Most people think of good health as the absence of physical pain, illness or disease. Pat Makozak sees it as strength of the mind and spirit as well as the body.
"Wellness is an all-encompassing concept," she said. "It’s about keeping your entire being in optimum shape. It’s about living a healthy, enjoyable, fulfilling life whoever and wherever you are."
Makozak, Four Seasons’ senior spa director for the Americas, based at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, played an instrumental role in developing the new "Fall Wellness Series," which will launch at the hotel on Sept. 2. Stretching over 16 four-day weekends, the event will provide attendees with innovative tools and techniques to achieve balance, energy and contentment in life.
Renowned health and fitness experts from Hawaii and the mainland will be presenting one-hour talks at the Spa each weekend. They represent a wide range of fields, including reiki, Rolfing, Pilates, naturopathy, meditation and sound and vibrational healing.
FALL WELLNESS SERIES
Place: The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, 3900 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea Resort, Maui
Dates: Thursdays through Sundays, Sept. 2 through Dec. 19
Time: 10 to 11 a.m. on most weekends
Cost: Complimentary for guests of the hotel. Admission is $25 per person for everyone else. Private 50-minute sessions may be arranged in the afternoons for $155 per person.
Phone: 874-2925. Seating is limited and advance reservations are requested.
Notes: Nightly kamaaina rates start at $325 through Dec. 19. Ask about special packages, including bed and breakfast, room and car, and fifth night free with every four consecutive paid nights. Complimentary services and amenities include an Aloha Suite for early arrivals and late departures; Pilates, tai chi, yoga on the beach and outrigger canoe paddling classes; Kids for All Seasons children’s program for keiki age 5 through 12; meals for children 5 and under at select restaurants on property; use of computers with Internet connection in the Business Centre; and transportation anywhere within Wailea Resort. For reservations, call 800-334-6284 or visit the website.
According to Makozak, the Four Seasons Resort Maui’s management team had been thinking about starting such an event for the past few years. Changes in guests’ preferences prompted them to move forward with their plans.
"Over the past year, perhaps due to the global economic crises, I noticed guests were inclined to book therapeutic massage, Ayurveda treatments and other offerings with more wellness-oriented benefits," Makozak said. "They are wanting to take care of themselves because when external forces seem untenable, the only thing you can really control and count on is yourself. We created the ‘Fall Wellness Series’ in response to guests’ interest in exploring alternative therapies and lifestyle options."
Dr. Jacob Liberman, a pioneer in vision therapy, will kick off the event. He’s known nationwide for developing the Eyeport Vision Training System, which purportedly flexes and relaxes the muscles of the eyes via a programmed series of alternating red and blue lights that appear in different directions, patterns and speeds.
"Essentially, the system strengthens the eyes through exercise just as we run, bike and swim to strengthen our bodies," Makozak said. "It’s a way to improve vision naturally. The underlying theme of the ‘Fall Wellness Series’ is that you don’t necessarily have to undergo surgery or take drugs to look and feel better."
The event complements changes to the Spa’s menu that address beauty, health and fitness from a holistic point of view. New treatments have been created, others have been tweaked and more organic products have been introduced, including Ayurvedic oils for men and women that blend more than 75 different botanicals. In addition, the Spa’s staff has been expanded to include acupuncturists, a nutrition analyst and a meditation instructor who does Zen tarot readings.
"Technology has made our lives a lot easier, but in many cases it bombards us with external stimulation and doesn’t do much for us internally," Makozak said. "Good health means being fit both inside and out. The ‘Fall Wellness Series’ will empower you to accomplish that. Achieving total well-being begins with you."
Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Advertiser have won multiple Society of American Travel Writers awards.
SEPTEMBER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Please see the website for a complete, current schedule:
Notable: Among the other experts who’ll be participating in the Wellness Series are Reiki Grand Master Phyllis Lei Furumoto; Joshua Rubin, a holistic lifestyle coach; Mari Winsor, the author of three books on Pilates (her clients include Drew Barrymore, Meg Ryan and Marisa Tomei); and Dr. David Kern, a naturopathic physician at Maui Memorial Medical Center and medical director of Grace Health Center in Kihei and Makawao.