Lomi lomi massage, a tradition passed down through the generations - Heather Baker

Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage is one part of traditional Native Hawaiian medicine and was only passed down in families until the early 1970s, when a few Hawaiian teachers began teaching this massage therapy technique to non-Hawaiians. The popularity of this technique spread quickly, and it's now widely available.

Traditionally, Lomi Lomi has an important spiritual component, and practitioners begin by saying a prayer to themselves. This massage incorporates the Hawaiian concept of aloha, which means love, unification and breath, and promotes personal harmony. Even in modern practice, Lomi Lomi therapists are taught to focus on the massage with love and intention.

The massage works by stimulating the natural flow of energy within the body in order to bring about changes in the physical, emotional and spiritual areas. Stress and tension is released so that energy can flow freely once more. It is also deeply relaxing and rejuvenating. Lomi Lomi is good for:

•    detoxification and waste removal

•    improving the immune system

•    stimulating lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems

•    releasing muscle tension

•    improving flexibility

•    improving muscle tone

What to expect in your appointment – the therapist will ask you some questions regarding your general wellbeing, and physical and mental health, to be able to tailor the massage to each client.  Typically, massage therapists begin a Lomi Lomi session by placing their hands gently on you and remaining still for a few moments. They may ask you to breathe deeply to help you relax.  Lomi Lomi is best known for long, flowing, dance-like strokes, often using the forearms and generous amounts of oil.  The massage therapist will massage two parts of your body at the same time, for example, using one hand or forearm on your shoulder while simultaneously massaging a hip with the other hand or forearm.

Often, more of your body is uncovered during this massage than during a typical Swedish or deep tissue massage. That's because therapists rarely massage one body part at a time. Instead, they move in long flowing motions that, for example, may start at the top of your shoulder and go all the way to your foot. Some therapists use massage sheets in the usual way, just uncovering larger areas of your body at once.

Afterwards, you will feel blissfully relaxed and nurtured from top to toe. Make time to wallow in the afterglow; when you go home soak in the tub, have a nap, or just sit with a hot mug of herbal tea. Allow yourself time to drift into a deeper, warm, luxurious calm.