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Massage Hawaiian Style: Some Basics You Should Know about Lomi Lomi Bodywork

Imagine the lush beauty of the natural landscape, stunning ocean and beaches, and tropical aura that we associate with the Hawaiian islands.

Now, add bodywork practiced with slow, intentionally “loving” strokes, which engages multiple areas of your body at once — and perhaps administered by two massage therapists. Add to this the components of aromatherapy, music, and herbal applications. 

The result is what is called “Lomi Lomi” massage in Hawaii — a therapy traditionally passed down through generations of a family, kept from Western practitioners until the 1970s. 

Read more to learn about Lomi Lomi, a distinctly Hawaiian massage form that is considered a spiritual as well as physical therapy among its practitioners.


Image courtesy of: Cronenberg1978

Just about every culture across the globe and down through time has had some form of bodywork as part of their therapeutic treatments, and the native Hawaiians were no different. But unlike many other traditional healing practices that got shared between cultures kept this therapeutic massage technique to themselves until very recently.  Instruction in lomi lomi was passed down within the family unit and used by the family to care for one another.  A child would be selected who showed favorable birth signs, temperament, and other elements. Training by a tribal elder might begin as early as age 5 and would continue for a lifetime.

In the native Hawaiian language, lomi lomi can mean both the massage therapist as well as the technique.  

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