HOLISTIC SPA EXPERIENCES ABUNDANT ON OAHU

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Honolulu blogger and social media maven Melissa Chang, my spa buddy at Hyatt Regency Waikiki’s Na Ho’ola Spa.

Wellness Travel has been identified as one of the fastest growing travel sectors for 2016, but sometimes the time investment to plan an Eat, Pray, Love-esque journey to self-discovery and emotional harmony just isn’t accessible to the folks who need it most. While vacationing on Oahu and lounging in a soft, plush robe among tense professionals working via smart phones while trying to unwind and burnt-out soccer mom-types who managed to sneak away from the family for “me” time, the opportunity to indulge in mind, body and spirit restoration along with signature spa pampering simultaneously has become more common as physical wellness treatments on the island are being offered hand in hand with holistic healing.

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Relaxation Lounge at Na Ho’ola Spa at Hyatt Regency Waikiki

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki’s Na Ho’ola Spa offers a unique treatment that starts with an authentic Hawaiian ritual to cleanse mind, body and spirit. The Lomi Wawae begins with a traditional Lomi Lomi massage with long fluid strokes combined with firm kneading, followed by a back scrub with sea salt to further cleanse and purify the body. The treatment moves into the Hawaiian style of reflexology (Wawae) relieving tension, increasing circulation and opening blocked energy in the body through pressure points located on the feet. Areas on the foot correspond to areas of the body that when manipulated or applied with firm pressure can improve health through the free flow of energy. One particular spot connecting to the liver was foot flinching tender, resulting in a sudden runny nose and mild headache (which went away after more foot poking and prodding). For lack of a better term – the Lomi Wawae at Na Ho’ola is legit.

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James and Natalia Peck of Unique Bodyworks in Kapolei

Locals who are tuned into the island’s energy “hot spots” and the best locations for reflection and meditation (Halona Blowhole is at the top of the list) recommend a visit to Unique Bodyworks. Located in a nondescript office complex in Kapolei’s industrial area, husband and wife RMTs James and Nataliya Peck are getting settled into their newly expanded work space due to the high demand for the multi faceted wellness modality they’ve developed. A gentle giant with a soothing sixth sense, local boy James specializes in shiatsu, trigger points and deep tissue massage, while Nataliya’s expertise is in energy work, Norbekov System, Reiki, Qi-Gong, and Tao meditation. Together, they have created a unique style of body work merging massage and energy work custom tailored to each client. The 120 minute Unique Healing Experience is an all-inclusive treatment combining physical, emotional and spiritual repairs. Energy work, aromatherapy, hot stones, reflexology, customized massage therapy topped off with an intuitive tarot card reading or cleansing/blessing of an object. Clients are asked to bring aches and pains, questions and frustrations and leave the rest in the hands of this holistic power couple. This duo is incredibly gifted.

Pulu Bar Mixology Station at Disney Aulani Spa Resort

AULANI, A DISNEY SPA RESORT’S LANIWAI SPA is the home of O‘ahu’s only outdoor hydrotherapy garden, KULA WAI. Access is included with a full-service spa treatment (our recommendation is the Nature’s Magical Niu coconut body exfoliation and massage). The healing powers of Hydrotherapy are not to be underestimated especially at Aulani where every detail in providing the most impeccable experience has been thought out. With soothing scents and sounds (peace and serenity does exist in this Disney property) the space is inspired by Native Hawaiians who bathed in cool streams, natural mineral hot springs and the sea. Kula Wai takes rainwater therapy to new level with a combination of vitality baths with varying temperatures, soaking pools, waterfalls and outdoor rain showers.  Water pressure and temperature fluctuations are known to help boost the immune system, wash away aches and pains, help cleanse toxins and increase circulation. A pre-treatment visit to the Pulu Bar Mixology Station offers spa guests the chance to create their own body polish or scrub using natural island ingredients like sea salt, macadamia oil, jojoba and various herbs to use in Kula Wai or take home as a memento.

Although not paired with body treatment – Sound Healing treatment Tibetan Singing Bowls can be found with Dudley Yogi at Sedona Hawaii.

The oscillating sound waves vibrate throughout the bones acting like tuning fork and releases stuck energies surrounding the aura. Tibetan Singing Bowl attunes with each person’s energy to provide vibrations needed for healing. Clients leave a sound healing session feeling light, empowered and decisive about life.

For a serene post-spa experience, explore sacred spots on the island and check out the Kukaniloko Birthing StonesWaimea Valley and Moli’i and ‘Apua Fishponds.

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