I was contacted recently by a current student (not one of mine) with some Lomi Lomi questions so here they are and here are my answers.
Q. How often do you perform Lomi Lomi massage or how often do clients request that service? What type of clients typically see you for Lomi Lomi massage (specific issues or more spiritual or do they just find it relaxings)? Is Lomi Lomi massage more stressful on your body than Swedish massage? Do you typically perform this massage at a client's home or in an office space? What about Temple Lomi draping? What kind of draping do you use for Lomi Lomi massage? And finally what are any common misconceptions about Lomi Lomi massage?
In answer to how often I perform Lomi Lomi, I would say every day. After I learned Lomi Lomi it became a part of every massage that I do. I may not do an entire Lomi protocol at every session but every client gets some part of Lomi as part of my regular massage now. It is not necessarily a requested service but I have had clients call me specifically for Lomi when they find out that I do that type of massage. I would say that the ones that do call me for Lomi are looking for a different type of massage experience outside the standard Swedish relaxation massage experience or even the deep tissue massage experience. Most people have seen the videos online or have had someone come back for Hawaii and tell them of their experience of having a Lomi massage. Not everyone however understands that there are as many variations of Lomi as there are of Swedish massage.
I must say that I do not do Temple-style Lomi which is a more modern take on Lomi and not necessarily what would have actually been practiced by the Kahunas and Kapunas of old. The Lomi practitioner of the Islands would have been skilled in more than just the manual manipulation of tissue but also would have been knowledgable of herbs and the skillful manipulation of joints and other areas of healing. My tradition of Lomi comes from Aunty Margaret lineage as my original instructor studied directly with her on the Big Island - Hawaii. The Lomi protocol that I do is not more stressful on my body than Swedish massage or any of the other modalities that I know. In fact, I would say that it is probably less stressful based on the movements and body mechanics I have learned to use with the Lomi that I have learned over the years.
I do work out of an office or my own home and rarely do out-calls any more. And my method of draping is pretty much the same as any standard Swedish massage. I modestly drape and always use a bottom sheet for my Lomi massage. As I said before I do not practice Temple Lomi. I have had students come to my classes expecting Temple Lomi but have not gone away disappointed with what they have learned.
I think that the most common misconception about Lomi Lomi massage is that it is ALL Temple Lomi since that is what they see most on the Internet and You Tube. I have had my class cancelled at a spa because that is what they thought it was going to be and would not even give me a chance to do a practical demonstration! There are many books available to you and many versions of Lomi, if you are interested then take some classes. In fact I would love to come to Michigan and show you my version of Lomi!
Please come back to my website as I am currently in the process of creating some videos of my Aunty Margaret style Pololei Lomi and would love for you to see them. I love Lomi Lomi and the results that I get with clients - both relaxation wise and structurally. I hope that you give it a try in a variety of its different styles.
And thanks for the question!
Paula J Kaprocki, LMT
I am a Licensed Massage Therapist with thoughts, aspirations and opinions - much like any other person on the planet!