When people ask me what Hawaiian healing is, I tell them that at its fundamental, simplified core, it's working with nature to heal, empower and connect to your spirit. As mentioned many times, one of my favorite Hawaiian philosophies is: like heals like.
We can work with each of the elements to become present, just as we would through the senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound). With the chosen element, we simply observe it to essentially become the object of focus. In other words, integration through observation. In much more mystical settings, the practice of observing an object or element is also known as scrying or hydromancy in the case of water.
I love working with the natural elements (earth, air, water, fire) to calm, invigorate and heal the mind-body-spirit. To me, it's the most surefire way to peace and wellbeing. It's the ultimate medicine.
Why would we want to integrate with the natural elements? Because they are us. We are nature. Water makes up over 60% of our bodies. Air is what fuels our lungs. Earth is where we live and comprises the food we eat. Fire is the creation of earth and the transformation in the body. As a client of mine pointed out, it feels so good to stare at a vast ocean, a campfire, trees or the sky. Like heals like.
On the deepest level, we are tapping into something called, Śūnyatā, which in Buddhist philosophy is "the voidness that constitutes ultimate reality." Britannica states that, "Śūnyatā is seen not as a negation of existence but rather as the "undifferentiation out of which all apparent entities, distinctions, and dualities arise."
What the heck does that mean? It means that you and the elements of nature are no different from each other. You are them.
If that's all way too weird and out there for you, don't worry. According to, Yoga International, water-gazing, fire-gazing, earth-gazing and sky-gazing are all incredible ways to boost concentration, memory, access the present moment, and even promotes strong, healthy eyes.
How to Heal With Nature
Simple. Get out into nature and observe. Smell, taste, touch, see, and hear.
How About Water?
Get in water. Swim in a lake, the ocean, a river, a bathtub, a shower, a pool - and feel the water.
Drink water. Mindfully. Taste it. Smell it. Feel it trickling down your throat into your body. Give thanks for it.
Practice hydromancy: fill up a cup or glass with water and simply stare into it. Blink when you need of course, but don't take your eyes away from the water. See what happens for you. See what you become. Note: this is also possible to do in a lake, a puddle, the ocean, or any body of water.
See more practices in my blog: How to Make Your Mind Like Water (and why).
Practice candle gazing: light a candle, set it in front of you at eye-level and stare at the flame. See what happens for you. See what you become.
Practice Breath of Fire (Bhastrika) Pranayama: See how to do it in my Meditation for Energy.
Do a fiery yoga flow to activate that agni (Sanskrit for "fire"). I love this quick and free power yoga class by Adriene Mishler.
See more practices in my blog: How to Connect With Fire (and why).
Practice earthing: take your shoes off and stand on raw earth (sand, grass, dirt, etc.) for at least five minutes.
Watch wildlife (plants, animals, simple rock formations). Just watch, observe and see what happens for you. See what you become.
Keep a crystal in your pocket. Let it remind you of earth. Tune into its steady stillness.
See more practices in my blog: How to Connect With Earth (and why).
Practice cloud-watching or star-gazing: Just look up. See what happens for you. See what you become.
Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana): See how to do it in my blog on air.
Get outside, feel and smell the wind on your face.
See more practices in my blog: How to Connect With Air (and why).