story, part 1
Barbara Helynn Heard
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 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.
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 Light’.
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
lomilomi format, I flowed with loving touch which allowed both me and
my receivers to reconnect with our essence, namely our love and our
Aloha wale no,
To read chapter 2,