LomiLomi Massage: Everything you need to know

Lomi Lomi massage everything you need to know
lomilomi massage feeling

Imagine this: you are floating in the ocean with your eyes closed. The sun is kissing your skin and you are gently rocked by the waves. Sounds heavenly, right?

Especially in this lockdown life, where travelling to tropical places feels far away, we can crave this relaxed holiday feeling. Guess what? This is what a Lomilomi Massage feels like! Lomilomi massage is part of the ancient Hawaiian restorative healing system and is now gaining popularity around the world. Read on to learn more about this beautiful massage.

A little bit of history

Hawaiian lomilomi massage is part of traditional Native Hawaiian medicine and was only passed down in families. In the early 1970s a few Hawaiian teachers started teaching this massage therapy technique to non-Hawaiians. ‘Lomi’ means ‘to knead, rub or soothe; to work in and out’ in Hawaiian, and reflects the broad, flowing strokes of the massage. Fundamental to Lomilomi is the Hawaiian philosophy of Huna, and in particular how the principles of Huna relates to bodywork and the healing process.

Lomi lomi massage is from Hawaii

Huna: everything seeks harmony and love

The teachings of Huna show us that everything in nature wants to exist in harmony, and that everything and everyone seeks love. When this harmony is out of balance, energy channels are blocked. This can result in pain, either physical, emotional or mental. In old Hawaii Lomilomi was used to heal the body, soul and mind with massage techniques, oils, herbs, chants (mele) and prayers (pule) as part of the session. However, chanting and prayer is fairly rare among modern massage therapists. Nowadays there are many different schools of Lomilomi with different approaches and techniques. The ancient practices is carried on. Aloha!


Aloha lomi lomi massage

Aloha means hello, I’m guessing you’ve heard that before as the famous Hawaiian greeting. Aloha also means goodbye. Aloha also means love and a connection to nature.

Confused already?

The word Aloha has many meanings and is the cornerstone of Hawaiian culture. Aloha is seen as a practice, as a way of life. The concept of aloha means living in harmony with the people and land around you, living with unconditional and universal love. As we’ve seen Lomilomi has an important spiritual component and it incorporates the concept of Aloha. Aunty Margaret Machado (The terms ‘aunty’ and ‘uncle’ are used to show respect for Hawaiian elders) was the first native Hawaiian to receive her massage license, defined Lomilomi as ‘the loving touch’ massage. The massage works gently into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes, allowing to body to relax and surrender to the nurturing touch packed with Aloha.

Aunty Margaret Machado lomi lomi massage

Aunty Margaret Machado

What is the massage like?

The trademark of a modern Lomilomi massage are long, dance-like strokes applied by the forearms. The movements of the massage therapist flow uninterrupted from one area of the body to the next, with few breaks. It is like rolling waves that are travelling along the body. This is why it feels like floating in the ocean. Lomilomi includes many massage techniques, some of which are similar to Swedish massage, while others are similar to Asian bodywork techniques. Through long flowing strokes, every part of the body is being touched, hence the name ‘loving touch massage’. Every cell is stimulated to create balance. The nervous system is encouraged to slow down, creating space for the massage to be received rather than pushing through a blockage in the muscle tissue.

Tummy rub

tummy tub lomi lomi massage

Lomilomi also focusses on massaging the abdomen. This will stimulate the elimination processes, improve the energetic function of the organs and balances hormones. Abdominal massage is always included with traditional Lomilomi because Hawaiian tradition considers the colon as part of a person’s soul or heart.

The benefits of Lomilomi

Lomilomi massage is aimed to benefit all areas of our health by unblocking energy flows. The belief of Lomilomi is that memories are not just stored in the brain, but in every cell of our body. The long, relaxing strokes are designed to help the body let go of old patterns that don’t serve us anymore and can cause stress and muscle tension.


  • Releases tension and stress
  • Increases blood and lymph flow
  • Eliminates waste and toxins
  • Aids digestive system and gut health
  • Rejuvenates the body
  • Deep relaxation
  • Creates harmony and restores balance

What to expect

Because of the long, flowing nature of the strokes, traditional Lomilomi is performed without a cover sheet, there is only a little sheet to cover your private parts. This gives the massage therapist space to glide from one area of the body to the next. For example; a stroke may start at the top of your shoulder and go all the way to your foot. One smooth, continuous stroke that doesn’t seem to have an ending. Sounds pretty amazing, right? However, if you do feel you want a bit more coverage just tell the massage therapist because they only want you to feel utterly relaxed. To achieve those smooth massage strokes a lot of oil is used. So be prepared and don’t wear your most expensive clothes for afterwards it is better to not hop in the shower right away but let the massage sink into the body and spend time in the post Lomilomi heaven.

lomilomi massage need a lot of oil
Smooth massage strokes need a lot of oil. All natural of course

No two Lomilomi massages are the same

There is no set structure for the massage, so no two Lomilomi massages are the same. The therapist works intuitively with your body with smooth flowy strokes to release all tension and get you so relaxed you will feel like you are in Hawaii. Now and then you will find that the massage therapist massages two different parts of the body at the same time. This will stop your brain from focusing on one area which will help you completely let go.

Upper-body and under-body strokes

lomi lomi  massage long fluid strokes under arm

Another beautiful aspect of the massage is that there are not only upper-body strokes but also under-body strokes, these can also happen simultaneously. It gives you the feeling of being hugged, again, loving touch! There are also light stretches of the limbs and careful rotation of the joints. All the techniques are there to free your energy flow.

Are you ready voor your massage?

There are many benefits to get from a Lomilomi massage. If you are not into spiritual stuff this massage is still the best relaxation you ever had. After Lomilomi you will feel that your energy is restored, just like your tropical holiday. Don’t believe me? Just book a massage with me and you will see. Aloha!

lomi lomi massage lomilomi aloha

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