I was very inspired by this workshop. I always felt I wasn’t capable of giving a proper massage because I always thought of massage as just using the fingers. I was pleasantly surprised by how capable I actually am!
I've found Lomi Lomi all comes together into one beautiful dance of the physical, emotional, and spiritual self.
I was fortunate to be able to sit in, and even participate at times, in a two-day, beginner’s LomiLomi massage workshop led by Aileen Durkan.
Aileen has an extensive list of qualifications from massage to Reiki to Reflexology, and more! She is highly versatile in her capabilities as a healer. Aileen has been practicing LomiLomi massage for over 7 years. She discovered LomiLomi during an extra year of her studies in Spa Therapies, and immediately fell in love. She states: “I can honestly say that LomiLomi has had a profound and life changing impact on me.”
Aileen is benevolent and extremely talented. The movements of LomiLomi come so naturally for her. She works through the variations so gracefully in dance-like motions, creating a beautiful routine to the rhythms of her body and yours.
The word “lomi,” means “to knead, to rub, or soothe; to work in and out,” or more simply can be translated to “massage.” Therapists use palms, forearms, elbows, fingers, and knuckles to knead and stroke all the muscles of the body. This form of massage works with the mind, body, and spirit. The movements and strokes from the therapist flow into each other in a dance-like pattern. Breathing is in sync with these movements. Intention is set before the session even starts, grounding the therapist and the receiver. Meditation is important to clear any unwanted energies or feelings.
This workshop focused on the back of the body and legs. It started with a guided meditation to ground and root us to the Earth and connect us to Source. There was a spread of traditional Hawaiian tools and books on a tapestry and Hawaiian Aumakua Cards that we could draw from at any time.
We discussed the beautiful meaning of Aloha. Simply put, Aloha means love. It is used as a greeting and a send off in traditional Hawaiian culture, but it has a much deeper rooted significance.
Each letter of this word has its own meaning. “A” stands for what you say and how your words affect others; “L” stands for working with others, the environment and the elements; “O” is for being transparent; “H” is for being humble; and “A” is for patience. Using this word is spreading all of these qualities and unconditional love to yourself and others.
The opening of the massage started with a movement called “flying.” The purpose of this motion is to generate energy and clear away any unwanted energy in the room.
After this motion, both hands are placed on the back, above the heart and at the base of the spine to ground ourselves and connect to the receiver. Any unwanted thoughts, feelings, or emotions were wiped away and the intention of the massage is set. Here an opening chant may be sung.We learned a traditional Hawaiian chant the second day of the workshop. Aileen would sing it to us and we would repeat. I honestly got quite emotional during this part of the workshop. Music is a great way to open up all parts of our being and allow healing and comfort as well as give strength and power.
After the chant, light palpations of the spine are given to feel for any tension. The legs are moved slightly off the table and the sarong covering the client is then moved to cover only the buttocks. Three gentle strokes up along the spine are given. In the Hawaiian language this is called “Kahi” meaning “to stroke or lightly touch.” Lastly, we oiled the bodies, starting at the feet, up the legs, and to the back and shoulders.
When we got into the massage portion of the workshop, we started from the upper back and shoulders, down to the lower back, the glutes, hamstrings, calves, then to the feet. We started with shorter movements then eventually led into full body strokes.The forearms were used the most, as well as the palms, elbows, wrists and fingers. Once you get a feel for the movements, it really does start to feel like a dance.
To close out the treatment a sarong is gently pulled over the client to help to settle and clear away anything that was brought up during the session. It was a very relaxing ending to a very relaxing massage. To finish off, we repeated the laying of the hands from the opening. One hand is placed over the heart and the other over the base of the spine. After releasing and stepping back from the receiver, three important words are said aloud: “Aloha” to leave/end with love “Mahalo” to give gratitude (to the client) and “Pao” it is done.
It definitely takes practice but once you get into a few good rhythms you feel pretty good! I am so grateful for Aileen and the Dublin Wellness Centre for allowing me to participate in this workshop. It was an overall enlightening experience that opened my eyes up to other forms of amazing healing techniques.
By Emma Truitt