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What is Lomilomi?

~The Sacred Tradition~
Written by:  Patti Kale’aokalani Miller

 

 We are often asked the question, what is Lomilomi?  What makes it different than any other form of massage?  After connecting deeper on Molokai to Hawaii and its people, I realized the depth of knowledge that this tradition carries.  I had a glimpse into real Hawaii, and what it is to follow tradition; to follow protocol.  They taught me that in order to understand Lomilomi, one must first understand what it is to be Hawaiian. What makes Lomilomi different is the mindset behind the massage.  The mindset of a Hawaiian: To live in aloha, open-hearted, in manawa, the now with pono goodness.

 

Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao; pa`a ka waha.

 Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth. Thus one learns.

 

This is the way of learning for a Hawaiian.  They were taught to be very attentive, and to search within for the answers to their questions, or to use their eyes and their ears; wait for the answer to present itself.  This taught humbleness, patience, and
self-empowerment. - All core Hawaiian values. 

 
  The Lomilomi practitioner comes from a mindset where everything is connected as one, everything has a voice, and everything has a spirit.  The role of a Lomilomi practitioner is to remove any limiting beliefs or "baggage" from within themselves that may be blocking their aka chords, the strands of energy that connect them to all things.  This is done through daily prayer, meditation and forgiveness.   The body (heart) and mind must be clear, open and inviting in order to be a clear channel for a Higher Power. 

~For it is a Higher Power that actually gives you the mana to help someone.~       

Forgiveness is a daily practice for the practitioner, and also a core aspect of Lomilomi.  Lomilomi is not only a practice of massage.  It is a tradition, a way of life.  The way of aloha is living in harmony with all things.
 
  In Hawaii, a healing treatment was traditionally always done holistically: 

  • lying first in the sun or in a steam bath

  • being treated with herbs (la'au lapa'au) colon cleanses, tonics, or salt rubs

  • working with the mind through the act of Ho'oponopono, prayers and chants

  • Lomilomi and bone setting or restorative healing work would follow

 

So you see, massage was just a part of the over-all treatment!

 

Lomilomi
~A Gift from the Heart~

 

He kehau ho`oma`ema`e ke aloha.
Love is like a cleansing dew.
The cleansing power of aloha can soothe and heal.
Hurt, pain, and suffering yield to aloha’s healing power.


   The massage itself is a huge gift, which comes from the heart.  Lomilomi is purely heart centered, it is pure love.  Auntie Margaret is often quoted as saying both, "I just love the person, God does the rest!" and, "Lomilomi is a praying work".  It is said that it is the prayers that really do the healing, not the technique, not the strokes.  The receiver is acknowledged as an innocent and sacred being, worthy of unconditional love, grace and blessings.  The giver focuses on the perfection and wholeness of the receiver, and bears witness to the Holy Spirit of Aloha and the Truth of their being.

   In Lomilomi, as in all things Hawaiian, there is an association with the ancestors, and it is understood that the ancestors are always here with us, guiding us; and connected to us through our bodies.  The Aumakua is said to breathe life back into the person needing assistance, but they must first ask for help.  The High Self, the Higher Power, will not enter into your conscious mind without first being invited!  Both the giver and the receiver are expected to ask the Aumakua to enter into their conscious awareness and assist with the healing taking place.


   On a physical level, Lomilomi is also very heart centered.  Fluids are being pushed in a variety of ways to and from the heart in a rhythmic, flowing pattern.  In this way, the circulation is increased, and the lymph system is deeply flushed and cleansed. A large amount of attention was also placed on the opu, the belly. The belly was known as the ruler of the body and working with the colon was an essential part of healing the whole body.

 

  The body was known to have its own consciousness, and its own roles to carry out; one of which was being a direct channel to the High Self, to access Divine messages and the energy of creation.  The other role has to do with storing all our memories, and taking directions from our conscious mind.  Lomilomi clears the body of any energy that is getting in the way of our connection to our own High self.

   When traumatic events occur in our life that we place judgment on, the energy of these memories becomes crystallized, lodging itself in different areas of the body, causing tension and all types of physical disturbances.

 

  These crystallized memories can be found lodged in the connective tissue between the bones and the muscles. Lomilomi is a way of gently and lovingly clearing the channels along the bones of the body, guiding all the energy needing to be released down and out the extremities.  The nurturing strokes bring aloha (love) and mana (life force) into the body, which causes any crystallized memories to rise up to the surface to be acknowledged, forgiven, and released with the Ha breath.

   No matter what style of Lomilomi you are receiving, one thing is for sure, you are receiving aloha, and so the breath of God is in your presence.  I personally really enjoy all forms of Lomilomi, as long as they are performed by a practitioner who is very sensitive and loving!  We often find ourselves as practitioners mixing different styles of Lomilomi together, creating a perfect combination of strokes for that person’s needs. If you are drawn to this art form, then something in you resonates with its healing power, a Miracle is waiting to happen. We welcome your soul for its initiation into alignment with the Spirit of Aloha through Lomilomi.

 

  This is truly a fascinating and humbling path to be on, one that opens many doors.  I am eternally grateful for the spirit of aloha that flows through all things, and through those who help to keep the traditions of Lomilomi alive!  Mahalo nui loa, Thank you to all my teachers and the people of Hawaii  Imua!  (Press on, go forward!) with Aloha~
Here is a Hawaiian Prayer for healing, written by Kumu Keala Ching

 

E Ka Lani E
E ka lani e, e ho’olono mai ‘oe  
E ka lani e, e alakai mai ‘oe
E ka lani e, e ho’ola mai ‘oe
E ka lani e, e hui kala mai ‘oe
E ka lani e, e ho’omalu mai ’oe
E ka lani e, e ho’omalu mai ’oe

 

Ala Ka Lamalama
A – Ala ka lamalama e

E – ‘Eli ke aliali i

I – I’ini ke kapukapu o

O – Ola ka ‘olu’olu u

U – ‘Uhola ke aloha e

 

E Ho’olama Mai
E ho’olama mai ‘oe ia’u
E ho’olama mai ‘oe ia’u
E ho’olama mai ‘oe ia’u
E ola, e ola, e ola mau

 

Chief, hear me deeply
Chief, guide me always
Chief, heal me from within
Chief, forgive me truthfully
Chief, anoint me forever
Chief, anoint me forever

 

Enlighten pathway
Seek Clarity
Honor Dignity
Pleasant Living
Spread the Love

 

Inspire me deeply
Enlighten me always
Encourage me within
Life, life, life forever

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