Healing energy practices promote connectedness
Beebe Medical Center supplements medical treatments with laulima
By KELLY BOTHUM
The News Journal • June 22, 2010
When Linda Sapienza was in nursing school 15 years ago, students were taught how to give back rubs as part of standard patient care. These days, with hospital nurses juggling myriad responsibilities, including more patients with pressing chronic health problems, back rubs have gone the way of doctor house calls.
But she still sees value in simple human contact.
"In our world of medicine, we give all kinds of medications, we do invasive procedures," said Sapienza, a registered nurse and quality outcomes analyst at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes. "But there also has been study in the power of touch. There is a great deal of healing in touch."
Patients and staff at Beebe will be able to experience the power of this connectedness for themselves, thanks to the addition of a traditional Hawaiian healing practice through the hospital's integrative medicine department.
Laulima is a nonreligious, nondenominational laying of hands performed with the intention of allowing positive energy to flow to those in need, said Cheyenne Luzader, who directs the integrative medicine department at Beebe. About 15 staff members from the hospital have been trained in this complementary health practice, which often elicits comparisons with reiki, another energy-based practice that originated in Japan and has been used for relaxation, stress reduction and pain relief. Beebe has offered Reiki and therapeutic touch -- another type of energy-based therapy -- for 10 years.
While laulima can be commonly found in Hawaiian hospitals, it's relatively unheard of in hospitals on the mainland, said Harry Uhane Jim, a native Hawaiian who leads energy and body work seminars across the country and also conducted the laulima training at Beebe. Among Hawaiians, the healing practice is considered a family tradition, passed down from elders to younger members as part of their vibrant culture.
Laulima, which translates as "many hands," doesn't require any special equipment. The technique can be performed one-on-one, though most people practice it as part of a group of four to eight people. Participants lightly lay their hands on the person in need of healing, touching them for about 10 minutes while they focus on positive feelings.(2 of 2)
The practice creates a space where healing energy can travel to the person in need, helping them relax, decrease their pain and feel better overall.
"There's the benefit of having an emotional safety net. That's quite an amazing experience," said Jim, the author of "Wise Secrets of Aloha."
Other cultures have a long tradition of laying on hands to promote healing, said Dr. Seth Torregiani, an integrative medicine physician who practices in Stanton. In addition to reiki, there's also qigong, which is practiced in the Chinese culture. Typically, the practices rely on the idea that there is energy in and around the body, and when it is impeded, misaligned or blocked, health can suffer as a result.
While no studies have yet been able to identify this so-called bio-energy, some research on reiki and therapeutic touch suggest increased relaxation and a reduced need for pain medication following surgery among those people who used it, Torregiani said.
"It's something that happens between the practitioner and the patient that seems to be therapeutic," he said.
So far, laulima has been practiced only on three patients at Beebe, Luzader said. Several staff members, including those who have been trained, also have had laulima practiced on them.
Luzader said the response from staff, who volunteer their lunch and break times to practice laulima, has been overwhelmingly positive. For some, it's a reminder of what it was like years ago when nurses had more individual time to spend with their patients.
"We still make an effort to do that, but we've become little more technical," she said. "This is a way to bring back that art of healing and mix it with the science of medicine."
Sapienza, who said she has felt a surge of heat and cold, and also seen colors while practicing laulima, appreciates the opportunity to make a difference for patients but also to share a moment of stillness with her co-workers.
"It's not often you can stop everything and just be still," she said.
OTHER ENERGY PRACTICES Laulima is one of several energy practices that use laying on hands to promote relaxation and healing. Here's a look at some practices in other cultures:
•Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation. It is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through the body. Practitioners place their hands lightly on another person or just above the body to release energy blockages and promote stress reduction.
•Therapeutic touch also uses hands to direct human energy for healing purposes. Those who practice it believe it may be useful in reducing anxiety and increasing the sense of well-being in some people.
•Qigong can be used to train the mind to direct the body's energy, or chi, to any part of the body. Some believe that, when moved correctly, chi can bring the body to a natural state of balance.
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, WebMD
Article Written By: Gloria Coppola L.M.B.T.
Lomi lomi has often been described as a Hawaiian healing massage that provides nurturing and loving touch.Some people learn about more contemporary styles of lomi lomi by viewing video tapes, which do not provide the full essence and depth of lomi lomi healing. They have expressed being attracted to the long, flowing strokes and the dance that appears so graceful through one of the styles being taught, often described as temple lomi.
Lomi lomi means massage or “to shift,” which may be translated by many into a variety of styles and techniques. Hawaiian healing is a tradition that is handed down for generations to family (‘ohana) and varies among islands and families, many of which are still secret. This is what differentiates the traditional form from the contemporary styles and other styles of massage, the essence of a culture of healing vs. a technique.
Kumu Harry Uhane Jim states one of the first cultural differences he brings to the table is, “Be quiet and listen.” He continues to say the method is simple: You do the work, and the wisdom will come.
Contemporary, or integrative, lomi lomi trainings are taught across the world and often don’t require the intense amount of training that is expected traditionally, in which a student might spend up to 20 years with a kumu (teacher). Some classes might only last a few days and merely touch upon this ancient healing method. While the forearm technique is attractive to many, continued studies will teach that a variety of techniques have been handed down through the ages. This may include spiritual wisdom, for instance, ho’oponopono (a system for forgiveness that creates harmony and balance through expressing truth) as well as creating and utilizing mana (creative or life force energy).
One might find methods that are similar to oriental techniques like Thai massage or qigong that balance energy and create flow. Others might describe abdominal techniques similar to the Mayan methods or chi massage very beneficial in aiding digestion and other health issues. Hawaiian healing methods use warm baths for aches, salts, steams and clays for detoxification or mineral rebalancing, similar to what we may experience nowadays in a spa treatment without the ceremonial and sacred aspect of “holding a space” for these healing methods.
Huge stones were also heated by the sun and rolled on the body, employing methods of friction or compression. Today, we see massage therapists utilize hot stones in their treatments; however, what we typically do not see is wrapping noni leaves or other medicinal herbs around the stones, which is practiced traditionally.
Lomi lomi is more than technique. Handed down through the ages from family to family, it was and is a lifestyle of health and wellness, physically and spiritually. A few well-known Hawaiian healers are Auntie Margaret and Kahu Abraham who have since passed on. They chose to start sharing some of the methods and secrets of the Hawaiian healers. Today, Kumu Harry Uhane Jim, Kumu Dane Silva and Kumu Brenda Ignacio continue to teach and share the ancient wisdom that has been passed on from their elders.
Lomi lomi requires a commitment to healing oneself, too. Student will learn more about themselves and what their purpose in life might be. They will learn how to honor and respect the earth and how to bring harmony and unity to community (lokahi). The elders acknowledged and worked with the forces, God, nature and humans to create this harmony.
Some training may include martial arts techniques, yoga, qigong, breath work, learning about nature and herbs and much more. Unlike typical massage trainings that focus on anatomy and technique, lomi lomi brings the practitioner to a deeper or more connected level to a spiritual side of healing work. Kumu Harry Uhane Jim says “As soon as your soul knows connection with yourself, you can offer bodywork as opposed to massage.”
Another aspect of lomi lomi was offered by the Kahuna (healer), who might also include complete cleansing regimens for a client. This included purging, use of enemas, joint adjustments, medicinal herbs and salts—all to help one regain health, similar to what a naturopath in our Western culture might employ.
As you can see, lomi lomi may encompass many things depending on the training of the practitioner, and it is not limited to massage techniques.
Where does lomi lomi originate?
There seems to be some ideas and concepts that some practitioners or styles have passed on techniques that are not traditional lomi lomi, as described to me by some of the Hawaiian healers. No one seems to quite understand where and how it really came about when I listen to the stories. Maybe some more contemporary practitioners may have created this style without fully understanding the more traditional Hawaiian healing lineage? Makana Risser Chai did extensive research at the Bishop Museum on Oahu and with many Hawaiian practitioners, hoped to find the routines and remedies of lomi lomi. She found very little information in English about lomi lomi and only a few current articles or books. Her book, Na Mo’olelo Lomilomi, is a compilation of the information she was able to locate, mostly discussing plant remedies.
It has been said the elders kept many things secret and, therefore, much of the indigenous healing methods may have been lost.
When I spoke with Makana Risser Chai, she shared how she noticed each lomi lomi practitioner is different. She once asked Kumu Kaipo Kaneakua how many different styles of lomi lomi were out there and he replied “How many ‘ohana are there? Some have the person fully clothed; some half and some remove all the clothing. Some use lots of oil, others none. Some practitioners do lots of joint manipulation, others don’t. Others use forearm techniques, some hands, some only feet.”
The atmosphere created by the practitioner, says Makana Risser Chai, is also different. She describes how some might have a serene and quiet room while others have people coming and going, laughing and joking. She said some sessions may be two hours or more, while others are 20 minutes—and yet, all lomi lomi is done with love (aloha) and prayer (pule). Traditional lomi lomi was done in the open, often in nature. It was a part of everyday life, and while they shared stories, they might also share lomi lomi. This is what makes lomi lomi unique.
Through my research and studies, I have found a common denominator with lomi lomi: compassion. It is a heart-centered healing modality that provides for a deep healing space, some of which is beyond explanation in words. One must experience it to truly understand its power.
What do lomi lomi practitioners or instructors have to say?
In a personal interview with Lomi Kumu Dane Silva from the Big Island, he stated, “Traditional lomi respects you for who you are and is a relationship with ‘ohana and nature.” He refers to contemporary lomi lomi as an integrative healing arts practice. He continues to state that “intention with movement and breath prepares a lomi practitioner to perform successfully, so that waves of energy will flow.”
Beautifully described by lomi lomi practitioner and instructor Karen Reifinger from Pennsylvania, “We can only hope to foster the one common thread at the core of Hawaiian healing: unconditional love and aloha, based upon the philosophy that all things seek harmony and love. Clients are empowered with self-responsibility to heal and change the many aspects that define the nature of our human existence. These old concepts are timeless, even in this new world.”
Penny Prior, one of my mentors who lives on Kauai, says lomi lomi to her is a lifestyle. She believes one must live the principles of what they teach. The most important thing to her is integrity for any practitioner or instructor. There is not power over someone, she states, and teachers and practitioners need to be very conscious. Lomi lomi encompasses everything, even the food you eat, intention, prayer (pule) and how you express your thoughts.
Nana Veary states in her book, Change We Must, that Hawaiians called upon their inner wisdom to make the most of nature’s offerings. The elders chanted and prayed, “Let that which is unknown become known.” Lomi lomi students might learn similar chants to use before they start a session.
Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim brought joy and laughter upon our meeting. In his book, Wise Secrets of Aloha, he shares, “Now is the time to share aloha with humanity. Aloha means the Breath of God is in our presence. It is time to reveal the profound lomilomi secrets of the kahunas for personal and planetary peace.”
After conversations with several of these contributors, it seems we had a mutual vision to see the lomi lomi practitioners and teachers in the world come to honor our differences and similarities and respect the Hawaiian culture and traditions of lomi lomi. Whether we practice traditional or contemporary integrated styles, remember to share aloha.
Gloria Coppola, L.M.B.T., is a lomi lomi practitioner and continues to study this Hawaiian healing style. She has been a massage instructor for more than 22 years. Currently she is the director at Privai Academy in North Carolina. She also offers “The Rhythm of the Heart ™” an integrative lomi training, approved through the NCBTMB.
Visit her website, <I>www.lomilomimassagece.com</I>, for more details.
Ho’oponopono ~ Freedom for the Soul Written for Harry Uhane Jim
by Wayne Kealohi Powell May 29, 2010
In speaking with native Hawaiian kahuna Harry Uhane Jim yesterday, I was given some profound things to consider about forgiveness and the metaphysics of how it actually takes place. He shared with me that the foundation of all healing is born of forgiveness. He said that no healing can actually take place without letting go of limiting concepts and mind structures that release one from the bondage of resentment and judgment. Harry said that “As you expand your perspective, you generate humility.”
In the kahuna tradition, words are intended to rearrange energy. Uncle Harry has this profound ability to speak to us in such a way that the heart is awakened while the mind is entertained. Here are a few examples of some very healing ideas or concepts that he gave me to share with you.
Emotional Maturity ~ becomes the process of each one that takes on becoming awake in this life. “Aversion is detrimental to your health”, Harry says. It is through emotional maturity that we are enabled to actually embrace the new paradigm of agape~unconditional love~aloha. We tend toward evolving our family lineage by being the rebel, or the black sheep of the family, to create change, or evolution.
Sobriety of Your Sovereignty ~ Personal sovereignty is the condition of healthy boundaries in all your relationships while keeping your connection to the one spirit, the Spirit of Aloha in all. This forms a container for you to ‘operate in the world, yet not of the world.’ Once we claim sobriety of our sovereignty, we can move through life with a compassionate disengagement from the intense drama, bringing light into it.
Anchoring Joy ~ creates the “Technology of Hope” by activating a portal for accessing infinite resources to come through you and returning you to the frequency of Heaven. Harry says, “The loudest, cleanest, direct communion with the Light of God is the joyous laughter of well-being.” Joy profound, is a by-product of an inner peace born of a knowing that everything is OK, just the way it is.
Challenge Authority ~ discover who and what you are and who and what you have given your power to, then call it back! Repeat to your self, over and over, “I am enough!” Harry says. “You are enough, because you are an act of God!” Nothing was held back to be given at a later time. All; is All, all the time: as in Vertical Time; totality, here and now. Uncle Harry says, “Grace is the inalienable right of all beings to receive the Light of God, the inalienable source of all healing. From the power of God comes this completely unconditional love, which heals and propels support. Grace is absolutely free. You don’t have to do anything to get it. Grace is not something that could be taken away from you, in the Hawaiian point of few.”
Gratitude for Being ~ Harry says, “When you ask Spirit to change you, you have to give up the list of changes!” Our Father, who’s heart lives in Heaven, knows exactly what we need, and is in a perfect way, willing to give it to us. But in order for us to receive more of what we really want, we must willingly cultivate the ancient law of “Grace receiving Gratitude,” and becoming authentically grateful for all that has been given us, and surrendering to receive more Grace, naturally to return gratitude, etc.
Surender Profound ~ Harry has said, when you understand that “the aimless arrow, never misses” you receive insight into the concept of failure as being totally false. Feeling like a failure is because you can’t keep up the commitment that you made with yourself or with another to hit a specific target. Just let go, and flow down stream saying, “I am enough” and revel in this truth. More will always come when you activate emotional gratitude for the gift of just being alive and connected to Infinite Love.
Understanding ~ that when you see clearly what your affirmations are, when you see clearly what your declarations are, when you see clearly what your proclamations are, then, and only then, will you begin to understand your life experiences, and become an influence in the lives of others who are looking to empower themselves through witnessing where you have placed your attention and intention.
Ho’oponopono ~ Freedom for the Soul is achieved through a revelation of consciousness that sees everyone as innocent and equally loved, loving, and lovable. To release all resentments and judgments requires that complete wholeness return to the being, putting an end to separation and fragmentation. Harry says, “In this place, this space, the reigning idea is that, as God sees us, no one is above another. So humans see God in every form, and in no form there is not God’s presence. Hawaiian secret of paradise is Aloha: “the breath of God is in our presence.”
These principles of Aloha, love and acceptance are all encompassing. They embrace the new paradigm of blending ancient and contemporary wisdom that is emerging in all the human beamings awakening at this time, through Vertical Time. In Harry Uhane Jim’s book, “Wise Secrets of Aloha,” he gives back to us the power to recreate our lives, using simple bodywork techniques and a cutting edge mystical trance that fills one with the possibilities and potential of illumination, healing, and the ‘technology of hope.’
Harry is on a mission to trance the world into Aloha plenty! He conveys through the Uhane lineage, a very clear intention to lead us back to the Garden of Eden in the most loving way humanly possible: with humor, honor and respect.
Kahuna Harry Uhane Jim has designed a new course called “Hawaiian Healing” that Hawaiian Shamanic Bodywork is presenting at East West Bookshop in Seattle. The motivation behind his sharing the way of Aloha with us, is to assist us to learn and experience a very ancient yet practical form of forgiveness called Ho’oponopono. There are many styles forgiveness, but not many teachers truly know how to transfer the Infinite Power of Love through their students. This is Uncle Harry’s speciality.