What is Lomilomi?~The Sacred Tradition~

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 culture 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.


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 rather than asking someone else to answer their questions, they were encouraged to search within themselves for the answers to their questions. Children are expected to to use their eyes and their ears; observe their surroundings, and wait for the answer to present itself.


It is the same way with healing. You watch their body, listen to their body, and feel into the person who is asking for help. You pay attention to the information they are sharing with you, looking into the mind and the heart of the person receiving the healing treatment. You pray and ask spirit for assistance with the healing. And you follow your own intuition as a healer. In lomilomi you use your intention as a practitioner in a way that aligns and clears.

What makes Lomilomi different is the mindset behind the massage. The mindset comes from a system of Hawaiian values. These all play into the healing session, and they are in fact, a way of life. The mindset of a Hawaiian: To live in aloha, open-hearted, in manawa, the now, with pono goodness. Humbleness, patience, and self-empowerment are 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 the 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 pono (harmony) with all things. In reverence for all life.



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.


In Hawaii, a healing treatment was traditionally always done holistically:

  • lying first in the sun or in a steam bath to sweat out toxins

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

  • working with the mind through the act of Ho'oponopono, prayer and chant

  • Lomilomi and bone setting or restorative healing work would follow

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

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. It is both a direct channel to the High Self, accessing Divine messages, and also draws upon the energy of earth, the power of creation.


The body is always listening and taking directions from our conscious mind, while also storing our memories, in a subconscious manner. Lomilomi clears the body of any sub-conscious energy that is getting in the way of our connection to our own High Self, and moving forward in a positive direction in life.


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. It is a distortion in the energy.

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. The Ha breath brings the energy of Spirit into the body, the transmute and raise any heavier or denser energies being held there.

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, as practitioners often find ourselves 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 frequency. If you are feeling called to embark on this path, chances are, you are a light worker, and all you need to do is awaken more of the wisdom you already possess within. 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 honoured to be able to share a few things that I have learned about Hawaiian healing. 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.


Written by: Patti Kale’aokalani Miller

~ 604 886 4588 ~ www.hawaiianhealingarts.info

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All