Hawaii feeling

In 1995 the first article in Germany and Europe about the Hawaiian massage art Lomi Lomi Nui – the experience report of a journalist from a treatment of Susan Floyd & Margarete Bundschu – appeared in the magazine marie – claire 1995/1

Hula dance, the scent of flowers, relaxation and feelings of happiness - all this is Lomi Lomi Nui. Sabine Schwabenthan has experienced the magic of this paradisiacal art of massage

There are days that are simply under a better star. Today, for example. A call from the newsroom with a very tempting assignment. I am supposed to report about a special massage from Hawaii. It is called Lomi-Lomi Nui – or Lomi Lomi, has recently been offered in Germany and is sometimes performed by two or even three therapists at the same time.

One more look at the medical dictionary before I start. There it says richly martial, massage is a “mechanical action on skin and tissue with the use of kneading, tapping and clapping”. Sounds more like physical exercise than a pleasurable experience. I wonder if the people of Hawaii also just “tap” and “clap”? A practice in a suburb in the south of Munich was given to me as an address.

Susan and Margaret

They wear colorful pareos, smell of exotic essences, are good-humored and light-footed like tropical birds. Two of them will take me under their wing, four-handed massage. Margarete, a dancer and body therapist, has been studying Native Hawaiian healing techniques for several years. Susan is American and has lived on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for fifteen years.It is called the “Island of Strong Prayers” by the indigenous people because particularly powerful shamans and healers have always worked on it. At the Aloha Institute, Susan learned Lomi Lomi, as well as sacred dance (hula) and other mental and physical techniques from the shamanic tradition.Explanations of what to expect? More important is your own experience, Susan says. Only this much: Lomi Lomi Nui is not a massage in the western sense, but a special healing ceremony.
Significantly, there is only one word for tension and illness in the Hawaiian language. Unresolved cramps as well as psychological and mental blockages are considered the main cause of illnesses there. An insight that is confirmed by modern immune research! Traditionally, Lomi Lomi was also part of Hawaii’s puberty rites. The wise shamans and shamanesses just knew that girls and boys are under especially great tension at this time.I have long since passed puberty, but stress and tension are the usual companions of my city life. Expectantly, I lay down on my stomach on the massage table. The room is heated tropical warm. At the beginning of the ritual Susan and Margareter invoke the good spirits, blessing with their breath the coconut, almond & sesame oil enriched with fragrant essences. I close my eyes.

The back

With long powerful movements, the four hands begin to stroke down my spine to my buttocks. Neither delicate and fleeting, nor coarse and heavy, but just right.No inch of my backside is left out, no muscle, no tendon is forgotten, passed over or neglected. On harder, tense areas, Susan and Margarete press not with their hands but with their forearms, slowly stroking out the tension. In the back is the future of man, they say in Hawaii. We do not see it, but it is already present. To influence it positively, the massage of this part is dynamic and energetic.Traditionally, Lomi-Lomi Nui is accompanied by polyphonic healing chants – here in Gräfelfing near Munich, a recorder has to step in with cheerful, lively melodies from Hawaii that conjure up images of sunshine and happy days. Susan and Margarete sing or hum along softly.The light-hearted songs, the voices of the women, the touches and my flow of breath gradually merge into a rhythm, a wave. From the crown of my head to the soles and in the four corners – hips and shoulders – my body begins to relax, literally expand. At some point, the sense of time ceases to exist. And when Susan quietly asks me to turn onto my back, an hour or more has already passed. I can hardly move, feeling a kind of lustful paralysis as if in a very deep healing sleep. Susan and Margarete carefully help me to the other side.
Let everything happen and just enjoy!

The belly

The front section is now treated just as extensively, but rather gently. In the belly is your past, say the shamans. Feelings, memories of pain, offenses and injuries are stored here. Only with extreme caution can they be released, the body should breathe them out, willingly give them up, let them go. The accompanying music also sounds different now: motherly and comforting like a lullaby.Without haste and with a lot of patience, the four hands finally devote themselves to my “four corners”: shoulders and hips are gently lifted, stretched, rocked, because this is often where a lot of tension nests. I can literally feel some old ache in the right shoulder joint dissolving with a sigh.Very slowly, Susan and Margaret then lower their hands and say a final blessing. I feel like water now, water that flows gently and steadily. An oceanic sense of peace, plus a fulfillment rarely tasted so deeply. All the massages I have experienced so far – even the best ones – had one flaw: they were always over too quickly! This time I got my fill. With Lomi-Lomi Nui there is originally no given time, Susan explains to me later. The healer does not go by the clock, but by the degree of relaxation. Treatment is continued until the deepest possible solution is reached at the moment. In ancient Hawaii, massage ceremonies of several hours, sometimes even days, were not at all uncommon.
Fit for life again after two hours!

Mana and Aloha

For me, it took a little more than two hours. Very slowly, I come back into the room. I’m back in Munich and not somewhere in the floods of my oceanic feelings. Glances at the faces of Susan and Margaret. They look very refreshed and rosy. Not a bit tense or tired from work. “This is the invigorating effect of Mana,” say Susan & Margaret.

Mana? Like Eastern philosophies, Hawaiian is based on the idea that the entire cosmos and all living things are infused with energy. (Chi or Prana in Asia, Mana in Hawaii). The freer mana can flow in the body, the healthier the person is. However, unlike Eastern therapists, the Hawaiian healer does not work with a predetermined system of energy pathways (meridians) and points. He or she is guided in the work by the intuition of the hands. Until this sense is fully developed, a long training is required – it can take many years.

Kahuna bodywork

In order not to tense up during Lomi Lomi Nui, but to remain open to mana themselves, Susan and Margarete never stand still during the massage (are constantly in motion, moving pelvis and hips in the soft, rhythmic loops of the hula dance. I couldn’t see that behind my closed eyes, but somehow I could feel it. Like a living vibration that was transmitted to my body.

I also got to know a second great principle of life in Hawaii: Aloha. In no second were the hands that touched me “empty”. And the people to whom these hands belong always had their thoughts with me, never anywhere else. More than two hours all to myself. This is Aloha, a term that is often translated as “love”. But literally it means: To love is to be happy with what is! And also: The joyful sharing of life energy in the present moment! That is a fitting paraphrase of my touching experience with Susan and Margaret! Thank you & ALOHA!

The islands of Hawaii (twenty major ones and many island splinters), although now part of the United States, were originally part of the vast ancient island culture of Polynesia. New Zealand, Tahiti, Easter Island and Samoa are also included. According to their tradition, the Hawaiians (like other indigenous cultures as well) received their knowledge and philosophy of life (Huna) long ago “from the stars” – from highly evolved visitors from distant galaxies. This knowledge was guarded for thousands of years by the Kahunas (nature-based sages and healers). After the discovery by James Cook (1778) began the rule of the whites (first the English, then the Americans). Huna was ruthlessly fought by Christian missionaries as “black magic” and forced underground. Thus, until the 1980s, Hawaiians were forbidden to speak their language and perform their rituals – just like North American Indians. Today, however, indigenous cultures are experiencing something of a renaissance. Kahuna bodywork is also being taught and practiced publicly again in Hawaii.