Hear originator of Kahuna Bodywork, Kahu Abraham Kawai’i, speak about Kahuna Principles, and see him perform the Kahuna Bodywork below in this short video.
What is Kahuna Bodywork?
Hawaiian Kahuna Bodywork is a flowing and dynamic form of massage-like therapy. Performed to music, Kahuna Bodywork uses sensitivity, and the strokes flow with the path of least resistance to provide a space for clients to experience healing and well being for themselves. With the aid of posture, leverage and motion, the practitioner is able to perform the bodywork like a script or dance upon the client. This allows space for them to expand their being and regain balance and awareness within themselves.
During the session, rhythmical strokes are applied to the client. The rhythmical application of these massage-like strokes, applied with chi energy, allows the clients body to reorganise itself energetically on a cellular level into a more contributing pattern —something that does not happen with therapeutic and remedial massage. This means that when you receive a Kahuna Bodywork session you are reaping the benefits of physical pain relief and relaxation, as well as a deeper realignment on emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Because of this, Kahuna Bodywork has been described as ‘a body based psycho spiritual transformation’ as it skips the busy mind and enters the body allowing the wisdom of our multifaceted beings to come forward.
A relaxed and pain free state is maintained through out the session. Deeper work may involve specific focus and deep point pressure using leverage to release muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint movement techniques.
Kahuna Bodywork is extremely calming for the client and works like a dynamic re-patterning process on the body, mind and spirit that gives clients the opportunity to realign themselves and change old non-contributing patterns within their bodies. When embraced and treated as a whole, the body can reunite, align and establish balance and equanimity within itself.
How can Kahuna Bodywork help me?
- When you are feeling physically drained and tired and are in need of a thorough bodywork treatment to ease tired muscles, aching backs or stiff necks.
- Times of change in ones life – births, relationship changes, travels, new jobs – any time that is a period of transition for you. It supports you through these changes, and allows for these transitions to be more graceful.
- If you are feeling stuck in life and are not sure which direction to choose.
- If you are ready to move on after something in your life has ended and you want to move into a new space.
- If you need nurturing and are feeling emotionally exhausted and mentally have just had enough.
- If you suffer from fluid retention. Kahuna Bodywork really promotes drainage.
How is Kahuna Bodywork different from normal massage?
Kahuna Bodywork can be likened to a style of massage. It is not called massage, however, as there are some unique elements that differentiate it from massage. What is similar to massage, is the use of oil on the body. The client is undressed and lying on a massage table, and oil is applied in long rhythmical motions. There are however, a few very important differences between regular massage and Kahuna Bodywork.
1. Kahuna Bodywork is performed with no intention. We do not look at the body to see if there is something to ‘fix’. In regular remedial massage, the therapist may look at the body to see where there are issues to be resolved, or areas of pain. In Kahuna Bodywork, we see the body as one whole, with an innate intelligence of its own. All we do is perform the work and apply the chi strokes. With this shifting of energy within the body, the body is then reminded of better ways of being, and has the ability to readjust and rebalance itself into a more contributing fashion.
2. We apply the work to the whole body –legs, arms, back, chest and neck. We do not focus on one particular area, or skip another area, as issues are not always in the area of concern of discomfort. Energy shifts to different locations in the body, and when a therapist is applying all the focus in one area of the body, we can unconsciously be telling the body there is an issue there, when the issue might be elsewhere. By applying the work to the complete whole, we are allowing the body to remember its own self, and where changes are needed, and giving the space for it to rebalance and adjust itself using its own unique intelligence, rather then us ‘thinking’ we know what the body needs.
3. All the stroking actions that are used throughout the session are applied using chi (or energy). The motion that is created from the application of this style of work is what takes the client to new spaces within themselves, and shifts the patterns that are no longer contributing. This motion is the result of a tai chi like movement that is performed on the client. It connects the body to itself, balances the hemispheres of the brain, and allows clients to synchronise their breath and heart beat almost immediately.
4. The application of Kahuna Bodywork is performed with Kahuna principles. Kahuna Principles are ways of living that have been followed for thousands of years from before the discovery of Hawaii. The principles are learnt to understand yourself and others while performing Kahuna Bodywork and for your own life situations. They are taken from observing and living with nature, and learning fundamentals about the environment and how it evolves and changes. By applying the bodywork with the application of these same principles, we are speaking a language that the body understands and also speaks.
When all of these elements are in alignment, and performed with 100% commitment by the practitioner, then Kahuna Bodywork has the capacity to take the client to realms beyond the mind, and deeply into the cellular transformation of the body.
Is Kahuna Bodywork lomi lomi massage?
People get confused about this, and some people call Kahuna Bodywork ‘Lomi Lomi’ as they do not understand the differences. Some practitioners even call it lomi lomi as they are not taught true Kahuna Bodywork. Kahuna Bodywork is not lomi lomi massage. Lomi Lomi massage is a common type of massage that was done within families. Every family had their own style of lomi lomi and it was passed down to each generation. It can be likened to our regular normal massage that we get when we have a sore neck or back, and we need some care in those areas. It is a flowing style of massage, but is not performed with chi energy or the use of kahuna principles.
What is the history of Kahuna Bodywork? Ive heard its Hawaiian?
Kahuna Bodywork does have its roots in Hawaii. Kahu Abraham Kawai’i, who accessed this work from his own genetic memory, was a Hawaiian Kahuna. He is responsible for bringing his beautiful Bodywork to the West and introducing Westerners to Kahuna sciences training. This is where the Hawaiian connection finishes. Those who perform Kahuna Bodywork as trained by Ki’a’i Ho’okahi Weber, a direct student of Kahu Abraham, do not have anything to do with flowers, hula skirts or the image of what the word ‘Hawaii’ conjures up. We are participants of a traditional lineage, of a training that is Hawaiian in its roots, but not specific to Hawaiian culture. Rather, the training is a universal yet personal journey where we gain access to our own genetic line, and gain the wisdom and power from within us, rather then being taught something about another culture that is foreign to us.
What happens during a Kahuna Bodywork session?
Kahuna Bodywork begins with the client undressed and covered with a sheet, lying face down on the bodywork table. Oil is applied and a dynamic flowing rhythmical motion is performed over the body. All bodywork techniques and moves are applied with Ki (chi) energy. The soft part of the forearm is used for long sweeping motions, which encourages cell communication, and synchronisation of the heartbeat and breath in the client almost immediately. Both the front and the back of the body are addressed and treatments are either 90 min or 120 mins in length. You will be draped respectfully with a sheet throughout the session.
Who have you trained with? What does it involve?
Training in such a modality takes years of dedication. It is not about doing one or two courses and then becoming a Kahuna Bodywork practitioner. One needs to find that space, awareness and wisdom within our own selves first before we are able to perform and provide the deeper healing space for others. Our training is mostly non-verbal, and certainly very physical (it has been compared to a martial art), giving us increasing access to the wisdom held in our bodies so that we can then learn to ‘perform’ this wisdom on another.
Both Fiona and Kacie have trained extensively under the guidance of renowned teacher and mentor Ki’a’i Ho’okahi Weber, direct student of Kahu Abraham Kawai’i (Fiona since 2004, Kacie since 2009). Our training has been a process of many deep transformations and experiences throughout the years of many workshops and student clinics. Each one has taught us new things about ourself, and new ways of looking at the world.