Everything Virginia’s Native American Ancestors Taught Us About Holistic Health

Stop. Whether you’re reading this on your smartphone on a park bench, or from your laptop curled up in your bed, or on your PC at your office – take a moment to notice the energy inside and around you right this second. Is your mind clear? Do your bones feel integrated? Do you notice any aches, pains, or points of tension that you hadn’t been aware of just a second ago? 

If you’re like many of us, it’s probably been a long time since you last took a moment for yourself to check in and notice and feel what your body is telling you.

However, at one time – long before the streets of Fredericksburg were lined with bustling shops, local businesses, and inviting homes – some of the first indigenous inhabitants of the area were well-versed in this practice.

The Manahoac Tribe: the Original Selfcare Influencers

Historical accounts show that what is known today as the charming city of Fredericksburg, Virginia was once inhabited by a Native American tribe called the Manahoac. Anthropologists estimate this was an Algonquian tribe, like many of the indigenous groups along the Rappahannock River.

Manahoac Tribe the Original Selfcare Influencers

How did these tribes pave the way for modern thought on holistic health?  

Based on what is known about the Algonquian tribes, it is clear that their customs and traditions were deeply-rooted in a connection to the mind, body, and surrounding environment. In Algonquian traditions, this is referred to as “manitou” or the essential energy or life force.

Manitou was traditionally used by shamans to heal physical ailments and environmental woes. It was the attempt to harness energy to achieve a desired effect. The manitou principles, traditions of our ancestors who walked the land of Fredericksburg hundreds of years ago, are still echoed in many natural healing and alternative medicine practices today

The Power of Intuition to Achieve Optimal Health

Just as the Algonquian tribes harnessed energy-giving and liberating manitou to heal or resolve issues, so too can modern, holistic health practices unlock doors to more intuitive care.

The Native American tribes who inhabited this land before us were attuned to both the natural world and their own wisdom within. Today, amidst our never-ending to-do lists and packed social calendars, we rarely leave time to check in with ourselves mentally and physically or to check out our surroundings.

Power of Intuition to Achieve Optimal Health

Too often, it is not until the nagging knee pain or chronic, pounding headaches force us to stop and pay attention to what our body is telling us. It is our inner energy screaming at us to start focusing on what we’ve been neglecting – to give just as much thought to our mental blocks as we do to crafting the perfect Instagram caption, or to check in with our joints before their cries for help sideline us from our weeknight baseball league. 

More recent societal norms seem to have drifted so far from the more intuitive connection to inner and outer wellness that our nation’s native inhabitants had before us. How often have you been so busy that you didn’t stop to address a nagging health or wellness issue until a more serious incident was the catalyst for you to make a profound change? 

Fortunately, there are ways we can reconnect to our wellness in a more intentional way.

How to Return to a Holistic Wellness Routine

The journey to reconnect within our intuition might be a foreign path if you are used to the fast-paced, quick-fix culture we often live in.

What would intuitive wellness look like?

Return to a Holistic Wellness Routine

A healthy mind-body awareness begins with a holistic wellness routine that is focused on the connection between physical ailments, mental blocks, and environmental stressors. We see success in such holistic strategies -- such as the recovery approach, or recovery method, which focuses on overcoming certain mental health issues or substance addictions through the cultivation of both internal and external support functions.

Chiropractic care is a great example of an intuitive wellness practice to incorporate into a holistic health routine. Chiropractic care is sometimes referred to as an art of healing, using what is already within you.

For example, chiropractors will work with clients to identify past or existing stressors in your lifestyle or everyday environment to aid in healing any ailments. In most cases, after determining the root of the problem, the care will be focused on manipulating what is already there but may just have gotten off track.

In the chiropractic industry, this is referred to as “innate intelligence.” This term describes all the processes and actions that form every single, complex part of you – and therefore is also the only intelligence with the original blueprint to help heal you.   

Perhaps “innate intelligence” is the scientific term that was developed centuries after Native Americans used the same principles to practice healing through manitou.

Whatever you call it, there is no doubt that an intuitive approach to wellness will reset your mind-body connection and transform how you approach health care.


Dr. J.P. Yurgel, D.C. of Hands of Hope Chiropractic & Wellness Center located in Fredericksburg, VA invites you to get started on your holistic health journey. Schedule an appointment today!