Lomi Lomi massage is part of the holistic healing art and traditional medicine of Hawaii. The word Lomi translates as ‘touch’ or ‘knead’; Lomi Lomi therefore simply means lots of touch. But there is a lot more to Lomi Lomi massage than stroking and kneading.
In traditional Hawaiian practices, Lomi Lomi can be used in a variety of settings, from home medicine to mending warriors and rites of passage rituals. The massage is steeped in tradition and informed by the Hawaiian philosophy of Huna.
‘A fundamental assumption of Huna is that everything seeks harmony and everything seeks love. So how does this relate to massage? Perhaps this can best be understood by one of the alternate names for Lomi Lomi, and that is ‘Loving Hands’ massage. The reason for this is that it works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, totally nurturing the body and enabling the recipient to relax, give in and simply to be. So whilst technique is an important part of the massage and associated healing, much of the work is done by love, with the focus of the practitioner on the client being deep and complete, using loving hands and a loving heart.’
In every aspect of traditional Hawaiian culture, respect for all living things is central – everything that lives is sacred. This is referred to as The Spirit of Aloha. This attitude of reverence is integral to the practice of Lomi Lomi massage.
In the traditional system, every illness or infirmity is considered to have a spiritual component. Ailments have mental, emotional and spiritual root causes, that if left unresolved eventually trickle into the physical realm. When the Lomi Lomi healer first meets their client, they begin by discovering what they are ‘holding on to’ – what ’emotional stone’ is blocking the path of love that supports perfect health. The concept of ho’oponopono is key to this – making right what isn’t right. By addressing unhelpful thoughts or actions, and by lovingly tackling their physical manifestations, we can make peace with ourselves and those around us.
The massage itself feels amazing. Lomi Lomi is a lot more complex than European protocols; it flows from one end of the body to the other, it has rhythm, with more than one area of the body being massaged at once. This induces a trance-like state and promotes complete calm and peace in the receiver. This holistic approach can be augmented, with particularly troubled areas being treated with deeper massage, to help release any areas of persistent tension.
Much of the traditional healing art of Hawaii went underground when the island was invaded. What knowledge remains is gradually resurfacing within the resurgence of spiritual living we are currently witnessing around the world.
I have been privileged to learn Lomi Lomi massage in this loving tradition and practise it with focus and loving intention. I trained in Lomi Lomi with Carrie Rowell, a traditional healer from Hawaii, and in Lomi Lomi Nui with Klemens Reinich from the Schloss-Schule, Austria. My love for these practices has only grown since I was first introduced to them in 2012, and as my knowledge and experience has developed, I too get to open more to the Spirit of Aloha and pass on this gift to my clients.