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Lomi Lomi massage is the name used for the traditional Hawaiian massage. The name is derived from the word 'lomi' which means 'to knead or rub as the paws of a contented cat' in the Hawaiian language. There is no clear answer to why the word lomi is repeated in the name except that the word 'lomilomi' can also be used to describe the traditional Hawaiian massage. It is a holistic approach to the tradition of massage and is not just limited to certain specific techniques. It is freer and more intuitive than other massage techniques.
Lomi Lomi has been a part of the massage culture of Hawaii since ancient times. Traditional practitioners of the massage technique make use of a variety of tools to exert the right amount of pressure, vibration, and physical tension on the muscles of the body. Not only do the practitioners use parts of their own bodies like palms, forearms, elbows, feet, knees, and fingers to produce the desired effects, they also make use of stones and sticks.
The legacy of Lomi Lomi massage dates back to centuries ago and has been enjoyed by not just the indigenous people but foreign settlers as well. Traditional practitioners not just focus on the massage but also suggest other ways to improve their health and lives. It is believed that the essence of Lomi Lomi is not just the direct physical benefits of the massage but an enhancement in the overall health and harmony of a person.
The basic Lomi Lomi technique is described as an instinctive, free-form technique which varies from person to person. The practitioner and the recipient of the massage develop a relationship where the practitioner uses certain techniques or a combination of various techniques to deliver relaxation and healing. Different therapists tend to use varied techniques but each session is designed to lead to the same result – the optimal health and harmony of body, soul, and mind.
The popularity of the technique has grown tremendously over the years and many institutes that teach massage technique have incorporated Lomi Lomi massage as a professional course. The modern practitioners who study the technique as a part of a professional course are not as focused on the holistic approaches the traditionally trained Lomi Lomi massage therapists believe in and are more focused on delivering technique. While traditional Lomi Lomi practitioners may not approve of this approach, the technique has gained popularity over time. Most people can go to a massage parlor and receive a session of this traditional massage art without having to look too hard.
Because of the overall intensity of the Lomi Lomi massage, it is typically a slow procedure which can take hours. A typical session can last for as long as two hours. While for many this amount of time can be way longer than feasible, a Lomi Lomi massage session is definitely worth it.
Written by Samantha Cormac, Massage Industry Expert