How it works
No two Lomi Lomi massages are the same. With no set format, every massage is instead dictated by your body’s individual energy flow. Traditionally, a Lomi Lomi massage starts off with a period of stillness and silence where your therapist will rest their hands gently on your back and say a prayer or blessing relating to whatever healing is needed, but there’s no chanting or waving of rosary beads so don’t let one tiny prayer put you off.
The calm before the storm, your therapist will then begin the massage with long, flowing strokes that switch from slow and relaxing to fast and furious(ish) depending on how your body responds. Working on the belief that memories are stored in every individual cell of the body, the continuous strokes are designed to encourage the body to let go of any worries or concerns that could be causing you stress and strain.
Using a combination of full-body and under-body strokes, your therapist will lightly stretch your limbs and rotate your joints to free up energy flow. Sometimes they might even massage two different parts of your body at once to stop your brain focusing on one specific area. A deep style of massage, Lomi Lomi therapists like to use as many parts of their body as they can to massage you - from fingers, thumbs, palms, arms and elbows, to balancing themselves with a pole or ceiling bar so they can use their feet to literally walk all over you. The therapy can also be carried out by two therapists to intensify the end results.
With Lomi Lomi, you also get a few added extras compared to other massage therapies so it’s worth knowing all the ins and outs if you’re thinking of booking in for one. Firstly, it’s not unusual for your therapist to start humming at various intervals throughout your treatment. This is not an attempt to serenade you, but to create a vibrating energy which helps stimulate and unblock your energy flow. And just as important as the humming are the Hula movements to get that energy flow going- so if you open your eyes for a sneaky peak, don’t be surprised to see your therapist dancing and shimmying around you.
The second major difference is the massage table. In Hawaii, the massage is performed on a hand-woven mat placed on the floor, but in the more conventional salons and spas it will normally be performed directly on the vinyl massage table, minus all the soft, fluffy towels. Because of the nature of the massage, there won’t be any towels to hide under either so expect attire to be sparse. Disposable paper pants will sometimes be provided, or if you’re feeling at one with nature, a small sheet will be draped across you to protect your modesty. This makes it a whole lot easier for your therapist to perform those long, continuous strokes without clothes and other obstructions getting in their way.
Is it for me?
If you’re experiencing a general lull, Lomi Lomi might be the treatment to give you a friendly nudge in the right direction. Aiming to benefit all areas of your health, well-being and awareness by unblocking energy flows, it’s said to help with low self esteem, stress, a lack of confidence and those affected by trauma. On a more physical level, it claims to relieve muscle tension and assist blood and lymph flow, as well as eliminating all those nasty toxic build-ups in the body.
Good to know
Lomi Lomi originally refers to traditional Hawaiian food such as Lomi Lomi salmon. Prepared by kneading the ingredients with the fingers and hands to soften and marinade it, it’s this motion that’s used to soften the muscles in the body.