Kahi Loa

Kahi Loa is one of the ancient Hawaiian systems of bodywork that falls under the general category of Lomi Lomi. Its unique features are that it works on the skin instead of the muscles; that it uses no oil; that it can be done in any position; and that the recipient may be fully clothed.

It is a system preferred by the Hawaiian Kupua (healer), because of its simplicity and ease of application. The form presented here is taught by Serge Kahili King, who learned the basic form from Kahili family of Kaua’i and developed it further using ideas from his own experience.

Kahi is the word which means oneness, fire, and a light pressure used in massage. Kahi Loa (Great Kahi) is a healing that involves the mind, body, and energy of both the practitioner and the recipient. Like all Hawaiian healing system, its purpose is to promote the free and abundant flow of life (energy) in the recipient.

The Kahi Loa Process

Kahi Loa is divided into seven segments related to the seven elements in Hawaiian shamanism: Ahi (fire); Wai (water); Makani (wind); Pohaku (stone); La’au (plant); Holoholona (animal); Kanaka (people).

Formally, they are done in sequence, first on the back and then on the front of the whole body, at least three times each. Informally, they may be used as desired, independently or grouped.

A vital part of the practice is to ask for feedback from the recipient before, during and after each segment and modify the practice accordingly. The recipient may also be advised to maintain a healing affirmation or symbol during the bodywork.