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 through a multi-level training program. Spas with seriously trained therapists will be glad to tell you where their staff learned the practice.
According to author Makana Risser Chai, who’s written two books on the subject, there are 100,000 styles of lomilomi massage, so it’s hard to know exactly what you’ll be getting from a particular therapist until you try.
What to expect:
In general, expect strokes that are long, flowing, fast, and rhythmic, and count on therapists using hands, forearms, and occasionally fists for off-and-on deep pressure.
Lomilomi treatments are choreographed and given in time to lomilomi music, which is mostly drums.
You may be asked to remove all clothing, but 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 no time flat.
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