I have been working on these immersive playlists for Koa House and my lomi lomi sessions. They are sort of these cross genre aural journeys that combine Hawaiian chant, slack key, instrumental guitar, shoegaze, ambient, nature sounds, binaural recordings and more. It came out of sessions I’ve had with clients where I noticed music and sound could either help me or the client settle into a deeper state for healing, or, it could take us out of it and back to tension and worry. So I started asking myself where similarly to the sequence of lomi lomi techniques that I use on a client, could I put together and direct where those release might happen over the course of the treatment?
With lomi lomi, as with anything, it’s not about what you’re doing per say, it’s about the intention and timing both from the practitioner and client, and how able both are to remain focused enough to not be distracted by worry etc., but sensitive enough to modulate on aspects that come up upon the table. I’m reminded of a lesson I’ve heard from multiple places about healing and how it’s important to understand what was happening at the time of injury. Healing can happen in an instant, all of the sudden and abruptly, or, can happen over time. Gradually, the process slowly unwinding and working its way the more the body and the mind begin to trust and then let go.
I’ve also heard it said that stiffness can be a condition of the mind more that it is something physically going on that actually limits range of motion. Our Kumu taught us that the lomi lomi practitioners of old would start with chant, plant medicine, and only further down the treatment path would resort to hands-on treatment and lomi lomi. Fascinating. So, again, I’m reminded of how powerful our minds truly are.
So, the connection in the room and on the table is important. I am setting the stage and creating the space for a healing moment to occur. I know music. I know mixing and flow. I know storytelling and it’s ability to traverse seamlessly. That’s why I’ve started to devote a lot of focus to these mixes.
Still, as an artist I consider these drafts. I’m using Spotify, which is quick and convenient. It has some cross fading ability so a slight blend and linkage is possible, but not to the extent I need. I envision having moments between songs that become songs or sound moments unto themselves. Blends of real and manufactured, representational sounds of nature blended with traditional Hawaiian mele and oli. Song pictures of that give the mind a focal point and yet allow the body to relax so I can do my work.
I was just using a playlist that I would dump all songs that I felt would be good for this kind of response and then turn on shuffle. The randomness is nice sometimes but it also is hard for me to anticipate and respond to what I’m finding on the table as well and the response of the client. I could really be in a slow, methodical groove and then something a bit more complex pops up that we’re not ready for yet. It needs to be introduced to have it get more value and not a kind of, “Wait, what’s that?” Response from the brain.
Not that’s bad, it just has to happen at the right moment in order to make sense. In lomi lomi, we move light to deep. This isn’t just pressure, it’s also (at least from my experience), everything. From speech to knowledge. Anything you say or is left unsaid but the client understands through how you are interacting with the body. Yes, my pain in my hip that I came in with is connected to my back, neck and other side and down to the feet. Everything.
Incidentally, this is why, though I never am hard and fast about my recommendations to the client unless they are asking, I ALWAYS recommend a full body massage that at least touches most places as I think it helps with the release way more than if we just work one to two areas of concern.
But it’s all just another way to set the stage for that unlocking to happen. Take the mind off the leash for a little bit and let go of expectation. It doesn’t always fully happen, but every little bit counts. Tell the mind to stop being so vigilant. Maybe the mind stops chattering and becomes more image and feeling based. There are no words or thoughts in particular that dominate.
Sometimes in this state, your imagination runs far far out. It draws in images that are surprisingly and perhaps revealing.
Sometimes it’s just good music to chill out to though. No destination in particular. No purpose.