Hawaii Wellness Vacations
Stone massage is a specialty in the Hawaiian Islands.
Restore Health and Balance in Hawaii
Researched by Travel with a Challenge editor, Alison Gardner
If anyone feels the need of an original excuse to visit the Hawaiian Islands, their growing expertise in Health and Wellness Vacation services provides an ironclad argument for packing a suitcase any time of year. Increasingly attractive to an older clientele, the life enrichment or personal improvement travel market is blossoming on every island with a very personalized, diverse collection of accommodations and services.
With 1,420 ft of “sprung” floor, the Yoga Oasis elevated studio is a unique feature of this Big Island retreat. Alison Gardner
The menu of expertise for physical improvement is impressive: from massage therapists to personal trainers and chiropractors, from nutrition consultants, aroma therapists and herbalists, to acupuncturists, yoga and aquatic bodywork specialists. There are also many accredited specialists throughout the islands to help short term clients address emotional, metaphysical and spiritual challenges as well as relationship issues.
It is amazing how quickly improvement can be measured when the distractions and responsibilities of daily existence are far away! A good many practitioners offer globally recognized skills and specialties, while others have mastered or inherited techniques which are unmistakably Hawaiian. These include the lomi lomi massage, the significance and style of the REAL hula dance, local herbal treatments and aroma therapy, and the sharing of wellness practices intertwined with cultural and spiritual traditions. Accommodations with tropical garden settings for a contemplative environment, and, even some menus and healthy cuisine classes, are frequently part of the experience.
Hawaii has its own massage specialties based in the rich cultural history of its people. HVCB/Kirk Lee Alder
More often than not in the islands, “small is beautiful” is both preached and practiced within the wellness community, but there are also some larger retreat facilities and wellness centers that deliver memorable group vacation and workshop experiences. Many wellness providers are able to recommend and even arrange for complementary activities nearby, including sports, grassroots Hawaiian culture learning opportunities, and ecotourism excursions.
Wondering where to start? Explore These Links!The Diversity of Wellness Vacations – There is Something for Everyone.
Travelers have long sought Hawaii’s curative climate, therapeutic saltwaters and even the mythic healing power of our volcanoes to restore health and balance in their lives. Over generations, Hawaiian kupuna (elders) have passed down indigenous wisdom and cultural practices, using medicinal plants and native materials to aid in the healing process. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has prepared a comprehensive listing of Spa and Wellness Services by island.
The most recommended resource for ecological, educational, cultural, and volunteer vacations throughout the Islands is the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii website, sustainabletourismhawaii.org. Its certified sustainable businesses ensure you will experience the best of Hawaii while also supporting responsible businesses and activities.
Don’t forget to browse Travel with a Challenge‘s own listing page and photo showcase of Hawaii’s Wellness Providers and Retreats for a sampling of wellness possibilities personally researched by the editor, Alison Gardner. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
What is a Wellness Vacation?
According to Laura and Betsy Crites, authors of The Call To Hawaii: A Wellness Vacation Guidebook, [now out of print] there are many ways to experience a healthy holiday. Relaxation and Rejuvenation focuses on nurturing and relaxing the body; Inner Pilgrimage holidays may include meditation, spiritual retreats, art and dance therapy; Fitness and Sports vacations develop tools for appropriate fitness levels, leadership and a sense of achievement.
Watsu water massage is a popular choice at Kalani Oceanside Retreat and elsewhere in the islands.
In addition, Lifestyle Modification holidays focus on nutrition, exercise, and unhealthy habits; and Complementary Wellness therapies explore alternative approaches to wellness beyond the western medicine model. Nature as a Healer suggests eco-tours into wilderness areas, farm vacations, and garden themes; and lastly Volunteer Vacations bring growth and healing through service in ways participants never dreamed possible.
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