Aloha Friends: I am just back from some beautiful and lovely days in Hawaii and am so inspired and revitalized. It is here that I decided to create 2 wonderful new offerings/treatments. This first, Ancient Lomi Journey represents the culmination o all of me Healing Lomi work to date. It is how Lomi should be expereienced, unrushed, unplanned with ample time before and after to "talk story" and help process and embed the experience. I have allotted 2.5 to 3 hours as an estimate. It is not all table time but it is ll part of the experience. I hope you consider to undertake this Ke Ala Hoku (Pathway to the Stars) with me
Ancient Lomi Lomi Journey
This healing work, from Hawai'i is the embodiment of self care and the love of Aloha. Ancient Lomi Lomi is a flowing, magical treatment which facilitates a lifting and release of emotional and conceptual reality layers, allowing a deeper inner awareness to arise. Limiting beliefs, thoughts and emotions - manifested in patterns of physical holding - are shaken loose by the deeper movement of wholeness emerging. These impactful energies are released in to the sphere of acceptance allowing one to feel and begin to respond to life from a place of more freedom and balance. We are reconnected to our own essence and thereby awakened to the positive energy of all that surrounds us. Every Lomi journey is different; how it unfolds is unique to each person, and different each time it is experienced. The ancient lineage, energetic touch, breath, movement, music and the core intention of Aloha combine to deliver a fluid and truly unforgettable body, or "out of body" experience of profound relaxation, calm, inner peace and joy, resulting in a renewed mind-body balance.
Sessions are 2.5 to 3 hours in length and include time to discuss your goals and objectives prior, ritual pi kai, pule, and time to "talk story" or process and discuss your experience after.
The second treatment is called Subtle Body Journey. Again, for those who have experienced my work, this is really an extension and variation of my Swedish massage treatment - with more of an intention and a connection to invite you to "discover" your own body through touch. This work helps to create and strengthen your own mind/body connection.
Subtle Body Journey - Holistic Kauhuna Bodywork Embark on a slow, methodical exploration of the subtle structures of your body. Get in touch with your diaphragm, belly, jaw, neck, limbs, feet, hands and head through gentle holds, relaxed stretches, slow breathing and gliding touch. This work can be customized to your individual needs, goals and/or chief concerns.
I invite you to come and try both of these wonderful one of a kind touch experiences for yourself.
~ with Aloha
What Does lomilomi actually mean? What is the direct translation?
As an earnest practitioner of this technique, I became interested in what the term actually means. I have myself in earlier posts attempted to offer my thoughts but it turns out, after much research, the the reality is less clear. A search of the internet reveals no shortage of sites offering a "translation". Many massage therapists who offer or claim to offer lomi massage almost always include a definition of some type. Many with such authority you would think it could have been found written on stone tablets some 5,000 years ago.
The truth, contrary to much of what is written, is we are not sure. There is a common understanding that today, in the modern world, (2018 as I write this) LomiLomi has come to mean "Hawaiian Massage" or "Loving Touch". Lomi Lomi in a very diluted form is offered in spas and hotels and massage practices all over. It is offered in Hawaii and as well in other parts of the world. As well, there are a number of dedicated practitioners who offer a more pure form of Lomi. Although I am not Hawaiian, I consider myself to be a part of this group because my interest is pure and genuine and my search for knowledge and learning is ever ongoing. Separate from a discussion about the work itself, and a history of the work, this post is simply about the term.
Because the Hawaiian language is an oral language, there are no early texts upon which to research. The Hawaiian language was first codified and written down by English missionaries in the 18th century, thus every aspect of the written language is quite modern; a western interpretation of what these early missionaries heard.
The timeline of Hawaii can be roughly divided into 2 eras, Pre contact and post contact. In pre-contact Hawaii, all knowledge, language, learning was oral. Upon arrival of Captain Cook in 1778, we first read Hawaiian words.
Captain James King, who arrived with Captain Cook in 1779 observed LomiLomi in his journal, but did not give it a name. The first documented use of the word "Lomi" was found in the account of surgeon and naturalist Archibald Menzies, who accompanied Captain Vancouver in 1794. Vancouver himself used the Tahitian word RumiRumi (he spelled it roome roome).
Among early native Hawaiian historians, the fist use of the word appears to be by David Malo, writing sometime between 1835 and 1858. In 1865 it appears in a dictionary by Lorrin Andrews as follows: LomiLomi: 1. A rubbing, pressing 2. The servant whose business it was to take care of the spittle and excrements of the chief.
Hardly the stuff of a glorified spa visit!
In contrast, however are numerous early foreign historians who give accounts of Lomi Lomi as a wonderful rubbing or massage and or to the person administering the massage, such as this one by James Jackson Jarves writing in 1843; "Servants who were especially trained in LomiLomi - a luxurious kneading or shampooing (from the Hindi word Champo for massage), and stretching and cracking of the joints (bonework), exceedingly pleasant withal, and operating as a gentle and refreshing exercise.
Other terms such as HamoHamo which was described as "to rub oil on the skin, to massage the muscles. And iwikuamo 'o as "to tread on the back. It is interesting that this word when spoken can sound a bit similar to hamohamo.
Is it possible then that over time, as this beautiful Hawaiian language was growing dim and recorded in various journals that Lomi Lomi was the only term that people remembered? or the term that survived, and that originally it was once a term that described something similar or related but not identical to the work we do today??
There you have it! That combined with research into the ancient arts of Hawaiian healing and martial arts have allowed us to piece together a picture of a comprehensive wellness treatment that was "exceedingly pleasant withal, and operating as a gentle and refreshing exercise.".
The definitive Hawaiian Dictionary, first published only as recently as 1956 but is still in use today defines lomi as massage. and lomilomi as a reduplicate of same.
So it is in this that I leave you - the origins of the term are interesting, yes, but not so special as to obscure the history and the origins of the work itself, which has been done and passed on for generations, morphing I am certain along the way but today being administered by a select group of dedicated practitioners, in the best way that they know how, with the best of intention, and with all the knowledge they posses which has been handed down to them from teacher to teacher, back to to the ancients.
updated 10/2017 with resources
This post is dedicated to a friend and fellow therapist, Barbara Heard, who has had the passion and dedication and courage to lead the way to normalize full chest and breast massage, de-sexulize it and make or keep this work legal in her state, and other states, Her mission is to properly educates the public, therapists and public officials about why this work is important. First and foremost, what is full chest and breast massage? It is not sexual, in fact it is exactly the opposite,
When receiving full chest massage done with professional, neutral, totally non sexual touch one has the most amazing holistic experience of feeling their chest as an integrated part of their body. Full chest massage on men is very common but discouraged or assumed to be sexualized on women, in America mostly,
Massage of the anterior chest wall is effective treatment for injuries to the chest, shoulders and neck. Full chest massage with pressure applied to the muscles deep to the breast tissue with consistent firm flow over the rib cage helps both tone and relax the chest muscles as needed, just as happens when we massage the muscles on the posterior rib cage, or other parts of the body. The effect is to enliven the rib cage so that it gives better support to the shoulders and neck, which relieves tension and discomfort in these areas and assists in treating neck and shoulder injuries.
Massage of the anterior chest wall and breasts facilitates experiencing one's breasts as a normal and natural part of our bodies.
By encouraging easy breathing, releasing tension in the muscles and bones located in the chest, and encouraging healthy flow of blood and lymph, chest and breast massage can support overall physical wellness, as well as mental, emotional and spiritual well being. It is effective as part of treatment protocol for shoulder and neck injuries.
Breast massage with a treatment focus
Breast massage can also effectively treat conditions such as scar tissue, lymphedema and other cancer related issues, recovery from mastectomy, recovery from breast reduction or breast augmentation procedures, problems with lactation, and swelling related to cycles.
Reclaiming an often lost natural connection to parts of the body
Informed Consent / Supporting public safety: You always have the right and the responsibility to direct any therapist not to massage any part of your body which you prefer to be avoided. The informed consent protocol designed by Barbara includes a full detailed explanation and written detailed consent. This is designed to support public safely by preventing incidents in which clients receive unwanted touch. It is not universal, as not all states allow for this work, but where it is legal, the protocol should be applauded and adopted. It removes shame, keeps the client in control and promulgates the idea that the human body is normal, in all shapes and sizes.
For more information on Barbara's work click here
For a European perspective click here
Interested in learning more? Check out these resources
Chest & Breast Massage Resources
online articles & websites
Breast Wellness: article by Debra Curties, published in 2003 in ABMP magazine. ~ Debra Curties is a well respected author in the field of breast massage education. She is the author of the book entitled Breast Massage. Debra lives and works in Canada.
Breast Massage: article by Kellum Johnson ~ how to do breast massage, along with some insightful comments. Kellum Johnson is a massage therapist licensed in Texas.
Breast Massage Therapy: information on website of Tony Ruggeiro in Texas ~ summary of benefits of breast massage, and more. Tony Ruggeiro is a massage therapist in Greensville, South Carolina
Breast Massage Good for Mothers Before and After Delivery: article by Phyllis Hanlon, published in 2013 in Massage Magazine. Phyllis Hanlon is a professional author and frequent contributor of articles in Massage Magazine.
Breast Massage from a Massage Therapist: Have you considered it?: article by Pam Fitchner in WHOlife, Wholeness & Wellness Journal of Saskatchewan, Canada. Pam Fitchner is a massage therapist in Saskatoon, Canada. She also facilitates workshops on breast and belly and complementary health.
A series of blogs articles on breast care and massage: article by Aristide M. LaVey in the Massagewallah blog. Aristide M. LaVey is a massage therapist who practices in Los Angeles, CA.
Breast Massage: on the Brink of Understanding? article by Karrie Mowen (Osborn) in the ABMP website, first published in 2001. Karrie Mowen is/was a contributing editor of the ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Female Breast Massage for Better Health: article by Nancy L. Ring on an ABMP supported website, published in 2009. Nancy L. Ring is a massage therapist in Cornell, Michigan.
Desexualizing the Touch Experience – A Proactive Approach: article by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, published in Massage Today. Cherie Sohnen-Moe is a highly respected massage therapy educator.
Innate Traditions, postpartum care: an organization offering training on postpartum care for women, a holistic system of care which honors women's physiological design. Rachelle Garcia Seliga’s work is dedicated to midwifing a cultural shift that honors innate wisdom, personal authority and the sanctity of Life.
Breastnotes.com: BreastNotes.com was created to help people to understand the breast: its development and growth patterns, its function and purpose, its role in various societies, its care, and its problems. It has information about going without a bra, health practices, cancer and lots more. One could spend days reading this fascinating website!
Post Surgical Therapy for Mastectomy and Implants an article by Paul Lewis on the Massage Therapy Canada website.
The Happy Breast Book by Cheryl Chapman
Breast Massage by Debra Curties
Therapeutic Breast Massage 1hour 48 minute DVD by Meade Steadman, published by Aesthetic Video Source.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 2+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for both men and women.
short video by Barbara Helynn Heard: this 3+ minute video on YouTube demonstrates how I massage the chest as part of a fullbody, wellness focused massage for women.
Abhyanga Ayurvedic Massage: this 2+ minute video introduces a full body Ayurvedic massage which integrates the full chest into the treatment.
Ayurvedic Massage at Indian Spa: This video shows the chest and abdomen being massaged as an integrated whole starting at 12:45.
Breast Self Massage In this brief, how-to video, Aubrey Lesicki, BS, LMT, teaches the PHAST technique of breast self-massage. The PHAST breast self-massage technique is a quick, simple way to manage your breast care, improving breast circulation as well as the quality of the tissue texture.
Phluff Your Girls and the Happy Breast Book with Cheryl Chapman: Cheryl Chapman is a breast health advocate & teacher & lectures on breast health nationally.
short video showing movement of diaphragm a YouTube video
Video showing full Breast Massage
Another Video showing full Breast Massage
This article was written from and excerpts taken with permission from Barbara Heard
"Flying" or "Ka'aleleau".
Curious as to where the fluidity and graceful motions of Lomi come from?
Lomi practitioners practice a form of moving meditation called "Flying" or "Ka'aleleau". This is what it looks like. CLICK HERE
Ka'aleleau, the 'Flying', is a meditation inspired by the flight of the Iwa-Birds. It serves to bring our 'mana', our energy, so that we can find ourselves in our equilibrium and unfold completely free. Flying also forms the basis for the smoothness of our movements. When we transfer it into touch, it is felt as a wonderful flowing strokes.
To give to ourselves while we are fully tracking the state of connectedness with the 'Ohana', the family, everything surrounding us. We call it ALOHA, universal love. Enjoy the day!
What to Expect During a Lomi Massage
What is Lomi Lomi Massage?
This is a minor update of a prior post re posted here due to the number of inquiries about Lomi massage and what to expect. The original posts may be found here , here , and here
Massage therapy is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing. Lomi Lomi is one of the most profound forms of massage. So, what makes it so special, what is it, how does it differ from other massage, how does it "work"?
I'm often asked what Lomi Lomi means. The meaning of the words Lomi Lomi in some sense have been lost to time, and are so misquoted on the internet it is hard to keep track!
Because the ancient Hawaiian language was a spoken one, and not written, there are few references to Lomi, prior to the arrival of western missionaries. However for purposes of simplicity, lets just assume that in today's understanding Lomi Lomi might best be translated as "loving touch". But loving not in the sense of romantic love, but in the sense of Aloha. I will write more on Aloha and the history of the word in another post, but suffice to say that Lomi was commonly practiced in families, children on parents, parents on children, and for royalty. It was a part of healing and was also a part or relaxation. Repeating a word in Hawaiian merely emphasizes the meaning. More on this if you are interested.
However, today, what Lomi Lomi is a unique healing massage derived from the ancient Polynesians and more specifically the master healers of Hawaii. True Lomi Lomi has other components of healing, such as knowledge of herbs and natural remedies, but again, this being today, the focus of this post is really to describe the bodywork experience and environment.
However, Lomi, for me, is more than a technique. It is a life style and a journey to know one's self on a deeper level
To understand the depth of Lomi Lomi massage, it helps to have an understanding of the Hawaiian philosophy called Huna, and how the philosophies of Huna relate to bodywork and healing.
A fundamental assumption of Huna is that everything seeks harmony and everything seeks love. So how does this relate to massage? Perhaps this can best be understood by taking the concept of "Loving Touch". The reason for this is that it works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, totally nurturing the body and, enabling the recipient to relax, give in and simply be. So while technique is a part of the massage, much of the work is done by intuition, and feeling, with the focus of the practitioner on the client being deep and complete, using loving hands and a loving heart.
This flowing with total energy, using the long continuous fluid strokes, combined with the very loving touch, relaxes the entire being, assisting in a letting go of old beliefs, patterns and behaviors.
The Hawaiians look at things in terms of energy flow, following the idea that an idea or belief can block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. Lomi Lomi helps release the blockages, Thus Lomi Lomi is not just a physical experience; it also facilitates healing on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels as well. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the "whole" self - when healing is effected on one level, all levels are affected. This is balance. True balance.
What happens during a Lomi Lomi Massage?
So, what happens during a Lomi Lomi massage? How is it performed?
Every Lomi session begins with pule (Prayer) and intention. For me, a simple intention would be "Lomi begins when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. I ask myself, how can I contribute?" Alternatively or as well, the client may be asked to set their intention for any healing they would like to receive.
There is a stillness between the practitioner and client - often with the practitioners hands gently resting on the clients back. In this stillness the practitioner will quietly say a chant or prayer asking for whatever healing is needed to take place during the massage.
The Lomi Lomi practitioner then works very intuitively with the client. In this respect there is no set format or sequence for the massage and no two massages will ever be identical.
The massage is given in fluid, rhythmic motion using the forearms as well as the hands. Some people have described this as feeling like gentle waves moving over the body. Another feature is that different parts of the body may be massaged at the same time, for example one arm or hand may be working on a shoulder and the other hand may be working on the opposite hip. This assists the recipient in totally relaxing as it is impossible or at least extremely difficult for the brain to focus on the two different areas at once. By not working on areas in isolation a deep sense of balance and harmony is achieved. The client on the table is not viewed as someone to be fixed, but a being to be returned to harmony and balance. It is important to remember that Lomi does not seek to "fix" any specific thing, but in working on the entire being, the idea is that any specific issue will have been addressed.
What to Expect
Your Lomi experience will take place in a comforting, calm, clean well-heated space.
Hand blended aromatherapy oils, and a combination of music will allow you to be carried away by this wavelike massage.
It’s about being present and supportive and encouraging deep breath. There is generous use of warm oils. So dress and plan accordingly for when you leave.
A word about draping - Lomi draping is often shown on the internet as very minimal. It is true that for some of the strokes more of the body is exposed than in Swedish or Sports massage, however draping is always respectful, and in compliance with local rules. Traditionally, the chest is uncovered briefly for both women and men, for some of the front of the body strokes. No part of the body is ever unnecessarily exposed and is not for titillating purposes but for access. Further, when lying prone (face down) the legs are positioned to the outside of the table to relieve any pressure on the feet or ankles, as no bolster is used.
For those who have questions or concerns about the draping, it can always be modified to satisfy the concerns of the client. Lomi can even be done fully clothed! It is a different experience to be sure but Lomi is about the touch, its about the connection, not the amount of exposure. You must have trust between the practitioner and the client to be able to fully "let go" and to allow for complete relaxation.
For those who feel only "deep" work is true massage, I simply offer that Lomi is less invasive but no less effective. Poetically described, "Lomi, in essence, is like floating on a raft in a peaceful lake. You are invited to deeply relax and release stress, to clear my mind and allow yourself to simply be in the moment."
For many who come and experience Lomi for the first time, they often describe it as "the best massage experience ever".
Lomi Lomi is a feast for the senses,
I invite you to try this unique experience for yourself and to make it a regular part of your life, not simply a one time luxury.
A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.