How can Lomi Lomi nourish your soul?
Also known as Kahuna bodywork or loving hands massage, this full-body flowing massage employs long, deep, rhythmic touch in rhythm with respiration. Lomi Lomi is similar to Swedish massage with an added meditative element. The Lomi Lomi therapist integrates the client with music, centering breath and sweeping strokes. Lomi Lomi can relax the receiver into a deep delta brain-wave state for mental, physical and spiritual healing.
Lomi Lomi is an indigenous Polynesian practice that spread to Hawaii with the early settlers, and Auntie Margaret Machado is believed to be the first Hawaiian to teach Lomi Lomi to non-Islanders. It encompasses many styles and schools, and differs according to the teacher and location. Other Lomi Lomi variations include those taught by Abraham Kawai’i, Mana Lomi®, and Sacred Lomi Hawaiian Temple Bodywork.
In Australia, to ensure the highest standard of treatment select a Lomi Lomi practitioner who is accredited in a bodywork modality with associations such as IICT, ATMS, MAA or The Kahuna Training Guild of Australia. These national organisations are committed to upholding excellence in practice, and require its members to undertake continuing professional development.
Benefits of Lomi Lomi
Lomi Lomi provides the physical benefits of massage with additional mental and spiritual effects. According to the Acupuncture Massage College, Lomi Lomi is reported to increase range of motion and flexibility, lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, improve posture and accelerate healing.
Lomi Lomi is also believed to activate ‘Mana’, or life-force energy and clear negative emotions. The long strokes used in Lomi Lomi make it particularly beneficial for supporting the immune response and promoting blood flow, which may aid in the detoxification and stimulation of the lymphatic system.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, these flowing strokes are suited to supporting women during pregnancy and labour. Lomi Lomi can also encourage relaxation, as the stretching produces a gentle myofascial release.
Lomi Lomi may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Back pain
- Circulation and cardiovascular conditions
- Detoxing and cleansing
- Energy and vitality
- Headaches and migraines
- Immunity issues
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Mobility and movement
- Neck pain
- Pain relief
- Posture and spine issues
- Pregnancy, birth and antenatal support
- Stress and tension
What to expect from a Lomi Lomi session
A Lomi Lomi session can take one to three hours. Before a session starts, a qualified therapist should ask you questions about your health history and obtain your informed consent. You should also advise your therapist of any injuries or areas that cause you concern.
It’s a good idea to have a little water and use the bathroom before a session. To prepare for the treatment, the therapist will give you privacy to remove clothing if pertinent, but do let them know if you’re uncomfortable with certain areas being uncovered or touched.
Lomi Lomi considers the client to be vulnerable during a massage, and an initial prayer is often chanted to create a caring connection and a sacred space at the commencement and close of the session. The therapist typically then places their hands on you for a few moments to calm and centre. You may be asked to breathe deeply and relax.
The therapist provides draping with a sarong, sheet or towels, or may offer sessions where you are fully clothed. In a dynamic, rhythmic dance, oil is generally applied with long, integrating strokes to the whole body. They may also use gentle stretches, joint rotations and focussed pressure. Lomi Lomi practitioners may use various parts of the arms and legs for massage, as well as sticks and stones.
Traditional Lomi Lomi always includes abdominal massage because Hawaiian tradition considers the colon to be very important. Occasionally, the therapist may hum or sing to amplify energy and promote the release of blockages in the body. Lomi Lomi practitioners may also ask their clients to alter their diets and engage in other self-help activities.
As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing Lomi Lomi. If you have any concerns at all, also speak to your Lomi Lomi therapist, who will be happy to address these and evaluate whether Lomi Lomi is a suitable treatment for you.