Looking at pictures of stunningly white sandy beaches with people having a Lomilomi massaged in the warmth of the sunny day, with a light ocean breeze rustling the palm tree leaves, its even more appealing on such a cold and wintery night.

The kind of Lomi Lomi you might find on a Spa menu is something far from the original.

In the book Na Mo’olelo Lomilomi: The Traditions of Hawaiian Massage and Healing by Makana Risser Chai,  they explain how Lomilomi is the traditional art of Hawaiian massage, an ancient practice that is renowned today for being a soothing, flowing, gentle, and relaxing experience. But to the healers of old Hawai‘i, lomilomi was much more.  As documented in the book through oral histories of native kahuna (priest doctors) who lived in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, lomilomi was connected to almost every aspect of Hawaiian life, from pregnancy and the birthing process to lua, the ancient Hawaiian martial art. Lomilomi includes heat and water therapies, chiropractic manipulation, bone setting, and ho‘’oponopono (counseling). It can cure the most common ailments, or bring someone back from the brink of death.

- picture credit to http://www.seabreezemassagelondon.com
Lomi lomi Massage in Hawaii

On Wikipedia it states ‘Many traditionally taught lomilomi practitioners find it virtually impossible to offer authentic lomilomi in a spa setting and are unwilling to work in most spas or massage offices. They prefer to treat selected clients quietly and privately, often in home settings. Lomilomi practitioners may also ask their clients to pray, meditate, change their diets, and engage in other self-help activities usually believed to lie outside the scope of massage in an effort to truly help the clients obtain optimal health.

Unlike traditional lomilomi kupuna (elder) recognized by the Hawaiian community who require students to study with them for years, some massage schools around the world purport to train therapists in lomilomi in a few hours and some massage therapists may incorporate techniques from other massage modalities during the session. While often pleasant, this style of massage which is now a common and popular massage modality throughout the world, especially in Hawaii, Japan, Europe and Australia, is very different from authentic lomilomi.”

I don’t doubt that even a shorter experience at a superficial level is effective in having some of the effects, although there’s no substitute for a truly authentic traditional treatment which truly is a mind, body and soul experience.