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Lomilomi Massage Master Coming to Santa Barbara The Art of Making Room Tuesday, July 1, 2008 By Ethan Stewart (Contact)

  Most massages are all about compression — pushing down on muscles, rubbing tight spots, and kneading knots away. This is not the way of Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim’s healing touch. According to the kahuna, the word aloha, contrary to many of the pop culture uses it enjoys today, means “the breath of God is in our presence” and lomilomi — the ancient Hawaiian touch medicine that he practices — is the art of intentionally “creating space in your body for this breath to enter.” A far cry from the greasy, oil-heavy body work of your typical mainland masseuse, lomilomi opens you up via gentle flowing strokes, much like waves rolling on the open ocean, and allows you to realize that, as Jim puts it, “You are enough and you have everything you need just by being who you are.” In short, lomilomi is not about being fixed but rather about restoring balance and harmony. A native of Kaui and the latest in a long line of Hawaiian healers from both sides of his family tree, Jim, who currently calls upstate New York home with his wife and children, was called, as he tells it, to lomilomi after his grandfather passed. Leaving behind law school, he dove headlong into the art, eventually healing himself from the grief of his grandfather’s passing and pain and depression from a fractured lumbar vertebra in the process. Lomilomi, explained Jim, is based in the understanding that your mind, body, and spirit work together to create your reality. In that sense, lomilomi bodywork allows all three to exist in the now — a place where, as the kahuna said, “There is no judgment from the past and nothing you need from the future.” It was in this space that Jim was able to work through the darkness of his depression and ultimately find his current life path and contagious happiness. After all, at the core of lomilomi is something that the Hawaiians call huna — the belief that everything seeks love and harmony and, once freed from the stresses, demands, or blockages, if you will, from times gone by or times yet to be, your spirit will naturally flow toward a better place. Or, as Jim recently summed it up with a laugh, “People get better because they already feel better.” Thanks to the work of Celebrate Life, a newly formed Santa Barbara-based group devoted to offering workshops and adventures of all kinds aimed at spiritual growth, the kahuna will be coming to Santa Barbara for the first time later this month, teaching a three-day workshop about his unique brand of lomilomi with his wife, Sila Lehua Bray Jim. Admitting that traditional lomilomi often has a serious if not religious prayer element to it (Lomilomi was actually forced underground for a number of years in Hawai‘i after Christianity-minded American invaders considered it a threat in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century), Jim considers his interpretation of the ancient art, which was historically practiced by everyone from children to chiefs, to be “done with gaiety and lightness because, he laughed, “Well, because it is just more fun that way.”

In Weavers of Light, one of the things we are asked to look at is how we
have created the tapestries of our lives, to look at our ancestral, or
genetic lines and our societal fabrics, and take responsibility for our
part. It is not an easy thing to do, as we are all so used to the
blame/shame/guilt triangle, that it is hard to get past that, and enter that
state of grace.
Disharmony and discomfort is held on to by us, sometimes due to ancestral
wrongs, or societal wrongs, but it is still carried on by us, as
individuals. To undo the entanglements, we must choose to take
responsibility for the threads we hold, and untangle them back to love.
Sometimes this involves unwinding, or unweaving, so it seems sometimes we
are running back over the same issues over and over. Sometimes we are caught
in a loop, but sometimes, I believe, we are untangling, separating our
thread from the mass entanglement. I think of undoing tangled chains, or
knots, how often just loosening that one thread can begin unraveling it all.
I think, what if mine is that one thread, that will make it easier to undo
the mess? I mean, why not try then?

Ho'oponopono is a Hawaiian healing tradition that "undoes" the threads that
cause disharmony in our lives. It involves using statements, and these
statements have power on their own, but, when your conscious intention is
behind it, without guilt, or shame or fear, it is an extremely powerful tool
of change.
I am sorry..... (statement of responsibility for our part, acceptance of
that responsibility, sometimes on behalf of our ancestors, or society,...)
Please forgive me...(asking for acceptance, and understanding from the other
party, engaging them in the process.)
I thank you..(an acknowledgement of all that you received from this
and I love you...( To the source of all, which is creation, which is love,
returning the threads untangled back to source, to Love.)
I started thinking about this with the earth the other day while driving my
gas powered vehicle to visit a client, and I opened the window to say this
to the land. That was easy.
I’m sorry, (I mean wow, we have been, as humans sooo bad for this planet...)
Please forgive me..( I still drive around, buy plastic, contribute to the
poison, and wastage...)
I thank you...( Oh, for everything!!! all life, everything!)
and I love you..(how could I not?)
Then, I was suddenly behind a big gas guzzling truck, with a trailer with an
off road vehicle and a crate with a dog in it. The guy was in full fatigues,
with a gun rack.
....and no turn signal...
Oh ya, big guy, doesn't have to signal, he has a gun! and a big
truck...everyone else should get out of his way!!! pissed me off.....
bang. wow.
I said the words to him...and saw, ancestresses back in history, warriors
coming in to farming villages, fishing villages, in Europe, the men helpless
while their wives and daughters were raped, sons taken off to be soldiers in
someone else's wars, farmers, fishermen not trained to fight. I saw the
women turn on the men, “Why did you not fight, why did you let this happen?”
I saw the identification with the soldiers as the powerful ones, the ones
who could take or provide food, take or spare life, and I saw the women
raising their sons to be like that, to be protectors, defenders, warriors.
I saw this in the Ancestresses in North American villages, where getting a
gun and signing the papers meant life and food, a right to live, where the
warriors of the other side were emulated and the pipe carriers were
disrespected and mocked, ...I saw how hard it must be to live up to this
expectation, to always be tough, always be strong. I saw how many men have
heart attacks and live emotionally crippled, and how that was created.
I’m sorry, so sorry to have put this upon you
please forgive me, I acted out of fear...
I thank you, for all you have done to defend, to fight for us...
and I love you...and wish you peace, to be.

Very powerful.
I am going to say these words whenever I feel disharmony, and see where they
lead, untangle the reality, and bring it back to love. No matter how many
generations, from which ancestors, or which societies. It’s good work to do.

I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you, and I love you.

Good practice to carry out, world wide.

May Peace be within you.

   Weavers of Light  

Lomi Lomi
A Traditional Hawaiian Healing Method
By Diana  Nielsen

At a Healthy Alternative Through Healing Arts  (HAHA) Conference, I was curious to attend a workshop titled Lomi lomi. What something with this name possibly be about?  Harry Uhane Jim presented this Traditional Hawaiian Healing method and let us experience a taste of it. I found it similar to traditional Eastern ways  in that lomi lomi revolves around the belief that breathing and focusing energy can be used to pinpoint a problem and then used to resolve the problem. Chanting  is integral to this healing method.

      I was drawn to the simplicity and lightheartedness of Harry’s workshop as he explained that if we honor the spirit and feel good about who we are, we will be led to the highness of the human spirit. When we are not well, we are functioning in a lower vibration and raising that vibration is always available to us in ways that he went  on to explain. One of the best ways is simply laugh. When we are laughing, the ego can’t process thought and it keeps us in the present. Laughter is a contagious emotion which is felt all through the body, spreading into the spirit and mind.

     It also helps to believe in the synchronicity and serendipity of events that happens to us in our lives. If we take our ego out of the loop and, as he put it, “allow the ego to be entertained” we will discover a letting go that allows our whole body to feel good.

    In Hawaii, the ocean is free and there are fish to eat and coconuts to pluck. Lomi lomi helps us to realize that we already possess the ability to appreciate a richness of life force by realizing we don’t have to wait to be in possession of what we want. It happens NOW by claiming that we already have whatever we need to be well in the present. It is here if we shift our attitudes to know this. This one comes from love of self and through that, love of others. He teaches that, with love, you’ll always have plenty.

    Harry explained that Hawaiian culture is a very old one that is earth based as opposed to our newer culture in the United States which is industrial based. There are other earth-based cultures, some of them in India, Japan, China and Africa. He feels that this explains some of the differences in other cultures’ methods of healing. As American culture ages, he feels we will become more earth-based.

     He believes that we live in the  illusion of time and must realize that, right now, we have the ability to merge into a miracle. We have choices. For example, some of us reinforce our suffering by choosing to watch entertainment such as horror movies. If we want to choose health, we may choose to watch comedies.

    A person feeling whole is absent from thought of the past or future. Another way to connect to this feeling of wholeness through living in the present is by chanting, Harry led us through some Hawaiian chants with syllables that meant “I receive grace and I give gratitude.” As we chanted the syllables, we thought of the meaning behind them. As has happened before, I found a lifting of my spirit through the chanting which I could translate into finding a higher vibration.

    Harry also gave us an example of allowing the spirit to help us feel comfortable in space. For example, if someone is bothering you, take a deep breath and use this  for a short meditation. think of your consciousness of mind in the room where you are the neighborhood, the city and imagine your consciousness expanding. Then bring it back. In this way we can release stress, which is about contraction and the lessening of blood in the brain.  As we expand our mind, the stress goes with it. It just happens by loosening the constriction and just breathing. Of course, you  might have to wait a few minutes until you have the opportunity to do this.

    Lomi lomi teaches that we have been given life from the spirit and have the right to receive light and grace. It belongs to us and is not negotiable. The greeting Aloha means that I recognizes the God in me that recognizes the God in you. Again, this reminded  me of the Eastern greeting of  Namaste which is translated in much the same way. We are here to learn to know ourselves better. We go through experiences in this body including fun, drama, and mystery which is a process by which we are granted lessons. We are now in school. We have free choice and can accept the lessons or we can skip them. If we choose to accept them, we will know ourselves better and will find healing.

    For more information about Lomi lomi and traditional therapies of native Hawaiians, contact Harry Uhane Jim
at  He lives in Clarence, New York in Western New York.

    Meet  the  Editor      DIANA  NIELSEN

Diana is married, lives in Rochester, New York, and has two grown sons. Writing and editing for this journal continues to support her in her recovery along with practicing other wellness strategies. She graduated from Brown University and hold a certificate in Gerontology from St. John Fisher College. She has worked as an  administrator, teacher and peer counselor. Presently she is active in DBSA ( the Depressive and Bi Polar Support Alliance), volunteers at a local soup kitchen and serves on the editorial panel of bp magazine. She is a past recipient of the Rochester Mental Health Coalition’s Joan Nobiling Award for Individual Consumer Empowerment.                             

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