Native Hawaiian Healing

By: Greig Gaspar
Special to the Oahu Island News

The Waimanalo Health Center’s ‘Ai Kupele Program is under the direction of Cultural Health & Education Director and Kahuna Ho‘ola Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. Among the cultural healing services that are being offered are  counseling (Ho‘oponopono), prayers and chants (Laau Kahea), herbal therapy (Laau Lapaau), and massage (lomi-lomi). The overall goal of our healing center is to restore the balance or harmony (pono) between all these interrelated facets of human existence in the spirit of compassion (lokomaikai) and to realign the body, mind and spirit to become one.

Although ‘Ai Kupele or cultural healing program targets Native Hawaiians, it is the Waimanalo Health Center’s long-standing policy that all services be available to all patients regardless of ethnic or national origin.

As a Kahuna Ho‘ola, Kawaikapuokalani is a specialist in Hawaiian healing that incorporates several diagnostic skills including assessment of the presence of spirit-related illnesses, direct observation, dream interpretation, and physical palpation to identify possible contributing causes of underlying imbalances. His therapeutic skills training include herbal (laau lapaau) and touch (lomilomi) therapies, spiritual mediation through prayers and chants, and cultural counseling and conflict resolution through hooponopono.

Kawaikapuokalani was trained as the primary apprentice of Kahuna Emma Defries, one of the few surviving kahuna in the 1900s who was recognized by both legislative bodies of the State of Hawaii for her healing work as a kahuna la‘au lapa‘au. Kawaikapuokalani’s genealogy also supports strong familial ties to well-known kahuna of modern and historical times. This genealogical relationship is a necessity in Hawaiian lore, as the ike (spiritual authority and insight) is believed to pass only through blood relations for many of the psychic powers used in assessment and healing. Kawaikapuokalani received intensive, detailed training and close supervision as a kakoo (student) for 12 years and has practiced as a kahuna ho‘ola for over 20 years. In addition Kawaikapuokalani has gained recognition locally, nationally and internationally as a kumu hula, composer, and teacher of Hawaiian culture.

What are the benefits related to lomilomi services? The stress and tension that we receive on a daily basis can be melted away through the art of lomilomi and the manipulation of nerves and muscles.

What are the benefits and why it is important for women to have their body, mind and spirit in balance and do more women seek out alternative medicine than men? Come and meet with Kawaikapuokalani and find out about the other services that are available at the Waimanalo Health Center’s ‘Ai Kupele program.

For more information or an appointment with Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, please call 382-6049. For general healthcare information, call Greig E. Gaspar at 259-7948 ext. 136.