Healing Cancer with Aloha

hawaiian sunset

How ancient Hawaiian wisdom can help heal a modern epidemic.

“No, No, No, you can’t refuse treatment; you have cancer,” the doctor was shaking his forefinger at me.

“I understand, but chemo, radiation, and surgery don’t feel right to me,” I explained.

The doctor shook his head and turned his palms toward the ceiling.

What this doctor didn’t understand is that I have always believed that there are many paths to healing. Refusing conventional Western medicine is not a death sentence in my eyes. In fact, it is one of the most healing things I can do for my body and my family.

I see this dis-ease as a message from my ancestors that I have some cleaning to do. What follows is my five prong approach to healing cancer with Hawaiian spirituality.

1. Wai

Wai means water in Hawaiian. Wai is sacred in Hawaii. Traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific ocean, Hawaiians knew that without water, survival was bleak. One of my friends told me about a colon cleanse that a Kahuna named Auntie Margret Machado used to host. The one thing my friend remembers is that “they had to drink choke (lots of) sea water.”

One theory about cancer claims that cancer grows due to dehydration, so I’m trying to flood my body with wai. I try to drink at least a gallon of spring water everyday. I also juice as much as possible, turning my meals into liquid.

2. Hâ

Hâ in Hawaiian means breath or more specifically “the breath of life.” Aloha means to be in the presence of “the breath of life” or the Divine. Using Aloha to heal from dis-ease involves breathing deeply into the Divine. I do a number of deep breathing practices from meditation to swimming.

Research shows that cancer is anaerobic and can’t survive in oxygen rich environments. Oxygenating one’s blood with deep breathing helps the body fight the cancer.

My friend’s father, who was an MD, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the 1970s. Rather than do chemo and radiation, he chose to strap on a scuba tank and dive 20 feet under water off the coast of Hawaii. He would sit under the water for 20 minutes breathing the oxygen rich mixture. His cancer went into remission much to the amazement of the doctors at the time.

Unfortunately, I’m not a certified scuba diver, so I’m taking a supplement called Apex that uses nano-silver particles to oxygenate the blood.

3. Ho`oponopono

Most people who’ve heard of ho`oponopono are familiar with “Self-I-dentity” ho`oponopono popularized by Joe Vitale. Although I continue to clear my subconscious by repeating “I love you; thank you; thank you” over and over, I’m using a more traditional form of ho`oponopono to heal this dis-ease in my body.

In Hawaiian healing, they don’t just ask where it hurts and what you ate; they ask who you were with and what you said. In ancient times, a family would sit down and ho`oponopono a ma`i (sickness). facilitated by a kahuna (medicine man) or kupuna (elder). Unfortunately, there are not too many kahuna around, so I’m gathering my family members to have a healing session to clear any negative energy that might be lingering between us.

One of the greatest gifts of this diagnosis is that my family, who would never agree to sitting in a circle to talk about emotions, have consented to participate if it will help heal the tumor in my guts.

4. `Olu`Olu

I’ve always taken my body for granted. Actually, I’ve been pretty abusive to my body. When I used to surf, I would pull into waves that I knew I had no chance of making. It stroked my ego, but it thrashed my skin, limbs, and bones.

Even as a meditator, I would force myself to sit through excruciating pain in order to maintain the semblance of equanimity. This disease has made me realize that my body is my temple, so I’m taking care of it like it is a child. In Hawaiian, the term `olu`olu means to be gentle. If I am to heal this dis-ease, I need to be gentle with my na`au (guts) where the tumor is. I’ve cut all sugar, meat, bread, alcohol, and dairy from my diet. I nurture my intestines with fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly squeezed juices, and lots of water.

I also spend time each day rubbing my belly and telling it that I love it. My approach to the tumor is to kill it with kindness, not to poison it or cut it out. I feel that if I can heal in this manner, then I am getting to the source of the dis-ease and not just curing the symptoms.

5.`Âina

During meditation, I realized that my body is simply reflecting the state of the `âina (land). If you think about it, our planet has colorectal cancer–there is too much unprocessed waste that is poisoning the whole. A Chinese medicine doctor told me that this condition I’ve been diagnosed with comes from too much heat in the body. The earth also has too much heat that we call global warming.

The Hawaii state motto is “Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono,” which translates to “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” I see this dis-ease as a challenge for me to be pono (righteous) in order to save the land and my body.

Pono doesn’t really have the religious connotations of righteousness. I translate pono as being in alignment with the Divine. Lately, I’ve been actively trying to get in line with nature. I walk barefoot on the ‘âina, hug trees, swim in the ocean, and try to get as much sunshine without wearing sunscreen as possible.

I don’t know what all these practices will do to the tumor inside of me, but I do know that they have already brought me in alignment with my ancestors, my family, my friends, my sons, and the Divine. In a way, this diagnosis has been the greatest gift I have ever received.

Photo: flickr.com/brian talbot

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