Traditional Hawaiian therapies provide individuals with a connection to their heritage and culture during recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). According to the Hawaii Journal of Health and Social Welfare, “Recent research indicates that re-envisioning treatment for the Native population, utilizing cultural reconnection, and methodologies that speak to Native perspectives, are more influential in creating positive health outcomes for Native peoples.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab is one of the only care centers offering primary and secondary mental health treatment to individuals struggling with SUD. The programs use evidence-based and traditional therapies, including ho’oponopono, to help people heal and grow.

What Is Ho'oponopono?

Ho’oponopono means “to make things right” or “setting to right” and is used as a complementary form of therapy and recovery support. The ancient Hawaiian practice uses repentance, forgiveness, love, and gratitude to help people reframe their experiences and interactions with others. Therapeutic practices and cultural rituals used in ho’oponopono vary depending on the needs and preferences of the client and may be complex or simple. According to Holistic Nursing Practice, “As a complementary therapy, ho’oponopono focuses on forgiveness and creating balance—physically, mentally, and spiritually—through the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious mind.”

People practicing ho’oponopono use four important phrases during meditation, prayer, or other quiet, reflective moments to find peace and resolve conflict. The four phrases encapsulate the primary tenants of ho’oponopono and include:

  • Repentance: “I am sorry.”
  • Forgiveness: “Please forgive me.”
  • Gratitude: “Thank you.”
  • Love: “I love you.”

The four simple phrases provide a step-by-step guide to overcoming conflict with others or within oneself. Focusing on forgiveness, compassion, and positivity helps people in recovery reduce stress and improve overall health. The principles of ho’oponopono encourage people to build stronger relationships and learn to forgive one another while maintaining accountability. Traditional Hawaiian therapies allow people to combine multiple therapeutic methods and techniques to create a personalized treatment plan that accommodates each person’s needs.

Combining Ho'oponopono and Nature Immersion Therapy

Ho’oponopono and other traditional Hawaiian therapies allow clients to connect with their culture in a relevant and life-changing way. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab treats every client respectfully and encourages people to incorporate traditional or alternative healing methods into their treatment plans. The beautiful scenic location of the treatment center helps people connect with the land and provides an immersive experience. Combining ho’oponopono with nature therapy increases self-awareness and self-confidence through interacting with the natural world. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “The nature-based therapy process is a systematic connection of healing phenomena in the natural environment” and includes:

  • Self-reflection
  • Searching for the inner self
  • Learning lessons from nature
  • Finding wisdom in natural processes

Clients gain self-confidence from engaging in multiple complementary and holistic therapies during recovery from substance abuse or mental health disorders. Nature immersion and other alternative therapies lower stress and help people gain essential insights into the world around them and their inner selves.

Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Ho’oponopono focuses on changing how people think about themselves and others. Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, people look inward and make connections between thoughts, behaviors, and consequences. Acting, thinking, and feeling in a responsible way allows people to strengthen and repair relationships through reconciliation and forgiveness.

Ho’oponopono is practiced in many different forms depending on the needs of the individual. Reconciliation and forgiveness of oneself and others may involve processing the more profound issues affecting a person’s mental and physical well-being. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab tailors traditional therapies to accommodate personal and cultural preferences, allowing clients to address cultural trauma and other underlying issues impacting client recovery.

Traditional Hawaiian Therapies and Recovering From Substance Abuse

Native Hawaiian culture encourages accountability, empathy, and personal growth. People use traditional Hawaiian therapies, including Ho’oponopono, to find spiritual and emotional healing and build the foundation for a healthier future. Native Hawaiian clients benefit from connecting with various aspects of their ancestral traditions, including rituals designed to increase self-awareness and build a deeper understanding of self.

How We Incorporate Traditional Hawaiian Therapies at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Every treatment plan is personalized to the preferences and needs of the client. The clinical team incorporates traditional Hawaiian therapies like ho’oponopono to help people feel more comfortable and engaged in their recovery. How the practice and therapies are used depends on many factors, and every case is unique. For example, some people may meditate or pray using the four principles of ho’oponopono. Other individuals may choose to do more physical rituals, including writing down prayers or notes and burning them in a ceremony. Clinicians collaborate with clients to determine the best approach to using these holistic therapies and beliefs during treatment.

The Importance of Culturally Sensitive Treatment Programs

Culturally sensitive treatment programs provide a safe and welcoming space where individuals feel comfortable connecting with their culture and history. Appropriate and relevant traditional therapies and practices often make it easier for individuals in treatment to form a healthier self-identity.

Cultural sensitive programs provide clients with the following:

  • Respect for diverse beliefs
  • Inclusion of cultural traditions
  • Awareness of how language affects recovery
  • Recognition of social and community factors impacting recovery

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab educates community members and helps reduce the spread of stigmas by removing cultural barriers to treatment. Recovering from substance abuse is a holistic experience. People benefit from the physical, emotional, and spiritual support of ho’oponopono.