QUEZON CITY, Philippines- Traditional Hilot was featured in a symposium tackling effective management of chronic pain organized by the Philsociety for Bones and Joints, Inc. (PSBJI) and the Philippine Medical Association on Feb. 22, 2014.
Aiming to bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine, the symposium brought together practitioners of conventional, traditional, and alternative healing modalities and featured different approaches to the management of chronically painful conditions, such as lower back pain, scoliosis, and arthritis.
Long way to recognition
In his message, keynote speaker Dr. Juvencio F. Ordona, Executive Director of the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), highlighted how the Philippines has come a long way in the recognition of traditional healers. He candidly shared how, during his days as a medical student in the ‘70s, traditional healers were never accepted—in fact, back then, traditional healers were sued for the “illegal practice of medicine.” This was a trend that continued until Dr. Juan Flavier, popularly known as the “Doctor to the Barrios,” immersed himself in the Philippine countryside and saw the value of traditional healers, who were able to help a lot of Filipinos.
Dr. Ordona also emphasized that because doctors tend to conglomerate in cities rather than rural areas, traditional healers play a very important role in addressing the health needs of Filipinos. He underscored that PITAHC is going to help traditional healers, provided they first register with PITAHC. He also thanked ATHAG President Dr. Bibiano “Boy” Fajardo for helping come up with a general definition of Hilot and called on the healers in the audience to unite and work together to prove the efficacy of their healing methods, and weed out illegal practitioners.
PMA President Dr. Leo Olarte also gave a message emphasizing the role of traditional healers. He cited that 80% of the world’s population still rely on traditional healers, and that the World Health Organization is pushing for the integration of indigenous healing.
Different approaches to managing chronic pain
Participants listened as respected experts from different fields presented a wide range of approaches for the management of chronic pain. PSBJI President Dr. Joseph Rylan Flores gave a thorough discussion of chronic pain from an orthopaedic perspective. Dr. Christian Emmanuel Mancao talked about how he is able to immediately provide relief from chronic pain. Dr. Mechelle Palma tackled massage therapy for chronic pain. Mr. Joselito Guttierez discussed the connection between the mind and chronic pain.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bibiano “Boy” Fajardo introduced traditional Hilot and gave participants an overview of the science behind it. He also shared a story of how Hilot was able to help a patient who was due for surgery, and enumerated cases of chronic pain that are effectively treated with traditional Hilot.
After the presentation on Hilot, event sponsors were given time to showcase their products. Immediately afterwards, participants were given the chance to try the featured healing modalities. During the mini session, Dr. Fajardo briefly discussed traditional Hilot and herbal healing, and answered questions from the participants.