A couple of clients have asked me about Chi Nei Tsang, and am I experienced in this work. I am familiar with aspects of TCM, (Traditional Chinese Medicine), but because I was unfamiliar with this, I decided to investigate - to how if at all it shares any similarities, goals or methods of touch with Lomi Lomi.
What is Chi Nei Tsang?
Chi Nei Tsang is a centuries-old variety of healing touch therapy from China. It focuses on gentle abdominal massage in order to “train” the internal abdominal organs to work more efficiently, which in turn is said to improve physical and emotional health.
The words "Chi Nei Tsang" roughly translated mean "to work the energy of the internal organs” Practitioners adhere to the belief that unresolved emotional issues are stored in the digestive system.
Chi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese, or Mana in Hawaiian all translate to the inner life force or inner strength..
It is believed that Chi, the life-force energy, moves through the body’s internal channels, nervous system, blood vessels, and lymph glands. Tensions, worries, and stresses of the day, month, or year accumulate and are seldom dispersed. The result is the gradual obstruction of energy circulation, which may lead to any number of maladies including, but not limited to, indigestion, constipation, bloating, insomnia, whole body toxicity, poor skin quality, and an inability to lose weight.
The ancient Taoists realized that negative emotions cause serious damage to one’s health, impairing both physical and spiritual functions. They understood that each human emotion is an expression of energy and that certain emotions could indicate the negative energy behind many physical ailments. They also identified a specific cycle of relationships between the emotions and the organs. For example, the experience of a “knot” in one’s stomach indicated the presence of worry, the negative emotion that accumulates in the stomach and spleen.
Whereas I am not trained in this work, I can not speak to it beyond what I have read - however I do find similarities to the work that I am trained in, specifically Lomi Lomi.
Abdominal massage is an integral component of Lomi Lomi. For many it is their first experience with touch on the belly. This is a personal and emotional center on people, but without exception every one of my clients who has received it has enjoyed it.
Why is it so important to Lomi ?
Lomi lomi is thought to have started as a method of aiding in digestion. Its true, Hawaiian Royalty, after consuming large quantities of food would have a special servant Lomi Lomi their belly to aid in the digestion process. From there as the practice spread beyond the palace to villages and family, it was taken on by the kahunas of medicine and refined to address other physical and mental issues. A combination of observation, touch and medicinal herbs constituted successful medical practice. Later missionaries who arrived on Hawaii observed that Lomi Lomi was a remarkably relaxing experience that also induced calm and helped with sleep.
There are similarities between the beliefs and practices of many early cultures. So while I cannot speak to the claims of Chi Nei Tsang, and in general I refrain from exaggerated claims of any type when it comes to bodywork, I can tell you from observation that abdominal massage when incorporated into tradition or Lomi work has positive effects on peoples sense of well being. Abdominal work is always a choice, is is part of my regular intake. If you never tried, consider it as part of your next massage.
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.
Ke Ala Hoku – Pathway to the Stars
If you're new to whole body healing, I would like to invite you to consider experiencing this journey for yourself.
All styles of Lomi massage integrate some form of movement, chant (mele), prayers (pule) as well as the core intention of aloha.
Aloha is one of the most misunderstood words. Most people consider it or use it as a greeting, like hello. However, Aloha like many Hawaiian words can have multiple and deeper meanings. It can be used as a greeting but is also a word of love. Not in the sense of romantic love. But in the sense of happiness, contentment, acceptance.
ALOHA — to love is to be happy with
Love is such a powerful state of consciousness. When love is experienced, it is a feeling that requires something to be happy about. It can be a physical manifestation of energy such as a person, tree, etc. or it may be completely subtle and nonphysical such as the love for existence. This requirement of having something else be a part of the love equation, demonstrates the interconnectedness with all that is.
Love is fundamental to the healing process; acceptance is fundamental to the healing process. To accept; to be happy with; to embrace; to create harmony – is aloha. You don’t need to agree with someone on a personality level, however offering acceptance for who they are and for yourself in relation to them will create harmony and allow for the natural flow of healing energy and love.
Working with intention, the giver uses intuition and breath work to connect the mind, body and spirit during this massage. The form is fluid and rhythmic, using deep and gentle flowing strokes with the forearms, connecting the giver and receiver in a beautiful “dance.”
These patterns create an immense outpouring of energy, lulling the receiver into a deep meditative state of bliss. The focus is on quieting the mind of its chatter, letting go and allowing your deepest Self to receive unconditionally.
Each journey is unique, each transformation is nurturing and enlightening when you remain open to receiving. Some clients experience a complete sensation of "nothingness". This is great!
For others it is a powerful release of pent up emotions – this is also normal and beautiful. Modern life is stressful, and the demands placed upon people build up, and over time become toxic.
For many, they describe it as a wave that carries them away. If you reach this deep restorative state, it is wonderful - this is what Kahu Abraham Kawai'i and indeed other Hawaiians refer to as Ke Ala Hoku, or "Pathway to the Stars".
To be able to allow yourself to attain that deep state of tranquil meditation and receive healing from head to toe is a not a common theme within our culture and modern living.
Here's what others have said about this beautiful work:
"I wish you could teach classes in my area. This work is just amazing and absolutely worth the drive."
"What ever you've learned here is truly a sacred thing. I am honored to be on your table each and every time."
"If I had to use one word to describe the experience it would be; magical, thank you”
Are you ready for your own journey of Ke Ala Hoku ?
"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!
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.