- $35 for a 60-minute deep-tissue, thai, or hawaiian lomi-lomi massage ($70 value)
Lomilomi Massage: Dancing Toward Spiritual Wellness
Lomilomi massage is as much about inner peace as it is about outer relaxation. Explore Groupon’s guide to the modality to learn more about this unique practice.
Lomilomi could be translated as simply as “rub rub,” but the motions of the hands don’t tell the whole story of this Hawaiian massage form. As the healers employ broad movements, using their forearms, elbows, and hands to treat both the upper and lower body, they’re working in tune with the spiritual realm around them to bring the body into harmony with its surroundings. Emphasis is placed on long, gliding movements, often aided by oil, and therapists move around their reclining clients with graceful, dance-like steps. They may also press in with circular thumb motions, knead with the knuckles, or chop with the side of the hand to release tension from larger muscles.
Lomilomi has a long legacy within the Hawaiian community, but it was only in the 1970s that “Auntie” Margaret Machado established a formal teaching practice that welcomed anyone who wanted to learn the art. That hasn’t diminished the place of the mystical in lomilomi. “During a genuine lomilomi session, the therapist is aligned with divine energy, and keeps his or her heart and mind clear for Spirit to move through them as a conduit for healing energy. Proper breathing and pure thoughts are important,” wrote Tamara Mondragon, one of Machado’s first students, in Massage magazine in 2000. Sessions often begin with a prayer or blessing, and practitioners work to enhance peace of mind as well as bodily relaxation. While this energy work is being performed, lomilomi can bestow similar physical benefits to Swedish massage, such as improved circulation, a lower heart rate, and enough flexibility to beat an octopus at Twister.