Other Things To Learn As Massage Therapist

The “Hilots” (local unlicensed massage therapist) of our country, Philippines, are not only known for being a very good massage therapist but are also known to be good in prescribing herbs for certain diseases, and pains.

They know that there are many problems that massage alone cannot solve thus the help of herbs are needed to hasten the recovery.

Take for example sprain or dislocations. When I was a kid, I dislocated my shoulder from accidentally falling from the back of a carabao. After the masseur put back into position the dislocated joint of my shoulder, he applied a heated bark of tagumbaw (purging nut tree) by wrapping it around the joint which stayed the whole night.

The bark will prevent the swelling and probably helps promote a blood circulation to the place of injury. While when one goes to the hospital, the chance that you will get surgery to replace the dislocation, and cementing it is very much dreaded, not only for its being expensive but the result is always not that great.

Another thing is for cough. When a person is coughing too much and his cough is not going away for days, even after taking medicines, the person will go to a hilot. After giving massage to the back of the patient, the hilot will instruct the patient to get a calamansi (calamandarin) and drink the juice.

In my own practice as massage therapist, the other thing I learned that is also most important to study, in addition to the use of plants for therapy, is psychology.

Why psychology?

As a masseur, there are patients who open up to you about their problems that stress them, and there’s no way you always say you don’t care about their problem, that your job is only to give them relaxation massage. Or just pretend you listen without saying anything.

Massage is more complicated and exciting than most believe.

As a masseur you must be sensitive to the concerns of your patient. Like for example, how do you reply to a question of an older patient, man or woman, who asks you if you know a potion to solve his/her problem about his erection or her low libido? Or how do you approach a patient who is sick of schizophrenia?

I have had patients with schizophrenia whom the people around them said didn’t have good relationship with their first therapists, and wondering why they like me. I do not know, but probably it has to do with the way how you read your patient’s situation, and approach them as human being not as a customer who will pay you money after the session.

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