Is Bamboo Massage part of Hilot Healing Tradition?

A question has been posted to us asking:

Very interesting question, and to answer this: we don’t have. Even the fact that our myth tells that the First Man and Woman came out of Bamboo through the help of ibong Adarna We do not do Bamboo Massage, but we use Bamboo Sticks to scrape off the mud attached to the Feet in Dagdagay Kulis Foot Care Treatment so as Historically according to the Book of William Henry Scott in Barangay Sixteenth Century Culture and Society in Page 118 it says:


Abortions were common form of family planning, practiced by ranking ladies to limit their lineage and preserve their heritage, or by others because of poverty or poor prospects for their children. They were induced by massage, strong herbal medicines, or probe with a stick.

William Henry Scott Barangay Sixteenth Century Culture and Society page 118

Though it did not mention what kind of stick that was used but throughout History Bamboo can be beneficial or malevolent for us.

In my research on the practice of Hilot, I never have seen an old Manghihilot brought out Bamboo poles or stick in giving treatment unless they scrape the skin in making herbal tea. I remember my father cutting bamboo poles into strip and the sticks he made put it in a pot to support the Fish he is cooking called Sinaing. Aside from support it will make the food tastier which I really enjoy.

In our Hilot Healing System, we use either Bamboo, Guava or any sticks we polish to stimulate the nerve endings found at the feet. Originally it was the young Children of Ifugao used this technique in Scrapping off the mud that is attached to their father feet that comes from the rice field.

In our Hilot Healing System, we use either Bamboo, Guava or any sticks we polish to stimulate the nerve endings found at the feet. Originally it was the young Children of Ifugao used this technique in Scrapping off the mud that is attached to their father feet that comes from the rice field. And when I am in a Mission at Cervantes, Ilocos Sur on 2013 and we call their group as Mabangaran Hilot which we incorporate the principles of Reflexology that it may produce more beneficial result rather on just scraping dirt alone.


In our Pamulngagan or Hilot Heling Center, we have a Traditional Foot Care Treatment that will start on Foot Bath. Your feet will be soaked on Lemon Grass tea and poured with coconut milk, then we will scrub it with chopped banana peel mixed on grated coconut and peppermint and wrap it for 5-10 minutes so that the feet will absorb the healing properties of the herbs then will rinse it out and perform the stick foot massage and do the regular hilot.


To end up, Bamboo Massage is not of Filipino Origin, it is part of modern spa services that becomes popular in Europe even the fact that South East Asian Countries has plenty of Bamboo. Spa Experts credited it to the Traditional Chinese Medicine so as to the Native Americans. But what is funny about the history of Bamboo Massage they credited the technique when a massuer saw a monkey massaging each other with bamboo sticks while going home. This is how Nature tell us when we adopt it. But Bamboo Massage is not part of Hilot Healing Tradition.

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