Ho’oponopono: Living in balance (part 1)

“Too Many doctors ignore what was once a commonplace assumption, that emotions are implicated in the development of illnesses, addictions and disorders and in their healing.” Dr. Gabor Mate, Canadian physician and bestselling author.

Dr. Mate’s latest study indicates that stress and individual emotional makeup play critical roles in an array of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

From an indigenous Hawaiian medicine perspective as well as other indigenous cultures around the world, we have always understood that the mind and body can never be separated.  In fact, it is only recently that modern science agrees that the emotional centers of the brain, which regulate our behaviors, our responses and our reactions, are physiologically connected with the immune system, the nervous system and hormonal apparatus.  From an indigenous Hawaiian medicine perspective, the body has only one system.  This system is wired together by the nervous system and uses chemical messengers so the body can operate.  Whatever happens emotionally  can and will have a direct impact on the body’s functions such as the immune system.

So modern science accepts these studies, which they call “psychoneuroimmunology, however, it is completely lacking from medical practice.  Three or four years ago, a study presented at the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s International Congress on Women’s Health showed that women who were unhappily married and didn’t express their emotions were four times as likely to die as those women who were unhappily married and did express their feelings.  What this means is that non-expression of emotion was associated with a 400 percent increase in the death rate.

The remedy for emotional or non-emotional related health or disease according to the indigenous Hawaiian medicine experts is the concept “ho’oponopono.”

To begin to understand the ancient Hawaiian principles of being well we first must understand the basic concepts of ho’oponopono or sometimes referred to as ho’opono.  It is a concept that is so vast and potentially complex that it commands a book to do it justice.  However, as important as it is, I will attempt to bring a brief overview of this idea so that you can begin the process of letting go of those things that do not serve you anymore.  Cutting the cord from “dead weight” or negative emotional experiences and focusing on positive outcomes will be important steps in finding your balance to being well.

Ho’oponopono literally means “the action of being in balance/alignment.”  It is the act of living in harmony with all things, with all places and with all people.  It applies to many levels of the human soul.  Ho’oponopono was the primary concept that the ancient Hawaiians used to live in harmony with each other well before the first white man stepped on the islands of Hawaii.  It is an idea that can help restore peace and prosperity into the world we live in.  It is an understanding that we are all connected (E Piko Kakou) and that we are in this world to support and love each other.  Every thought, action or words used affects everyone within one’s community.

The basic foundation for all areas of pursuit such as healing the body, mind or soul is to live a conflict-free life.  The goal is to clear the path or relationship of any imbalances created or unwanted burdens or problems accumulated.  Learning to disconnect from negative energies or wrongful thinking is basically a simple and effective way of moving on with your life.  It is a concept to allow your soul to expand.  Holding on to negative emotional experiences can cause a contraction to the body leading to all kinds of negative outcomes.  In my many years of clinical experiences working with many health conditions, I have often seen immediate positive outcomes when the patient severed the cord to deep traumatic energies.

There was an article I came across in the AMA Journal some years ago with the title “Keola and the Kahuna.”  It was a short story written by an MD dermatologist from the Wilcox Hospital in Hawaii on the island of Kauai.  Paraphrasing the article, it essentially described a man by the name of Keola having a skin rash that covered his entire body.  His brief history was that his wife had a miscarriage and wouldn’t be able to conceive again.  She was ok with that and he wasn’t.  The MD noticed that his wife did most of the talking and Keola did most of the listening.  After weeks of medical tests and treatments with no apparent results the MD, out of frustration, suggested that Keola see a Kahuna (in this case a Hawaiian medicine master) on the Big Island of Hawaii whose name was Auntie Margaret.  A few weeks later Keola returns to the medical clinic and to the MD’s astonishment sees that Keola’s entire body was cleared of the rash.  He asked Keola if he had seen the Kahuna on the Big Island and the response was, no.  The article finishes by saying that “perhaps there is a small percentage of the healing process that will happen with no obvious explanation and that as MD’s we should just accept this fact.”

Since I was still in Chiropractic school in Portland, Oregon, I immediately contacted Auntie Margaret by telephone.  She was someone that I had studied Hawaiian medicine with for about sixteen years.  I asked her if she knew anything about this article or Keola.  She told me that Keola called her on the telephone and essentially gave her the same history as he did to the MD on Kauai.  What the article didn’t mention was that Keola was from the island of Ni’ihau and spoke mostly Hawaiian.  This explains why his wife did all the talking.  The first question Auntie Margaret asked Keola was, “do you know ho’oponopono?”  The Ni’ihau man quietly said, “yes.”  Auntie Margaret replied, “then you know what to do!”  All toll the conversation between Auntie Margaret and Keola lasted about fifteen minutes yet in that brief moment he knew exactly what he had to do and more importantly, he knew he had all the tools to accomplish it.  Within a week Keola’s skin cleared up.  Through ho’oponopono he was able to cut the cord that was causing his rash, which was getting rid of the anger and disappointment he harbored within himself.  He was able to accept his wife’s condition and he was ready to move on with his life.  One final note about this story is that had the MD asked Keola if he had talked to Auntie Margaret, his answer would have been yes.  The more specific we are in our questions the more specific the answers are especially in the Hawaiian culture.  The more specific your focus is on cutting the cord the more quickly the outcome is.  Perhaps if the MD knew about the ho’oponopono prescription that the Big Island Kahuna gave to Keola he might have titled the article “Keola and Ho’oponopono.”

Next blog will cover the second half of this article so come back and sit with us on the back porch.  If you would like more information on  ho’oponopono workshops near you, please visit www.manalomi.com.  Mahalo.  MY


About Maka'ala

Maka'ala is a Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian ancestry) trained in Hawaiian medicine practices since the age of six. He is the founder of Indigenous Botanicals and Mana Lomi®. He enjoys traveling around the world teaching Hawaiian principles and concepts of being well. In 2005 he was awarded the "Kaonohi Award" for excellence in Hawaiian medicine and community support. He is the author of "Na'auao Ola Hawaii - Hawaiian Principles of Being Well." Maka'ala is the Ambassador-at-large and Minister of Health for the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi. His focus is "breaking the blueprint" from disease and illness and his mission is "bringing the healer back into the family."
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4 Responses to Ho’oponopono: Living in balance (part 1)

  1. valeriamudita says:

    happy to hear from you! I loved this article! ALOHA!

  2. ziabaki says:

    Love your blog Maka`ala! Way to go! Thanks for turning me onto it. I have fully integrated your techniques into my practice and think of you often as a result. Mahalo nui my friend.

  3. Cassie Hall says:

    Thank you for sharing the article. I really enjoyed it and agree.
    I can hardly wait for the rest of the article….I will be watching for it.

  4. marijana pontoni says:

    thank you for sharing – quite an inspiration 🙂

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