Lomi lomi is also known as the 'loving hands' massage. This name helps to explain its principles - the massage works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, allowing the recipient to relax and give in to the nurturing touch.
Lomi lomi works from the belief that memories are not just stored in the brain and mind, but also in every cell of the human body. The long, continuous strokes of the massage are designed to help the body let go of its old patterns and behaviours, which can cause as many stresses and strains as muscle tension.
'Lomi lomi' translates to 'rub rub' in Hawaiian, and reflects the broad, flowing strokes made with the therapist's fingers, thumbs, palms, arms and elbows.
Lomi lomi aims to treat the body and mind as one whole being. It is thought to:
Assist blood and lymph flow
Eliminate waste and stimulate toxins
Rejuvenate the body
Instil a sense of peace, harmony and wellbeing
The nature of lomi lomi means that you probably won't be able to wear very much so check with the spa about what you can bring. Bikini bottoms are usually OK - or the spa might even provide disposable paper pants - not a fashion item. Avoid eating heavy meals or drinking alcohol in the hours leading up to your massage.
Your therapist should ask you about your medical history before your treatment begins. It's important to tell them if you are - or think you may be - pregnant.
The Lomi lomi healing practice usually begins with a period of stillness between therapist and recipient, sometimes with the therapist's hands resting lightly on the recipient's back. During this moment of stillness, a traditional lomi lomi practitioner would say a blessing or prayer, asking for whatever healing is needed.
The therapist will work intuitively with your body, with fluid, rhythmic strokes to release and shift tensions.
Your massuese may make full-body or under-body strokes, lightly stretch your limbs and carefully rotate your joints. These techniques are thought to free up your energy flow, and she will perform them very gently, staying within your comfort zone and level of resistance.
You will feel blissfully relaxed after your Hawaiian massage, and nurtured from top to toe. Make time to wallow in the afterglow, and have a dip in the pool or a leisurely shower before you return to the real world. If you're lucky enough to be in Hawaii, why not sit yourself between sand and ocean and let the waves lap you into a deeper, warm, luxurious calm.