Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why Get a Lomi Lomi Massage in San Diego?

Origins of Lomi Lomi Massage

by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT

There are a few massage styles that immediately come to mind when I think of massage that can increase wellness and my emotional quality of life. Lomi Lomi is one of them. I was attracted to learning about Lomi Lomi massage in my massage school in San Diego because long flowing strokes felt so soothing to my body. I have received Lomi Lomi massages from the Ocean Crest Spa in Carlsbad and from Keoni Salgado in Encinitas and felt more in touch with my body and spirit after both of them.

It is fascinating to learn about the history of Lomi Lomi and discover that I wasn’t alone in connecting with the massage style’s power to increase wellness and peace of mind.

Lomi Lomi is the massage practice indigenous to Polynesia and learned when communities came into contact with sailors from islands near and far. It is practiced in Hawaii, and the first foreign observation of the practice was by Captain King and Captain Cook in 1779 (Chai, 2005). Lomi lomi was more than an invigorating massage for the muscles. Therapists were extensively trained, respected members of the community who use massage techniques as well as prayers and chanting to treat the whole person. According to Chai (2005) “lomi lomi happens in a particular place, with prayers, sounds, smells and at atmosphere that evoked healing before the massage ever began” (Chai, 2005).  According to Emerson (1918) “Hamoea is the principal goddess of those who practice the art of massage.” Chai (2005) writes that Hamoea can  be translated as “hamo, to rub gently and ea, spirit… ‘spirit massage’ it may imply that … the spirit is in massage and that massage restores the spirit” (Chai, 2005). Martha Noyes (1996), a Lomi Lomi therapist’s family member, describes the treatment room thusly. “what struck me most as I sat waiting was that aloha that permeated the room, the aloha that came from Papa Kalua. That, to me, is the essence of the healing environment” (Chai, 2005).

When I practice Lomi Lomi strokes as a massage therapist, I strive to bring Aloha to my client and give a massage that truly restores the spirit.


Chai, R. M. (2005). Nā mo'olelo lomilomi: The traditions of Hawaiian massage and healing. Honolulu, Hawai'i: Bishop Museum Press.

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