Lomi Lomi Massage – Your Guide To Hawaiian Massage


If you’re looking for a relaxing and therapeutic massage, the Lomi Lomi massage is perfect! Lomi Lomi is a Hawaiian massage that means “massage with love.”

Our therapists use long strokes with soothing oils to work out any knots or tension in your muscles. But Lomi Lomi is very different from other types of Hawaiian massages, so here’s everything you need to know about it!


What Does Lomi Lomi Mean?

Lomi Lomi means “loving hands,” or “rub,” or “massage.”  This type of massage is intended to be both relaxing and therapeutic; its freeform technique is often compared to Swedish massage, but the two styles are quite different.

Lomi Lomi is a form of bodywork that uses loving touch to promote healing. The massage techniques work on the Hawaiian belief that everyone has a life force energy, or “mana.” When this energy is blocked, it can lead to illness. “Huna” means “secret” and is the basis of a broad set of beliefs and customs that includes massage.

Lomi Lomi practitioners believe that they can unblock this energy using the techniques of huna, restoring balance, and promoting healing by massaging the body.

what is lomi lomi massage

What is Lomi Lomi Massage?

Lomi Lomi is a type of massage that uses long, flowing strokes like the Hula or oceanic movements. It is typically done with the hands but also with elbows or forearms. Our therapists will use a light touch to massage your back, neck, and head.

Lomi Lomi is not only a deep tissue massage, but it is a relaxing and therapeutic experience that employs range-of-motion work, deep-tissue massage techniques, and loving touch. While many versions of Lomi Lomi massages are available worldwide, many consider the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage that we offer here on Kona as a distinct Hawaiian therapeutic practice.

Practitioners do not believe that Western versions of Lomi Lomi massages fully represent the traditional style. Many non-island Lomi Lomi massage practices are considered “New Age” and diluted from conventional methods. While our practitioners are dedicated to the spirituality required by Lomi Lomi culture. Regardless of the age of Lomi Lomi techniques, it is an ancient custom that is a profound part of Hawaiian culture.

Lomi Lomi Techniques

As we mentioned above, Lomi Lomi is a freeform massage; therapists do not use a set routine or sequence of strokes.

Every Lomi Lomi massage is a unique experience.

Our massage therapists follow your breath and energy to determine what type of touch is needed. In addition, family members and massage professionals will often utilize several more distinct techniques if necessary.

  • Kuikui – form fists with both hands and Kui (pound) up and down the back with the fleshy side opposite the thumbs. Taking extra care to avoid the spine and any sensitive areas.
  • Okioki – using an alternative chopping motion, okioki (chop) involves moving up and down the back. We can easily adjust the speed or strength of the chopping based on your specific preference.
  • Pahupahu – with cupping hands, we strike your back in a specific way to help your mana flow.
  • Kikokiko means to “type”, like on a computer keyboard. Using the fingertips, our masseuse creates five different points of “pecking” with each strike.
  • Kahi – is a great technique that often comes at the end of a Lomi Lomi massage session. The therapist rubs your entire back from top to bottom with hands that are open and flat. The pressure can vary on the client’s comfort level.

Generally, traditional techniques often include breathing techniques, various massage strokes, and even breathing techniques. The practice works to rid the client of any physical and mental stresses. Leaving you ready to enjoy the many things to do in Kona.

It’s not uncommon for therapists to alter the massage on a case-by-case basis and because Lomi Lomi massages are freeform, they can easily be adjusted for pregnant guests as well.

What Else Might A Lomi-Lomi Massage Include?

Some Lomi Lomi massages will also include aromatic oils, which help soothe the senses and promote relaxation. Our therapists may also use medicinal plants or a small, handheld drum. This drum is called an ipu heke and is used to tap on the body rhythmically.

Lomi Lomi massage therapy is typically performed on a mat on the floor, but sometimes a massage table is used for those with a strong preference.

It’s not uncommon for massages to involve stretching and joint rotation. Your therapist may also massage different body parts at different speeds depending on your resistance and comfort.

Since techniques can vary widely, Lomi Lomi therapists in other parts of Hawaii may also hum or dance as they perform the massage. In Hawaiian culture, humming and dancing unblock and enhance energy levels.

The therapist may do this during the Lomi massage session to facilitate healing, as is their primary goal-they do not believe their guests are people needing to be fixed.

What are the Benefits of Lomi Lomi Massage?

In general, the Mayo Clinic claims that massages can improve circulation and immune function, improve relaxation, reduce stress and muscle soreness, and even lower blood pressure. 

Lomi massage benefits take it a step further and offer to improve lymphatic flow, eliminate toxic waste in the body and provide overall relief from body pain. In addition, the Lomi massage’s fluid-like movements help break down any “negative” or “blocked” energy that guests may be experiencing for various reasons. Lomi Lomi massage is also suitable for breaking down calcium deposits, reducing the chances of a stroke, and quickening ligament and tendons healing after a recent injury.

It’s normal for guests to tell us they have increased range of motion and flexibility in stubborn joints, reduced anxiety or depression, better sleep quality, improved posture, and faster overall healing.

Overall, a Lomi Lomi massage will help you feel rejuvenated and feel a welcoming feeling of peace and well-being.

What is the Difference Between Swedish and Lomi Lomi Massage?

The main differences between Lomi Lomi and Swedish massage are the focus of the massage and the techniques involved. Lomi Lomi massages are focused on providing a full-body, relaxing experience that is both traditional and spiritual. Usually, a prayer of intention starts the Lomi massage session in silence but often includes chanting or humming later.

This type of massage uses long, fluid strokes and is meant to be soothing, and uses the forearms, hands, knees, and even the feet. Instead of focusing on one body part at a time, Lomi massages are performed on the entire body at once. In addition, the therapist will use long strokes to work out any knots or tension in your muscles.

Ideally, each session tries to improve and unblock any energy flow and promote healing, but not necessarily fix anything. Unlike Swedish massages, traditional Lomi Lomi massages vary by practitioner. For instance, different practitioners come from different family heritages and have developed distinct styles despite still doing a Lomi Lomi massage.

Swedish massages are more focused on targeting specific areas of discomfort; this massage is often considered a “classic massage.” These massages are perfect for those who have knots or pain in particular areas of their body; generally, the techniques in this massage release tension and maximize relaxation. In addition, clients use Swedish massages to loosen up muscles from their daily activities like sitting at a computer desk and even exercising.

This type of massage is helpful for those who keep tension in their neck, shoulders, and lower back. Swedish massage therapists use deep circular motions, long strokes, kneading, and passive joint manipulation. In addition, a Swedish massage concerns the whole body; clients will usually start on their back or stomach and are flipped over halfway through.

The expectation is that clients are to be undressed since it’s a full-body massage, underwear on or off is a client preference. The therapists will drape a sheet over the client and adjust it to target specific areas. It’s common for clients to ask therapists to address particular areas using light, medium, or firm pressure.

Swedish Massages are suitable for:

  • Relaxing the body
  • Stimulating nerve endings
  • Increasing blood flow and lymph drainage

Both Lomi Lomi and Swedish massages can provide you with an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

However, it is essential to consult with one of our massage therapists to see which type of massage is right for you and your needs.

Lomi Lomi Massage vs. Deep Tissue Massage

Lomi Lomi massage is often confused with deep tissue massage, which is not uncommon. While both massages work to achieve similar goals, key differences set them apart. Lomi Lomi massages use long, fluid strokes that are soothing and relaxing to guests.

During a Lomi massage, therapists often massage the entire body simultaneously in movements based on the Hula. These Hawaiian-based massages promote healing and the proper energy transfer through the body. Many would consider these types of massages mystical since they involve prayer and the movement of energies throughout the body.

On the other hand, Deep Tissue massages use short, concentrated strokes that target specific areas of discomfort; these massages work out knots and relieve pain in the muscles. Deep tissue massages can be quite intense and are not recommended for those with sensitive skin or who bruise easily.

However, a deep tissue massage will also help those who don’t often stretch because of the deeper pressure. Therapists even use deep tissue massage techniques to help open up areas with old injuries or scar tissue.

So, which massage is the best one for you?

If you’re looking for a relaxing, full-body massage that will help to promote healing and energy flow, then a Lomi Lomi massage is right for you. On the other hand, if you have specific areas of pain or discomfort that you would like addressed, a deep tissue massage may be better. No matter which type of massage you choose, both can provide you with an enjoyable experience.

What to Wear During Lomi Lomi Massage?

To be as clear as possible, a Lomi Lomi massage isn’t for a shy person. The style takes on a minimalist approach when considering towels and coverings. You will be undressed and draped with a sheet for the duration of your massage. Being undressed is required because your therapist will need to use long strokes that go from your head to your toes and back again.

If you are particularly shy, then a Lomi Lomi therapist might see more of you than you are comfortable with. It’s essential to remove as many barriers as possible to receive all Lomi massage benefits. It’s necessary to be comfortable with this part of the process, as typical Lomi Lomi massages can take two hours. Guests should be ready for a long massage session. Guests wanting a Lomi Lomi massage must be comfortable with a more intimate approach to massage.

If you are a bit more reserved, we have plenty of other massage choices!

With that in mind, most practitioners will tell you that it’s best to avoid wearing jewelry during your massage. We agree.

Also, if you have long hair, we will have you tie it back so that it doesn’t get in the way.


Where to Get a Lomi Lomi massage in Kona?

If you find yourself on the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, and need a Lomi Lomi massage, then come on over!

Lomi Lomi is a massage style native to Hawaiian culture, so it makes sense that guests can find some of the best Lomi Lomi massages at the home of a multi-generational native!

Kona Hawaii Guest House offers affordable packages for both singles and couples alike. We’re proud to provide the broadest range of massage services and inclusive packages. Here guests can enjoy all the amenities at an excellent cost, one of four private studios with private beaches and easy access to downtown Kona in a serene tropical environment.

Kona Hawaii Guest House offers guests a gorgeous location with plenty of Lomi Lomi massage options in attractive VIP packages. In addition to our vacation packages, our places provides interesting community-based programs that teach people about mini-farming, recycling, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

We make a dedicated effort to give back to our community through donations and support of local programs concerning the arts, culture, food festivals, families, and nature.

If you’re interested in visiting our Kona Hawaii Guest House, reach out to us and give us a call at

Whether you prefer your healing treatments on-site or in one of our private studios, we’ve got your back with our world class Lomi Lomi massages.

Contact Us for Availability



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