Lomi Lomi massage, also known simply as “Lomi,” is a traditional Hawaiian massage therapy that employs a combination of massage techniques, nut oils, and sometimes elements of prayer, breathing, and dance to restore energy and soothe the body. It’s often termed the “loving hands” massage because of the unique flowing strokes made with the therapist’s fingers, thumbs, palms, arms, and elbows. Here’s what you need to know about Lomi Lomi massage:
Origins and Philosophy:
Lomi Lomi originates from the spiritual traditions of the native Hawaiians. For them, the massage was more than just a physical experience. It was seen as a ritual that was part of a larger practice of healing and connection.
The philosophy behind Lomi Lomi revolves around achieving harmony in the body and the mind. By working out physical tension and facilitating relaxation, the therapist helps the client to let go of negative thoughts, emotions, and energies.
Unlike some other massage methods that focus on isolated strokes and specific focus points, Lomi Lomi is characterized by long, flowing strokes often running the entire length of the body in one continuous motion.
Therapists often use their forearms and elbows in addition to their hands to apply pressure and incorporate rhythmic, wave-like movements.
Some versions of Lomi Lomi (especially the traditional ones) involve abdominal massage which is believed to center the spirit and emotions.
Preparation and Ambience:
A Lomi Lomi session might begin with a moment of stillness between the therapist and the client, sometimes accompanied by a shared prayer or intention-setting.
Music and ambiance play a role in the Lomi Lomi experience. Traditional Hawaiian music or nature sounds are often played to enhance relaxation and the spiritual aspect of the massage.
Uses and Benefits:
Lomi Lomi can be therapeutic for various physical pains and strains, but its more significant impact might be in its holistic approach to healing, addressing the mind, body, and soul.
It helps in relieving stress, improving circulation, enhancing relaxation, and increasing flexibility.
Differences from Other Massages:
One of the primary differences between Lomi Lomi and other massage techniques is its holistic approach. It isn’t just about relieving physical tension; it’s about restoring balance in the body and mind.
The continual flow and full-body strokes differ from more compartmentalized approaches seen in Swedish or deep tissue massage.
Training and Learning:
While there are many courses around the world that teach Lomi Lomi massage techniques, truly mastering the art often involves delving into the cultural and spiritual aspects of Hawaiian traditions.
As with any massage, if you have medical conditions or concerns, consult with your doctor before booking a Lomi Lomi session. Also, communicate openly with your massage therapist about your comfort level and any boundaries you have.
Lomi Lomi offers more than just physical relaxation. It’s a holistic experience aimed at harmonizing the body, mind, and soul. If you’re looking for a deeply nurturing massage, Lomi Lomi might be worth exploring.
Compare Lomi Lomi Massage with Swedish Massage
Both Lomi Lomi and Swedish massages are popular modalities aimed at promoting relaxation and well-being. However, there are distinct differences in their origins, techniques, and overall philosophies. Here’s a comparison:
Lomi Lomi: As mentioned earlier, Lomi Lomi is a traditional Hawaiian massage. Its roots lie in the ancient Hawaiian philosophy of living in harmony with nature and oneself.
Swedish Massage: This is one of the most widely practiced massage techniques worldwide. It was developed in the 19th century by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling, although the techniques used today have evolved significantly from his original system.
Lomi Lomi: The massage uses flowing, rhythmic motions, often with the therapist using not just their hands but also their forearms, elbows, and sometimes even knees and feet. The strokes are generally larger and cover more of the body at once.
Swedish Massage: Swedish massage is characterized by five basic strokes: effleurage (long, gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading of the muscles), friction (circular pressures), tapotement (percussive tapping), and vibration. The strokes are more structured and specific than in Lomi Lomi.
Lomi Lomi: This massage is deeply rooted in Hawaiian spirituality and the concept of ‘mana’ (life force energy). It’s often seen as a holistic method to restore harmony in the body, mind, and spirit.
Swedish Massage: The primary goal of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. It’s often considered more of a Western or scientific approach to massage, focusing on anatomy and physical well-being.
Ambiance and Preparation:
Lomi Lomi: A session might begin with a moment of stillness, prayer, or intention-setting. Traditional Hawaiian music or nature sounds often accompany the massage.
Swedish Massage: Generally, calming and ambient music plays in the background, but there’s less emphasis on ritual or cultural elements.
Lomi Lomi: In some traditional forms, the client might be minimally draped to allow for the flowing strokes covering larger portions of the body. It emphasizes continuity and flow.
Swedish Massage: The client is typically draped with a sheet, with only the portion of the body being worked on exposed.
Lomi Lomi: The pressure can vary, but the focus is on the continuous flow and rhythm, aligning with the body’s natural energy.
Swedish Massage: Pressure can range from light to firm, depending on the client’s preference and therapist’s technique.
Lomi Lomi: Beyond physical relaxation, Lomi Lomi addresses emotional and spiritual well-being, aiming to restore balance in all aspects of the individual.
Swedish Massage: Primary benefits include increased circulation, relaxation, easing muscle tension, and improved range of motion.
In summary, while both Lomi Lomi and Swedish massages aim to promote relaxation and well-being, they differ in their techniques, philosophies, and cultural roots. Your choice between the two might depend on whether you’re looking for a more spiritual and holistic experience (Lomi Lomi) or a structured, anatomy-focused session (Swedish).
Compare Lomi Lomi massage to Deep Tissue Massage
Lomi Lomi and Deep Tissue massage are both forms of therapeutic bodywork, but they have distinct objectives, techniques, and benefits. Here’s a comparison to help distinguish between the two:
Lomi Lomi: Originating from Hawaii, Lomi Lomi is deeply rooted in Hawaiian traditions and spirituality. It embodies the Hawaiian philosophy of balance, harmony, and connection with nature and oneself.
Deep Tissue: Developed in the West, Deep Tissue massage is rooted in modern anatomy and physiology. Its main goal is to alleviate chronic muscle tension and treat musculoskeletal issues.
Lomi Lomi: This massage uses long, flowing strokes often encompassing the entire body. The therapist uses not only their hands but also forearms, elbows, and sometimes even knees and feet. It emphasizes rhythm, continuous motion, and an intuitive feel of the body.
Deep Tissue: This massage targets the inner layers of muscles, tendons, and fascia. Therapists use slow strokes and deep, focused pressure to release chronic tension. They may employ their knuckles, elbows, and forearms to apply deep pressure to specific areas.
Lomi Lomi: Beyond just physical relaxation, Lomi Lomi seeks to harmonize the body, mind, and spirit. It’s a holistic method that looks to clear both physical and energetic pathways.
Deep Tissue: The focus is primarily on addressing specific physical issues, like chronic muscle pain, stiffness, or injury recovery. It seeks to improve structural alignment and physical function.
Purpose and Benefits:
Lomi Lomi: While it can help with muscle tension and circulation, Lomi Lomi’s broader aim is to restore balance and harmony in the body and mind. It can be a deeply nurturing and spiritual experience.
Deep Tissue: This massage is particularly beneficial for those with chronic tension or muscle pain, such as from repetitive strain, posture issues, or recovery from injuries. It aims to break up scar tissue, alleviate muscle knots, and improve range of motion.
Lomi Lomi: The pressure can vary, but the emphasis is on the fluidity and rhythm of the strokes.
Deep Tissue: As the name suggests, the pressure is generally deep and intense. It’s specifically designed to penetrate the deeper layers of muscle and fascia.
Lomi Lomi: The client might be minimally draped to allow for continuous, flowing strokes over larger areas of the body.
Deep Tissue: Draping is typically more standard, with only the area being worked on exposed. The work is more localized to specific problem areas.
Pain and Discomfort:
Lomi Lomi: Generally, Lomi Lomi is a relaxing experience, though there might be moments of discomfort if the therapist addresses tension areas.
Deep Tissue: Given its focus on deeper layers of muscle, some discomfort or pain can be expected during or after a session. However, a good therapist will always communicate with the client to ensure the pressure is tolerable.
In summary, while Lomi Lomi offers a holistic experience focusing on overall harmony and balance, Deep Tissue massage zeroes in on resolving deep-seated muscle tension and structural issues. The choice between them will depend on an individual’s needs and preferences.
How to accommodate Lomi Lomi massage in to couples massage?
Accommodating Lomi Lomi massage into a couples massage can be a beautiful experience for couples looking to bond, relax, and share in a holistic therapeutic experience together. Here’s a step-by-step approach to integrating the two:
Ensure the massage space is large enough to comfortably accommodate two massage tables side-by-side with enough room for therapists to move around freely.
The environment should be calm and serene, possibly with Hawaiian or soothing nature sounds to enhance the Lomi Lomi experience.
Ideally, both therapists should have experience with Lomi Lomi so that both members of the couple receive similar treatment.
Prior to the session, therapists can discuss and synchronize their approach to ensure a harmonious experience for the couple.
Begin with a shared moment of silence or a brief Hawaiian prayer for both members of the couple. This can create an atmosphere of unity and connection.
Encourage the couple to set an intention for their massage, whether it’s to deepen their bond, relax, or heal.
Simultaneous Start and Finish:
Both therapists can start the massage at the same time, ensuring that the couple enters and exits the relaxation experience together.
The continuous flow and rhythm of Lomi Lomi can be mirrored between the two therapists to further enhance synchronization.
Incorporate Shared Elements:
Introduce some shared elements into the massage session. For example, halfway through the session, the couple could hold hands for a few moments, further deepening their connection.
At times, the therapists can use similar strokes or techniques simultaneously, allowing the couple to feel a shared rhythmic experience.
After the massage, offer the couple a moment to lie still, absorb the experience, and connect with each other’s energy.
Provide a shared space for relaxation post-massage, perhaps with some calming tea, where they can sit, reflect, and enjoy the afterglow of the massage together.
Feedback and Connection:
After the session, give the couple a chance to share their experiences with each other and the therapists. This can help in deepening their connection and understanding of each other’s feelings and experiences.
Customize as Needed:
While the above offers a general approach, always be ready to customize the experience based on the couple’s specific needs and desires. Some couples may prefer more individualized experiences, while others might want more shared elements.
Incorporating Lomi Lomi into a couples massage can make for a profound shared experience. The emphasis on balance, harmony, and connection in Lomi Lomi naturally complements the bond shared by couples.
How much does Lomi Lomi massage cost?
The cost of a Lomi Lomi massage varies widely based on several factors:
Geographic Location: The cost can significantly vary from one region to another. For instance, a Lomi Lomi massage in a metropolitan area or at a luxury spa resort in Hawaii will typically cost more than one in a smaller town or a less tourist-centric region.
Duration: Lomi Lomi sessions can range from 60 minutes to several hours. Naturally, longer sessions will cost more. Most commonly, sessions are 60 or 90 minutes long.
Reputation and Experience of the Therapist: Highly experienced therapists or those with a strong reputation or special certification in Lomi Lomi may charge more than those without.
Setting and Amenities: Upscale spa resorts or wellness centers that offer additional amenities such as saunas, hot tubs, or relaxation lounges might charge more than a standalone therapist. The ambiance, decor, and additional services offered can also influence the price.
Inclusions: Some Lomi Lomi massages might include specialty oils, hot stones, or other complementary therapies which can affect the price.
Travel Fees: If a therapist is offering mobile services where they come to your home or lodging, there might be an additional fee for travel.
A typical 60-minute Lomi Lomi massage in the United States could range from $70 to $150 or more, with prices higher in luxurious settings or popular spa destinations.