Kim Hartley, LMP: My Personal Journey

I was first touched by the fragrant embrace of the ‘aina (the land of Aloha) on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1977, while on vacation with a friend.  Little did I know then how the gifts of the Hawaiian tradition and lomilomi would become a part of my life.  In 1985 I received my first professional massage after being injured in a car accident.  I was so impressed with the healing I experienced. Four years later I was ready for a career change and decided to give notice at the Chevron gas station I had been managing for 7 years and go back to school. I chose to attend Brian Utting School of Massage.

I grew up playing basketball and volleyball in high school and college. I had considered Physical Education, athletic training, or physical therapy as possible majors.  I loved giving and receiving back rubs.  I was alway told by friends I had good hands and gave a great rub.  I took 10 years of piano lesson growing up which allowed me to develop good strength in my hands.  So choosing to study massage seemed a perfect fit.
I was so excited to be back in school.  I immediately felt I had found my calling. I loved giving massage.  I experienced my first sight of Lomilomi Hawaiian massage when Shawn LaSala Kimmel came to speak and demonstrate at Brian Utting School of Massage.  The prayerful dance, rhythm, and graceful flow of the Hawaiian work along with the metaphysical meaning and story behind the work moved to tears.
I began my studies with Shawn in Hawaii in 1991.  I took every class she offered for the next 4 years and logged 510 hours of continuing education in Lomilomi.  My bodywork style and personal growth is greatly influenced by Shawn.
In 1992, I met Jim Hartley, my husband to be at one of the trainings.  Then in 1993, we both met Aupuni ‘Iwi Ula a native Hawaiian healer.  Through a series of events we brought a Hawaiian made fan for him because of a request he made of a mutual friend.  We encouraged him to share his Hawaiian teaching, spirituality, energy, skills and lomilomi.  In 1995 he began the Kalama Foundation. Jim and I were some of his first students.  During the next 4 years I completed 210 hours of continuing education with him.  Aupuni has influenced my understanding of energy, group process, and circle sharing greatly.
In July 1995, Jim and I were married and I moved my practice from Bellevue, WA to Olympia, WA.  During our honeymoon in Hawaii, Jim and I met Auntie Margaret Machado, a native Hawaiian healer on the Big Island of Hawaii considered to be a State Treasurer.  I was very touched by her presence, love, and intuitive vision.  She immediately knew from my countenance exactly where I was holding tension in my body.  I was struck by her deep sense of the power of prayer, ho’oponopono (forgiveness), and loving the body.  You could feel her Aloha so easily and deeply.
I knew I would like to study with her one day so when I returned home I raised my rates and began setting the extra fee along with tips aside in my dream account.  In February 2000, when Auntie was 83 years old, I flew to Hawaii to attend a one month, 150 hour program with her.  Mark LaMore, a 20 year student of Auntie’s, was our main teacher.  As Auntie’s health allowed she was there with us every day  Auntie would look across the room and remind us to have soft hands and love the body.
Auntie Margaret taught us about ho’oponopono by going to the ocean’s edge each day at sunset.  We were asked to review the day in our mind and as the sun set ask for forgiveness for any harm we had done ourselves or another that day.  And also be willing to forgive any harm that had been done to us.  Auntie Margaret taught me about being clear and current in my life, being willing to surrender to healing, love and forgiveness.  She deeply touched my heart and affected my personal journey.  Hawaiian salt water colon cleansing was also a part of Auntie’s teaching.  Many of the strokes and concepts Auntie taught us have been incorporated into Heartspire Lomilomi including soft hands, love the body, and the lomilomi stroke.
In 2001, we first met Nancy Kahalewai when she was on a book tour on Whidbey Island.  She brought Daniel Albers with her to demonstrate lomilomi.  They were going to be in Washington for a month.  We convinced Daniel to come to Olympia and teach his style of lomilomi.  We quickly put together a group of people for him to teach and hosted him.  We had him back again to teach Deep Tissue in 2002.  We learned a lot of new strokes along with Hawaiian names for the strokes.  His style had an easy natural flow and was a bit faster pace than ours.  We incorporated many of his strokes in our Heartspire lomilomi classes.
In 2004 we hosted Dr. Maka’ala Yates, a native Hawaiian, for a Clinical Lomilomi class.  Then in 2006 he returned again to lead us all on our first Hawaiian Salt Water Colon Cleanse.  He was one of Auntie Margaret’s early students, and an original voyager on the trip back to Hawaii from Tahiti in the Hokulea, Hawaii’s famous double-hulled canoe.  We learned about sinking down to the bone with soft but deep touch.  We also experienced great healing with our personal health through the colon cleanse.  Dr. Maka’ala Yates is someone who truly walks his talk.
In 2004, we met Dougie McKeague a native Hawaiian man who practiced lomilomi in Redmond, WA He spent some time with us in our home and taught us a little about opu huli, piko huli, and breathwork. His love of Christ and the Holy Spirit expressed through the healing touch of lomilomi can be felt by all he comes in contact with.  He is a wonderful musician as well.  We enjoyed our experiences of Aloha with Dougie and share his bellywork in our Heartspire lomilomi classes.
Then in August 2006 we had the opportunity to study with Nancy Kahalewai and Mahealani Henry on a Lomilomi cruise.  We had an amazing time with a wonderful group of Japanese students. Nancy asked us to assist in the teaching, and we learned a few new strokes as well.  Mahealani shared her teaching of Pono ke Ala (The path of excellence).  We also had the opportunity to learn hula from her sister Neaulani Henry.
Our most recent teacher Harry Uhane Jim (co-author of Wise Secrets of Aloha) came into our lives in the summer and fall of 2010.  We attended a 5 day intensive with Harry and his Wife Sila in Iowa at Windermere School of the Healing Arts in June of 2010, then we hosted Harry in Olympia at our school for a 3 day workshop in October of 2010.  Harry’s warmth and humor as a teach and his reminder that (I am enough!) and all I need to do is reach out and ask for “Help!” and it will be there, are some of his teaching catch phrases.  He shares about Lomi Ha (breath work), Lau Lima (laying on of hands), Creating Space  (a gentle stretching technique) and Bone Washing (releasing the cherished wounds stored in the bones).  I highly recommend his book and teachings  We have incorporated some of his teaching since 2011.
In 2011 we co-taught a spring and fall Ho’oponopono Retreat with Harry and Sila.  In 2012 we attended a 10 day Gathering of Light Bearers worksop with Harry and Sila in Hawaii.  Where we had a special opportunity of experience Pu’uhonua o’honaunau “The City of Refuge” while we were there.
Some of the gifts lomilomi has taught me along the way have been an opportunity to deepen, align and love myself through prayer and Aloha.  I’ve learned to care for the altar of my body through lomilomi and have incorporated exercise and released 75 lbs. bringing my body into a better state of balance.  I’ve listened to the call of the holy spirit and allowed myself to be a (good straw), for healing energy to move through me, both in working with intention and prayer in my massage and teaching.  I’ve opened up to be in relationship with my ancestors, and through prayer and forgiveness am carrying forward my lineage in a good way. I’ve experienced deep healing in the faith I was brought up in and have circled around and returned into my roots as a Catholic
Over the years, beginning in 1993, my teaching has been a natural progression of my personal journey and love of lomilomi.  By holding space for others, I’ve allowed myself to hold a bigger space for myself and my wholeness.  I love watching the ripple of lomilomi and Aloha spread out in the world.  By teaching others this beautiful work I have the opportunity to touch so many more people through my student’s hands and hearts.  I have had the opportunity to teach in Alberta, Washington, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan and assist in the waters off Hawaii on a cruise.  We’ve also enjoyed being asked into teach in these schools: Corteva Brian Utting in Seattle, Body Mechanic School of Massage in Olympia, Everest in Tacoma, American Institute of Clinical Massage in Post Falls, Idaho,Twin Rivers Therapeutic Massage Academy in Lewiston, Idaho, Northern Massage Academy in Sandpoint Idaho, Clover Park in Tacoma, and Windemere in Decorah Iowa.
I have hope that the Aloha Spirit of love will always flow through Lomilomi and richly bless our human relationships, the earth and all we come into contact with helping us to live up to the Hawaii State Motto.
Ua mau ke o ka ’aina I ka pono.  The very life breathe and spirit of the land endures forever in right relationship with people and all living things…
Kim Hartley, LMT My Personal Journey with Lomilomi