To Life! West Virginia Wellness Inc. Offers Alternatives

Wheeling has always been the home of titans of commerce and innovators in business. Throughout the valley’s history, we have seen captains of industry, outstanding athletes and medical innovators make the news.

The formation of the West Virginia Wellness Inc., which is celebrating its one-year anniversary, was created for the primary purpose of educating the general public — and residents of the Ohio Valley in particular — regarding Complementary, Holistic, Alternative and Integrative Medicine (C.H.A.I.M. = Hebrew for the word life) in order to improve the wellness indicators of the population.

This group of talented, educated professionals has recognized a need in the valley population. These professionals who work in complementary therapies will work in conjunction with area physicians and each other to help patients and clients achieve their optimal level of wellness.


While the valley has many wonderful statistics, healthy population numbers are, unfortunately, not part of that mix. Statistics bear out the need for an Integrated, Wellness Education Model. West Virginia is No. 1 in the nation in heart disease, No. 3 in the nation for obesity and No. 4 in Type II diabetes.

There is a silver lining to these grim statistics, though. So many of these diseases are potentially reversible and definitely improvable by lifestyle changes we can make.

This is where West Virginia Wellness can help achieve these health goals.

Bringing so many practitioners of alternative modalities together for education and treatment purposes is the goal of West Virginia Wellness Inc.

Our body’s health is dependent on so many factors; not only genetics, but eating habits, exercise and stress levels. All of these factors can play a huge role in overall health. These are some things that patients can do to achieve better health.

Education is certainly power, but the goals of West Virginia Wellness include not only effecting changes, but educating the client as to what these changes actually do to the body. The clearer a picture West Virginia Wellness can help paint, the more resolve it sees in clients.


West Virginia Wellness was conceived by the following four practitioners:

• Kathy (K.J.) Burley, certified massage therapist and CMT, as well as a West Virginia Wellness Hub founding board member;


• Marian “Marni” Reven, master’s degree in science, nursing-board certified, CA (certified and registered aromatherapist) and board member of the West Virginia Wellness Hub;

• Dr. Carol Lilley, N.D. (naturopathic doctor), MH (master herbalist), CHS (certified holistic specialist), CNC (certified nutritional counselor), CNHP (certified natural health specialist), DHS (digestive health specialist) and doula/midwife (direct entry);

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• Cheryl Colega, iridologist, RPh, HC,CCI, certified health coach (works with clients to co-create completely personalized nutrition plans, to educate patients as to how food actually works in their bodies and impacts detoxing, cellular repair, mental functioning and energy).

Much talent and education has been assembled to bring these resources to the Ohio Valley.


“This is something I have wanted to do for years,” said Burley. “West Virginia has a need for a non-profit, educational group. I have had a long-time vision and passion for nutrition and its relation to health.”


“When I was in massage school, one of my instructors was Dr. Vickie Culp, D.C., and certified clinical nutritionist. Dr. Culp fueled my passion for nutrition, and its relationship to our overall health. She was one of the best teachers I have ever worked with and still consider her a friend and mentor.

“We wish to empower the people to take charge of their own health and well being,” Burley added.


West Virginia Wellness Inc. is offering monthly lectures featuring a different practitioner each month who will highlight their specialty and how it will help people improve their health and wellbeing. These lectures are free, and are held downstairs at the Ohio County Public Library at 3 p.m. on Sundays.

“Knowledge is such power in the journey to good health,” Burley said. “We will not only provide knowledge, but encouragement, fellowship at our meetings, and the ability to believe in ourselves and our power over our health. So much depends on education and attitude.”


In the continuing lecture series, three events remain for the summer:

• Aromatherapy: Can It Be Used to Impact the Opioid Addiction Crisis?, Marian Reven, RN, MoMoAroma, Bethany; 3 p.m., Sunday, July 8, Ohio County Public Library

• Topic to be announced, Nilo Jo Lond, N.D., Chester; 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, Ohio County Public Library

Also, planned for Saturday, Aug. 25, is a CHAIM Wellness Health Fair. Location to be announced.

For more information, visit on Facebook or call 304-280-7020 or 304-686-2724.

• Having spent 40 years in left-brain activities while working for a major pharmaceutical company in sales, Kathryn Thalman has shifted brain lobes and is now pursuing work as a writer and teacher. She has had several humor articles published in national magazines while  continuing to work on her book, “Collie Crazy.” Her experience also includes motivational speaking through her company, S.E.E.D.S., Self Esteem Education Delivery Systems, delivering talks on such diverse topics as bullying and drug awareness. Kathryn, from St. Clairsville, is a member of Ohio Valley Writers group.