Lomi lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage that uses a combination of massage techniques, nut oils, and sometimes elements of prayer, breathing and dance to restore energy and soothe the body. It is also known as the ‘loving hands’ massage. This name helps to explain its principles – the massage works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, allowing the recipient to relax and give in to the nurturing touch.
Lomi lomi works from the belief that memories are not just stored in the brain and mind, but also in every cell of the human body. The long, continuous strokes of the massage are designed to help the body let go of its old patterns and behaviors, which can cause as many stresses and strains as muscle tension.
Hawaiian Lomi Lomi
‘Lomi lomi’ translates to ‘rub rub’ in Hawaiian, and reflects the broad, flowing strokes made with the therapist’s fingers, thumbs, palms, arms and elbows. Macadamia, palm and coconut oils are usually used as moisturizers in Lomi lomi massage, to keep the strokes smooth and to nourish the skin.
Many believe that the healing art of Lomi lomi was brought to Hawaii by the earliest Polynesian settlers, while others believe that it is deeply infused with the practice of ‘living aloha’ – a carry-over from ancient Hawaii and the mystical land of Mu. The Hawaiian Lomi lomi massage can also be referred to as Kahuna bodywork.
Benfits of Lomi lomi massage
Lomi lomi aims to treat the body and mind as one whole being. It is thought to:
assist blood and lymph flow
eliminate waste and stimulate toxins
rejuvenate the body
instill a sense of peace, harmony and wellbeing.
In Hawaii, Lomi lomi is used to treat children with upset stomachs and soothe women in labor. A Lomi lomi therapist will not aim to heal themselves, but to be the facilitator for healing – to enable healing to take place.