As I transition back into massage therapy from my regular non-massage jobs I have taken on in other states, I have taken a Lomi Lomi course. It’s important for a serious massage therapist to update their technique periodically.
The reason for the importance is if a therapist has the same routine every session, it becomes recognizable to the client. They will know the routine and will eventually know what you will be doing next. A true massage artist will have a lot of different techniques, and might not have a routine at all. Each treatment is customized to the client’s needs.
Lomi Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage. Lomi Lomi is both a Hawaiian and a Samoan word. It means to knead or make soft. Simplifed, it means massage. It is also known as the “loving hands” massage. Incidentally, it doesn’t use much of the hands as other massage modalities do. This art is believed to have been brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesian settlers, while others believe it’s an ancient healing art brought to ancient Hawaii from the mystical land of Mu. It is performed in the spirit of Aloha and is based on the Hawaiian philosophy of Huna.
True Lomi Lomi incorporates other forms of healing with the knowledge of herbs and natural remedies, which also include a prayer, breath, and energy restoration. It helped in relieving in blockages of the body, mind, and emotions. In modern times, in the field of massage therapy, we do it more for the healing qualities of the bodywork and muscle manipulation.
In Lomi Lomi, different parts of the body can be massaged at the same time, as the therapist’s arms can go over a larger range. It brings out a deeper sense of relaxation and less focus on the practitioner. According to Huma philosphy, the mind and body are invariably linked and mutually dependent on each other. Good health happens when the body and mind are both in balance.
In the 1800s, with the colonization and overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and introduction of Christianity, lomi lomi was banned as it was thought to be shamanic. It involved prayers and chants that Christians related to sorcery. However, in modern Lomi Lomi, we do not rely on prayers and chanting and still completely benefit from the bodywork provided.