Kumu Dane Kaohelani Silva
Kumu Dane Kaohelani Silva was the inspiring force behind the creation of the Earth Medicine Institute. Kumu is a Native Hawaiian practitioner and instructor of the Hawaiian healing and martial arts. Experienced in the use of la’au lapa’au or Hawaiian medicine, he has provided both educational and healing services for many years. He is a member of the Kupuna La’au Lapa’au O Hawai’i, where he continues to serve on the board of directors as the Secretary. His training in Hawaiian spirituality and healing has been the main focus for his career. He was acknowledged as a kahuna pule in the line of Lono, in 1981, at the Pu’uhonua ‘O Honaunau, Hale O Keawe. He currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of Halau Kauila ‘O Kaohelani, a non-profit, Ohana Learning Institute and retreat center in Puna, Hawai’i.
He is widely known as a kumulomi or instructor of Hawaiian lomilomi bodywork and healing arts. Currently retired, he spent 24 years as a licensed massage therapist in Hawai’i. In 1982, he started the first massage program approved by the State of Hawai’i to conduct pre-licensing education and training on the big island of Hawai’i.
In December, 2008, he co-published a chapter on lomilomi in a new book entitled, Massage Modalities and Bodywork. He has been featured in several books of lomilomi, Hawaiian healing and wellness. He is a co-founder of the Hawaiian Lomilomi Association, where he currently serves as an ex-officio director. He continues to consult for clinical and cultural lomilomi service providers and instructors who seek input for their educational or operational needs.
A retired doctor of chiropractic, he specialized in diagnosis with radiology, orthopedics and neurology. He integrated chiropractic, lomilomi, herbal medicine and acupuncture for comprehensive prevention, care and rehabilitation for patients. He has lectured on chiropractic, la’au lapa’au and lomilomi for continuing medical education for John A. Burns School of Medicine, Life Science Foundation and California Institute for Integral Science.
Kumu Kaohe is a part-time faculty member at the University of Minnesota-Center for Spirituality and Healing. He teaches a course for senior medical students and a course for graduate nurses and administrators. His specialty is the instruction for integration of science and culture for health care professionals. He is a former faculty member at the University of Hawa’i at Hilo-Hawai’i Community College, and at the College for Continuing Education and Community Services, and Chaminade University.
As a certified acupuncturist, Kumu Kaohe spent many years offering integrative wellness services and courses. He helped to co-publish a book of Traditional Chinese Medical Massage entitled Tuinalogy, with Dr. Giouliang Cao in 1989. Kumu Kaohe is a chi gong master instructor and practitioner. His specialty was electro-acupuncture and tuina.
A graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Kumu focused his undergraduate and post-graduate studies on Biomedical Science, Biology, and research. He was a science faculty member for the nursing and emergency medical school programs at UH-Hilo-HCC, starting in 1976-1981.
In 1975, Kumu began offering support as a driver and cultural guide for Elderhostel programs on the big island, coordinated by the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawai’i 2000 project. As an instructor at UH-Hilo-HCC, he continued to offer guided field trips to remote big island sites for scientific and cultural research and education until 2003. These sites include Mauna Kea, Waipio Valley, Kilauea Volcano, Mauna Loa, South Point and Kapoho.
Kumu is a senior instructor of Hawaiian Long Life Lomilomi and mixed martial arts, he offers multiple levels of instruction and training in the touch of aloha and self-defense.
An important goal that he supports is the improvement of the health status for Native Hawaiians. He provides consultation for dietary, movement and preventive programs that address needs for nutritional improvements and beneficial changes in lifestyles. He also offers clinics, workshops and presentations for indigenous peoples across the globe.