A quick Google search on Hawaii and healing unearths a mind-numbing gamut of healing practices in the Islands: Chinese herbalism, Tibetan energy work, color therapy and holotropic breathing. Shamanic journeying, ayurveda, yoga, Reiki and Vipassana meditation. The Islands have become a cultural nexus between East and West, drawing healers (and patients) from both worlds. At the same time, the state has begun to actively promote the Islands as a global leader in wellness tourism, and Hawaii is now poised to receive a new kind of visitor—one seeking health.
In the midst of all the information and change, how does a seeker find Hawaii’s true kahuna? At the moment, there is no repository or database of native healers, though Dane is working to create one. Some can be found on the Internet (Aunty Mahealani, for example, can be found at www.alohaspiritaunty.com). Susanne Sims, who recently authored Healing Vacations in Hawaii, has started a company to put together wellness vacations ("I like to use the term transformational travel,’" she says. "If we can send somebody back more whole, healed, more happy, what a great service we’ve done.")
After what I’ve learned about native traditions, the formula for experiencing the healing power of the Islands seems to be this: Keep an open mind, an open heart, set the intention to heal, and the Islands will reach out through the hands of dedicated healers drawing fresh water from an ancient well.
"Understand what aloha really means," says Aunty Mahealani. "Alo means 'knowing,' 'presence’ and 'spirit.' Ha is the breath of life. Together it means love. Already this island, its people, our belief systems are putting out love to you, this malihini, this newcomer. I mean, come on, where else can you go in this world and get love as your first introduction? Embrace it." HH