The Holistic Honu Wellness Center (HHWC) is dedicated to preserving & perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through education and healing. HHWC provides free to low fee, culturally appropriate traditional healing, COVID-19 assistance, palliative care, education, and general outreach services to more than 4000 persons annually. Our service areas include regions in 14 US states, Canada, Japan, and Singapore.
Established November 24, 2004, in California, and approved for 501(c)3 status in February 2006, the Holistic Honu Wellness Center (HHWC) is a not-for-profit dedicated to preserving perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through education and healing. Our focus is to provide access and education of traditional Hawaiian cultural health practices to Native Hawaiians and the community. A goal extended in the spirit of compassion to all community members, regardless of ethnic or national origin, who seek opportunities to restore balance and harmony in their life.
Some of the cultural healing services offered include, and are not limited to, ho’oponopono/ counseling, lāʻau kāhea/prayers and chants, lāʻau lapaʻau/ herbal therapy, and lomilomi/ touch therapy. Although our program focus targets Native Hawaiians, our long-standing policy is that our services are made available to all in pursuit of education and healing.
Understanding the importance of using cultural and traditional healing practices to address health issues and improve wellness within the Native communities has been dramatically known, respected, and practiced from HHWC’s early history. Created from its senior Kupuna/ Elder Council members’ vision, HHWC’s focus has been on the proper preservation, perpetuation, and revitalization of Native Hawaiian traditional healing.
Through the delivery of Native Hawaiian traditional healing practices in Central California communities, it became necessary to provide medical intervention and palliative care for many people requesting treatment. Acknowledging the issues of Native Hawaiian health disparities and the role cultural health literacy plays in community health and wellness, education and treatment programs were subsequently developed to address these critical matters.
Over the past sixteen years, we have proven that western medicine and traditional healing can work together to benefit patients and clients by providing them with the best possible care from all perspectives. Through our programs, health care providers and cultural practitioners learn how to bridge the gaps between varieties of cultures and develop effective health care relationships.
The demand for services increased drastically through our first five years, and educational programs were subsequently developed to train new practitioners and others interested in indigenous healing. We have found that our teaching methods and supervision of our students throughout their clinical work experience are beneficial to the communities where they reside. To answer the call for more therapists, we converted parts of our live seminar classes into distance education programs. We initiated a comprehensive teacher-training program to support our current students and reach out to marginalized communities worldwide.
Our senior students deliver our core programs and essential services within their communities under the direction of our master instructors. Our primary instructor travels to help students and patients whenever necessary.
Our business model follows strict cultural protocols and guidelines. Our founders mandated that anyone requesting education or services from HHWC would not be refused for lack of funds, and we have never wavered from this mindset.
Fees for education and services are offered according to a sliding scale, and culturally appropriate work is provided according to the traditional protocol of hoʻokupu. We are very proud to say that from our early inception to the present day, NO ONE has ever been turned away for lack of funds – not one single student or patient.
Our Kupuna Council and Board of Directors are all volunteers. Our staff members are primarily our senior students working to offset their education costs and have never received a salary.
Our general fund helps us provide quality traditional healing services and classes to whoever requests them. Our organization receives no outside funding from governmental or educational programs or institutions yet directly serves more than 4,000 persons in the area of culturally competent palliative care and old-world traditional healthcare techniques and educates upwards of 600 persons annually.
We refuse to limit the scope of our services to Native Hawaiians only; we serve all who request services regardless of their ethnicity or cultural background.
We have evolved our public health programs into educational curricula sufficient to qualify our students for an Associate’s Degree. We are now hoping to obtain a permanent brick-and-mortar facility that will allow us to receive accreditation as a postsecondary institution. This new location would also allow us to maintain year-round greenhouses where we would be able to produce the raw materials used in our traditional healing and attendant arts courses.