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Hawaiian massage techniques sooth aching muscles

By: Jun Ikemura

Date Posted: 2006-07-08

Fatigue was overtaking me, and the need for a relaxing massage sent me on a quest to find something different from the Shiatsu I usually turned to.

Initially frustrated to find that most of the advertisements for massages offered services only for women, I found one parlor that accepted male for a Hawaiian Lomilomi massage. “Islander Okinawa” promised both real relaxation and stress relief.

Ayuka Hattori, “Islander Okinawa” owner, quizzed me if I’d ever tried Lomilomi massage, and explained how the technique uses rubbing, pressing, squeezing and massage. What makes it different, she said, was that the Lomilomi practitioner uses the palms, forearms, fingers, knees and feet. Hattori’s been giving Lomilomi massages for three years, and promised me real relief from stress and tension.

After undressing to the waist and laying on my stomach, face down on the massage table, she focused mainly on my back, using her forearms. “Forearms are the softest parts from shoulders to hands,” she explained. “By using forearms, I can give you, my customer, a real relaxation and healing.” She emphasized this is the principal difference between Lomilomi and Shiatsu, aromatherapy and lymphatic massage.

As she worked my back, I drifted off, almost falling asleep. It was wonderful. Lomilomi massage is popular around the world, with dozens of service centers in Hawaii, Japan and Europe. Traditionally, the Lomilomi practitioners shy away from plying their craft in most mainline massage parlors, opting instead to treat selected clients privately and quietly, often in home settings.

The Lomilomi massage is effective. It is not a sensual massage, and masseuses do not offer any form of sexual services.

“Islander Okinawa” is celebrating its first anniversary on the island, and is offering half-price services through July 10th. A Full Body course, regularly ¥5,800 for 75 minutes, is only ¥2,900. The Full Body Deluxe, regularly ¥8,000 for 105 minutes, is only ¥4,000 during this special.

The “Islander Okinawa” massage center is open six days a week, closed on Tuesdays, from 10am ~ 7:30pm. It is located inside the IRIE Beauty Salon near Futenma Shrine in Ginowan. “Islander Okinawa” serves both men and women. Reservations and information is available at 090-7687-4733.

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