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Lomi Lomi

Lomi Lomi is the Hawaiian word for massage—and has its own unique qualities.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: October 3, 2013

Lomi Lomi massage is a Hawaiian massage method. The word "lomi lomi" actually just means massage in Hawaiian.

The origins of Lomi Lomi: Massage came with the ancient Polynesians to Hawaii. Hawaiians at all levels of society enjoyed the practice, from chieftains to children.

The first Westerners to come to Hawaii encountered lomi lomi massage, and it soon became popular with both residents and visitors (despite a 1886 law against "superstitious methods"). The modern founder of Lomi Lomi is considered to be Margaret Machado, who started openly teaching the traditional method in 1973.

Benefits Of Lomi Lomi

Lomi Lomi practitioners emphasize the emotional and spiritual origin of Lomi Lomi. The massage is said to make massage recipients calm and relaxed. The long strokes of Lomi Lomi are useful for improving circulation and lymphatic drainage.

What To Expect

The massage consists of long, continuous strokes that are meant to improve blood flow, release energy blockages, and restore the body. A unique aspect of Lomi Lomi is that a masseuse may massage two different parts of the body at once, so a hand may dig into your shoulder while another puts pressure on your hip.

Most of the body is uncovered during the massage, unlike classic massages, where only the body part worked on is undraped. For this reason, Lomi Lomi massage therapists keep the temperature in the Lomi Lomi room warm.

Lomi Lomi practitioners begin the session by repeating a calming prayer, which can be said silently or chanted aloud. The Lomi Lomi massage therapist may also do a short hula dance during the session to encourage good energy.

Lomi Lomi is often mistaken for a hot stone massage, but stones are just a small part of the session. Massage therapists also use their palms, forearms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, and feet, as well as physical objects, like sticks. Clients of the Lomi Lomi massage say that the gentle stretches have a wave-like rhythm.

Specialized equipment: Lomi Lomi massage therapists use oil during the massage.

Recommended sessions: Lomi Lomi massage is mild and restorative. Regular sessions may help with chronic stress.

Preparation: As with any sort of massage, inform the therapist if you are pregnant or have an injury.


Lomi Lomi is a gentle massage and carries very little risk.

Who wouldn't benefit: People who want to treat one specific body part or get relief from a chronic condition like scoliosis may be better served with a more intense and direct form of massage.

Find licensed and certified experts who offer Lomi Lomi near you