What’s a Hawaiian lomi lomi?

Rebecca Anna Lee Dorsey Williams
August 18, 2009
Jeanette A Bourgeois
August 20, 2009
Rebecca Anna Lee Dorsey Williams
August 18, 2009
Jeanette A Bourgeois
August 20, 2009

The Houma-Thibodaux area has a plethora of massage therapists who are certified to provide residents with relaxation by kneading muscles to relieve aches, pains and stress.

But, there is one Houma woman who has taken the art of massage therapy to the next level, incorporating techniques with names like “Hawaiian lomi lomi.”

Meghan Mella, 26, is a spa esthetician and holistic wellness specialist who combines the holistic and medical techniques she has learned and delivers effective massages, facials and body wraps. There is much more to the spa industry than people realize, she contends.

“It is not about just giving a service,” she said. “It’s about knowing what essential oils, aromatherapy and body manipulation to use on a person that will give them the most relief.”

The art of massage can be traced back to ancient and medieval times. Mella said different cultures came up with their own ways of doing massages.

The Egyptians used reflexology involving massaging the feet to relieve pain in the body. Hawaiians do the lomi lomi massage, where the hands move across the body stroking away tension and increasing circulation in the body. The Japanese use the reiki technique to promote healing and relieve stress. And western technology incorporated the neuromuscular, deep tissue massages.

“There is a whole art form behind healing the mind, body and soul,” Mella said. “I went far beyond what is expected of a massage therapist, spa technician or esthetician. I want to learn as much as I can because the more I know, the more I can customize my treatment for my clients. And I won’t fall into this choreographed treatment where I do the same thing for everyone.”

Residents can find Mella at Le Bijou Salon and Day Spa on Polk Street in Houma.

Owner J.B. Daigle and her team of hairstylists offer the latest in hair care technology. The work in the salon is accompanied by the non-invasive spa treatments.

Mella brings to Houma skincare training from the Aveda Institute and the Sand Pearl Resort and Spa in Florida, the Spa Montage at the Montage Laguna Beach Resort in California and the Etheria Salon and Day Spa in Houston.

“I’ve always loved playing with makeup and pampering people,” Mella said. “My last semester at Nicholls State University, I worked for a cosmetic company and fell in love with all the facial products.”

As a certified Redken hair care instructor and master colorist, Daigle specializes in creating hair designs. However, the spa side of her business lacked the talent needed to take it to the next level. That is until Mella joined the team.

“I am an expert on the salon side and I needed an expert to take over the spa side,” Daigle said. “Meghan embodies every aspect of holistic and wellness, the same visions I have here at Le Bijou.”

Mella said her vision of massage therapy comes from her training as a dancer and how dance incorporates the art of movement. To her, massaging the body is the same way.

“When I dance, I get lost in what I am doing,” she said. “The music is playing and all I can do is move to the rhythm.

“I feel the same way about massages,” she added. “When I am working the body and kneading the muscles, my hands move in rhythmic motions like I am dancing.

“It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Spa esthetician and holistic wellness specialist Meghan Mella, of Le Bijou Salon and Day Spa in Houma, applies a facial mask to a client. She specializes in a number of techniques, including the lomi lomi massage, frequently employed by Hawaiian massage therapists. * Photo by SOPHIA RUFFIN