Cuky Harvey

How did I learn an ancient Hawaiian healing art?

“You must complete a circle before you can get to the next level.” Words of wisdom Cuky Choquette Harvey has learned from her mother. Cuky is on the verge of completing a circle, but first she must complete a rather lengthy application, an application to be recognized nationally as a certified Massage and Bodywork teacher of lomi lomi. Lomi lomi is an ancient form of massage originating from the Pacific Islands (http://www.lomilomi.com/history.htm). But how does lomi lomi enter the life circle of a woman living in Kansas? Where does this all begin?

It’s the 1980’s and Cuky is working as flight attendant. On one particular day she is not only working her job, but also working on managing her pain. You see Cuky has something wrong with her knee. She has seen several doctors and tried many pain relievers.  Nothing is working and she fears that she might be deemed unable to perform her duties as a flight attendant.

As she struggled to hide her pain, the First Officer asked her “What’s that frown about?” Cuky told him that her knee bothered her. He then asked, “Why do you allow that?” Though slightly annoyed by the words of the First Officer, they stuck in her mind the whole flight.  Why would she allow her own knee to cause her pain? She would stop the pain if she could, if she knew how. As the crew had dinner on their layover, Cuky had the opportunity to ask him what he meant.

Pain that won’t go away is a mysterious pain, explained, Kemo a native of Hawaii. In Hawaii they believe that the body is energy.   Families pass down the principals and techniques of lomi lomi massage to balance energy, bringing the mind, body and spirit into alignment. He told Cuky he had a lomi lomi practice and he felt that lomi lomi sessions would help her. Cuky decided to give it a try.

As Kemo began utilizing the different lomi lomi techniques (everything from long flowing strokes to kneading and deep compression), Cuky began to feel a shift. After two sessions Kemo sat with her to tell her what her body was telling him. Kemo told Cuky that her spirit had left her body and one cannot walk without their spirit.  In other words, the pain in her knee was a physical manifestation of her spirit leaving her body. She was not honoring the true nature of her spirit, that of a healer, so her spirit left. For her to heal, she would need to feed her spirit everyday. But how was she to do that, Cuky asked Kemo. He asked her a question back, “What can you do?”

“What can I do”, Cuky thought? Cuky knew she could write. She had studied English and Education in college. So the idea came to her to write a guided visualization. After she wrote her visualization, she recorded it so she could play it over and over. On the seventh day, three years of pain was gone. Though she felt great, a huge question lingered. How would she maintain this and how would she feed her spirit everyday?

From a slight place of fear, Cuky decided to volunteer at Kemo’s practice. She was intrigued with lomi lomi and as she connected more with her spirit, she knew that working with Kemo was what she needed to do. For several years, Cuky worked with Kemo three to five hours a week. She did everything from order books for the store to prepping the massage rooms (all skills she would eventually apply when opening her own practice).

Kemo slowly introduced Cuky into working directly with clients. At first she sat in the room and observed Kemo. He would ask her to try and connect with the clients. She would state what she saw, never fishing for information. One day Kemo told her it was time to work on a client. She was going to massage the feet of an older gentleman who had been coming in since the death of his wife.

As Cuky began working on his feet his story began to shape. He was very sad and his declining health was due to the fact that he wasn’t eating. Without his wife, he didn’t know what to eat and he would get very sad when he ate alone. Cuky sensed that he would soon pass away, but he would then be happy. Cuky was astonished by what she saw by just massaging the man’s feet. Kemo told her it was time for her to go to Massage School and after that she should train with lomi masters.

The thought of making the commitment to Massage School was daunting to Cuky. She still had children in school and was still working as a flight attendant. How would she juggle her commitments to her family, work and school? Any doubt was quelled by her connection to spirit. She knew this was the path she was supposed to be on.

After finishing Massage School, Cuky traveled twice to Hawaii for lomi lomi training. After much persistence, Cuky was accepted into a five-week intensive training program with a true Hawaiian kahuna, Aunty Margaret Machado. After returning home from her training with Aunty Margaret, Cuky knew she was ready to take the next step; she retired from the airline and started her own lomi lomi practice in Kansas.

Now that our story has come full circle, it is clear to see that Cuky’s ambition to become an accredited teacher of lomi lomi is a homage of sorts to the teachers that brought her through her initial circle. To honor and celebrate the Aloha Spirit that her teachers shared with her, Cuky already brings people to Kauai for her workshop Translucent You (http://translucentyou.com/index.php), but now she is ready to take the message further. To take the stage as teacher and share the “joy of the dance” that is lomi lomi. Ready to pass on her wisdom of lomi lomi as Kemo did for her. How many circles do you think Cuky will help start?

SOUL Survey Questions 

  1. How do you stay focused and motivated?
    When you are connected with spirit, you don’t need to work to conjure up motivation. Spirit will guide you and it will be effortless.
  2. How do you deal with naysayers?
    Faith in the message of spirit over-rides the naysayers.
  3. How do you blur the lines between work and play?
    When I practice lomi, it is pure joy. Every time I do it, I heal myself.