During immersion workshop, I expressed to Barbara my concern with working on clients who only feel they get benefit with massage when someone tap dances on their back. I have one client specifically I asked her about. He is a sweet guy and great client, except that I was breaking myself trying to lay all my strength and body weight on him to give him enough pressure. Barbara told me to do the "soft, deep, deep" and to use my intention to go deeper instead of my force. To be truthful, I was skeptical that something like intention could work on a guy who would enjoy an ai shiatsu massage from a rhino or hippopotamus.
So shortly after returning home he was on my book. I was excited to put intention and the skills we learned together into action and see what happened. I started face up on the neck. For this client I have to work on the neck standing to get leverage. I start with just compression in the traps and lateral, post neck: light, deep, deep, pause, deep, deep pause. "Would you like more or less pressure," I asked. "No that is good," he says. "Good ," I reply as I feel that my fingers are not breaking, or shaking at this pressure. As I continue working on his arms and pecs and legs, it feels as though the more I massage this dense tissued man the less pressure I had to use, and the more easy and normal this massage started feeling to me. I was connected and present in this session. The whole room was full of peace and felt timeless.
The first time I worked on this client I planked all my weight on him for 90 minutes straight, laying in all the pressure I could on every body part indiscriminately. I was so nerve shocked that I was even doing this that I couldn't be present and focused on him. I was too focused on not hurting myself or falling on top of him. Now it seemed I knew all I needed to know to help this man feel his body. I saw the transition before my eyes and by the time this session was done he had even asked me to lighten up a few times. On his back and hips he did want a bit more pressure but instead of leaning my weight, I closed my eyes and felt through my middle finger and elbow. I imagined the tissue parting to let me in like the red sea or melting like butter. It worked.
At the end of the session talking more quiet and gentle than I have ever heard him he says to me, " You did some different stuff this session."
"Yes, did you like it ?"
"Yeah, I did." he said, almost surprised and impressed.
I could have jumped for joy or screamed. My heart was so happy. I now have the skills to keep clients I was thinking of sending away so I did not hurt myself. For that counts to me as double magic, timeless magic. So for that I thank you Barbara. I learned exactly the things I needed to better myself and my life.
Halee Asche, Westminster, MD, May 2017
FaceBook post in a massage group: "Seeking advice! I am limited to 2 maybe 3 hrs of massage a day and that always leaves me in large amounts of pain. I know it's body mechanics and possibly technique. I am looking for classes to learn from! I am only in my second year of this career and I'm determined not to burn out. Any help would be appreciated!
Response from Rachael Scott, " Barbara Helynn Heard has a really different approach to body mechanics that I've only started learning and it's already resolved my low back pain issues. It was difficult to wrap my mind around at first but now I'm hooked on it."
Rachael Scott, Seattle, WA, March 2017
Barbara, thank you once again for the amazing class! Thank you (especially) for being patient with me as you were teaching me the subtle body mechanics of the ManaLomi. That is amazing how observant you were and how you knew how to correct my performance in an instant.The biggest thing I gained was the awareness of my body when I am performing the massage.Also, for all of the treatment techniques that you showed us, I can't wait to start performing them the next few days! Thanks again for the great class!
Isaac Robancho, LMT of Seattle, WA, Oct. 2016
Barbara is the best teacher I have had. She approaches lomilomi teaching with the intent to help you take care of yourself as you take care of others. I have been doing massage for many years and I seldom take a class that I learn new techniques and other ways of thinking. I highly recommend her classes. She is a generous and loving teacher. Aloha!
on linked in, by Aurora Green of Muncie, Indiana. May 2016
Barbara has a true gift for teaching lomilomi. I took her 24 hour ManaLomi® level 1 training and am very pleased at how thorough, precise and knowledgeable she is on the technique/practice. She taught the concept of massage "to the bones" physically and energetically. Tapping into the bones allows the Mana Lomi® practitioner to communicate on a soul level so healing can take place. She is passionate about teaching and her practice. I can't wait to take another one of her classes.
on Yelp Anna Spengler, LMP., massage therapist, Seattle, WA, April 2015
Barbara is a gifted teacher. No matter how experienced you are, you will always learn something important from Barbara. She is can be in her head and in her heart at the same time. What more can I say!
on FaceBook Kathryn Ursitti Muirhead massage therapist in NH, Jan 22, 2015
Thank you for believing in me, and giving me more confidence. And telling and assuring me that I can figure things out.
Shannon Ludlum massage therapist in NJ 2014
love this lomilomi work. So happy I came to this class.
results were taught and achievable. I thought it might be
"woo woo" beforehand, but was glad it was what it was. There
a lot of information presented, but it was not rushed or crunched.
It was perfect.
Barbara's teaching style was grounded, focused, intuitive, nurturing and thought provoking. Her ability to figure out the perfect and simplest way to explain concepts was easy and thorough.
Barbara is an exceptional, honest and down to earth teacher... so much integrity and kindness in her work and heart. She lights the world with her gentle and effective ways.
anonymous, from a feedback form , massage therapist in the level 1 class taught in Hoboken, NJ, 2014
Love, Love Barbara's teaching style. she is great at giving
feedback, praise, and showing over and over what you need to tweak or
fix or just how to do the stroke again. She is laid back and
really brings a sense of family and togetherness to the class.
I just want to thank Barbara for letting me take the class even though I was a challenge by not being able to lie prone or have much of the ab work done. Not only did I learn a lot to use on my clients, but the work really helped me in my healing process.
Catherine O'Malley massage therapist in MD ~2014
Thank you for your kindness, your gentle, loving instruction, and your knowledge. This weekend has been transformational for me. Mahalo. Mahalo. Mahalo
massage therapist in PA ~2014
Thank you for an amazing weekend. On so many levels this was probably the most impressive workshop I ever took. You are an awesome teacher, so real, so humble and so caring. I will carry you in my heart for a long time. Thank you!
massage therapist in NJ ~2014
Best CEU class I've had yet.
I wanted to thank you again for such a wonderful learning experience. You really made this weekend special. I feel excited about my work in a way I haven't in a while. I also was able to observe where I need to make some changes in my thoughts and body to be able to better serve myself and my clients. Thank you creating the container and safe space for those ideas to arise and take shape within me ... I am grateful.
I look forward to integrating this beautiful work into my body and
practice. I hope to see you soon in another class.
Kelly Jump massage therapist in NJ ~2014
I just wanted to express my gratitude for the techniques you taught. Sharing your reason for teaching and pursuing massage set a beautiful tone for the day. Your genuine passion was made crystalline for me as your eyes started to water at one point.
I was puzzled for the past 6 months because I had an energy block on the right side of my body. It worried me because I couldn't "read" or really feel muscles anymore with my right hand because of it. The techniques employed during your class helped to release that and have deepened my respect for Mana Lomi.
I have garnished many things from your class that I plan to carry with me to my next step. Without this block being lifted, I would have not been able to do so.
Brittney Nansel massage therapist in Seattle, WA ~2013
Helynn recently came as a guest teacher to our massage school and I am
so thankful for her teachings. From the 4 hour class she shared on lomilomi I walked away with some very useful practices for myself and
Beyond the great techniques she offered and depth of body knowledge, she also engaged us with a deep and profound experience of being and staying present; really exploring what that is, how it feels and why it is so beneficial.
Overall it was a beautiful class that challenged me in the best of ways, helping me to know the body better and how best to engage with it.
I look forward to more practice with Barbara Helynn.
Misha K. massage therapy student in Seattle, WA ~2013
Helynn is the best it gets! I left my first class not so sure of
myself. But when I began practicing at home, I could still hear Barbara
Helynn instructing me. I mean she was so clear in her teachings while I
was in class, that I was able to replay her instructions in my mind.
Her descriptions of strokes and feelings were very easy to grasp because she used every day occurrences as teaching topics. You would be able to say "oh yeah", because you had experienced it in life already. Very clever in that way, Barbara Helynn is.
Not to go on and on, I will finish by saying, I have taken a second certificate course from Barbara Helynn and have plans of taking many more from my Hawaiian teacher, as her teachings cover that which I desire: educating the society about its environment (body mind earth connection).
I look forward to many more meetings with her and give thanks for her offerings.
Lisa Lynch massage therapist in Rutland, Vermont ~2013
I just wanted to say mahalo for the wonderful lomilomi review. It was exactly what I needed! You are an excellent teacher. Your style and delivery perfectly suit me. I've loved all my teachers and every class I've been in with regards to lomi and healing work, but your teaching was some of the best....just the way I like to receive information.
After the class, I kept thinking of Aunty Margaret and what it would have been like to have trained with her. In my mind, I imagine her method of teaching to be very similar to yours. I think she is smiling at you for sure!
I look forward to seeing you in the future.
Pualani massage therapist and mother in Kailua, HI ~2011
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for this weekend's Mana Lomi level 1 class. I have taken much with me from your class, most of all...
* I am the wine bottle, tall & proud, with my cork on straight.
* I do my best work when I am on the mountain top looking over the vast expanse of land.
* Take anything that I think of my massage from the negative aspect and put a positive spin on it.
Thank you for walking with me and helping me on my journey to discover.
Catherine McAvoy, massage therapist in MA ~ 2011
Helynn is both an excellent teacher and practitioner
Lomi. Practioners who are passionate about what they do and
in both skill and good intention are THE people to see, and
Barbara Helynn is definitely one of these people.
As to Mana Lomi, I love it! It's deep and soft, strong and gentle, all at the same time, and it promotes profound positive change.
In one special session Barbara Helynn greatly helped and impressed me by softening a long-standing "knot" of discomfort in my abdominal area that no one else had been able to treat successfully.
Lynna Dunn massage therapist, Seattle,WA ~ 2008
"Thank you so much for the teaching. It has really helped me sooo.... much. My intention and quality of touch has changed. I feel more present with the tissue and the client. Deeper connection is the best.
Also I found someone who needs neck work and I'm going over to his house tonight to do chair. Thanks to you I feel confident to do this. Thank you so much Barbara. This info and practice is so valuable!!!"
Martha Hillegass, massage therapist, Albuquerque, NM, 20013
" Barbara your teaching style delivers the content – content being Mana Lomi®. You are hands on, you model each step, assist us in our learning and improving our skills. Pace is good too – varying lomi with stories, music, movement exercises (and lunch!) helps keep me engaged.
Mana Lomi® is a full class. I like that you leave room for questions and keep space for all of us to be together as a group. Thank you for our service in sharing the gift of lomilomi and Hawaiian culture.
Thanks for your presence – you listen beautifully. I’m so happy to be here with you and this class. How lucky we are!"
Diana Moon massage therapist in Somerville, MA ~ 2010
" Barbara you are a joy to learn from. You have such wonderful light and energy that is calm, soothing yet technical and precise. Just beautiful. "
Heather Blair massage therapist in Rocky Hill, CT ~ 2010
"This class helped to boost my confidence level and I do appreciate that you were willing to work on that issue with me. It is a long standing one for me. I meditated on it after the class.
I believe it stems from my feeling of awe and amazement when I approach a person's physical body space. Do I have the right to be there and to be in that space, and if I can't be in that place of utmost respect and love, then I ought not to be there. So in the past I have felt very tentative about touching others, even though they are allowing me to be in their space.
Working with you, and seeing how you can be in that space was beautiful and helped me to feel more at ease being there also. You have an amazing sensitivity, and at the same time you are confident in your work. I hold that as a goal for my own work."
dk, massage therapist in NH ~ 2010
" Clients are so receptive to Mana Lomi® techniques. 'you were great before, but this is a new level' is what one client said. Thank you for renewing my connection to touch. "
J. Vaugn massage therapist in Chicopee, MA ~ 2010
"The Review class was wonderful in every way. Of course, it was terrific having such personal attention and feedback. I always love your thoughtful pointers and reminders, such as the cliff and the moon! The class helped to renew my interest in doing Mana Lomi and in its benefits to the clients.
We didn't waste any time and covered lots of techniques. Thas for all of the personal attention and for coming to the East to share your skills."
therapist in Lynn,
MA ~ 2010
"The main reason I persevere with this path is how my clients feel when they get off the table. I've been a massage practitioner off and on since 1999, and I've never had such a positive response to my work. (and I'm only Mana Lomi® Level 1!). Can't wait for the next part. Last week I had six appointments, the most I've ever had in one week. So I do hope that word will spread and I can keep doing this, which I love so much."
Deb, massage therapist in VT ~ 2010
the variety of activities and
techniques that we practiced in today’s class and I like the
pace of the
class. It was very
relaxed and not
Barbara clearly is passionate about lomi lomi and is thoughtful in the way that she shares it. What I mean by this is that she has taken the time to really understand the nature of it and she conveys that through her teaching in lots of creative ways.
I am glad that I had an opportunity to learn about Mana Lomi® and to have met Barbara who is an excellent teacher."
Julie Corey massage therapist in Hooksett , NH ~ 2010
"I have been studying with Barbara Helynn for the past 5 years and throughly enjoy her style of teaching. She is very intuitive and flexible to meeting the needs of each student that takes her classes. Barbara Helynn's passion for lomilomi is inspiring and that inspires me to learn more and become a better lomilomi practitioner. I am grateful for everything she has taught me and I am glad to call her my teacher and friend.
massage therapist in WA ~ 2010