Earlier this month I participated in my second lomilomi training. We worked both inside and outside at the beach, cultivating a sense of place and connection to the land. “What does an environment of healing look like?” asked my kumu.

The first image that came to mind was the meeting of the Kahana stream and the bay. My husband and I often walk the beach at Kahana and stop at this meeting place to relax and stretch. Sometimes we wade out and swim near the deeper channel of the cold freshwater stream and the shallow, sun-warmed salty ocean. What I love most about this meeting place is experiencing the integrity of both the freshwater stream and the salty ocean. The word brackish is often used for water like this, but brackish seems to suggest that the water has blended and become one. What I feel at this meeting point is that the two waters are meeting and mingling—talking to each other, sharing their stories from the valley and the faraway ocean—but each voice remains distinct, true to itself. This momentary, moving meeting place is how I visualize an environment of healing.

The meeting of fresh and salt water relates to another aspect of lomilomi. My kumu explained the importance of addressing the body as both jointed and sinuous—keeping in mind Kāne, god of freshwater, who creates order; and Kanaloa, god of the ocean. We work with the jointed segments, like the bamboo body form of Kāne, as well as the supple, flowing form of Kanaloa’s octopus. The work we do cannot be separated from the land that supports us.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn lomilomi and to share this gift with you. I’m available for outcall massage on Oahu for only a few more weeks. From August 6-November 7, I will be visiting family, traveling, and taking a break from the monthly updates. You may book an appointment online or call/text: (808) 724-1859.

Kahana: where the stream meets the bay.

Wishing you many opportunities to meet, mingle, heal, and love.