Hawaiian/Lomi Lomi Massage

Lomilomi Massage guide including the history of this massage, what to expect and what to ask before you book.

What is a Lomi Lomi Massage?

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A native Polynesian and Hawaiian healing practice, lomilomi massage or lomilomi nui (also called Ka Huna massage in some spas) is a deeply nurturing style of massage characterized by fast flowing movement and a spiritual bent—therapists focus on giving the treatment with love and intention. Traditional practitioners may offer a prayer beforehand.

Beware treatments that are “lomilomi-inspired.” Lomilomi massage training takes several years to complete, either with a mentor or though a multi-level training program. Spas with seriously trained therapists will be glad to tell you where their staff learned it.

There are 100,000 styles, according to author Makana Risser Chai, who’s written two books on lomilomi massage, so it’s hard to know what you’ll be getting. In general, strokes are long, flowing, fast, and rhythmic, and therapists use their hands, forearms, and occasionally their fists for off-and-on deep pressure.

What to expect:
Lomilomi treatments are choreographed and given in time to lomilomi music (mostly drums). You may be asked to remove all clothing (you’ll still be covered with a sarong or sheet) so the therapist can keep the quick tempo and move from your shoulders to your glutes and back up in two seconds flat.


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