As many of you know I had the amazing opportunity to live and work on the island of Maui for four years. I am grateful for each moment I was able to be in this magical place. To say it is a beautiful island is an understatement. The weather is almost perfect. The oceans deep blue colors mashing up against the golden beaches and dark lava rock is picturesque. The people are hospitable and believe in living aloha. I felt this spirit of aloha around me, especially in my massage environment. The flowers, the food, the sites and the smells of the tropics truly are paradisiac. This wonderful island is where I learned lomi lomi, an ancient Hawaiian massage. This modality is truly an art form.
What is Lomi Lomi?
Shortly after we moved to Maui, my husband and I were on an anniversary trip. We stayed at the sister property of the hotel I was employed at, The Fairmont Orchid. I made a trip to the spa because I needed to experience the real deal, a lomi lomi massage in HAWAII!
A Tropical Massage Experience
My therapist greeted me as we walked outside up a path surrounded by lush tropical plants and into a small cabana. It was private with vegetation surrounding. I excitedly got onto the table and lay my face in the plush face cradle. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes to see that there were fish swimming below me. The glass floor really added another element to the massage besides the waterfall rushing, the tropical smells, and cool breeze blowing through the cabana.
Lomi Lomi Dance
The therapist draped the sheet in half exposing the left side of my body. Thereafter she applied warm coconut oil from my lower back up to my shoulder and down my arm continuing down my leg and to my feet. She used gliding movements repeatedly that were rhythmic and gentle yet firm enough that I could feel the tension melt away. She moved to the other side of my body and continued her dance. I was in complete bliss and can’t even remember turning over. I had never felt more relaxed. Without a doubt, this massage changed my life. It by far was the best massage I have ever received. I found out shortly after this trip that we were expecting our first child. I might have to blame my first lomi lomi massage for that! Joking aside, my love for this beautiful dance continued to grow from here, along with my knowledge base surrounding it.
Bringing Lomi Lomi Home
I returned home a few days later and immediately booked a class with a local woman in Haiku, just down the road from us. It was a two-day immersion into the culture, rituals and massage techniques used in tradition lomi lomi.
In this class I learned that the techniques and combinations of techniques vary from practitioner to practitioner. Some strokes may be long, smooth and very relaxing. Others may be quick and uplifting. The practitioner and client must work in harmony to create a deeply relaxing effect.
Lomi lomi disperses muscle tension with long rhythmic strokes, enhances circulation and releases blockages, creating a deep sense of kaulike: meaning balance. These free-flowing strokes share many of the same benefits as Swedish massage.
You may experience improved immune system response, increased flexibility, range of motion and lower blood pressure. Overall, the client will experience a deep sense of relaxation and feelings of well-being.
Island Vibes In Wisconsin
I have been doing lomi lomi over six years now. Even though I no longer reside in Hawaii, lomi lomi will always have a place in my heart and in my massages. It feels like a dance to me and I love being able to float along the table in motions that are in tune with my client’s body and energy. It truly is a beautiful massage and I feel so lucky to have this gift. I absolutely love sharing this piece of Hawaii with guests and hope that they fall in love with lomi lomi just like I did!