“The heart of lomilomi is love and respect for others. Lomilomi gives love and is therefore one of the true acts of human kindness and one of the greatest of healing arts” ~ Na Mo’olelo Lomilomi
“The loving touch – a connection of heart, hand and soul with the source of all life” ~ Aunty Margaret Machado
The Master Healers of Hawaii knew that there were special ways to release and unblock the powers of the body so that physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing could take place more quickly and completely. With different lineages and forms, this unique bodywork is one of loving power and powerful love. With this sometimes subtle, yet powerful form of massage, it is not only a question of expertise, it is also about aloha, mana , pono, respect and so much more.
Practitioners skilled in Hawaiian healing practices understand that before you touch the physical body, the mental and emotional must be in harmony. That they must first be reconnected with their spirit. (This applies to both practitioner and client). Only then can physical ‘healing’ fully occur. Thus pule (prayer), oli (chant), HA (breath), kai (salt water), pa’akai (sea salt) or alaea (red clay sea salt) for cleansing and clearing, ho’oponopono (making right more right) are integral aspects of this process. Once these aspects are attended to, then the physical bodywork can be done. La’au lapa’au ( plant/herbal medicine), wela pohaku ( hot stones) and other traditional practices may also be incorporated to enhance and promote wellbeing. It is understood health is a state of peace and harmony, illness is caused by stress and disharmony. Lomilomi releases and relaxes tension in the body assisting in allowing the body to carry out own healing. It is not simply a massage but an integrative practice which has the capacity to assist healing on many levels. It really is a description of many ‘modalitlies’ used to bring the body into balance, realign the spirit, and corrective thinking focussing positively to heal.
“While ‘technique’ is an important part of the massage and associated healing, much of the work is done by Aloha, with the total focus of the practitioner on the client being deep and complete.”
‘Listening’ to the client and their body with aloha, respect and compassion for the client, rather than treating them as an object to be ‘fixed’, allows for harmony to be created within the body. This incorporates two important assumptions of healing – everything seeks harmony and everything seeks love. Thus Lomilomi is also at times called ‘loving hands’ massage. A practitioner may work gently yet deeply into the muscles using continuous, flowing strokes, totally nurturing the body enabling the recipient to relax and simply be. They may also incorporate deeper, specific strokes or stretches to assist the ‘unblocking’.
Skill, expertise, connectedness to Spirit, combined with a very honouring and respectful awareness, relaxes the entire being, initiating a ‘letting go’ of old beliefs, patterns and behaviours that no longer serve you and cause limitations. Hawaiians look at things in terms of energy flow, following the premise that an idea or belief can block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. Using bodywork and energy work helps to release the blockages, while at the same time giving the energy new direction and set new patterns . This results in mental clarity and physical release thereby allowing for powerful healing in yourself and your life, creating a new level of harmony and facilitating healing on many levels, levels we are often not aware of at the time.
Touch is an often forgotten and maligned language these days. When a Lomilomi practitioner touches the body of a person, it is with total respect and aloha. Understanding the principle of energy flows where attention goes, the practitioner is totally focused on the clients body and Being. It is more than simply touching or ‘working’ on the body. Rather it is assisting the physical body to become soft and relaxing it at the deepest levels, to restore balance and allow healing at the deepest levels of body, mind and spirit.
“As a lomilomi practitioner one must have a deep understanding of what it is to be Hawaiian .What makes lomilomi different is the mindset behind the massage.”
Look with the eyes: Nana ka maka
Close the mouth: Pa’a ka waha
This is the Hawaiian way of learning. Being very attentive, to use their eyes and ears, to search within for answers to questions and wait for the answer to present itself, Patience, humbleness and self-empowerment being important core Hawaiian values. In lomilomi, as in all Hawaiian Healing practices, cultural practices and things Hawaiian, it is understood that Nā Kūpuna ( the ancestors) are with us, guiding us.
Lomilomi practitioners traditionally undertake considerable training to develop and enhance their skills. A deep understanding of Hawaiian Culture, spirituality and healing with skills in ho’oponopono ( making right more right) are also undertaken. They have usually undergone and experienced many levels of their own personal healing and life changes, enhancing their understanding of the healing process. This in-depth bodywork is profoundly healing.
A’o I ke koa, e a’o no I ka holo
– When one learns to be a warrior, one must also learn to run (To truly learn a skill, one must learn everything related to the skill)