Keiki Lomi Lomi is the traditional Hawaiian Infant Massage treatment. Keiki means “child” or “offspring,” and Lomi means “to knead, to rub, or soothe.”
In fact, Hawaiian Baby Massage is a traditional Lomi Lomi Massage adapted for newborns and infants, often given by a grandmother of the baby. In Lomi Lomi (also written as Lomilomi or Lomi-lomi) one uses the palms, forearms, fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees, feet, and even sticks and stones to perform the massage.
Typically, oils are used to give a Keiki Lomi Lomi Massage, and a session usually also includes an Abdominal Massage because Native Hawaiian medicine considers the abdominal and intestinal area part of a person’s soul.
Keiki Lomi Lomi is done daily, but specifically when babies have stomach, intestinal or other abdominal discomforts or pains, such as cramps, constipation, colic and excessive gas.
In the Hawaiian language, the abdomen is called ʻōpū. Techniques to massage the abdomen include massaging in a circular way to realign the body’s internal organs and to clear out the intestinal tract of a newborn. Additionally, massaging the baby’s abdomen with herbs is an important activity. Keiki Lomi Lomi also focuses specifically on strengthening the limbs and correcting birth defects and bone misalignments or deformities.
Traditionally, apart from an elder in the milieu of the baby’s mother (such as a grandmother, an older sister or an experienced female friend or neighbor), it is the Pale Keiki (“pah-lei keiki”) who functions as pediatrician, masseuse, and midwife. She massages a fetus into the proper position in the uterus, gives pregnancy massages, and massages the baby after birth.