Weaving Together
Massage & Prayer

by Barbara Helynn Heard
(Seattle, WA USA )

This offering which speaks of weaving together prayer and massage is an excerpt from an article entitled "Love the Body! Spirit, Nature and Prayer in Lomilomi" which I've written and which is included in full on my website. (See my web address below)

Aloha Katherine,

I've pored over your site, feeling excited! Thank you for sharing your story. Your truth speaks directly to my heart.

I am a massage practitioner in Seattle, Washington, and a teacher of massage continuing education classes. I practice and teach Mana Lomi® - a form of lomilomi or Hawaiian healing that weaves together healing touch - massage - with some of the spiritual practices you write about in your site.


My dear Aunt Julie, a devout member of the Bahai faith, recently told me that when she prays she leaves her body to commune with God. I was startled. I respect and honor my aunt?s experience with prayer, while I simultaneously respect and honor my different experience. When I pray I am fully in my body, breathing and feeling God in my body.

I often pray while giving lomilomi (Hawaiian massage) and for me, prayer physically grounds me in my body. WOW! How wonderful!

Many teachers of various lomilomi lineages emphasize prayer as an important part of our work. And as Christianity was accepted almost universally in Hawaii in the 1800 and 1900?s, many lomilomi teachers use a Christian style of prayer which begins by greeting God, and perhaps also Jesus, and then expresses gratitude and prayer requests. Sometimes I personally use this form of prayer, sometimes not. Many other lomilomi teachers use universal language in wording their prayers.

In teaching lomilomi classes I follow the prayer style modeled by Mana Lomi® founder Dr. Maka?ala Yates. I?ll open the prayer with some variation of this greeting: ?Spirit of Peace, Spirit of Love, Spirit of Harmony in all people, places and things, thank you...?

Mana Lomi® teachers make Mana Lomi® available to people of all spiritual faith backgrounds who, while committed to their own faith, are also open and respectful of other faiths.

To read this complete article please visit:

Katherine, thank you again for your commmittment and persistence on your healing journey, and especially for your dedication to help others by sharing your story and wisdom on this wonderful website!!

Barbara Helynn

Comments for Weaving Together
Massage & Prayer

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Feb 10, 2011
prayer, religion & culture are interconnected

by: Anonymous

Aloha Katherine,

I like your description of resting in God and how it includes being in body, yet is bigger than that. I agree.

While Christianity has been widely embraced in Hawaii, native traditions also persist. As you know, in many Christian communities we enjoy Christmas trees which have origens in Pagan traditions. Religion adapts itself, as you noted. Religion is intertwined with all sorts of cultural practices.

What an interesting conversation this is!!

Barbara Helynn

Feb 05, 2011
Do You Pray In Or Out Of The Body?
by: Katherine T Owen

Dear Barbara,
Thank you so much for sharing this.

How interesting to ponder the difference between prayer in or out of the body.

For me, prayer means resting in a place where I am in God, Spirit, one with everything, and therefore - by definition - not identified with the body. And yet that doesn't involve any sense of leaving the body.

I have also had many times where - by becoming gently aware of the breath and the body - it has taken me to rest in God.

So I can identify with both approaches!

How interesting too hear that Christianity was accepted almost universally in Hawaii in the 1800 and 1900s. I get the impression from your article that they have combined it with local traditions.
Amazing how religion adapts itself!

With thanks and Love,

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