Kukui Healing - The Story Behind the Name

Updated: May 27

After completing level 3 Reiki training in 2020, I was ready to launch a professional healing practice…. But what to call it? What were my intentions behind choosing a name? And how would the name accurately represent what I offer?

Kukui Healing... More than just a name.

I knew that I wanted a name that represented something unique and relatable, but also encompassed everything I believe helps people fully recover from life traumas on deep cellular levels. I intuitively felt drawn to the kukui nut without at first knowing why. After spending more than half of my life on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, I always felt a special connection with the islands and the Hawaiian culture. I wasn’t especially familiar with the significance behind the kukui nut other than that it was commonly used in leis during special ceremonies and as a congratulation gift for special events like weddings, birthdays, and graduations. I didn’t even know kukui was the Hawaiian word for the candlenut until I began researching it!

The more information I found on the kukui nut, the more I understood why I was guided in that direction. The kukui tree is the Hawai’i state tree for good reason. Traditionally, the Hawaiians used every part of the tree for specific ceremonial, healing, and practical purposes. In addition to being made into leis, the kukui nut was used to fashion parts of fishing canoes, provide light, measure time, heal and moisturize skin, and protect against darkness. To the Native Hawaiians, kukui represents enlightenment, illumination, protection, peace, and hope.

The last step before I decided on the name Kukui Healing was receiving permission to use it. Since I’m not Native Hawaiian, I felt it would be disrespectful to use something without fully understanding what it meant or taking something that did not belong to me. I spoke with several friends who were of Native Hawaiian ancestry along with my Reiki kumu (teacher) about the possibility of naming my practice Kukui Healing. They each gave their blessing along with the understanding that I must continue embodying what the name represents.

I chose to call my practice Kukui Healing not only because of what it represented, but also to honor the islands where I did so much of my growing up and to celebrate my daughter’s Native Hawaiian ancestry. My daughter was and continues to be a major transformational catalyst. She helps illuminate what needs to be healed within me, she pushes me to set healthy boundaries (protection), and she also gives me incredible hope in the future.

Stay tuned for "The 3's Series" blog posts that will break down the 3-step Kukui Healing process!

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