History: Massage is perhaps the oldest and simplest of all medical treatments. For thousands of years some form of massage or laying on of hands has been used to heal and soothe the sick. To the ancient Greek and Roman physicians, massage was one of the principal means of healing and relieving pain.
In traditional cultures, especially in the East, it is accepted as natural that people of all ages can benefit from regular massage. But here in the West, though its value has always been recognized in the world of sport, its use has only recently spread to other fields. Massage can relieve tension, soothe away headaches and relax taut and aching muscles. This helps our bodies cope with everyday stress.
Touch: Touch is one of the first senses by which we connect to the outside world. As infants, different textures and forms fascinate us. As children, we enjoy running barefoot. But as we grow older, we spend more and more time living in our heads. (Our activities change from being mostly physical to mostly mental).
Massage counteracts the relentless surge of work and domestic pressures, and helps you reconnect your body and mind. It helps the body cope with all forms of stress much more successfully.
Benefits of Massage . . .
Improves circulation, which increases oxygen and nutrition supply to muscles.
Calms the central nervous system, relieving you of both mental and physical stress and tension.
Speeds elimination of wastes, increases lymph circulation, and heightens immune response.
Keeps skin healthy and helps it heal faster.
Increases metabolism and improves muscle tone; improves muscle and joint flexibility.
Promotes general well being and peace of mind through relaxation; promotes deeper and more restful sleep.
During your Massage . . .
Make yourself comfortable; the massage therapist will gently move and instruct you throughout the session.
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
Come to your session clean and wearing loose clothing; jewelry and bulky hair clips should be removed.
Avoid wearing strong fragrances in perfumes and lotions as a courtesy to your therapist.
Breathing deeply and regularly will enhance your massage experience.
Conversation is for the most part unnecessary: however, feedback is important, particularly if any manipulation is especially relaxing, or is uncomfortable for you.
Lomi-Lomi is a specialized form of massage originating from the Hawaiian Islands. It was the primary form of healing for centuries. Lomi-Lomi was only taught to native Hawaiians from one generation to the next up until the 1970’s. Aunty Margaret Machado decided that she would start teaching this unique massage therapy to mainlanders to promote and preserve Hawaiian traditions. It was her belief that Kahunas should be ‘sharers of the secrets’ instead of ‘keepers of the secrets’. It has slowly grown to become one of the most sought out treatments by frequent spa-goers world wide.
Lomi-Lomi differs slightly in its approach from Western or Swedish based styles of massage. Lomi-Lomi focuses on moving out (away from the center of the body) to work in (toward the heart). While this may sound confusing, it’s really not. The movements of the massage techniques move outward from the center of the body, but the pressure of the individual strokes are constantly moving fluids back towards the heart. This is very beneficial in the removal of waste and toxins trapped within the muscles. This toxin release requires receivers of Lomi-Lomi (as well as all forms of massage) to drink plenty of water afterwards to avoid feeling sick or getting headaches.
Lomi-Lomi is described as a gentle, soothing, stretching type of massage claimed to be one of the most relaxing of all body work styles. Using long continuous, flowing strokes, combined with a very peaceful & positive touch, it relaxes the entire being and assists in a letting go of bad habits, patterns and behaviors that cause limitations and which are stored in the cells of our body.
Lomi-Lomi massage therapy has been practiced throughout the Pacific islands for thousands of years. In a strict interpretation of Lomi-Lomi, it is an ancient healing practice that encompasses body, mind, and spirit. It involves prayer, the use of herbs, massage (which incorporates hot stones and specially carved wood massage tools), salts and steam treatments.
This all inclusive approach differs from our Western idea of healing in which we compartmentalize everything and often only focus on one aspect; whether it is medical, nutritional, psychological, spiritual (praying for those ill or dying), or physical (exercise). The Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders did not separate these aspects… physical, mental and emotional illness were all treated equally and each aspect was addressed. Individual illness was seen to affect the entire family (or tribe) and was treated sometimes in a 3-day long healing ceremony in which everyone would gather together to help the sick or ill. The focus was on “releasing and forgiving” to bring all aspects of the self into alignment. It enables the physical and energetic systems of the body to flush out, transform, and revitalize themselves, as the soft tissue is gently but firmly loosened and separated. “Wrong thoughts” were as critical to correct as physical problems.
One line in a prayer used during traditional Lomi-Lomi can be translated as “the gentle hand touches to harmonize body, mind, and spirit & to ignite the life-force within”. This demonstrates the rejuvenating, balancing and reenergizing qualities of Lomi-Lomi. Some have compared the experience to that of the ocean; a power and depth hidden within the calming and steady flow of the waves.
My training is from Uncle Dan Higgins who studied with Aunty Margaret Machado. (The ‘titles’ of Aunt and Uncle are bestowed upon all of ones elders as a form of respect.) I was certified in Lomi-Lomi in 2001. I have also studied further through my own research and reading. I recommend Lomi-Lomi a minimum of 8 times each year (or about every 6 weeks).