The Four Pillars

Survivor Wellness programming is largely focused on the four principles required to activate a predictable sequence of cellular repair. 


1) Sleep

2) Nutrition

3) Physical Activity/Fitness/Movement

4) Mindfulness

    While simple to describe, most people will never master these pillars. The goal is to move cellular signaling from an injury related interrupted signaling pattern to a complete cycle of repair and recovery. Failure to achieve life homeostasis is chiefly due to a lack of wisdom, understanding and support.


    Metabolic Signaling and Cellular Recovery

    After injury, the healing cycle activates a predictable sequence of cell metabolism required for cell repair, known as metabolic signaling.

    Many individuals experience a repeating (“chronic”) loop of incomplete cell recovery. This repeating loop causes cells to persist abnormally (also known as “chronic disease). As such, this persistent loop of cell abnormality is the root of virtually every chronic illness, including cancer.

    For this, you need to become “an expert, the most knowledge person in your neighborhood,” on these four principals of Sleep, Nutrition, Physical Exercise/Fitness/Movement, and Mindfulness. 

    Below, you will find information and resources to move toward optimal health. 

    As you become educated and experienced with these principles, you can choose to start building your own healthy self-care practices for cellular recovery. As you become an expert on these principles, please follow-up with us to report challenges, success, questions, and referrals to additional resources.


    Dr. John Librett, Cancer Survivor & Survivor Wellness Executive Director


    “Aulus Cornelius (c25 B.C — 50 A.D), a Roman known for his extant medical work, wrote in De Medicina:

    “Live in rooms full of light. Avoid heavy food. Be moderate in drinking of wine. Take massage, baths, and exercise. Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water. Change surroundings and take long journeys. Strictly avoid frightening ideas. Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements. Listen to music.”


    • You must become an expert on nutrition.
    • Schedule an appointment for nutrition counseling.
    • Avoid highly processed foods and foods with high sugar content.
    • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
    • Cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy, can severely impact the health of you gut microbiome and digestive system. Ketogenenic and fasting diets can support the healing process, however, there are many uniformed individuals advocating, and making money, on these strategies. These particular strategies must be personalized and monitored by a clinician who is an expert in these strategies.

    A Few Useful Links Discussing Food As Medicine:


      • Each year science delivers more insight into sleep’s clinical important.
      • Sleep is necessary for cellular repair; including cognitive health.
      • You must get about 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
      • This may require new bedding, a new mattress, a completely dark room, or certain bedtime routines.

      Link for further information on the importance of sleep:


        Exercise and Fitness

        • Fitness must be consistent, with the goal of 30 minutes of moderate intensity movement/physical activity/exercise most days of the week.
        • Start any exercise/fitness routine slowly and work up to the desired levels of duration.
        • Modify intensity as you progress through cancer treatment.
        • Consider attend a regular Yoga and/or Qi Gong classes
        • Schedule acupuncture and massage appointments
        • Consider an appointment with Kiera Lurchich at Smart Move Wellness.
        • Saunas and cold treatments are proving to be a beneficial component of fitness. 

          “Cancer patients who are physically active both before and after treatment are 40% more likely to survive compared to those who are sedentary, according to new findings.”

          Links for more information on fitness:

          Physical Activity Significantly Boosts Survival in Cancer Patients
          Molecular Mechanisms Linking Exercise to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

            Saunas have been used for thousands of years, and can be very therapeutic for cancer patients or cancer survivors. However, individualized considerations for type and intensity should be followed.

            Considerations to type of sauna and intensity (i.e. dose) should be followed.
            6 Things To Know About Massage Therapy for Health Purposes


              • Mindfulness may be the most underrated, yet critical component, of mental and physical health.
              • Prayer, quiet reflection, and even guided meditation are wonderful avenues to mindfulness. 
              • Find time to meditate at least once per day for no less than fifteen minutes.
              • Always breathe in and out through your nose or your mouth, but not both. 
              • Sit with your back and neck straight.
              New research in mice identifies a possible mechanism explaining how a positive mental state may help suppress tumor growth.

                  Activation of the brain's reward center reduced tumor size by 40-50% by decreasing a type of immune cell that supports tumor growth called myeloid-derived suppressor cells. These myeloid-derived suppressor cells promote tumor growth by shutting down other immune cells that kill tumor cells.

                  Links for further information on Mindfulness:

                  Mind - Body Approaches to Cancer
                  The physical feat is spectacular, the outlier is the mental feat. Note in the talk how Alex continues to return to this point
                  Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

                  Final Thought: The Fifth Principle

                  There is a famous African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”. It also takes a village to return to health and stay healthy. As you practice and master the four pillars of health, make sure you have a team of trusted health advisors. Having a team of trusted health advisors is the Fifth Principal. Our health counselors will support you in assuring your team is “Survivor Wellness approved.”