La‘au Lapa‘au Workshops

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Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi (Hui Mālama) announces the 2018 series of Laʻau Lapaʻau Workshops for Hawaiʻi Island. The “Ola Pono Ola Loa” (live right, long life) workshops provide the opportunity to learn about the ancient Hawaiian healing practices of Laʻau Lapaʻau, Hoʻoponopono, Lomilomi Ha Ha and Laʻau Kahea.

Laʻau Lapaʻau Workshop, Hilo, March 2017

The workshops are led by Poʻokela Ikaika Dombrigues who emphasizes the importance of helping people learn to mālama their bodies. “People are getting sick,” said Dombriges. “We need to share this knowledge and help people understand traditional healing practices so they have the choice to use it for the care of themselves and their ʻohana.”

Poʻokela Ikaika Dombrigues

With high rates of diabetes, cancer and other ailments in Hawaiʻi, Hui Mālama aims to help people understand how they can care for their health. The workshops provide a connection to ancient Hawaiian healing practices, sharing rich cultural knowledge and encouraging the preservation of traditional Hawaiian health remedies. Participants will learn about laʻau lapaʻau, the ancient Hawaiian practice of using herbs and plants to heal the body. There are over 3,500 different types of laʻau that can be used to treat a multitude of health conditions, including: hypertension, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and stress.


Dombrigues has spent his life practicing laʻau lapaʻau and learning from his kahuna and ancestors. He explains, “Laʻau lapaʻau is a practice that’s been in the Hawaiian islands for thousands of years. It has to do with natural herbs from the land, plants, animals, and minerals from the ocean. Through the power of pule (prayer), we apply it to our bodies. It’s a very spiritual connection that falls upon the person who needs help.” While the world changes, Dombrigues works to preserve this knowledge and share the healing wisdom with the community, “A lot of our people live with a broken spirit. One of our goals is to rebuild the mind, body, and spirit of our people and to empower them into knowing who they are as Native Hawaiians.”



The free workshops are open to the public and will be offered March through June in Hilo, Waimea, Kona, Kaʻū and Puna:

  • Hilo – Saturday, March 10, 2018, Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale from  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Waimea – Saturday, April 7, 2018, Hawaiian Home Lands Kuhio Hale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kona – Saturday, May 5, 2018, Old Kona Airport Special Events Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kaʻū – Saturday June 2, 2018, Kaʻū District Gym from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Puna – Saturday, June 23, 2018, Pāhoa Community Center from  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Light refreshments are provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch.



The laʻau lapaʻau workshops are part of Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi efforts to preserve and share traditional Hawaiian health practices. The Traditional Health Program is dedicated to sharing the knowledge of Hawaiian cultural values, beliefs, history and the practice of traditional kanaka maoli lapaʻau (Hawaiian medicine). To learn more about upcoming workshops and classes, please contact the Hui Mālama Traditional Health team at (808) 969-9220.

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