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Abstract

In the spring of 2017, I took the HWST 385: Lāʻau Lapaʻau II: Advance Medicine lecture taught by Kumu Keoki Baclayon at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. While taking the course, I was given the simple task of completing a short research paper with the freedom to choose my own health topic as long as the interest pertained to a potential thesis or dissertation. Since my desired career was in physical therapy, I decided to do qualitative research on how lāʻau lapaʻau (traditional Hawaiian herbal medicine) can be integrated into that medical practice. For my research methods, I sought out the main responsibilities of a physical therapist, then made connections between the two practices with research based on personal interviews, lecture notes, and accredited articles and websites. From this work, I conclude that this collaborative system has the potential to influence each other in regards to spiritual healing, nutrition, and natural pain & inflammation medication. As a result of this paper, I became inspired to start a bi-monthly health awareness workshop series for my on-campus job and further dedicate myself to research by applying to the Māhina International Indigenous Health Research Training Program for the summer of 2018.

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