From humble beginnings in Hawaii, the unique art of Lomilomi massage has spread across the globe. The style is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and has a strong energetic component, which focuses on connecting with the receiver to allow the body to heal itself from within, rather than the therapist ‘fixing’ specific problem areas.
Linda Lopez is a Licensed Massage Therapist who has over 30 years experience and training in multiple modalities, including 13 years as a practitioner of Lomilomi. Linda said, “Our bodies are like walking, talking healing machines! The aim of a Lomilomi massage is to create dynamic movement with long flowing rhythmic strokes, conscious breathing and heartfelt mindful intention, to shift the energy and allow the body’s natural healing abilities to happen.”
Linda is travelling from Hawaii to Vancouver in August this year to teach an exclusive program in Temple style Lomilomi at the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage. There are many styles of Lomilomi. Temple style is rooted in martial arts exercises practiced by ancient Hawaiians. It has a graceful dance element of movement, where the whole body is involved in the massage, as well as the spirit, heart and mind.
“When I discovered Lomilomi,” Linda said “I was already starting to have aches in my knuckles and wrists, which is very common for massage therapists. But in the case of Lomilomi, you use your body weight with long strokes of the forearms instead. You’re basically leaning on people with lots of good mana (energy)!”
Practicing Lomilomi can help a spa practitioner to have improved body mechanics, stronger and longer lasting energy endurance, overall better health and it can help prevent injury to a practitioners joints. “It has less wear tear on your fingers, muscles and joints because every movement comes from the centre of your body” Linda said.
“Use of physical techniques alone do not make one a practitioner of what Hawaiian culture regards as Lomilomi. Native Hawaiian Kupuna (knowledgeable elders) and Kumu (teachers) agree that all types of Lomilomi must include certain spiritual commitments and values such as; lokahi (unity and balance), aloha (love and compassion) and pono (righteousness). These are essential for what the Kupuna and Kumu regard as true Lomilomi. Thus Lomilomi is a way of life, not techniques.
This, most significantly, has given me great inner growth because the focus is on connecting energetically with the receiver and with life. Just as when we are fully present, every day is different, doing a massage over and over again is new and different each time,” Linda said.
Those who enrol in the 50 hour Lomilomi training at the Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage will work with principles of Hawaiian healing, learn a complete prone and supine routine as well as Hawaiian chants, the Ka’alele dance for building mana (energy) and protocol for beginning and ending a session. Prerequisite is a basic course in massage.