Filipino Icon: Hilot
Hilot is a Filipino form of traditional healing. It uses massage and chiropractic manipulation, and has a spiritual aspect involving the chanting of oraciones or latin prayers. Hilot is sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe Filipino traditional or folk medicine, and while there are several different forms of hilot and hilot massage techniques, they all share a common thread: a focus on healing not just physical ailments, but the person as a whole.
Hilot, in its most basic forms, is still being practiced up to this day. In far-flung rural areas, where access to medical facilities and doctors is difficult at best, and well-nigh impossible at worst, hilot practitioners –also known as manghihilot in Tagalog- still serve as healers and midwives within their communities.
Today, hilot has been brought into the 21st century, and has become part of a wide constellation of holistic alternative healing practices. Many spas and massage services offer hilot massages; incorporating other healing practices, such as aromatherapy and acupuncture, to enhance a rich tradition of wellness and health.