Health Benefits of Lomi Lomi Hawaiian Massage

Hawaiian Massage For Whole Body Healing

Hawaiian massage
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Lomi lomi (also referred to as "lomilomi") is a type of massage long practiced in Hawaiian medicine. An ancient healing modality in Hawaii, it's rooted in huna (a Hawaiian philosophy centered on achieving harmony in mind, body, and spirit). Along with improving circulation and promoting relaxation, lomi lomi is said to provide many spiritual and emotional benefits (including relief of fear, anxiety, and other negative emotions).

One of the goals of lomi lomi massage is to remove blockages in the body's natural flow of energy. As in traditional Chinese medicine, energy blockages are thought to contribute to problems in physical, emotional, and mental health.

What Does Lomi Lomi Involve?

Typically beginning with a prayer, lomi lomi is a spiritually based form of massage. Achieving a greater connection with the spiritual world is thought to be one of the central goals of lomi lomi.

Although practitioners use a variety of techniques and tailor each treatment to the needs of the client, this form of massage typically involves rhythmic, flowing movements.

In some cases, lomi lomi entails the use of meditation, breathing exercises, and healing through herbal remedies.

Benefits of Lomi Lomi

While research on the health effects of lomi lomi is currently lacking, a great deal of scientific studies have shown that massage therapy may offer a variety of benefits.

For example, there's some evidence that massage therapy may help improve range of motion and reduce pain in people with low back pain and sciatica.

In addition, some studies indicate that undergoing massage on a regular basis may help keep blood pressure in check, enhance functioning in people with arthritis, and ease pain in people prone to tension headaches.

Massage may also be beneficial to people with carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as those with mental-health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Caveats

Certain individuals need to take caution when undergoing massage. For example, there's some concern that vigorous or intense massage may be harmful to people with conditions such as cancer or bleeding disorders.

If you're considering the use of lomi lomi (or any other type of massage therapy) in treatment of a chronic health problem, make sure to consult your physician first.

Alternatives to Lomi Lomi

There are many forms of massage therapy that may help enhance your health and aid in the treatment of certain health problems. For instance, deep tissue massage appears to help treat chronic pain conditions such as low back pain. Thai massage, meanwhile, may help promote stroke recovery. And aromatherapy massage shows promise in the treatment of such issues as anxiety and depression.

Learn more about the 10 most popular types of massage therapy.

Where to Find It

While traditional lomi lomi is not widely practiced, a number of spas offer massage treatments that incorporate some elements of lomi lomi (including the use of hot stones). Traditional lomi lomi is generally found in private practices rather than in a spa setting.

Sources

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Hou WH, Chiang PT, Hsu TY, Chiu SY, Yen YC. "Treatment effects of massage therapy in depressed people: a meta-analysis." J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;71(7):894-901.

Mitchinson AR, Kim HM, Rosenberg JM, Geisser M, Kirsh M, Cikrit D, Hinshaw DB. "Acute postoperative pain management using massage as an adjuvant therapy: a randomized trial." Archives of Surgery 142(12):1158-67.

Moraska A, Chandler C. "Changes in Clinical Parameters in Patients with Tension-type Headache Following Massage Therapy: A Pilot Study." The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy 2008;16(2):106-12.

Moraska A, Chandler C, Edmiston-Schaetzel A, Franklin G, Calenda EL, Enebo B. "Comparison of a targeted and general massage protocol on strength, function, and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized pilot study." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2008 14(3):259-67.

Moyer CA, Rounds J, Hannum JW. "A meta-analysis of massage therapy research." Psychol Bull. 2004 Jan;130(1):3-18.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. "Massage Therapy: An Introduction." NCCAM Pub No.: D327. August 2010.

Olney CM. "The effect of therapeutic back massage in hypertensive persons: a preliminary study." Biological Research for Nursing 2005 7(2):98-105.

Perlman AI, Sabina A, Williams AL, Njike VY, Katz DL. "Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial." Archives of Internal Medicine 2006 166(22):2533-8.

Posadzki P, Smith TO, Lizis P. "Lomi Lomi as a massage with movements: a conceptual synthesis?" Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;15(6):44-9.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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