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 situation) 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. Im 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. Im 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. Its 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 www.harryjimlomilomi.com He lives in Clarence, New York in Western New York.
BIOGRAPHY Meet the Editor DIANA NIELSEN
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