There's a new program at University of Hawaii West Oahu that teaches healing, Hawaiian style.

"What we're trying to do is train future western health professionals, to be able to interface and understand about Hawaiian traditional healing and how to use those philosophy and concepts in their practice to address Hawaiian health disparities and to create a sense of healing within the community," Kau'i Baumhofer, assistant professor, indigenous health sciences, UH West Oahu, said.

Those who helped create the new courses say they're not trying to train traditional healers but rather help future health professionals understand methods of Hawaiian healing. Some techniques teachers will focus on include conflict resolution, plus using massage and herbal medicines.

"We've been trying trying to heal our community and it hasn't worked so let's try something different. Let's do more than just your regular health interventions and what folks are doing in the continent to address disparities," Baumhofer said.

The new courses are not only offered to students who want to pursue a bachelor of applied science degree, anyone is welcome to listen in on the lessons.
One particular class this semester is on Hawaiian ways of knowing by connecting feeling and thought into practice.

"When I developed this course, it was with the intention of being able to address whoever signs up for the class," Aunty Lynette Kaopuiki Paglinawan, Nohona Hawaii instructor, said. "To learn the idea, the concept, how do they have to tweak it to fit their circumstance?"

Because the program started a few weeks ago, faculty members continue to plan out specifics to some courses. Baumhofer says she hopes to continue expanding on lomi lomi massage and herbal medicine within the next year.

"It's been a bit of a journey to create a really Hawaiian culturally based program at a western university," she said.

Although this new concentration focuses on health and healing, it's not a part of the university's medical school.