March 31

An Introduction to Lomi Lomi Massage

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Reading time 5 min.

Lomilomi, also spelled Lomi Lomi, is an ancient Hawaiian restorative healing technique. It focuses on our connectedness with the land, our spirit guides or ancestors and the breath of life. Kahuna does the healing through Lomi Lomi. New Kahunas spend a few years studying and practicing under their master Kahuna. They take his or her place at retirement or the failure of health. People around the world know, “aloha” means hello, goodbye, love peace and affection. Hawaiians take more than just the word as a greeting. It conveys a deeper meaning as well as an entire way of life on how to interact correctly with the natural world. Hawaiians believe strongly that the air they breathe in is the conductor of their life force. Besides, aloha sometime means the breath of life. They think they must share the breath of their elders before they can honestly say that they have the spirit of aloha within themselves. Traditionalists believe that the reverence and respect for your elders cannot be passed on through a training video online. This major difference between traditional and contemporary Lomi Lomi massages stands out. You have to be raised and trained in it for decades.

​What is a Lomi Lomi Massage?

Lomi Lomi massage gives the traditional Hawaiian practice incorporating several relaxation techniques. It includes excellent massage practices, nut oils, deep breathing and elements of prayer. It deals with the principle that memories are stored in every cell of the body. Nonetheless, it exceeds both the mind and the brain. Engaging both the body and spirit give a stress-relieving experience. This works between the massage therapist and the recipient.

​A Brief History of the Lomi Lomi Massage

​The first licensed massage therapist in Hawaii is known as Aunty Margaret Machado, born 1916. She defined Lomi Lomi as, “the loving touch, a connection of heart, hands, and soul with the source of all life.” The terms Aunty and Uncle directly pertains to respect for elders in Hawaii. Aunty Angeline, from Kauai, Hawaii, describes Lomi Lomi as open heart surgery. This refers to the idea that the massage therapist pours healing into the client, supporting the idea that this is truly an exercise in the mind, spirit, and body.

​Teachers and Techniques

​While it has changed over the years, this ancient technique is still relevant to this day. One major change occurred in the 1970’s when some Kahunas decided to teach this process to non-Hawaiians. It was a long-standing belief that apprentices should be recruited from the original Kahuna’s village. After this bold move, the Lomi Lomi massage method got serious media coverage. Ever since a sincere effort has been made to collect and document these healing traditions.

One of the first brave teachers who began to teach outsiders this method and lifestyle was Aunty Margaret. She continued to teach westerners for nearly fifty years until her unfortunate death in 2009. Many students who learned under her watchful gaze, still honor her style and technique in their practice to this day. It is beneficial for people of all ages, from children with upset stomachs to soothing women undergoing labor.

​Significance

The significance of the Lomi Lomi massage is simple to understand after your first trial. It is a truly transcendental event. Even if you are not in Hawaii, you can imagine yourself just yards away from miles of white, sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Harry Uhane Jim, a Lomi Lomi kumu describes Lomi Lomi as the spirit having a human experience. He is quoted as calling it a “holy experience of gratitude when we connect to the echo of our ancestors and receive their grace.” He advises anyone looking to learn to be quiet and listen.

​What Can I Expect From a Lomi Lomi Massage?

Usually, a Lomi Lomi massage performed on a hand-woven mat on the floor, surely brings you on a more contemporary massage table. You may want to protect your body with a sheet or single towel for your modesty. This helps prevent the flow of the massage experience from breaking. Lomi Lomi, translating into “rub, rub” uses very long, smooth strokes throughout the process. A Lomi Lomi experience usually begins with a few minutes of stillness with your therapist’s hands resting gently on your back. Probably, your traditional practitioner speaks a blessing or prayer requesting whatever healing needs to be done, while a more contemporary one may not. As this comes as an intuitive process, no two Hawaiian massages will be the same. Even if you go to Hawaii, each therapist was influenced by decades of training under a kumu, or teacher, who learned from his family in his particular village.

​The Therapist

Even the same therapist uses a variety of methods to work on various parts of your body. However, this depends on your certain needs for that session. Sometimes you find your massage therapist massaging two parts of your body at once and in more traditional instances. It appears that you have two therapists working on you at once for an even stronger effect. This helps to aid in relaxation because your brain is not focusing on only one area.

Do not be surprised if your licensed massage therapist begins to hum. This creates vibrating and amplified energy which promote the release of blockages in your body. Further, dance incorporates in traditional sessions to help keep the energy high. Your therapist may determine you either need a long, smooth, relaxing session or an invigorating, rejuvenating one. In addition to prayer, humming, dancing and a massage based on your certain needs at the time, your massage therapist may carefully rotate your joints and stretch your limbs to free up your energy. Your therapist works to ensure in staying move slowly and stay within your own personal comfort zone at all times. He or she tocuhes you gently and not create too much resistance as this defeats the purpose of the massage.

​The Session

When ready, your licensed massage therapist will start slowly working on the client’s head. Performing long, flowing, and gentle movements with his or her forearms create a soothing effect on your body. Expect your therapist to work on areas not treated as often by western massage therapists such as the ribs, chest, abdomen, and hips. Of course, your therapist keeps your comfort zone in mind, but in Hawaii, the colon occurs as part of the heart. Just be sure to let your therapist know if you need him or her. This is to customize your experience based on your personal needs or beliefs. He or she will be more than willing to be accommodating to you. During your Lomi Lomi session, you will experience something magical, something out of this world. It feels mystical and divine like you are transcending time and space. Whether you receive your massage on the floor or in a bed, conventional or contemporary, your practitioner surely provide you with a safe and comfortable space. This allows you to completely relax and forget all of your worries. As your mind relaxes, so will your body. Thus, it signifies a very healing experience.

What Makes a Lomi Lomi Massage Unique?

What makes this type of experience stand out from other massages is the infusion of the massage therapist’s spirit and positivity into your body while they draw out your negativity. Besides, they heal you by taking the burden off your stress. It also lets your cells forget their stressors and bad memories. Unlike most massages, you would get in chain locations or even by more western private practitioners. These massages incorporate prayer, humming, dance, clear intentions, purity of heart and specific physical movements. Likewise, therapists perform these in a rhythmic fashion over the client’s body. This improves circulation, relieves muscle spasms, increases the flow of nutrients to the muscles. Sequentially, it also stimulates your lymphatic system to release toxins and other waste products from your body.

​How Can a Lomi Lomi Massage Help You?

Lomi Lomi massages denote a wonderful instrument for clearing your mind and rejuvenating your body. Furthermore, they mean good for several things including:

​- Releasing tension

​- Assisting blood and lymph flow

- ​Eliminating waste and stimulating toxins

- ​Rejuvenating your body

- ​Instilling a sense of wellbeing, peace, and harmony

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