Lomi Lomi is a unique form of bodywork with roots in the traditions of the ancient Polynesians and healers of Hawaii. Lomi Lomi was practiced by the native healers and was used as a restorative health practice within families. Lomi Lomi encompasses many different styles each unique to their family of origin.
Temple-style Lomi Lomi is one form of Hawaiian bodywork, that was practiced in old Hawaii to induce healing or rather, self-healing, for it is the person who is receiving the massage who will appraise their old tendencies and orientations and decide on their healing through a combination of conscious and subconscious aspects at the same time.
To this day, the fundamental elements for all Lomi Lomi bodywork are the creation of an atmosphere of sanctuary around the treatment itself and focusing on the divine part in all individual. Lomilomi effectively reduces stress and tension trapped by old patterns of behavior, thus it not uncommonly signified as a ‘rite of passage’—the point at which an individual enters a new part of their life. In ancient times such massages were accompanied by songs, prayers and rituals, which could at times last for several days.
Before every significant life-period or major event—e.g., the ritual before becoming an adult or in the taking on of some important social function—the ancient Hawaiians would turn to an appropriate masseur (Kahuna Lomilomi), so that with the help of the massage they would be freed of their fears, tensions and egocentric ways of looking at things. The result of a successful massage would be some fundamental change in the old character and of the usual situations in life, the replacement of the old patterns with consciously chosen new ones. The treatment served to induce connection to the divine elements present in every person, to get rid of fears, fixed habits and beliefs that are obstacles, and in addition to that, allowed access to the collected wisdom of our forebears and their genetic memory.
Lomi Lomi is based on the Hawaiian philosophy of Huna, which assumes everything seeks harmony and love. One of the aspects of the Hawaiians culture is that the human body is understood in a unity of the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional part. Due to the believe in a strong mind-body connection, according to the Hawaiian healers muscle tension and mental stress were highly related. By using the techniques of the Lomi Lomi the shaman or kahuna would release tense muscles and facilitate overall healing (physical, mental and spiritual) by restoring balance in the body and by inducing the free flow of energy throughout the body.
Unlike most other massages Lomi Lomi is performed on the entire body simultaneously. Working with oil the therapist uses his or her hands, elbows, forearms and body weight. This allows the therapist to make long flowing strokes, integrating movements of circles and figure eights, that go from head to toe in a continuous, rhythmic movement, massaging both the top and the underside of the client’s body. The unique under body massage strokes can be performed because the massage is done on a massage table with a special oil resistant sheet, that enables the therapist to slide his or her hands and arms under and around the body. These continuous, rhythmic strokes of varying intensity gives the delightful sensation of gentle waves moving over the body.
Another feature of this type of massage is that two different parts of our body might be massaged at the same time. This is done to help the patient’s relaxation and to deactivate the thinking function that is trying to follow what is happening, because it is very difficult for human brain to fully concentrate on two different areas at once. The movements are designed to confuse the thinking mind and invite the client to surrender, letting go of anything that is no longer serving them.
Sometimes hot stones or Himalaya salt might be used to create special healing effects.
In order to perform the long massage strokes along the body, clients are advised to wear no underwear during the massage, instead they are covered in the intimate
areas with a towel.
Please note, that massaging the genitals is not part of this treatment.
Although, Lomi Lomi can be for some people a rather sensual experience, it is not a sexual massage.
The focus is on establishing connection, overall healing and deep relaxation.
To be able to move fluidly along the massaged body, it is essential for a Lomi Lomi practitioner to use his or her own body in a dance, moving fluently in alignment with the rhythm of the music and the natural rhythm of the breath.
When performing Lomi Lomi massage, it is impossible to give the same massage twice. Each time a unique choreography is created intuitively.
To quote one of my teacher's teacher, Susan Pa’iniu Floyd:
Health [ola] existed when the body’s cells vibrated rapidly or in other words, the body’s energy was free flowing. Illness [ma'i] occured when that flow was blocked or restricted for an extended period. In this style of lomilomi [massage], the practitioner is the dancer and the recipient is the choreographer. So the dance is always different. The foundation strokes are taught as a framework, in which the principles of attentiveness, love and respect are then emphasized, resulting in the practitioner developing the confidence to trust information coming from the recipient.