It may surprise you how many different styles of massage there are. From the commonly practiced and clinical Swedish deep tissue massage to the deeply spiritual Reiki healing, you can discover a new subtlety to the art depending on where you are in the world.
Lomi lomi is not a new form of massage but you may have never heard of it before. That’s probably because this ancient massage work didn’t find it’s way into massage schools until the 1970’s. Prior to that, Lomi Lomi was passed down along Hawaiian families as a sacred practice to keep native families strong and healthy.
Like many other forms of spiritual healing, Lomi Lomi focuses on the person as a whole and uses similar techniques to other massage modalities. However, this powerful form of healing has a style all its own.
Lomi Lomi Philosophy & Traditions
The word “Lomi Lomi” is difficult to translate – most likely because the Hawaiian language did not have an official written form until the mid-1800s. However, many accepted translations call it “the loving touch”.
An important aspect of Lomi Lomi is allowing the individual being massaged to relax and open themselves to healing. This healing is based in not only the physical manifestations of pain but also the mental and spiritual pains that root deeply into our memories and physical bodies.
When our minds or our spirits are out of harmony, they often create tension in our bodies. This tension leads to sickness, pain, and injuries.
The intent of Lomi is to bring the body back into alignment with ones self by moving and releasing blocked energy. This Hawaiian healing revolves around the Huna philosophy- which involves the idea that the body, mind and soul are intertwined and seek to be balanced. Lomi Lomi works on restoring this connection.
At Good Medicine, our Lomi Lomi massage therapist, Krisha McKinley, values these traditions and takes the Hawaiian way to heart. She shows respect to the culture and honors every aspect of this beautiful healing style and art.
Lomi Lomi Massage Style & Techniques
Lomi Lomi uses long strokes that move across the body in gentle waves. A key feature of Lomi Lomi that you don’t often see in other forms of massage is back walking. Your practitioner may or may not use this during your Lomi Lomi massage. It is best to request or discuss it before the massage since back walking requires set-up prior to the massage time.
Lomi Lomi also utilizes deep tissue techniques that you may find similar in other massage styles such as Thai massage or Swedish deep tissue massage.
Range-of-motion is another technique that Lomi Lomi practitioners use to help move the energies through the body.
Getting a Lomi Lomi Massage – Relaxation, Finally!
Lomi Lomi massages usually start with a prayer to set an intention for the massage. Which is, in itself, a very beautiful way to begin a session of healing. We often rush through our lives to the point that massage can become a clinical, sterile and un-magical thing. But the process of healing should be magical, beautiful and meaningful.
My Lomi Lomi massage started off similarly to other massages I’ve had in the past. After a brief consultation with my massage therapist, I was laying face down on the bed trying desperately to focus on my breathing. I struggle to relax, even during massages. I suffer from noisy brain and it’s reflected in chronic knots that show up in my neck and shoulder area.
I noticed that a lot of the Lomi Lomi massage style was reminiscent of Thai massage with long strokes across the back using the hands or forearm. The pressure was consistent and never too much. The massage style moves like waves in a rhythmic motion across the whole body. Some areas are targeted followed by another full body movement. It helped me bring awareness back to my whole body.
I found it easy to relax with the Lomi Lomi. It was just enough pressure to feel like the problem areas were being worked but the full body massage style helped me not focus too much on the knots and more on my breathing.
In the past, I’ve had deep tissue massage that has helped immensely to target knots and give me relief. I was uncertain if I could expect the same results from this style of massage but was pleasantly surprised when I found my body winding down and my mind calming after only 15 minutes. I usually do 90-minute massages but this hour long session was perfect. I was completely relaxed and content near the end. I felt rejuvenated and both energetic and calm of mind. It truly was a beautiful experience.