Lomilomi is used nowadays as the Hawaiian word for massage but directly translated from ancient Polynesia it means “The Loving Touch”. Lomilomi originates from the concept of Hawaiian Huna philosophy which has deep roots in bodywork and healing and was used by native healers as a restorative health practise. Lomilomi massage incorporates the Hawaiian concept of aloha which means love, unification and breath, and promotes personal harmony. This type of massage utilizes very large, broad movements with two-handed forearm, and elbow application of strokes, covering a broad area.
Because lomilomi was passed down in families, a number of styles of this massage exist, although in the USA Temple Style and Big Island massage (Auntie Margaret’s Style) are most common. Depending on your massage therapist, the session might begin with them placing their hands on you and remaining still for a few moments. They may ask you to breathe deeply to help you relax.
More of your body may be uncovered during this massage than during a typical massage because therapists work on more than one body part at a time. Long, free-flowing strokes can start at the top of your shoulder and go all the way to your foot. Although some therapists may use massage sheets in the usual way, just uncovering larger areas of your body at once or a small towel can be used. Gentle stretches and joint rotations are sometimes incorporated into the massage.
Lomilomi therapists are taught to focus on the massage with love and intention and to respect the sacredness of this ancient form of massage therapy. The traditional Hawaiian belief behind Lomilomi massage is that with loving hands a massage therapist can connect and work with a client to help them release not only physical tension, but also mental, emotional and spiritual blockages.