The Ancient Art of Lomilomi

The Ancient Art of Lomilomi: Hawaiian Shamanic Bodywork

Written by Jennifer Engracio (Snow Hawk)

“Healing is the inalienable inheritance of each human.  Healing transforms the person into an actual temple in which time, space, and will converge.  Each person is a temple.  Then, knowing of such healing, each person can say, ‘Lomilomi is a commitment to myself.  My presence here is a sacred manifestation from me to myself to shower gratitude, growth, and bliss to my whole being.  I focus to enter into and sustain my temple in the heart, the pu’u.’  The body knows more about healing than your mind does.  Healing is creating a new thought pattern in your body.”

-from “WISE SECRETS OF ALOHA: LEARN AND LIVE THE SACRED ART OF LOMILOMI” by Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim and Garnette Arledge

Lomilomi is one of the most ancient, sacred art forms in Hawaiian Medicine.  One of the meanings of the word Lomilomi is “to shift.” Although Lomilomi is commonly recognized as a massage, to Hawaiians, Lomilomi is much more.  Lomilomi is a spiritual ceremony that opens up the physical body to allow more of the person’s spirit’s energy to shine through, therefore, increasing their ability to walk out their life’s purpose.  Lomilomi is a way of showing reverence for the body by connecting with the spirit of aloha- the breath and unconditional love of Spirit. Lomilomi restores the body’s natural state of relaxation by reminding it how to release stuck energy. Lomilomi teaches the receiver and giver both how to live in a state of aloha where the energy of Spirit moves through the body with ease and grace. Lomilomi is not something that is done TO a person. The universal energy of aloha moves the person to shift trauma and lower vibrating energy patterns trapped in the body by helping the receiver remember who they really are at the spiritual level. In this way, Lomilomi is a sacred gift the individual gives him/herself.

How is this different than going to see a Massage Therapist?

One RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) who came for a session said she’d never experienced anything like that in her life.  She said that as an RMT, they are trained to relieve pain but Lomilomi has the potential to get to the heart of what is creating the pain in the body and release it.  Of course, the amount of “releasing” that is done is completely up to the receiver (the client).  The giver (Lomilomi practitioner) simply works with the receiver’s personal healing intent for the session.

What can I expect in a session?

Well, with spiritual ceremonies, we can expect the unexpected!  Every session is different.  Every person is different.  The giver’s job is to listen with her spirit and heart and let the Divine move though and do the work.  Auntie Margaret Machado (deceased Lomilomi Master) used to say, “Lomilomi is praying work.” Unlike a regular massage session, there is prayer, singing, smudge, sound therapy, and other ceremonial aspects woven into each session.

Why do I do what I do?

I’ve been working pro bono in the Healing Arts since 2003. I’ve had years of training in neutrality and shamanic healing. I’ve put in many hours volunteering on healing teams and being of service in sweat lodges via The Institute of Shamanic Medicine ( I also have experience- not only from working with others but from doing personal ceremony and healing my own past and patterns that were not life-giving. I’ve become a warrior in the light through facing my own shadow side. With the support of my shamanic teachers, I healed a lifelong food addiction. I’ve had lots of experience working with children and families as a teacher and learning consultant. In short, I know the power of undergoing a journey of healing.  I also know the benefit to having mentors and a support system along the way that can guide one on his/her path with heart. And I know that life is a healing journey and that as long as I am alive, I will continue to heal myself.

My personal Medicine lends itself to gentleness and fierceness at the same time: Snow Hawk. I’ve known since I was a kid that I was good with my hands. Some of the earliest memories I have are of massaging pain out of relatives’ bodies.  “Magic hands,” my goddaughters used to say when they were littler.  I can see what people might need and how to make a difference. I have a way of seeing into the heart of things with my hawk eyes.  I am able to explain things at a level where the individual can understand it and act on it if s/he chooses.  I have a passion for supporting and inspiring others with an open heart and mind.  I offer my creativity, imagination, and spontaneity.  I offer the healing gift of song.  I am willing to follow through with what’s needed- to accompany others on their healing journeys. I care about the healing of the planet and Spirit’s children.  The Healing Arts are my contribution to this as a way to give back while I am in a human body.

I am happy to offer my services at Our Angels’ Center for Wellbeing ( starting in mid-June with such a stellar staff of intuitives and practitioners of the Healing Arts.

May the spirit of aloha move through you with ease and grace today and always.


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