Defining Hawaiian Lomilomi



Here are some quotes I collected years ago … If you have a good one to add, email us!  Mahalo, Nancy

“Lomilomi means the loving touch, a connection between heart, hand and soul with the Source of all life. The purpose is to revive the body, to move blood and lymph, to open spasms and remove waste materials from muscles and connective tissue.

“… If your hands are gentle and loving, your patient will feel the sincerity of your heart and the Lord’s healing will flow through you both.”

by Aunty Margaret Machado, LMT.

“As a releaser of blocks the [Kahuna] shaman was trained in the use of energy to relieve physical, emotional, and mental stress, and in methods of changing limiting beliefs… Energy release was most often based on lomi-lomi, a Hawaiian form of massage combining elements resembling Swedish and Esalen massage, rolfing, polarity therapy, acupressure, laying on of hands, and other variations.”  

Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King, Ph.D.


“In Hawaii…healers often made use of physical manipulation as an aid to what might be called ‘mental’ healing. This manipulation was called Lomilomi, and was a combination of massage, bathing and deep manipulation-every action accompanied by an action of mind to aid healing and relieve pain.

“If suggestion is given at the time that the vital force is transferred through the hands of the healer, and the massage and manipulations act as a stimulus, the combination is most perfect. Lomilomi at its best included all three of these important elements.”

Secret Science Behind Miracles  by Max Freedom Long


“Lomilomi has been with the Hawaiian people from the start of their oral history. It is a healing tradition that uses many techniques.” 

Besides massage some of these techniques include heat, hot pohaku (stones) wrapped in fresh koli (castor oil plant) leaves; cleansing, the use of diluted sea water and juice to cleanse and purge the body; topical herbal therapy, the use of herbs (la’au) to treat skin, muscles, tendons and joints.

Hawaii’s Healing Tradition  by Dane Kaohelani Silva


Lomilomi is an ancient Hawaiian concept of working with the mana (life force) of the body, mind, and soul of an individual. To obtain the level of immediate and long-term healing necessary, the practitioner uses a multitude of techniques. Their ability to communicate deep “into the bones” via the muscles and soft tissues is important because it is at this level that all memory is stored from past traumas, injuries, or emotional links.  As in many indigenous cultures, the bones are the most important and protected part of the physical structure, and the energetics of the individual.”

by Maka’ala Yates, D.C.

“Hawaiian Lomilomi is an ancient healing art that was taught and handed down within the same family. The first and foremost feature that sets Hawaiian Lomilomi apart from any other style of massage as a separate and unique massage style is the Hawaiian philosophy of healing and the way it is taught.

“Lomilomi improves circulation by dilating blood vessels. This is a step toward restoring the body’s vigor. Lomilomi improves the nutrition of tissues and heightens metabolism.”

Lomilomi: Right Brain Healing Art by Mary Golden, CMT


“The Hawaiian People of ancient times used Lomilomi and Seawater la’au soaks as a means of healing and cleansing the mind, body and spiritual well-being of the individual.  Ancient Hawaiian Kahuna Lapa’au believed there is ‘Mana’ in every living thing, and in the Ocean (Seawater). The Kahuna Lapa’au had rituals of using the Ocean to cleanse, restore and purify Mana’o (mind), Kino (body) and Uhane (spirit). They used ocean water to Hiu’wai (cleanse) impurities of the person they were working with.

“Our Honua planet Earth is a sacred temple. Now is the time for “E Ho’ola A Lahai I Ta Pu’uwai Ola I Ta Honua” Healing the Heartbeat of our peoples and planet Earth. Now more than ever needs a center focus of Lokahi, working together in a collective effort on the part to bring in more consciousness, healing, harmony, love, laughter, happiness, light and a sense of oneness among our planet, our native peoples and all mankind.”

Ho’ola Lomilomi Lapa’au Clilnic  by Kumu Leiana’ala Brown, LMT.

“Since the Hawaiian culture and religion was founded on the principle of aloha – unconditional love and compassion – it was only natural that the healing techniques of the kahunas should follow suit.

 “To Native Hawaiians, all of nature is imbued with the same living energy, or spirit, that is inherent in humans. They make no distinctions between alive or dead, animate or inanimate, conscious or unconscious. Consciousness, they believe, is everywhere, in everything: the rock on the shore, the wave on the ocean, the bird diving into the wave to catch the fish that ‘hears’.”

In the ancient Hawaiian tradition, the Kahuna lomi communicated with the spirits of the body. Each body part had its own consciousness, which in turn contributed to the collective that made up the larger consciousness of a person.”

Hawaiian Shamanism and the Aloha Way  by Ronayne Loderus


“The Kahuna Lomilomi was preceded by a general massage of the body. Beginning first with gentle, even pressure to relax the self and increase circulation, the pressure was slowly increased into deep muscle massage.

“On serious sprains and deep muscle pain, the Kahuna would use heated stones…[and] various adjustments were made.”

Huna Self-Awareness  by Dr. Erika S. Nau



The timeless wisdom and grace of Hawaiian Lomilomi massage communicates deep within the core of the self. Through breath, imagery and movement, the fluid motions of lomilomi gain healing access to the inner links which connect each of us, the environment and the Universal Spirit. These links allow for the transfer and accumulation of life force and the subsequent transformation into mana. The result of focused practices of thought and action, mana is the Polynesian power source for healing.

A newsletter  by Kaleo Ching

“It is correct to say that lomilomi encompasses a massage, but it is not limited to it. Native Hawaiians say the true definition of lomilomi  is reconnecting with spirit.”

Tamara Mondragon


‘The Hawaiians look at things in terms of energy flow, following the idea that an idea or belief can block energy flow as much as muscle tension can. Lomilomi helps release the blockages, whilst at the same time giving the energy new direction. Thus lomilomi is not just a physical experience, it also facilitates healing on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels as well. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the ‘whole’ self – when healing occurs on one level, it impacts on all levels. Rather than viewing the client as someone to ‘be fixed’, a lomilomi practitioner views each person as a Being to be assisted in returning to harmony and balance. It is important to remember that the practitioner does not heal but is the facilitator for the healing, creating a safe place for the healing to occur.’

Tracy Ha’a o Laka i nã pali, Australia

“Traditional techniques have been practiced and passed down within the families for generations. The use of herbal medicines (externally and internally) was part of the treatment, usually done by a kahuna la’au lapa’au specialist after much pule (prayer). Techniques include hamo, kahi, kupele, kaomi, and forearm kneading and gliding strokes. Some movements also use Hawaiian sea salt, lomi sticks, and hot stones. Internal cleansing and steam baths were also practiced regularly in ancient times. Perhaps one of the most ancient of the Hawaiian Healing Arts would be ho’oponopono, the practice of forgiveness and alignment of body, mind, and spirit. This remains a very powerful and transformative tool in total healing of the individual and community.”

Hawaiian Lomilomi: Big Island Massage (2nd Ed)  by Nancy Kahalewai, LMT.