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Beware of Strong Spiritual Component to Lomi Lomi Massage

iStock_000008324908_SmallMJD writes: "I cannot find anything on LOMI LOMI massage. From what I've read it sounds new age. Any thoughts?"

Lomi Lomi massage is a Hawaiian massage technique that is based on the existence of a universal life force energy that is not recognized by science and is considered to be part of a pantheistic worldview that is not compatible with Christianity.

For those who have never heard of it before, Lomi Lomi is based on a Hawaiian philosophy known as Huna which is the belief that everything in the universe seeks harmony and love. This is why Lomi Lomi is also referred to as “Loving Hands”.

As one practitioner, named Tracey Lakainapali, explains: “ . . . (W)hilst technique is an important part of the massage and associated healing, much of the work is done by love, with the focus of the practitioner on the client being deep and complete, using loving hands and a loving heart. This flowing with total energy, using the long continuous, flowing strokes, combined with the very loving touch, relaxes the entire being, assisting in a letting go of old beliefs, patterns and behaviors that cause limitations and which are stored in the cells of our body. . . .”

Native Hawaiians believe that ideas or beliefs can block energy flow and use this massage to release blockages and redirect the energy flow, thereby facilitating healing on the mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

The massage itself consists of very fluid, rhythmic motions with both the hands and forearms. Because Hawaiians believe energy can be blocked in the joints, gentle stretches and joint rotations are also part of the massage.

“The masseuse may also hum at various points during the Lomi Lomi as the vibrating and amplified energy that results also aids the release of blockages,” this site explains.

Hula dance, combined with breathwork, is also part of a Lomi Lomi massage.

“The movements are all important to assisting the energy flow both within the practitioner and recipient and helps keep the energy at a high level," Lakainapali explains. "This combined with breathing techniques by the masseuse are also important in assisting the energy flow. The sharing of the breath, the essence of the Creator or universal energy, whatever name you like to give it, is an old Hawaiian custom and greatly enhances the energy flow once again.”

There is obviously a very strong spiritual component to this massage technique, which is evident in the fact that it customarily begins with “prayer”.

“A Lomi Lomi usually commences with a stillness between the practitioner and client, often with the practitioners hands gently resting on the clients back. In this stillness the practitioner will quietly say a blessing or prayer asking for whatever healing is needed to take place during the massage. . . .”

There is no way to overstate the danger of this kind of activity during a massage which leaves the recipient vulnerable to any spirits a practitioner may call upon, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Masseuses are also expected to work “intuitively” with the client, which generally means relying upon one’s psychic abilities to discern how to proceed, which opens up a new level of danger.

Lomi Lomi massage is only New Age in so far as it embraces the pantheistic concept of a universal life force energy; but otherwise, this appears to be based in native Hawaiian beliefs.

My recommendation is to seek bona fide massage therapies and stay away from anything that involves a universal life force, especially those that are associated with the kind of “prayer” described here.