At the end of my massage school training, I came across Lomi Lomi massage. It’s a lovely Hawaiian style of massage with a long beautiful history. The massage school I attended leaned more towards the anatomical end of the spectrum (if you can imagine the energetic/chakra flavor being on the other end of the spectrum). It seemed to me that most of my instructors were wanna-be physical therapists. And the end of school involved testing, testing and more testing. So, in this very cerebral state of mind, I was swept off my feet when introduced to Lomi Lomi.
Distinctives about Lomi Lomi
– very soulful: this is a massage woven through with prayer. The therapist offers up prayers on behalf of the client as she works. For me, this is silent prayer. I ask at the beginning of the session if there is anything I can be mindful of or pray about for the client as I work. Clients are welcome to tell me something or not. If the client is not comfortable sharing something like this with me, that’s no problem and my prayers are more general, for health, strength, and balance.
– long, flowing strokes: Lomi Lomi uses oil to help the therapist’s hands glide over the skin as she works. There are long, flowing strokes that endeavor to recreate the feeling of the waves washing over the shore, ebbing and flowing. There are also some lovely strokes that connect different parts of the body. Swedish and deep tissue massage often treat the body in segments. First we work on the back, then cover up the back and work on one leg, etc. Lomi Lomi has some strokes that start at the feet, run up the leg, over the seat, onto the back and stretch the arm over the head. While this involves uncovering more of the body at one time than other styles of massage, the client is still covered by the sheet appropriately at all times. It’s really a beautiful aspect of the massage that highlights our body’s connectedness.
– telling the body’s story: the style of Lomi Lomi that I learned encourages us to hear the story the body is telling. Each person has lived a unique life. Each body carries a unique story. The therapist listens to the story of the person on the table, paying particular attention to places on the body that symbolize certain things like the past and future, the mother and father, and the childhood experiences. There are certain stretches that symbolize different things like unlocking creativity and nurture & claiming strength and protection. I don’t describe all this aloud during sessions unless the client is curious or feels she will benefit from it. One thing’s for sure, my attention is centered on the individual and his or her well-being.
– time to pause: space and time just to be present. Our modern world is go, go, go, and keep going more. In Lomi Lomi we intentionally pause between strokes and segments just to be, to witness what is going on in our bodies. We allow time to integrate.
Sound good? Request a Lomi Lomi session in advance when scheduling.