I just returned from the AMTA-NC conference in Cary, NC, and spent two days learning techniques of Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage from Brenda L. Griffith.
It was an amazing two days, not only because I got to network with other massage therapists, which is one of the benefits of belonging to AMTA, but because the techniques I learned easily incorporate themselves into my massage protocol. In fact, I’ve used some piece of what I learned in every massage that I’ve given over the last week.
Griffith, who is a former AMTA national president, studied with Aunty Margaret Machado in Hawaii in 1994 and 1995, and has taught classes in Lomi Lomi all over the United States. We spent most of the two days actually giving or receiving the work. The Lomi Lomi strokes are long and fluid and have been said to resemble a dance because the therapist moves her whole body to apply rather deep and yet soothing pressure through gravity and leverage.
Lomi Lomi is intuitive work. At the beginning of the session, the therapist sets her intention to help the client receive the greatest benefit and allow his/her body to balance and heal. Then using rhythmic, fluid motions with the forearms and the fleshy parts of the hands rather than relying on fingers and thumbs, the therapist uses long, full-body strokes to release blocked energy and tissues. Lomi Lomi feels wonderful to recieve, and as a therpist, I thouroughly enjoy giving the massage to others. It is almost as relaxing to give a Lomi Lomi massage as to receive one.
“Touch the body with a loving touch.
If your hands are gentle and loving,
Your patient will feel the sincerity of your heart.
His soul will reach out to yours,
And the Lord’s healing will flow through you both.”
Some of you will remember that a few years ago, I took a class in Huna from Angela Sherrill. Huna is the philosophy that underpins Lomi Lomi. Huna teaches that everything in the universe seeks harmony and love. Is it any surpise that one of the alternate names for Lomi Lomi is “loving hands massage”? With long, continuous, flowing strokes over the client’s body, Lomi Lomi’s goal is to nurture the client and help him/her relax and simply be. What could be more loving?
Each of my clients who has experienced Lomi Lomi since I returned from Cary has loved it. Two of the regulars commented, “That’s new, isn’t it? I like it.”
For that reason alone, I appreciate the work. Moreover, I really like the emphasis on resonating with the client from the beginning to the end of the massage and relying on my intuitive sense of what the client needs to tell me what to do next. I also like the gentleness of the work and its profound ablility affect the tissues deeply without causing pain. Finally, I like that it follows the philosophy of Huna, which emphasizes love, tolerance, acceptance, respect, and compassion for all beings; Huna has an energy work component that I’ve been using for some time now.
This week I am planning to do my first full Lomi Lomi massage since the class rather than just incorporting pieces of it into the massages I am already giving. I’ll switch from cream to oil, and I’ll try to use most of the techniques I learned. I am looking forward to that. However, I am sure I’ll continue to use parts of Lomi Lomi, just as my teacher Brenda L. Griffith does, in nearly every massage I give.