Should I have a Lomi Lomi or a Thai massage?

Lomi Lomi uses warm oils. Just like the ocean, the massage strokes sometimes glide softly over the skin, and sometimes move deeply through the muscles. Sometimes picking up speed and sometimes slowing right down. As you lie on your back the spine is gently lifted along its length. Lomi Lomi is a celebration of the beauty and sacredness of our physical form, and it can also be a balm through the stormy waters of life.

Thai massage is done through the clothes, on a massage futon on the floor. Each part of the body is methodically massaged and mobilized, and passive yoga stretches are sensitively applied too. If you have been traveling or desk-bound, or are just feeling stagnant energetically, then Thai massage can be very enlivening and uplifting.

You could ask yourself the question: does my skin need to be brought back to life and filled with sensation (Lomi Lomi), or do my muscles need deep, focussed pressure (Thai)?

Why does Thai massage take so long (an hour and a half or two hours)?

Because it works every finger and every toe and every spinal articulation. Not just massaging but then also stretching out the muscles and joints. Working through the body so thoroughly takes time but it is worth it to achieve that sense of a complete reset. Healing that has occurred in one part of the body will be integrated through the whole system.

What should I wear?

For Thai massage you will be fully clothed.  Your limbs will be moved around as gentle stretches are applied, so make sure you can very easily move in your clothes. You should also be able to breathe – no belts. Ideally the fabric of the clothes should be made of a natural fibre like cotton or wool, but don’t worry too much about that. The main thing is to able to move and breathe freely.

For Lomi Lomi you would take off all your clothes and underclothes but be covered by a sheet. The draping goes like this. I leave the room while you take off your clothes and get on the table, facing down, and then cover yourself with a the sheet. I then fold the sheet into a thin strip which covers your genitals and buttock crease. When you turn over onto your back, half way through the massage, I reapply the sheet drape, folding it into a thin strip from your upper thighs to your belly button. This idea behind this Lomi Lomi drape is that it allows for a seamless transition from the top of your body to your toes, and back again. It is also intended to create a feeling of being fine and accepted in the whole of your body. The room will be warm enough to not need towels. Women: of course if you prefer you can keep your underwear on but in this case thongs or g-strings are easier for me to work around. If you want a breast drape for when you are lying on your back I can provide this. Men: if you want to keep your underwear on this is of course fine but ideally wear briefs not boxer shorts. If you are wearing underwear, it will get oil on it, and you will probably get oil on the clothes that you put on afterwards, so you might want to wear something old.

Do the yoga stretches in Thai massage have to be painful to be effective?

No. Ask any cat.