Dr. Vernon Sylvest Brings A Holistic Approach To Medicine In The Allegheny Highlands

Headwaters, Va – Dr. Vernon Sylvest has been on a spiritual quest for over thirty years. That quest brought him to Highland County, Virginia over 15 years ago. Dr. Sylvest, a native of Louisiana, trained in medicine as a pathologist and worked in Richmond for many years.

“I got interested in holistic medicine back in the early 80’s as a result of my own illness” says Dr. Sylvest. “I went into medicine and specialized in pathology because I was interested in finding out what was the cause of distress and disease that people went through. I didn’t really find the answers in regard to causality in the study of medicine pathology, but I certainly saw a lot of the effect and understood something about the process at the molecular level.”

His quest began in earnest as a result of circumstances that set him on a journey of discovery and learning in the field of non-traditional medicine.

“I became ill myself in 1977” he says, “and for four and a half years I suffered with a very painful inflammatory disesase. In desperation I went beyond the molecular experience and began to explore spirituality. I really got interested and explored it began to understand the relationship of spirit, mind and body; that there are those components that we can bring into play when we’re studying causality and reaching for a cure.”

Dr. Sylvest read extensively in the area of holistic medicine, traveled to conferences, spoke with experts and was a witness to situations where spiritual treatment resulted in cures for various diseases. As he thought more about these experiences, he began to develop his own formula for treating the mind as a means of curing the body.

“The mind does have an effect on the body; stress does have a negative effect on the body” he says. “A peaceful mind does have a positive effect on the body even to the point of reparative activity. Now we recognize that there is a spiritual component that we can access through prayer and meditation. “Be still and know that I am God”, I believe that’s Psalm 46, verse 10. In other words, still the battle in our mind, and allow the mind to become peaceful and you begin to experience the peace of God, and that will begin to express in your body with repair.”

Dr. Sylvest’s methods are described in his book titled The Formula: Who Gets Sick, Who Gets Well, Who Is Unhappy, Who Is Happy and Why. The book was published in 1996 and since that time Dr. Sylvest has brought his formula into his holistic medicine practice providing enlightenment and treatment for a variety of ills, both physical and mental.

In the late 1990’s Dr. Sylvest and his wife Anne bought property in Highland County and then in 2008 established the Healing Waters Lodge, located on the eastern flank of Bullpasture Mountain just south of the West Virginia state line. The Sylvests left Richmond last year to take up full-time residence in Highland County. To learn more about Healing Waters Lodge, visit their website at www.healingwaterslodgevirginia.com or call 540-396-3466.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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