Healing Cancer With Aloha

hawaiian sunset

How ancient Hawaiian wisdom can help heal a modern epidemic.

“No, No, No, you can’t refuse treatment; you have cancer,” the doctor was shaking his forefinger at me.

“I understand, but chemo, radiation, and surgery don’t feel right to me,” I explained.

The doctor shook his head and turned his palms toward the ceiling.

What this doctor didn’t understand is that I have always believed that there are many paths to healing. Refusing conventional Western medicine is not a death sentence in my eyes. In fact, it is one of the most healing things I can do for my body and my family.

I see this dis-ease as a message from my ancestors that I have some cleaning to do. What follows is my five prong approach to healing cancer with Hawaiian spirituality.

1. Wai

Wai means water in Hawaiian. Wai is sacred in Hawaii. Traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific ocean, Hawaiians knew that without water, survival was bleak. One of my friends told me about a colon cleanse that a Kahuna named Auntie Margret Machado used to host. The one thing my friend remembers is that “they had to drink choke (lots of) sea water.”

One theory about cancer claims that cancer grows due to dehydration, so I’m trying to flood my body with wai. I try to drink at least a gallon of spring water everyday. I also juice as much as possible, turning my meals into liquid.

2. Hâ

Hâ in Hawaiian means breath or more specifically “the breath of life.” Aloha means to be in the presence of “the breath of life” or the Divine. Using Aloha to heal from dis-ease involves breathing deeply into the Divine. I do a number of deep breathing practices from meditation to swimming.

Research shows that cancer is anaerobic and can’t survive in oxygen rich environments. Oxygenating one’s blood with deep breathing helps the body fight the cancer.

My friend’s father, who was an MD, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the 1970s. Rather than do chemo and radiation, he chose to strap on a scuba tank and dive 20 feet under water off the coast of Hawaii. He would sit under the water for 20 minutes breathing the oxygen rich mixture. His cancer went into remission much to the amazement of the doctors at the time.

Unfortunately, I’m not a certified scuba diver, so I’m taking a supplement called Apex that uses nano-silver particles to oxygenate the blood.

3. Ho`oponopono

Most people who’ve heard of ho`oponopono are familiar with “Self-I-dentity” ho`oponopono popularized by Joe Vitale. Although I continue to clear my subconscious by repeating “I love you; thank you; thank you” over and over, I’m using a more traditional form of ho`oponopono to heal this dis-ease in my body.

In Hawaiian healing, they don’t just ask where it hurts and what you ate; they ask who you were with and what you said. In ancient times, a family would sit down and ho`oponopono a ma`i (sickness). facilitated by a kahuna (medicine man) or kupuna (elder). Unfortunately, there are not too many kahuna around, so I’m gathering my family members to have a healing session to clear any negative energy that might be lingering between us.

One of the greatest gifts of this diagnosis is that my family, who would never agree to sitting in a circle to talk about emotions, have consented to participate if it will help heal the tumor in my guts.

4. `Olu`Olu

I’ve always taken my body for granted. Actually, I’ve been pretty abusive to my body. When I used to surf, I would pull into waves that I knew I had no chance of making. It stroked my ego, but it thrashed my skin, limbs, and bones.

Even as a meditator, I would force myself to sit through excruciating pain in order to maintain the semblance of equanimity. This disease has made me realize that my body is my temple, so I’m taking care of it like it is a child. In Hawaiian, the term `olu`olu means to be gentle. If I am to heal this dis-ease, I need to be gentle with my na`au (guts) where the tumor is. I’ve cut all sugar, meat, bread, alcohol, and dairy from my diet. I nurture my intestines with fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly squeezed juices, and lots of water.

I also spend time each day rubbing my belly and telling it that I love it. My approach to the tumor is to kill it with kindness, not to poison it or cut it out. I feel that if I can heal in this manner, then I am getting to the source of the dis-ease and not just curing the symptoms.


During meditation, I realized that my body is simply reflecting the state of the `âina (land). If you think about it, our planet has colorectal cancer–there is too much unprocessed waste that is poisoning the whole. A Chinese medicine doctor told me that this condition I’ve been diagnosed with comes from too much heat in the body. The earth also has too much heat that we call global warming.

The Hawaii state motto is “Ua mau ke ea o ka `aina i ka pono,” which translates to “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” I see this dis-ease as a challenge for me to be pono (righteous) in order to save the land and my body.

Pono doesn’t really have the religious connotations of righteousness. I translate pono as being in alignment with the Divine. Lately, I’ve been actively trying to get in line with nature. I walk barefoot on the ‘âina, hug trees, swim in the ocean, and try to get as much sunshine without wearing sunscreen as possible.

I don’t know what all these practices will do to the tumor inside of me, but I do know that they have already brought me in alignment with my ancestors, my family, my friends, my sons, and the Divine. In a way, this diagnosis has been the greatest gift I have ever received.

Photo: flickr.com/brian talbot


25 comments on “Healing Cancer With Aloha

  1. Espirational says:

    Blessings as you continue on your path toward healing.

  2. Sending you love and strength.

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    Killing it with kindness…when it dies then yay.

  4. ashualec says:

    I admire your faith and conviction that remains so steady in face of such challenge. Turning veg is the biggest gift to your own body and earth.
    God bless you.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thank you for bringing in the earth. In Hawaii they call it ‘âina–that which sustains us. If we don’t care for the ‘âina, we die. Finally, the Western world is realizing this.

      {{{hugs}}} kozo

  5. Love to you Kozo. And prayers. And support. You are on the right path, listening to your inner truth. Big hugs.
    Alison ❤

  6. Joseph says:

    Kozo, We don’t know each other. I respect your wisdom and the path you are on. I would encourage you to do both paths. Why just one or the other? Inside faith is always there and will work for you even if choose to try post modern scientific medicine and all the newest things:


    Diet, mental release, connecting to life, love, and friends, all work to ease and cure dis-ease. As does scientifically proven methods of cures. (BM-noting, that’s new to me?!?)

    May I suggest an integral approach? Love your body, honor your heart, be open to messages from all of us who have compassion and care for every one in our circle of peace.

    My message, humble, un-requested, sincere: chose both paths at the same time.

    Much love, and Peace,


    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Hey Joseph,
      Thank you for the caring and wise advice. I am only “going at the pace of guidance.” Right now my guidance tells me to wait on the chemo and radiation. They might work, but they can also never be taken back.

      I will check out the article you offered. I look forward to more conversation. I am open to listening to anyone with an open heart like you.
      {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. Daydreams says:

    Sending love & positivity your way on your healing journey. There are plenty of methods out there for your own self treatment. I have friends that are heavy into holistics. Sofia, our friend is one of them. Have you spoken to her recently.

    So much love for you Kozo. You’ve been a friend for so long now. So many of us have. I really do keep you in my mind & hope everything is well. *huge hugs*

  8. Indira says:

    Mostly we recognize our body as a temple very late. Once we are awaken to the fact we must take care of it. You are doing the right thing. What a great thing to say ‘ killing it with kindness…’ I wish and pray that your faith and conviction helps you to be healthy and recover soon. Regards.

  9. kasturika says:

    Good to see you blogging here again, and about your journey… best wishes for your speedy recovery and healthy healing {{{hugs}}}

  10. Geo Sans says:

    be gentle
    kind to yourself
    I believe
    in you

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Being gentle is key, Geo Sans. As a man, I was raised to not be gentle with myself and others. I’m really sensing into how important this gentleness is in life–mine and those around me.

      {{{Hugs}}} kozo

  11. 1EarthUnited says:

    Exactly! Sending love u’r way. ❤

  12. Sorry, I come late to your posts. I like your approach. You seem to be incorporating all healing activities of both body and soul. Conquer cancer with kindness. A new approach.

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