What To Know Before Getting A Lomi Lomi Massage

In desperate need of a vacation, but can’t get the PTO days? Enjoy a relaxing experience that feels like a tropical escape without booking a flight. 

The lomi lomi massage is a tropical breeze, dip in the sea and sun-soaked nap all in one rejuvenating and calming massage. With unique benefits and distinct differences from other massage forms, this Polynesian massage style will pleasantly surprise you. 

Curious about this rhythmic and relaxing treatment? Here’s everything you should know about a lomi lomi massage.

What is a Lomi Lomi Massage?

A lomi lomi massage has Polynesian roots and was brought to Hawaii by Polynesian settlers. Historically, lomi lomi massages were only practiced by trained healers and were a part of preparation for spiritual ceremonies. This practice disappeared for decades with American missionaries deemed them “heathen practices,” – but in the 1950s, there was a resurgence from native Hawaiians reclaiming the healing benefits of a lomi lomi massage. 

The Lomi Lomi style of massage treats the body holistically and spiritually as much as it does physically. The term “Lomi Lomi” comes from the Hawaiian and Samoan languages and roughly translates “to rub or knead.” 

Lomi lomi massages have the goal of intense physical and mental relaxation. A lomi lomi masseuse will leverage their hands, forearms and elbows to create sweeping motions across your body from head to toe. Using rhythmic movements, the massage can feel like a dance as they knead your muscles. 

What Makes a Lomi Lomi Massage Special

Lomi lomi massages have similar uber-relaxing results as Swedish massages but have an added level of holistic wellness. Many lomi lomi massages begin with a small ceremony that may include singing, praying or deep breathing to help transition you into the treatment. This allows you to connect and immerse yourself in the healing benefits of the treatment. 

Lomi lomi massages also leverage copious amounts of oils to minimize friction and easily slide across the skin during the treatment. Because of this, it’s recommended that you don’t wear any clothing during the massage (though you’ll have a strip of fabric covering your midsection for comfort). 

lomi lomi massages prioritize comfort overall. Swedish, sport and other deep tissue massages will sometimes cross the line from “hurts so good” to just “hurts.” Lomi lomi massages only stay within the realm of pressure that feels amazing on muscles. 

Lomi lomi massages also spend more time than other forms of massage targeting the belly with gentle massages. These movements were developed to help alleviate the gut, as historically, these massages were sometimes used to help alleviate stomach pain in children.

Why Get a Lomi Lomi Massage

Any massage is an easy sell, but lomi lomi massages are especially attractive to anyone looking for the following:

  • A relaxing, spiritual experience that supports total mental and physical relaxation. 
  • A soothing massage that focuses on comfort at all times
  • An opportunity to connect with traditional Polynesian and Hawaiian cultures. 
  • Long, rhythmic massage strokes and total body involvement

In short, anyone looking for an intensely relaxing massage experience. 

Average Cost of a Lomi Lomi Massage

Traditional lomi lomi massages can be harder to find than other forms of massage due to their specific area of origin. You can find the most trained lomi lomi specialists in Hawaii or other areas with a connection to the history of the practice. However, you may be able to find massage therapists that offer lomi lomi massages in other regions. 

When you come across a lomi lomi massage treatment, you can expect to pay between $100 and $ 250 for an hour, depending on the facilities. Some higher-end spas include amenities along with the treatment, while others offer the massage for a lower overall price. Decide what experience you want to determine the most accurate price range. 

How to Prepare for a Lomi Lomi Massage

Here are some things to keep in mind before heading into your lomi lomi massage:

  • You are welcome to dress down to your comfort level, but the less clothes, the better. Some people prefer their birthday suit. Others prefer to keep their underwear on. Either way, you will have a cloth covering areas that are not being actively massaged. 
  • Your masseuse will start and end the massage with small relaxing practices to help guide you in and out of the massage. This may include controlled breathing, prayer, singing or other forms of ceremonial rituals. Use this time to appreciate the beauty of this unique massage and sink in the healing benefits of connecting with yourself before the massage begins. 
  • You will lie on both your back and your stomach during the massage. This is so the specialist can target different pressure points with the best possible strategy. The masseuse will also spend time massaging your stomach, a less common area for massage. 
  • Your masseuse will leverage lots of oil for the best possible glide during the massage. Expect your hair and skin to be pretty shiny after the treatment!
  • There is a less common flow to the order of lomi lomi massage than other more common types. Lomi lomi specialists will have a much more dynamic approach to your massage, returning to body parts multiple times throughout the treatment. 

Escape to your metaphorical island of comfort and peace with a simple yet impactful treatment. Need help finding a relaxing lomi lomi massage in your area? Check out all of the facilities at your fingertips with ClassPass.

Amanda Rouse is a freelance writer and content strategist living in San Clemente, California. When she’s not actively dodging writer’s block, she’s probably trail running, doing a crossword puzzle, or falling off of waves (She soon hopes to call this “surfing.”). Follow her and send her funny reels on Instagram.
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