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What is Lomilomi Massage?
Sometimes referred to as a ‘loving hands’ massage, Lomi directly translates to “rub”, “soothe” or “work out” in Hawaiian.
More than just a physical practice, this traditional form of massage therapy also has a significant spiritual element. Practitioners are taught to open up the flow of love from their heart, through their hands, to help heal the body, soul and mind of those receiving the massage. Many specialists working with Lomi Lomi massage like to describe it as a rhythmic and flowing dance-massage routine.
What is the history of Lomilomi Massage?
Native Hawaiians believe Lomilomi is more than a physical massage; it is the practice of reconnecting with your spirit.
Traditional Hawaiian massage originated with with Kahuna priests, who were regarded as the keepers of specialised knowledge and wisdom. As part of their role they performed ‘bodywork’, a rite of passage intended to help people connect with themselves and the world around them.
The underlying philosophy of Lomilomi is ‘Huna Wisdom’. Huna believes that the primary desire of all living beings is to find contentment. It particularly promotes the concept of ‘aloha’, which means “unification”, “love” and “breath”. The combination of continuous, broad strokes (using forearms and palms of hands) with gentle, caring touches and (sometimes) prayer and dance is believed to bring about peace in body and mind, allowing you to simply ‘be’.
Lomilomi Massage techniques
A Lomilomi Massage can be performed on either a table or a mat on the floor. The practice can sometimes begin with a moment of calmness, with the practitioner inviting you to say a prayer with them. They will then use a combination of Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Avocado oils to apply long forearm body strokes, alongside rubbing, pressing, stretching and squeezing motions.
Its an incredibly joyful massage which can include deep pressure, but is also relaxing and can be nourishing for the overall grounding of a person, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Each Hawaiian massage is unique, as the therapist works on instinct and intuition to create a flowing, natural treatment according to what they feel your body is telling them. It will typically involve short strokes along the entire body, performed with both hands and forearms, alongside light joint rotation and limb stretching.
Your therapist will also usually focus on two parts of the body at the same time, and you may find that places offering Lomilomi massage give you the option of having multiple therapists. This is intended to remove focus from any single place on the body, in order to encourage a sensation of total relaxation and dance-like movement.
A unique part of Lomi lomi is that it sometimes includes of abdominal massage. There are many thought to why this area of the body is concentrated on. One is that Hawaiian tradition understands the colon to be part of a person’s soul or heart, but this may have the added benefit of easing digestive problems. Another possible reason is that the solar plexus (centre of the body/core-grounding) was the reason for the stomach massage.
Who can benefit from Lomilomi Massage?
Lomilomi Massage can be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health. Benefits may include:
- Promotes a feeling of harmony between body and mind
- Cultivates a supportive sense of human connection
- Releases cortisol to aid in stress reduction
- Lengthens and releases tight muscles
- Stimulates blood flow around the body
- Aids digestive and gut health
Because of the deeply relaxing nature of the treatment, make sure to allow yourself some time afterwards to enjoy the sense of reconnection with both your body and the world around you!