I discovered massage during my teen years in the early 1970s. Delighted by a back rub I received, I began to practice massage with my sister. For the next two decades I continued to give massage as a hobby to family and friends.
In 1995 I was working as a computer programmer in corporate America and raising my then ten and eleven year old children when I received a friendly termination offer. Taking a HUGE leap of faith, I released my golden handcuffs, and enrolled in Brian Utting School of Massage. A year later I opened Awareness Massage, my private practice, in Seattle.
In massage school I witnessed a lomilomi demonstration and was deeply moved by both the physical and spiritual grace. I knew instantly that lomilomi was my path. I was drawn to the attention paid to harmony between Spirit, people and nature.
I have been rooted in Quaker tradition since childhood.
Hawaiian spiritual healing traditions have given me wings. Quaker and
Hawaiian spirituality share a reverence for life, a strong sense of
community, and a belief in the intrinsic goodness of people which
Quakers call ‘that of God’ and some Hawaiians refer to as our ‘Bowl of
I studied with Shawn Lasala Kimmel, my first lomilomi teacher, for four years. I was inspired by her love of Hawaiian language, culture and spirituality. Under Shawn’s influence, I let go of clinical thinking and focused instead on developing myself as a clear healing channel and on giving massage with a tender heart.
The Hawaiian massage style I learned from Shawn was fluid and wave like. Although I never heard her identify her teachers, in hindsight I associate her lomi style as Temple style massage in the lineage of Abraham Kawai’i. In the seven years I practiced this lomilomi format, I flowed with loving touch which allowed both me and my receivers to reconnect with our essence, namely our love and our beauty.
Aloha wale no,
Barbara Helynn Heard
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