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Lomilomi Massage: All You Need To Know

Lomilomi is a unique, ancient massage technique that’s not super well known but can be very effective.

What is Traditional Hawaiian Lomilomi Massage?

Lomilomi massage is a Hawaiian healing modality that’s all about relaxation and wellness. It’s a holistic massage therapy that combines massage techniques, nut oils, breathing and dance to rebalance and rejuvenate the body.

In general, it's great for anyone who wants to find balance, improve physical health or restore spiritual well-being since it claims to be physically and emotionally healing.

As a traditional healing practice, it releases blockages, promotes circulation, and induces a deeper connection with the divine. The combination of physical and spiritual healing is also known as ‘loving hands massage’.

History and Philosophy of the Healing Practice

Lomilomi massage, a traditional Hawaiian massage, has its roots in ancient Hawaiian culture and spirituality and was brought to Hawaii by the original Polynesians.

This unique massage technique is based on the principles of the Huna philosophy, which is about creating harmony, balance and a deeper connection to the natural world. According to the Hawaiians, Lomilomi creates an environment where the body, mind and soul can align and understand itself and the world around us.

Although largely banned by foreign missionaries in the 19th century, lomilomi massage remained a popular practice among native Hawaiians and foreign residents as a restorative massage.

Benefits of Lomilomi Massage

Relief from Muscle Tension and Stress

Lomilomi massage provides relief from muscle tension and stress by working on the entire body, giving the same level of stress and muscle tension relief as a deep tissue massage but with a different emphasis.

As a traditionally restorative and deep tissue massage, it's all about relieving pain, creating relaxation and restoring balance.

In a more medical sense, lomilomi encourages lymphatic flow and circulation, healthy glowing skin and reduced swelling.

Overall Wellness and Self Awareness

Lomilomi massage promotes overall wellness by creating deep relaxation and self awareness. The gentle yet firm strokes lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones and puts you in a more relaxed state of mind.

Emotional Tensions

Emotional wellness is a big part of Lomilomi massage. The nurturing touch and rhythmic movements release stored emotional tensions and promotes emotional balance and well being.

Many clients find this massage technique helps them process and release emotional blockages and feel more harmonious and peaceful. By addressing physical and emotional aspects, Lomilomi massage is a holistic approach to healing and relaxation.

Before Your First Lomilomi Massage

Keeping in mind that Lomilomi is quite different from other forms of massage therapy since it’s a deeper level of relaxation and healing.

What should I tell my lomilomi therapist before starting?

If you have any injuries or areas of concern, let your therapist know. That way they can adjust their technique. This also includes any existing health conditions that may affect how your therapist should approach your treatment.

What to wear to a lomi lomi massage?

You can disrobe to your own comfort level and towels are provided to cover yourself. You definitely don't need to get completely naked, but having an exposed back is recommended.

Massage Therapist

Your Lomi Lomi massage therapist should be a trained and certified practitioner who has studied Lomilomi massage in their training and practice.

A Lomi Lomi massage therapist is more than just massaging your body. They are there to remove the blockages in you, physical and emotional.

Massage therapists take pride in creating a safe and nurturing space for their clients, using a nurturing touch and providing a calm mental space. This can include gentle prayers for well being and soothing music.

But the therapist is not a healer; they want you to feel like they have helped you relax and harmonize in your body. Lomi Lomi practitioners are not healers but enablers.

What to Expect in a Lomilomi Massage

A traditional Lomilomi body massage will be an hour or more and will involve long flowing strokes all over your body. Your massage therapist will also use gentle stretches to release tension and improve flexibility. The goal is to create an environment where your body, mind and soul can be in sync and relaxed. Usually this is macadamia oil, walnut oil, coconut oil or something similar.

Lomilomi Massage Tables

If you already run a massage practice and are considering adding lomilomi to your services, this section is for you. If not, you'll probably want to skip to the next section.

Before you commit to providing lomilomi as a service, you'll want to get set up with the right equipment - specifically, the right massage table. Lomilomi as a massage technique has a few traits that should be considered when you're picking out a table:

  • Sturdiness and Stability: Lomilomi massage involves long, flowing strokes and rhythmic movements that require a stable table to ensure the client’s safety and comfort.
  • Wide Surface: You'll be using the forearms and elbows, requiring a broader surface to move around the client comfortably.
  • Comfortable Padding: Sessions can be longer and having thick and comfortable padding helps keep your patient comfortable.
  • Height Adjustability: You'll be using a range of motion and pressures, so being able to raise or drop the table is important for your health as much as it is for your patients.
  • Easy-to-Clean Materials: Oils are part of lomilomi, so you'll need a surface that's durable and easy to clean.

Here are the two best Alevo massage tables suited to lomilomi:

  1. For spas and wellness centres: Pro-Lift Beauty Lift MKIII Special


  • Raising, adjustable sections to assist with treatment and keep you, the practitioner, comfortable thoughtout.
  • Premium Dunlop cushioning system.
  • Integrated head cradle and armrest for clients to lay or sit comfortably for as long as needed.
  • Rated to a safe loading capacity of 220kg.
  1. For travelling massage therapists: Centurion Genesis Compact


  • Lightweight (around 13kg)
  • Small incremental height settings for a table height
  • Plastic washers between all metal parts prevent noise during treatments
  • Quality stainless steel hardware

Investing in a quality massage table can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your Lomilomi massage sessions, providing a stable and relaxing environment for healing.

What’s different about Lomilomi Techniques and Flowing Strokes

Lomilomi uses unique long strokes, and pressure points specific to this modality. It’s not like any other traditional massage – Swedish massage for example.

The techniques are to release tension and stress but with a deeper focus on harmonising the body, physically and emotionally. The techniques used in lomi lomi are supposed to balance the body through the holistic approach of massage therapy. This is not just about physical pain and stiffness but also emotional and spiritual imbalances.

How to find a Massage Therapist

Many people want to find a massage therapist who can do Lomilomi not a watered down version.

A good way to find a certified and experienced massage therapist trained in lomilomi is to look for certification from the Hawaiian Medical Board or a reputable organisation. This will ensure the individual has gone through the correct training to do an authentic lomilomi massage.

There are a few other things to consider when looking for a therapist, experience and client feedback. With Lomilomi massage specifically, you want to make sure the therapist knows the practice and can give you what you’re looking for.

More and more people want to find a massage therapist who can do proper Lomilomi not a watered down version.

Also consider a few other things when looking for a therapist, how long they have been working and client feedback. Make sure the therapist knows about Lomilomi massage and can give you what you’re looking for.


Try Lomilomi massage for relaxation, wellness and balance and see how it can benefit you. Book a session today and give it a shot!