Thailand has its Thai massage, Japan has its shiatsu. How about in the Philippines? Of course, it has its own style of massage as well. It is commonly known as “hilot” which literally means “massage” or “healer” in the local tongue. For many tourists and locals alike who have experienced it, “hilot” in experienced hands can truly induce genuine healing effects.
This massage style, while being indigenous to the Philippines, has some characteristics reminiscent of a Thai massage. For instance, just like a Thai massage, a hilot is designed to harness bio-energies for harmony, balance, health and wellness. Also, hilot focuses not only on the muscles and tissues but believes in the idea of “energies”. If a body’s energy balance is disrupted, it leads to illnesses later on. With that said, such a massage actually manipulates electrical charges in the body that creates a biochemical reaction where it is needed. This interaction is made possible by the rigorous but calculated hand movements of the “hilot” practitioner. Yet unlike the predetermined sequence of strokes of Thai massage, hilot is customised to the needs of the client depending on the initial “feel” of the practitioner.