By: Gloria Coppola-Gaber
For more than 20 years I have been a massage therapist. During this time I have studied many modalities that have inspired me in my practice.
Ten years ago, I found myself moving to the island of Kauai. I was there for only a couple of months when I was 'called' to study the ancient art of Hawaiian massage, Lomi Lomi.
Now, I'm going to be honest with you, this was a very different type of training than what I had been accustomed to taking previously. We spent days studying the principles of the huna, learning dances, understanding how to be 'Ohana (family), waking up very early to practice yoga, studying about the land ('aina) and discussing our differences and issues until they were resolved. Only then were we finally given the opportunity to learn the techniques of this ancient art.
There were times when the group was frustrated and angry that they didn't know what was going to happen next. Many wanted to just learn the technique and didn't understand the practices required that would open our hearts, prepare our body, mind and spirit and provide discipline we would need.
I walked away from the training realizing that many people have an enormous amount of judgment, fear and beliefs that aren't working for them in their lives. I wondered how I would integrate this art into my life. Trust me, I had my own frustrations going on too.
It wasn't long before I realized something on a deeper level had changed inside of me. Clients were feeling it and expressing to me that their massage sessions felt more sacred. More importantly, my life would never be the same.
Today, I instruct this beautiful sacred form of massage with a wisdom that comes through from the ancient ones. I combine compassionate touch exercises that I have created over the years when I realized many individuals were unaware of how to touch on this level.
Lomi brings an amazing compassion and love to each participant. I watch individuals struggle in their own skin, per se and eventually find that their life has changed for the positive, their sessions are more profound and they are never the same.
My experience living on Kauai for 7 years showed me what the spirit of ALOHA was all about. Aloha means loving, compassion, caring and friendship. I had the honor of spending some time with a local Hawaiian family, learning their "ways". Today, I bring this spirit into my teachings.
Lomi Lomi is the art of compassionate and loving touch. We connect with a deeper sense of self and spirit. We find a space to call upon our ancestors and ask for their guidance and healing. We give love on a level that is pure.
Kahu Abraham and Auntie Margaret are well known for sharing their wisdom to those who are willing to open their hearts to sacred touch and love. Lomi Lomi was shared in families and passed down by elders to the "chosen" one, healer of the family.
Makana Risser Chai published Hawaiian Massage Lomi Lomi, Sacred Touch of Aloha and quotes Auntie Margaret Machado in her book "If your hands are gentle and loving, your patient will feel the sincerity of your heart, his soul will reach out to yours and God's healing power will flow through you both". She also quotes Allen Alapai' "Forgiveness is the key that opens the heart. When the mind goes off, the heart opens. Life is a feeling, not a thinking." While, Dane Kaohelani Silva says "I conceive it to be a system of deep communication using biomechanical and energetic waves to stimulate the cells to heal and regenerate." Her book can be purchased at www.LomiLomibook.com
Lomi consists of a variety of techniques that include stretches and rocking, vibration, range of motion of the joints, kneading and loving touch. The strokes are long, flowing and nurturing. There is a hypnotic sense created as the practitioner dances to the rhythm of your heart. The use of hot stones, salts, bamboo sticks or herbs were common in the practice. You might even have a chant sung over your body calling in the ancient masters to assist in your healing session.
Students of mine have shared comments about their Lomi experience, that I feel says it all.
"It (lomi) will bless your life." A.B.
"I took the class when I thought I was not ready. Transformational is the best way to describe this experience. M.A.
"I found a lifestyle and approach that will give me a new lease on my life and enable me to touch and heal more hearts." Z.L.
"This is the most sacred, kind, heart-opening experience I have ever known in massage." M.S.
"I loved this weekend! I feel like I'm walking in Love. I'm smiling more, have more energy and I'm still buzzing. It's a new level of inner peace and less of a fear factor. I'm open to do God's work and even saying this brings me to tears."
Everyone needs to do this training with Gloria. It will change your life! I learned a lot, but more importantly, I learned more about myself. She is so warm and open. She supports the learning environment. I want her to come to my home town so more people can experience her classes and Lomi Lomi". S.L.
What more can I say? These words speak for themselves. I, too, am blessed to bring all I have learned from my mentors and share it with others who touch the lives of many. I wish that one day you experience this sacred and compassionate form of Aloha!