What do you imagine when you hear “massage training”? Some people think about hours of anatomy class and theory, others see hours of massaging one another. I really didn’t know what to expect when I was starting my first lomi lomi training one winter morning, January 2017. Now, 9 trainings later, both learning and teaching, I know, feel and understand that learning massage, especially Hawaiian massage, is not just massaging.
To massage someBODY you need to know YOUR BODY. Learning lomi lomi in my case was not only hours of exchanging massages, but also hours of self massage. Feeling my own body. Finding my tensions and learning how to release them. Learning anatomy in practice, without naming the muscles, but just FEELING them. Rolling, stretching, pulling, pressing, breathing and understanding PHYSICALLY what happens when tensions are approached with care and given time to release. At first I couldn’t understand why we spend so much time on ourselves before touching somebody, but now I know – this was not BEFORE learning how to massage, this was the actual training and all these hours of automassage and breathing sessions gave me a solid base to become a good, intuitive, efficient masseuse.
Lomi lomi training also includes dancing, learning how to synchronize breath, arms and legs in the dance. And again, somebody would think – dancing? Weren’t we suppose to learn massage? Well, believe me that dancing IS a part of learning how to massage. Thanks to hours of dancing one simple frigate bird dance, or “the flying” as it is called, I know how to manage my energy and breath during massage (that is, I remind you, usually 1,5 hours or longer!), how to move around the table effortlessly, creating the feeling of endless flow of movement that my clients love so much.
Learning lomi lomi is also learning Hawaiian chants and songs, and basic information about Hawaiian philosophy or traditions. To me, there’s no Hawaiian massage without understanding at least a bit of Hawaii.
Learning lomi lomi, is, of course, giving and getting massages, lots of them. But the way of teaching may be very different to what you expect or know from school. There’s no “good” or “bad”, nothing to “accomplish”, there is no “must” or “mustn’t”, no pressure, no grades. Learning massage is learning to follow what you feel under your hands, it is learning by observing the teacher and massaging together, it is hands-on practice. There is of course a structure in lomi lomi, but even practicing this structure (for example, the back stroke or rotations) is in fact mostly about relaxing in the process, listening to the body and allowing the intuitive flow.
This is how I was taught lomi and how I teach it. I give you practical knowledge, I put you into doing, experiencing and feeling.
On my individual and group trainings I teach full lomi lomi massage sequence, movements, techniques and everything needed for giving a massage session (so, for example, how to assess the client and gather information before the massage, what oils to use for massage, what massage table to choose, how to prepare and hold space, how to open and close the session, how to take care of your own body and energy level during and after the massage). And I teach more – Hawaiian chants and basic steps of hula (Hawaiian dance), breathwork, elements of Hawaiian history and philosophy and, of course, automassage.
These photos are from lomi lomi individual training of Agata, my first student. We were dancing, breathing, stretching, rolling and massaging, massaging, massaging for 5 days, practicing aloha in motion. I feel so proud of her… and me!
You will find more information about individual and group massage trainings with me at www.alohamagdalena.com/learn-lomilomi