When I was 26 I was told I had a year to live. I've been diagnosed with lupus, and other autoimmune conditions — scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis.… I made a lot of lifestyle changes, going a more holistic route, and went into remission.
That sounds so empowering — looking for ways to take responsibility for your own health.
It's the catalyst that drove me to create my own beauty and skincare products. Now, so many people have auto-immune issues, struggling with wheat allergies, colitis, Epstein-Barr… I think it has to do with the food, the products, the toxins and the chemicals … people are waking up, so it's kind of an exciting time too. I've always had an activist spirit, been a bit of a rebel … so when it came to my own life, that's somewhere I could put my energy — to try to protect myself. It's always good to question things, that's the spirit of being an American almost.
You said stress can flare up your symptoms. How do you handle that?
For me, definitely. But we can alleviate that… I also experienced more stress after my divorce…. My spiritual practice has been important to me. I started practicing Buddhism in my early 20s and that really got me on the path and from there I started practicing kundalini yoga on a daily basis about seven years ago too [she's taken classes for years with Guru Jagat of the Rama Institute in Venice], connecting to and taking hikes and walks in nature, connecting to the rhythms of the new and full moon, spiritual tea ceremonies — I have a lot of practices! Some people go to alcohol or drugs — for me, this is my drug of choice and it just makes me feel better and more connected. You have to find time for all of this, but when I do make time, my day goes more smoothly.
Where in L.A. do you like to shop for wellness products?