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Working deep into the body with lomi lomi

Freshly back from advanced level facilitator training for Heartworks Lomi Lomi massage, run at the High Spirits Retreat.

Lomi Lomi massage facilitator training

Always a treat, and full of new joys and challenges. As Mette Sorensen (the owner and CEO of Mette’s Institute) says, your training will hold a mirror up to your life/yourself.

During the training, Mette and I discussed putting in some info on deeper tissue work into the training notes, and Mette suggested I write down 7 principles of working deep into the body.

So here are my thoughts on deep tissue work. I don't always work deep into the tissues. I think a 'holding' approach often works just as well, but when I do, I like to think I work very mindfully. Having been asked to put into words was an opportunity to clarify where I stand on this topic.

PRINCIPLES of Deep Tissue Massage:

  • There's no such thing as too deep, only too fast.

  • Warm up area before and flush after.

  • Set up a communication system. Voice or hand/finger. (Verbal and non verbal.)

  • Adding deep tissue is more stimulating. Make sure that is right for your clients nervous system.

  • Deep work can uncover emotional as well as physical pain.

  • Their pain is already in their body. We are not causing pain, just taking the 'lid' off.

  • A soft heart (Aloha) allows deep work to land more effectively in the body. Intention of love and healing.

I will dive into more conversation of these 7 principles in my Level 2 Lomi Lomi practitioner training in October 2023 (Melbourne).


Jodyann van Keulen is a multi skilled health practitioner and bodyworker. She has been working as a remedial massage therapist since 2000 as well as a KaHuna bodyworker and trainer since 2005.

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