It’s almost winter and those yearly aching muscles and bones are slowly becoming like a redundant ground hog day experience. Good thing that massages fall under health services which are now permitted to operate. For me, however, there’s one type of remedial massage that works really well and is indigenous to the Philippines. We call it “hilot.”

Applied to both the massage technique and the therapist, “hilot” is a healing system that’s used to cure a lot of bodily aches and pains. As far as I could remember, my Lola would bring me first to a “hilot” before she takes me to the doctor. In 2012, after 8 doctors who recommended disc replacement to my slipped disc, a “hilot” was able to activate my nerves to allow me to sit and walk properly again.

Luckily, we have a number of “hilots” here in Sydney bringing this age old style of healing through muscle stimulation by applying pressure to specific points in the body which allows the body to heal itself and balancing its energy.  One of the more established “hilots” here in Sydney is Lorelie Luna* ( who has been practicing this healing system for more than 10 years now (she has been doing “hilot” as a child to family members).

To get into the more historical beginnings of “hilot,” AF talked to Lorelie about its beginnings.

AF: Where did the term “hilot” come from?

LORELIE: Hilot is a healing system from the Philippines that is grounded in complete faith in the Source of Life, manifested in the essential values of unconditional love and of service. In the Philippines, there are categories of non-medical traditional healers or folk medicine practitioners:

  • the babaylan
  • the albularyo
  • the manghihilot or hilot (the traditional "massage therapists")
  • the magpapaanak (the traditional "midwife", also sometimes called a hilot)
  • the mangluluop
  • the manghihila
  • the mangtatawas
  • the mediko
  • the faith healer
  • the local shaman healers (such as those that are from the Cordilleras).

The wise Elders will 'hand-down' the 'gift' of healing to an 'apprentice' with the inner faculties of a human. A person who is: “mabuti” (honest), “makabubuti” (sincere), “makapagpapabuti” (highest good of all)

AF: How does it help the person receiving Hilot?  

LORELIE: A “Hilot” combines Nature’s elements and use organic plant oils as part of the “Hilot” Energy Healing therapy. Deep tissue and compression techniques are applied to stimulate energy flow, ease muscle tension and improve range of motion, generating harmonious reactions of the Human Body Systems to promote healing at all levels – Spirit, Mind & Body.

AF: How does it differ from other forms of massage therapy? 

LORELIE: “Hilot” is different from other mainstream massage therapy. As a Practitioner and a Master Trainer, I use the massage therapy as the vehicle for channelling the healing energy. This methodology is an integration of the Science of biochemical processes in the human body, basic Anatomy & Physiology, the energy of the cardinal Elements, Meditation, Sound Healing & the person will be given valuable information in Self-Care. Each person's experience is unique to their own as there is no specific sequence. I simply flow with what the person presents at the time of the consult.  I put in 10 years of structured training, my heart space & a lifetime of “Hilot” practice into channelling the mind-body-spirit connection of the individual that I get the privilege to work with.  

AF: Given that it is considered massage therapy, what are the safety precautions now for doing Hilot under the new COVID-19 rules and regulations?

Under the the Pubic Health Act**, massage therapy is a health service.  As a nationally qualified Remedial Massage Therapy Practitioner providing health service,  I comply with the code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners. The code of conduct has 18 items on it, 17 of which I am required to meet and comply with. Among other things, it is also relevant that as a health practitioner, I must adopt standard precautions for the control of infection in practice.  I have also completed the latest training* provided by the NSW Government in infection control.  It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19.  

AF: How has it affected your practice? 

LORELIE:  have since further reduced the number of people that I see for private consultation and developed an online music meditation practice, as well as offering distance healing consult

To experience the wondrous effects of “hilot,” you can contact Lorelie through her website  or through her mobile number 0488968896 and email address which. You can also find her on LinkedIn, Facebook and  Instagram.

Happy healing!


*Lorelie is also a member of the Moon Sisters Project ( which focuses on the promotion of people’s wellness using meditation and other spiritual practices.

*For the full article, please see

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