I must admit, I'm a massage addict. Well, it's probably because of the regular stress I get from work, blogging and a lot of other things. But don't get me wrong, I know stress is part and parcel of our lives. That's why my remedy for it is a regular massage.
|Before my hilot therapy session :)|
I usually have a backpain because of the laptop and all the gadgets I carry. If you'll comment why bring it regularly as if it's the solution to the problem, then I would say it's not. As someone who's in the digital practice, my gadgets are my tools. So I can't leave them behind.
With that, I've been on the hunt for the best massage that would give me a real relief. I initially tried Shiatsu, Swedish and Thai.
I like Shiatsu. This is usually the style of our blind folks at the airport and the barbers at the neighborhood. It's good enough when you are sitting but when at spas, it's not comfortable. When shiatsu is done while the towel is at your back, I can feel the rough texture of the towel. So I would prefer shiatsu for quick stopovers not only and not in a real spa session.
I tried Swedish. I like the strokes but it's not therapeutic enough for me. I feel na if hindi okay yung therapist, parang tinatapik lang ang likod ko. And besides, I really don't like too much oil. I fell that it's too messy for me.
I tried Thai and I feel that it's not too relaxing. During massage, I just want to be comforted and not to be stretched in all directions. I want something that will put me into sleep.
I usually visit Mont Albo Massage Hut because it's reasonably priced, its place is relaxing, they use nature sound as background which is more relaxing for me (I really don't like instrumental or love songs for a spa), and they use virgin coconut oil which is not too greasy. I like their original Mont Albo signature massage because the strokes are combination of shiatsu and swedish. The finger strokes can relieve the pressure points at the back. However, it's just about 25% of the entire massage. And now, the Mont Albo massage uses oil only at the back. Well it's good enough for me, but others liked to be oiled in other parts of the body during massage.
So then, I looked for another body therapy options and fortunately, I saw "hilot" from Mont Albo's list of services.
I was surprised because I thought of hilot not as a massage but as a Filipino traditional medicine . When I was a child, I am sometimes brought to a hilot if I have pilay (muscle strain). I even looked at hilots as albularyos (faith healers or ancient medicine men). Back then, although the strokes are quite painful, I like undergoing a treatment from a hilot. I like the scent of the oil, the leaves and the therapeutic result of the hand strokes. So whenever I have pilay, I was quite happy because I'll be seeing again the hilots in our neighborhood - Mang Domeng and Mang Max! Hehe
So when I saw hilot from Mont Albo's list, I requested for it expecting that it could probably the same hilot I enjoyed and benefited from. Mont Albo describes it as "The ancient Filipino healing method practiced for thousands of years. Hilot refers to both the technique and the practitioner. Characterized by slow deliberate strokes and removal of blockages or "Lamig". Banana leaves and Virgin coconut oil are key elements in this treatment. Highly recommended for individuals with upper back aches and stress related pains and anxiety. Bentosa or placement of suctioning cups is recommended."
|Photo from Mont Albo site|
And I'm glad I tried hilot and shifted to it! Aside from Mont Albo's music, place and oil, I like the entire package of hilot. It's just the right massage I've been looking for and what I really need. Somehow, I felt it has the same strokes as the hilots I know. The finger pressure is between pain and relief, pressing the "lamig" hard enough until it's broken down. And the therapist won't stop until madurog niya talaga yung lamig! I like the heated banana leaves, it gives a soothing relief. Well I don't know if it's just psychological but I still do like it! I feel that it makes the pressing to the lamig much easier.
|Photo from Mont Albo site|
Now, the routine is much easier. The receptionist instantly know what I want, and need. I've been looking around but what I need is something that I've been familiar with since I was a child. And... it's Filipino! It's our own! Call me native and I'll be proud of it!
I guess our forefathers know what our people really need that's why hilot was created. And to our ancestors, thank you for developing it. And to Mont Albo, thank you for nurturing this Filipino treasure.
And with that, Hilot is my 37th treasure find! :)