The other day somebody contacted me on Facebook asking about Hawaiian massage. When they found out that I am a woman, their answer was – I prefer men, I like strong massage.
I smiled (ok, I giggled) and wished them to find a perfect massage therapist for their needs. But this article will not be about gender stereotypes in massage business. Today let’s answer this question – is Hawaiian lomi lomi strong or soft?
Well, it depends how you understand these words.
When you hear ‘soft massage’, what do you imagine? I imagine massage that is very delicate, like a touch of a butterfly. I imagine hands gently stroking the skin, barely touching. I imagine light, soft, caressing movements.
I don’t like massages like this, they are nice but don’t do much for me. And in that sense, lomi lomi is NOT a soft massage. It’s deep, VERY deep for the body. It’s powerful. It’s dynamic. I use a lot of pressure as well as stretches and rotations to go deeply into the muscles and joints.
When you hear ‘strong massage’, what do you imagine? I imagine massage that is painful and unpleasant, that uses force. I imagine that during the session I feel discomfort and after massage I may be sore and feel bruised. I imagine that there’s no time and no chance for the body to relax, open up and let go.
Here’s a thing: I don’t like massages like this and I don’t believe in painful massages.
In that sense, lomi lomi is NOT a strong massage. It gives body time, it gives YOU time. It doesn’t force anything – the body lets go of tensions when it feels ready. It’s not about “the more I push, the stronger I am and the more pain you feel, the more effective it will be”. Oh, no.
Confused? Keep reading.
Lomi lomi IS soft. My clients describe it as ‘swimming in the ocean’, ‘flying on the cloud’, ‘being in the womb’. There’s a lot of gentleness, love and care in this massage. No extra pain, no hard-core.
Lomi lomi IS strong. Some of my clients compare it to a good workout. The body feels the effects hours and days after the session. Muscles are softened and relaxed, joints are loosened up, the whole body is renewed.
If I had to use just one word to describe Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, I would say: effective. It’s the only thing that matters to me: that you feel effects of this massage – physical, emotional and mental effects. Sometimes I am very slow and more delicate in the session, sometimes I am very deep and powerful – all this to give your body exactly what it needs.
Question to my clients, massage practitioners and everybody who ever tried lomi lomi – what one word would you use to describe this massage?