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What is Lomi Lomi Massage?

What Is Lomi Lomi Massage?

If you're wondering "what is Lomi Lomi massage?" you're not the only one.

This blog post will guide you through its rich history, unique practices, and incredible benefits for body and mind rejuvenation.

Let's dive into the world of Lomi Lomi.

Defining Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi Lomi massage is a healing art from the Hawaiian culture.

Lomi Lomi, in Hawaiian culture, extends beyond the physical act of massage, symbolizing a deeper process of healing and transformation that integrates physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects.

A massage therapist provides Lomi Lomi massage in a tropical garden.

This type of massage is unique because it covers more than just your muscles.

It reaches deep into your spirit, encouraging harmony and giving love with every stroke.

In Lomi Lomi massage, therapists predominantly use their palms, forearms, and fingers, with techniques that may vary, incorporating a holistic approach to engage the body and spirit.

They work gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous flowing strokes.

Their loving touch relaxes not just the physical body but also soothes the emotional level for deep healing.

In Lomi Lomi, the body is treated with reverence and care, viewed as a sacred vessel that requires nurturing and respectful attention.

Historical Background of Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi lomi massage has deep roots in ancient Hawaii.

It was more than a healing practice; it was part of native Hawaiian healing traditions rooted in the belief that health is a balance of mind, body, and spirit.

A traditional lomi lomi massage hut surrounded by lush greenery.

Healers known as kahunas performed these massages with prayer and intention, aiming to restore harmony within an individual.

The introduction of Western influences, including missionaries, challenged traditional Hawaiian practices like Lomi Lomi, often leading to conflicts between cultural beliefs.

They pushed for laws against these customs. The legal restrictions imposed in the late 19th century, including an 1886 ban, significantly hindered the open practice of Hawaiian healing arts, including Lomi Lomi.

But despite this, lomi lomi survived quietly through generations thanks to the dedication of practitioners who kept their methods and knowledge alive until they could legally resume them again after regulation by the Board of Massage established in 1947.

Techniques Used in Lomi Lomi Massage

Diving into its historical roots, Lomi Lomi massage carries a rich tradition that shapes its unique techniques.

A couple receiving Lomi Lomi massage on a tropical beach.

Hawaiian healers crafted this massage style to restore balance and health.

  • Rhythmic Strokes: A masseuse uses long, flowing movements with their forearms and hands. This helps create a sense of relaxation.
  • Joint Rotations: Gentle stretching and rotating of the body's joints encourage flexibility.
  • Abdomen Massage: Rubbing the belly area is common to promote digestive health.
  • Spine Movements: The therapist focuses on the spine with specific strokes to aid movement.
  • Breathing Techniques: Both the person getting massaged and the masseur use deep breaths. This keeps energy moving during the session.
  • Oils for Smoothness: High-quality oils like coconut or macadamia oil let hands glide over skin easily.
  • Full Body Focus: The massage covers all areas for thorough care.

Comparing Lomi Lomi Massage to Other Types

While there are various methods to soothe and heal the body,

Lomi Lomi massage stands out with its unique approach that differs significantly from modalities like Swedish or deep tissue massage.

A massage practitioner performing Lomi Lomi massage on a Hawaiian beach.

Discover how this traditional Hawaiian technique diverges in both philosophy and practice from other popular types of massage therapy.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage digs into the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue to release chronic muscle tension.

Just like Lomi Lomi, it helps boost blood circulation by breaking down knots and adhesions in the muscles.

Massage therapists use slow strokes and firm pressure with their hands and fingers to really get into those tight spots.

Lomi Lomi shares similarities with deep tissue techniques when using long, flowing strokes that soothe the body's tissues.

Both types of massage target deep-seated tension, aiding in natural health restoration.

They can support better posture by easing strained areas and encourage healing by stimulating blood flow through affected regions.

Remedial Massage

Lomi Lomi massage serves as an effective remedial technique for various physical issues.

It targets muscle tension and promotes healing by enhancing lymphatic flow and circulation.

The therapist personalizes the approach, taking into account your medical history and specific injuries.

This ensures that each full body massage focuses on areas that need special attention.

During a Lomi Lomi session, the therapist employs flowing, rhythmic movements that can vary in style, often reflecting the fluidity and grace found in traditional Hawaiian practices.

Oils such as coconut or palm oil help in gliding over the skin smoothly, aiding deep relaxation and repair of tissues.

If you're looking to improve fitness or recover from exercise-induced swelling, this type of massage can be particularly beneficial for restoring balance to your body's systems.

Potential Health Benefits of Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomi Lomi massage goes beyond relaxation, offering significant health advantages that can rejuvenate both body and mind.

A massage therapist preforming a lumi lumi massage on a client in a tropical setting.

Lets look iinto the world of this ancient Hawaiian healing practice to discover how it can enhance overall well-being and harmony within yourself.

Improved Lymphatic Flow

Lomi Lomi massage is believed to support the lymphatic system, which plays a crucial role in maintaining health by transporting lymph, a fluid that helps remove bodily waste and toxins.

During a Lomi Lomi massage, masseuses use long, flowing strokes to push lymph through your body.

These movements mean better health because they cut down on swelling and removal of harmful stuff from your body.

With smoother lymph flow, you may also see less fluid buildup in your tissues.

Through its unique techniques, Lomi Lomi is thought to enhance the overall circulation of fluids within the body, contributing to potentially better health.

After getting a Lomi Lomi, people often feel lighter and more balanced.

Now let's talk about how this special form of massaging can boost blood movement throughout the body.

Enhanced Circulation

Enhanced circulation is one of the key benefits of a lomi lomi massage.

The distinct flowing strokes of Lomi Lomi, often likened to gentle waves traversing the body, are designed not only for relaxation but also to stimulate blood flow, enhancing circulation.

Good circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs, which allows the heart to work less hard.

This improved blood flow can lead to lower blood pressure and a healthier you.

Using hands, forearms, and elbows, massage therapists apply coconut oil that helps their movements glide smoothly across your skin.

It is believed that these techniques stimulate the circulatory system, potentially encouraging more efficient blood flow throughout the body.

As a result, this type of massage not just relaxes muscles but also supports vital bodily functions like the respiratory systems by promoting better circulation.

Relief from Muscle Tension

Lomi Lomi massage eases tight muscles gently and effectively.

The masseuse uses long, flowing strokes that go deep into sore spots without causing pain.

This Hawaiian technique helps release tension from the body, promoting relaxation and well-being.

By focusing on areas with stiff muscles, lomi lomi encourages them to soften and relax.

It's a holistic approach that cares for your physical needs while soothing the mind.

Stress melts away as your body experiences the healing touch of ancient Hawaii through this unique form of therapy.

Stress Reduction

Feeling stressed can weigh you down, but Lomi Lomi massage is here to help lift that burden. It's designed to soothe your mind and relax your body.

The long, flowing strokes of the masseuse's hands work to release tension and encourage a state of peace.

This ancient Hawaiian practice isn't just for your muscles; it aims at calming your thoughts too.

As you lie on the massage table, stress seems to melt away with each motion. By the end of a session, most clients report feeling rejuvenated and revitalized.

They carry this sense of relaxation with them, enjoying reduced stress levels long after leaving the massage room.

If finding a sanctuary from life's hustle is what you seek, consider giving Lomi Lomi massages a try.

Expectations during Your First Lomi Lomi Massage

Your first Lomi Lomi massage experience is a journey of relaxation and healing, where you'll be guided by the intuitive touch of your therapist in an atmosphere infused with traditional Hawaiian wisdom.

Two massage therapists in an atmosphere infused with traditional Hawaiian wisdom preforming a massage.

Before the Massage

Getting ready for your first lomi lomi massage is simple. Here's what you can expect before the treatment begins:

  • You'll meet with the massage therapist.
  • Privacy matters during preparation.
  • A quiet space sets the mood.
  • Cleanliness is key for comfort.
  • Trust is built from the start.
  • Expect a unique approach.

During the Massage

A Lomi Lomi massage offers a holistic experience, engaging the body, mind, and spirit in a process of healing and relaxation.

Your masseuse will use special techniques to create a relaxing and healing session.

  • You'll feel long, flowing strokes across your body. These help release tension and improve circulation.
  • The therapist often uses hands and forearms, with movements that may sometimes incorporate elements reminiscent of traditional Hawaiian dances.
  • Breathing plays a big role. Together with your masseuse, deep breaths help open energy pathways.
  • Instinct guides the process. The therapist taps into their intuition to find areas that need healing.
  • Expect gentle stretching and joint rotations. These moves enhance flexibility and relieve muscle tightness.
  • Pressure varies but focuses on fluid motions rather than forceful techniques like in deep tissue massage.
  • Lomi Lomi targets not just muscles but also emotional well - being, often bringing a sense of peace.
  • In some styles of Lomi Lomi, Hawaiian prayers or chants are included to enhance the spiritual healing aspect of the session, reflecting its deep cultural roots.

After the Massage

Feeling relaxed and balanced is common after a lomi lomi massage.

Your body may feel lighter and more energetic as the therapist works to harmonize your physical and spiritual self.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water to help flush out toxins released during the massage.
  • You might experience a deep sense of calm, indicating reduced stress levels.
  • Muscle relaxation often leads to improved flexibility and range of motion.
  • Some people feel an emotional release as lomi lomi also addresses mental and emotional health.
  • It's advisable to rest after your session to allow your body to integrate the healing experience.
  • Pay attention to how you feel in the next few days; improved sleep quality is a possible benefit.
  • Notice any changes in blood pressure or tension release, which are positive indicators of the massage's impact.
  • Plan for follow - up sessions as recommended by your masseuse to maintain wellness benefits.


What is Lomi Lomi massage?

Lomi Lomi massage is a healing technique from ancient Hawaii, where the masseuse uses long, flowing strokes to relax your body.

How does Lomi Lomi compare with Swedish and Thai massages?

While Swedish massage is known for firm pressure and specific movements, and Thai massage includes stretching, Lomi Lomi offers unique wave-like strokes reflecting Hawaiian traditions.

Who created the techniques used in Hawaiian Lomi lomi?

The techniques used in Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage were developed over generations within Hawaiian culture, traditionally attributed to ancient Polynesian healers and later refined by Hawaiian kahunas.

Can learning about Lomi lomi help us understand Hawaiian history better?

Yes! Exploring how Kanaka (Hawaiian people) practiced lomilomi before the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii gives insight into their culture and beliefs.

Has anyone documented the tradition of lomi lomi massage?

Makana Risser Chai has written about lomilomi’s rich history in Hawai`i to share its story with more people worldwide.


In summary, when exploring relaxing and holistic massage techniques, it's worth asking, "What is Lomi Lomi massage?" as it offers a unique and soothing experience.

With its flowing strokes and energy work, you can anticipate leaving feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated.

Trust that your body’s natural balance can be restored through this holistic approach.

Embrace the spirit of Aloha with every session of lomi lomi massage. Discover how connecting mind, body, and spirit leads to greater health and harmony.

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Next article Why Do Massages Hurt?


We do not provide medical advice. The content of this article, including text, graphics, and other material, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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