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  • Christophe Fien

DEEP RELAXATION: HOW LOMI LOMI CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

Updated: Apr 24

Introduction


Lomi Lomi, a cornerstone of Hawaiian culture, is known as the "loving hands" massage and embodies the holistic philosophy of Huna, which focuses on harmony, love, and connectivity. This traditional practice, performed by Hawaiian healers called Kahunas, is more than just physical therapy; it's a spiritual and physical healing ritual that aims to promote overall well-being by integrating the mind, body, and spirit. Characterized by long, flowing strokes that resemble the gentle waves of the ocean, Lomi Lomi offers deep relaxation, emotional release, and a spiritual connection, reflecting the Aloha spirit's values of love, peace, and respect.

Lomi Lomi massage has gained popularity around the world, particularly in countries with a strong wellness and holistic health culture. It is especially popular not only in the USA but also in Australia and New Zealand, due to their proximity to Hawaii and cultural connections. Other countries in Europe (Germany), Eastern Europe (Estonia) and to some extend the UK (ought to be much more popular hence this blog!) have embraced Lomi Lomi as part of their growing interest in alternative therapies and wellness practices.


History of Lomi Lomi Massage



Lomi Lomi massage originates from ancient Hawaiian healing practices, traditionally performed by Kahuna (healers) as a sacred ritual to restore physical, mental, and spiritual balance. It embodies the Aloha spirit, emphasizing harmony and connectivity, and was passed down through generations as a vital part of Hawaiian culture.

In traditional Hawaiian culture, Lomi Lomi was the sole massage technique practiced in Hawaiian temples, utilised for various significant events. For example, it prepared women for childbirth with a gentler approach, while warriors received a more intense massage akin to modern deep tissue techniques to ready them for battle. Additionally, Lomi Lomi Nui, also known as The Great Massage, represented the spiritual dimension of this practice. This rite of passage marked special life events such as weddings, adulthood, or critical tribal decisions. These sessions were extensive, sometimes lasting an entire day and involving communal participation. The timing of these massages was also crucial, often planned according to celestial configurations.


Kahunas, Hawaiian healers, are pivotal in Hawaiian culture as guardians of ancient wisdom and practitioners of Lomi Lomi, a traditional healing massage. Revered for their profound spiritual insights and their connection to natural and ancestral forces, Kahunas play a crucial role in healing and maintaining holistic balance.

In the 1950s, Auntie Margaret Machado introduced her family's version of Lomi Lomi to the global audience, marking the first time the technique was made somewhat accessible outside of Hawaii. Her approach to Lomi Lomi is influenced by Christianity, which was introduced to Hawaii by missionaries, rather than traditional Hawaiian hula and shamanism. Stylistically, her method differs from Temple Style by primarily using hand techniques in the massage, incorporating rocking motions, and excluding Hawaiian rituals. This adaptation contributed significantly to its popularity and unique therapeutic qualities.


In 1986, a Kahuna named Abraham Kawaii introduced "Kahuna Bodywork" or "Temple Style Lomi" to the global mainstream, expanding access to these traditional practices for study and learning worldwide.


Hawaiian Philosophy of Life (Huna)




Lomi Lomi massage and Huna philosophy are intricately connected, with Lomi Lomi embodying Huna's principles of harmony, love, and interconnectedness. This massage practice is a physical expression of Huna, aiming to align and heal the body, mind, and spirit, and facilitate a deep sense of balance and peace.

Lomi Lomi massage embodies the Hawaiian concept of harmony and balance by using flowing, rhythmic strokes that mimic natural elements, promoting deep relaxation and alignment within the body. This approach fosters unity between the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the individual, reflecting nature's interconnectedness and balance.

 

 

Evolution of Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi Lomi transitioned from a sacred ritual performed by Hawaiian healers to a therapeutic massage technique as it gained recognition for its holistic health benefits. This evolution allowed it to be shared more broadly, integrating traditional healing principles with modern wellness practices while maintaining its spiritual roots.

Western practices have influenced Lomi Lomi massage by introducing elements of anatomy, physiology, and massage therapy techniques, leading to a fusion of traditional Hawaiian and contemporary massage methods. This integration has expanded Lomi Lomi's therapeutic applications while striving to preserve its spiritual and cultural essence.

Lomi Lomi massage holds a revered place in Hawaii, cherished for its healing and spiritual significance, while gaining international acclaim as a sought-after wellness practice. Globally, it's celebrated for its unique approach to holistic health, blending traditional Hawaiian techniques with a growing appreciation for indigenous healing practices, thus bridging cultures through wellness.


Lomi Lomi is and should not be restricted to the Hawaiian culture – it is a massage practice that is deeply human and it is a constant and beautiful reminder on how we can consciously use our touch.

 

Health and Wellness Benefits


  • Physical benefits

Muscle Relaxation: Lomi Lomi massage uses long, flowing strokes that deeply relax the muscles, easing tension and reducing pain.


Improved Circulation: The rhythmic massage techniques enhance blood flow, promoting better oxygen and nutrient delivery throughout the body.


Detoxification: Although not a lymphatic massage per se, a Lomi Lomi massage encourages the body's natural detox processes, helping to flush out toxins and waste.




  • Mental and emotional benefits

Stress Reduction: Lomi Lomi massage promotes deep relaxation, significantly reducing stress levels and inducing a state of mental calmness.




Emotional Release: The nurturing touch and spiritual aspect of the massage can facilitate emotional healing, helping to release pent-up emotions and improve emotional well-being.




Enhanced Mental Clarity: By alleviating stress and emotional tension, Lomi Lomi massage can lead to improved focus, mental clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose.



  • Spiritual benefits: sense of harmony, personal growth, and connection

Connection to Self: Lomi Lomi massage fosters a deep sense of inner peace and connection to one's spiritual self, encouraging introspection and self-awareness.





Harmony with Nature: The practice embodies the Hawaiian belief in living in harmony with the natural world, helping individuals feel a profound connection to the earth and its rhythms.





Sense of Unity and Aloha: Lomi Lomi promotes the spiritual principle of Aloha, emphasizing love, compassion, and a sense of unity with all beings, enhancing one's spiritual well-being and sense of belonging.


Lomi Lomi Temple Style Massage Techniques


Lomi Lomi Temple Style massage is distinguished by its unique strokes and movements that are deeply rooted in the intention to heal and harmonize the body, mind, and spirit. Here's a description of these characteristic techniques:


  1. Long, Free-flowing Strokes: The most iconic aspect of Lomi Lomi is its long, continuous strokes that flow rhythmically across the body. Unlike traditional Western massage techniques that focus on specific muscles, Lomi Lomi strokes often run the entire length of the body—from feet to abdomen to shoulders to arms and hands and back to legs and feet—in a single, seamless motion. These strokes are performed with the hands, forearms, and sometimes even the elbows, mimicking the gentle, rolling waves of the ocean to induce deep relaxation.

  2. Gentle Stretching and Joint Rotations: Lomi Lomi practitioners may incorporate gentle stretching and joint rotations into the massage session. These movements are designed to release tension, improve flexibility, and enhance the flow of energy (Mana) throughout the body.

  3. Intuitive Movement: Lomi Lomi therapists often work intuitively and spontaneously, allowing their hands to move fluidly over the body in response to the individual's energy and needs. This intuitive approach means that no two Lomi Lomi massages are exactly alike; each session is tailored to the recipient's physical and emotional state.

  4. Underbody Strokes: Unique to Lomi Lomi are techniques that involve working under the body as well as over it. Practitioners might place one hand on top of the body and one underneath, creating a sense of being enveloped and nurtured from all sides. This technique enhances the feeling of deep connection and unity with the environment.


These strokes and movements (with evocative and wonderful names such as Snake, Semi-Snake and Bear Hug) are performed with a deep sense of care, respect, and intention together with a totally focused attention to the present moment (Here and Now) from the therapist. The goal is not just to relax the muscles but to create a space for healing on all levels—physical, emotional, and spiritual.

 


 

What to Expect During a Massage Session


The typical duration of a Lomi Lomi Temple Style massage session can vary depending on the practitioner's approach and the client's needs, but most sessions last between 60 to 120 minutes to ensure a deeply immersive experience.


The setting and setup for a Lomi Lomi massage are both designed to evoke a sense of tranquillity and connection with nature, often incorporating elements that engage the senses and enhance the healing atmosphere. The massage space may feature soft lighting, gentle music, or natural sounds to create a calming environment.


Aromatherapy with traditional Hawaiian scents like plumeria, coconut, or lemongrass may be used to promote relaxation and invoke the spirit of the islands.


The massage table is typically set up with minimal draping to allow for the long, flowing strokes characteristic of Lomi Lomi, which travel the length of the body. This aspect of the setup respects the client's modesty while facilitating the seamless, uninterrupted movements that define the massage.


Clients are encouraged to communicate their comfort levels with draping (usually a sarong) and touch before and during the session.


Overall, the typical Lomi Lomi massage session is a carefully curated experience that aims to honor the body as a sacred temple and facilitate healing in a respectful, nurturing environment.


Preparing for Your First Lomi Lomi Massage


  • What to wear and how to prepare mentally and physically

For a Lomi Lomi massage, wear loose, comfortable clothing to the appointment and expect minimal draping during the session for ease of movement. Mentally, approach with an open heart and mind, ready to release tensions and sometimes also deeply rooted emotions. Physically, hydrate well, avoid heavy meals beforehand, and communicate any discomfort or preferences to your therapist.


  • Aftercare


After a Lomi Lomi massage, it's important to follow a few key aftercare steps to maximize the benefits of the treatment:


Hydration: Drink plenty of water or herbal teas to help flush toxins from the body. The massage stimulates circulation and lymphatic drainage, so staying hydrated supports these processes and aids in detoxification.


Rest: Allow your body and mind to continue relaxing and integrating the massage's effects by taking it easy for the rest of the day. Avoid strenuous activities or stressful situations to maintain the state of calm and relaxation achieved during the session.


Reflecting on the Experience: Spend some time in quiet reflection or journaling about your experience. Lomi Lomi is not just a physical treatment but a spiritual and emotional journey as well. Reflecting on your feelings and any insights that arose during the massage can deepen the healing process.


Following these aftercare recommendations can enhance the therapeutic effects of Lomi Lomi massage, helping to sustain the sense of peace, balance, and well-being that it promotes.

 

Conclusion


Lomi Lomi massage is distinguished by its holistic approach to healing, emphasizing not just physical wellness but also emotional, mental, and spiritual harmony. Key unique aspects include its long, flowing strokes that mimic the natural movements of the ocean, minimal draping to facilitate these movements, and the incorporation of Hawaiian philosophy and practices, such as the Aloha spirit of love and connection. The massage is deeply nurturing, often involving intuitive touch and energy work, making it a deeply transformative experience that transcends conventional massage therapy.


Give Lomi Lomi massage a try. Experience its soothing touch and let it gently guide you towards deeper wellness and relaxation on your health journey.


If you've experienced Lomi Lomi massage, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please share your feedback in the comments below.


Book a Lomi Lomi massage today! Your body and mind will love you for treating them to a Lomi Lomi massage session!

 

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