ABOUT THIS MODALITY
The Hawaiian Pocket Dictionary defines lomi lomi as a method "to rub, press, crush, massage, rub out; to work in and out, as claws of a contented cat." Another translation is, "to break up into small pieces." In the early 1900's lomi lomi was coined "Hawaiian massage" by the legal system.
"The depth of true lomi lomi was virtually limitless in terms of its ability to offer potential for healing to each patient; however, the government of the time had to label it" and put in a category, which is not the Hawaiian way," says Maka'ala Yates, a Hawaiian medicine specialist. "It is correct to say that lomi lomi encompasses a massage, but it is not limited to it. Native Hawaiians say the true definition of lomi lomi is reconnecting with spirit."
"Recipients of a lomi lomi treatment often experience freedom from anxiety, worry, fear and a host of other negative thought patterns."
While lomi lomi is often referred to as a spiritual massage, the technique is also practical and specific. It is, for example, effective in breaking up calcium deposits and lactic acid build-up. This is accomplished by a variety of movements, such as circular thumb strokes that are done in a one-two-three rhythm directly over the area. Knuckle strokes are used on larger, denser muscles in the same rhythm, followed by soothing forearm strokes and hacking.
Information from an article on the history of Lomi Lomi, written by Tamara Mondragon for the July 2000 issue of Massage Magazine.
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