Hawaiian Lomilomi, Big Island Massage shares the cultural breadth of lomilomi, especially lomilomi from The Big Island (Hawaii Island). Lomilomi long has been embraced by the Hawaiian people, and used in everyday life. The author, Nancy Kahalewai, massage therapist since 1977, is also an educator, a historian and a writer. Raised in California, Nancy married into the Hawaiian community, lived in Hawaii for decades, and wrote this book with the trust and support of the local Hawaiian community. She now splits her time between Hawaii and New Zealand.
Nancy grounds her readers in Hawaii from the get-go. She describes how Hawaii has long been a place of healing (this has been true for me!!) and gives a brief history to help the reader understand how lomilomi is and has been an integral part of traditional life in Hawaii.
In defining the art of lomilomi Nancy writes, “Lomilomi begins and centers on a state of consciousness that reflects the grace and aloha of Hawai’i. It enables the physical and energetic systems of the body to flush out, transform, and revitalize as the soft tissues are gently but firmly loosened, separated and loved. It encompasses releasing and forgiving in order to bring all aspects of self into alignment. It is holy and holistic, sacred yet practical” Indeed, lomilomi is both sacred and practical! Done well, lomilomi certainly involves and affects body, mind and spirit! In Hawaiian Lomilomi, Big Island Massage, Nancy reflects on how lomilomi works with the body, with the mind, and with the spirit.
I have always especially enjoyed the chapter in this book about native Hawaiian practitioners with whom Nancy developed personal relationships. She writes about “talking story” with:
These people, many of whom have now “walked the rainbow” or “passed on”, are each wonderful and powerful healers and teachers. In reading Nancy’s descriptions of them, I am brought into their circle, a truly powerful experience for me! Thank you Nancy for keeping these people alive in my life, whether or not I ever met them in the flesh.
I sent you a big mahalo, Nancy, for writing and publishing Hawaiian Lomilomi, Big Island Massage. I will continue to recommend this special books to my students.
PS Nancy has also produced several videos which include interviews with Hawaiian healers and cultural leaders, as well as hands on demonstrations by lomilomi practitioners. Click here to visit her website to learn more.