Lomi lomi is a unique style of massage therapy that combines traditional muscle/tissue manipulation with the Hawaiian philosophy of harmonizing the body’s flow of energy. Unlike most forms of massage therapy, lomi lomi emphasizes harmony and spiritual healing, although it still maintains traditional massage practices as well. The roots of lomi lomi can be traced back to Hawaii’s Polynesian settlers, who introduced the natives to a different type of massage therapy.
There are two primary types of lomi lomi massage: Temple Style and Big Island. Kahuna Abraham is credited with bringing Temple Style lomi lomi into the limelight. Before his death in 2004, Abraham educated others on how to perform this massage. Temple Style lomi lomi is characterized by the use of the forearm to manipulate the client’s muscle and soft tissue. The principle belief behind this massage is that it causes the client to relax and open themselves up to receive more energy.
The second type of lomi lomi massage, Big Island, was introduced to the public by Margaret Machado, a famous lomi lomi master and massage therapist. It involves techniques similar to a deep-tissue massage while also encompassing spiritual beliefs of love and longevity.
To better understand the benefits of lomi lomi massage, you must first look at the way in which it’s performed. While sessions vary depending on the therapist and the client, a typical lomi lomi massage begins with a blessing or prayer. The massage therapist may openly ask for a particular condition from which the client is suffering to be healed. Once the blessing has been made, the massage therapist will begin to manipulate the client’s body using his or her hands, forearms, fingers and elbows.
Here are some of the benefits of lomi lomi massage:
- Improved circulation
- Reduced stress and muscle tension
- Improved range of motion and flexibility
- Speeds up the body’s self-healing mechanism (particularly important when recovering from an injury)
- Detoxifies the body
One of the great things about lomi lomi massage is that no two sessions are the same. Lomi lomi encompasses a broad range of both physical manipulation and spiritual healing practices, resulting in a truly unique experience for the client. So whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve circulation, or if you simply want to enjoy an authentic Hawaiian practice, you can’t go wrong with lomi lomi.
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Photo credit: Thomas Wanhoff