Before there was Medicine Wheel Wellness, there was The Medicine Wheel. There have been about 100 medicine wheels found in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, but it is the one in the Bighorn National Forest in eastern Wyoming that is The Medicine Wheel. Native American cultures built medicine wheels to symbolize dimensions of health and life. Seventy-five feet in diameter and at an elevation of 9,642-feet, the Bighorn Medicine wheel is a national historic landmark; it is the best-preserved and most complete medicine wheel yet discovered. Francine’s connection to the Medicine Wheel started in 2008, during a Lakota sweat lodge ceremony. “To create Medicine Wheel Well- ness, I looked to traditional Medicine Wheel teachings and how I could integrate them into the health care system I must work within to make it better. We can have integrated, accessible, and effective care that is less expensive,” says Francine.
“I have personally and professionally expanded from exposure to the healing methods of other cultures. Kauai, for me, is the mothership of healing. While finishing yoga teacher training there I saw wheels everywhere. I couldn’t ignore this sign. I asked my mentors —Chief “Sweet” William, a Lakota Chief, and Jules, a Buffalo Valley native who first invited me into the sweat lodge— for permission to use the wheel in my practice; they immediately granted support. I started gathering up practitioners like a sheep dog, each with a similar vision of health and healing as mine. Medicine Wheel Wellness opened January 1, 2015.
Medicine Wheel’s home is a 5,000-square foot building in downtown Jackson that includes a 2,500-square foot physical therapy clinic (Excel Physical Therapy), a group fitness studio, a private yoga studio, a handful of private practitioner offices, and a retail boutique, all overlooking the ski runs of Snow King Mountain Resort.
“When recovering from injury, illness, dis-ease or looking to improve fitness or sports performance, Medicine Wheel Wellness gives people options that fit their budget and healthcare needs,” says Francine, who teaches yoga, knee rehab, and SURFSET Fitness classes. Medicine Wheel Wellness offers services from rehab to sports performance and numerous modalities addressing the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of healing. Francine says, “You don’t have to use the whole wheel, but when you are ready to work on your overall well- being—that includes the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—we’re ready.”