The Road to Wellness

Early morning, when the air is still cool, is an ideal time for a run between Kukui’ula and Spouting Horn. The road winds past the golf course. Surfers line up for the break at PK’s. For the most part, it’s a flat run, good for speed work. But the view invites a slower pace. You’ll find runners of both persuasions. Among them, you may encounter Tiffany, who infuses her massage services at Hi’ilani Spa + Fitness with the same grace and athleticism that informs her stride as a runner.

running down the path to wellness

Daily life on Kaua’i revolves around play, no matter how old you are. Hiking, surfing, trekking, swimming—they bring joy and balance. Growing up on Kaua’i, spending time in the mountains and ocean, Tiffany never decided to be an athlete. She just was one.

In the same way, massage was always a part of her life. “My Auntie used to massage us,” Tiffany remembers. It’s how she first encountered lomi lomi, the Hawaiian massage technique that grew out of traditional Polynesian healing practices. At Hi’ilani Spa, it’s her signature service. She offers two forms: traditional lomi lomi, characterized by long, flowing strokes; and lua lomi lomi. “It works a little bit deeper. It’s more of a warrior stance than a broad stroke,” Tiffany says, referencing how the lua style was associated with an ancient form of Hawaiian martial arts, intended to bring a warrior’s energies into balance. Equally relaxing for the recipient, both forms are intensely physical for the practitioner, involving breath work and elements of hula.

That connection to dance is evident when Tiffany bounds toward Spouting Horn Park. Her gait is rhythmic and efficient. This September, she’ll complete her 9th Kaua’i Half Marathon, which begins in Poipu and passes Kukui’ula on the last mile before the finish line.

“Being an athlete and a runner gives me a better understanding, especially when people are injured,” she says. “It makes it easier for me to help them because I’m so aware of the body.” Every massage session begins with a few questions: Do you have pain? How physically active are you? How is your body moving?

“Being active makes me a little more aware, and it also helps me know what I can do—and what I can’t do. Because everybody’s body is different.”

The tranquil, quiet atmosphere of the spa brings balance to Tiffany’s active lifestyle, something she cherishes. “Living in balance is important anywhere,” she says. “It’s just easier to find balance living on Kaua’i.”