I was honored to served as an invited presenter at the 2018 Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress (PRIDOC) this Summer.  Over 300 indigenous doctors from around the Pacific (and throughout the world) gathered in Hilo, Hawaii July 11-17 to share innovations and collaborations in indigenous medical and public health arenas, and highlight indigenous wisdom practices around wellness.

My na’au (gut) lead me to “ditch formality” and create a class leading with “play” – a traditional Hawaiian value.  Thus, Relax, Rejuvenate & Restore: 🌱 La’au Lapa’au (herbal medicine) Practices for Self-Care was born. The class description also reiterated – “Come ready to play!” To be honest … I recognized the strong need to nurture my inner-child that yearned to play more in the classroom or “suffer the consequences”

Part of me nervously wondered if anyone would show up… if colleagues  would think I was a “flake” or worse… not a serious cultural practitioner because of the course title. It was with great relief that both classes filled, and folks expressed being strongly attracted to the idea of play!  Our docs learned traditional Hawaiian protocol and healing practices  i.e. chants and  plant identification. They also tasted over 12  herbal teas I brewed, and made inamona (a condiment and medicine), and a pa’akai or sea salt  body scrub.

Truly, the entire experience was humbling for this gal  and reinforced that  play is a powerful tool for learning, transformation and healing.

Top: Class pix “showing off” their la’au lapa’au (Hawaiian herbal medicine) created during class.  Above: Making inamona – a relish and medicine made from  kukui or Candlenut.   Below: Wapine or Lemon Grass tea.