When massage therapist with more than 30 years of experience Lolita Knight traveled to Fiji looking to soak up the sun and native culture, she wasn’t expecting to discover what would become the signature tool in her therapeutic arsenal. While living in a remote village on one of the nation’s smaller islands, however, Lolita had the good fortune of running into Simonis, a village doctor who had been healing sore muscles since the age of 7. A consummate giver, Simonis happily instructed Lolita in the methods that had been handed down to him across generations—methods that center on the feet and were unlike anything she had seen in her career.
Though her journey as a therapist has taken her to locales as far-flung as New Zealand, Lolita now devotes herself to the art of Fijian massage within the relaxing, tropical-themed confines of Islands Massage, which she founded in 2007. Fijian sarongs hanging from the walls and seashells scattered about evoke a distinctive island vibe as eclectic music wafts through the air. The soundtrack ranges "from Led Zeppelin to ocean sounds," says Lolita, who can find a kernel of relaxation in almost anything.
Aside from her specialty Fijian massage, in which she uses the pads of her feet and gravity to drive out tension, Lolita and her staff perform traditional table massages and healing sessions that utilize touch, such as Chinese acupressure facials and Indian head massage. To aid in relaxation, the therapists sometimes employ island-themed tools such as aqua heating pads or hurl coconuts at backs to break up clumps of tension.