top of page

The True Lineage of Lomi Lomi

Written by Dawn Charlton, a guest contributor.

Ancient Indigenous Hawaiian people lived as one with the land and nature through its abundant energy. Lomi Lomi was and still is, an essential piece of their life, providing balance to all aspects of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strains, relationship stresses, and challenges for many people. Working from an ancestral and energetic source through an established lineage ensures the knowledge remains true and correct 'as it should be through the passing on of the traditional techniques, beliefs, and training.

Traditional Old Style Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage has been a protected, sacred practice, kept strict in its content by the passing on in a lineage form, from master to disciple, always in a one-to-one apprenticeship. This was kept very strictly in the bloodline of the family, except in rare cases. In ancient Polynesia, up until the arrival of the missionaries, this practice flourished and nurtured the entire population. But then the "old ways" came under attack, and Hawaii's spiritual culture had to go "underground." Thus, the old ways became veiled in secrecy and even more secret in their teachings. Kahuna is a title given to "one who has mastered the secrets" or "keeper of the secrets." The word or title "Kahuna" (one word) is considered to hold tremendous power or "Mana" and is used in a hushed tone, reverent and holy. It is known that a true Kahuna will never admit to being such a one, and one who does, has no Mana.

To become the Lineage holder (keeper of the secrets and responsible for the traditions) and receive the ritual passing of knowledge and responsibility, you will need to be trained traditionally through a long and extensive apprenticeship that is served one-on-one with a master of the current Lineage holder.

The apprentice will need to embody a broader, deeper sense of understanding for restoring balance in the whole person through the relationship with bones, joints, muscles, trigger points, and meridian centres. Learning to create and maintain a sacred space where energy can flow, allowing healing for their clients' minds, bodies, and spirits in a safe and supported environment. Learning to read the physical signs and patterns of a body and how this can relate to personal issues and stresses the individual could be facing and being able to provide alignment and relief. Acquiring the understanding that Traditional Old Style Hawaiian Lomi Lomi comes from a place of unconditional love for the person on the table receiving the massage and the therapist giving the treatment. As my master wrote...

"One of the most essential imperatives of this tradition is that Lomi Lomi was a modality of pure love. The work must come from the heart and through the hands resulting in healing and bonding at a level beyond comprehension by the mind; it is the movement of pure love and grace; even to observe a treatment is to receive it. This is the way of Traditional Lomi Lomi in the Old Style."

There are few true Kupuna (elders) with the old traditional knowledge passed in the ritual apprenticed way, ensuring to preserve the teachings exactly how they need to be and not to lose or misunderstand any essential parts. Many forms or versions of Lomi Lomi are practised throughout the Hawaiian Islands and worldwide. These styles would have originated from specific islands and families traditionally. Lots of the modern schools of Lomi Lomi have been put together from two or more different styles and family lines or, in some cases, including non-Hawaiian strokes and techniques to create a particular style.

'Traditional Old Style Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage' roots are in Maui. I successfully apprenticed under my Kahu