The Four Pillars of Health

By Maya Skalinska M.H., R.H.T., Master Herbalist, Registered Herbal Therapist

As a health practitioner I have noticed the interest in herbs, nutrition and a higher level of self care skyrocket in the last three months.  The reasons are obvious, and I know most realize how important staying healthy is, and not only during a pandemic. I have written (I Love Creston, April Issue) all about the importance of keeping the immune system healthy, and this still stands as priority during this time. But, for the immune system to be working, we need to pay attention to the whole body. This is were the four pillars of health come in:

  1. Diet/Nourishment
  2. Sleep
  3. Exercise
  4. Emotional wellness

We need to ask ourselves: How to we eat? Do you overeat? Do you eat too fast? Do you eat late at night? Is your food fresh and whole? Is your body getting the nutrients it needs?

How do you sleep? How is your sleep hygiene? Do you go to bed before midnight? Are you getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep? Are you rested when you wake up? Do you maintain a consistent bedtime and waking time?

How do you move? Do you have an exercise routine? Do you break a sweat? Do you think you move your body enough?

How do you think? Do you have a positive outlook on life? Do you have loving connections in your life? What are your stress levels? Are you compassionate and kind?

Choose one pillar where you feel the most work needs to be done and start there, one pillar at a time.

Summer is also the season to focus on fresh local fruits and vegetables. This will ensure your body gets nutrients such as antioxidants our bodies need for proper function, immune system included.  Glutathione is an important antioxidant, and 50% of it we get from fresh fruits and vegetables. One of its roles is to lower oxidative stress and inflammation. New studies show glutathione’s role in Vitamin D regulation, and correlate low glutathione levels with low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays crucial role in our immune system, specifically helping our bodies to recognize viral infections in our lungs.

If you have a cold constitution, make sure to add warming spices like ginger or oregano to your fresh raw veggies, or sprinkle cinnamon on your fruit. Adding fresh herbs and spices to your meals is not only for those with cold constitution. Herbs and spices are packed with nutrients that will optimize your health. Try making herb butters, herbal teas, herbal oils and vinegars. Use all the fresh herbs available during the summer season.

Summer time is also time to be outdoors. Get your Vitamin D while taking a longer walk, a hike, or swim in the lake. We need to move our bodies, and we need fresh air. The benefits are immense, including better sleep. Being in nature will also help you harness a calm mind. Walk barefoot, connect to Earth’s electrical frequency for minimum 20 minutes at one time. This will reduce stress and inflammation. Check out “Earthing” for scientific evidence.

Summer is the perfect season to “tune up” our bodies, load up on nutrients, get in shape and reduce stress for better sleep, better health and frame of mind.

Prevention is key, so stay healthy and enjoy all the gifts summer gifts us.

Maya is a Registered Herbal Therapist with CHA of BC. She offers Iridology, Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Consultations it Crawford Bay, Nelson and Creston. For more information please email: