Ishilta, my therapist that afternoon, said that I was a virgin. Yes, that was the first time ever that I tried and experienced a form of spiritual healing. And it happened in a place called Bahay Ginhawa.
When literally translated to English, bahay means “house” and ginhawa means “relief.” But I think, the word “release” would be more fitting to describe my initial divine encounter. Bahay Ginhawa is actually a home for a number of holistic sessions, whether Eastern or Western, that are crafted towards the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of its clients.
Ms. Ime Morales, a friend and founder of the Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP), was the one who invited me to this wholistic home. Her first message to me about this was around the first week of February, but the two of us were only able to visit about a month later.
Given that time-frame and since it was my first time to undergo such a session, Ishilta said that maybe, there was a reason why He brought me here, moreover, why He structured the turn of events for me to try Halimuon or the aroma therapy healing.
A Warm Welcome
Located at 100-A, K6th St., East Kamias, Quezon City, Bahay Ginhawa felt so homey the moment I entered the door. The house welcomed me with colorful mats lining the living room. Here, Ishilta oriented me and Ms. Ime about Halimuon.
The name actually came from the Tagalog word for scent or aroma. Halimuon is a therapy involving the use of 12 essential oils, which Ishilta ships from the United States to be able to give Filipino clients one of the best aroma therapy sessions in town. These specialized oils, were created by Young Living, the world leader for natural wellness oils.
But Ishilta said that using the 12 essential oils could be an overdose, especially for virgins like me. So for that afternoon, he would be using only six.
And together with some gentle touches, with the permission of the client, Halimuon could turn out to be an emotional therapy meant to release “toxins” that were stored deep down.
The Six Scents
I lay down on a bed and Ishilta gave me a sleeping eye mask for better relaxation. The moment I withdrew my vision and rested my head on the pillow, my brain automatically signaled red alert to my other senses as if setting an elusive defense mechanism. As I was waiting for Ishilta’s next move, things started panicking inside my brain: how I almost got lost getting there, how my meeting afterwards would be, how the therapy would unfold, what will Ishilta do to me, how would my body react, how would I react.
Ishilta applying the oil of Valor. Photo by Ime Morales.
Ishilta started the session with the oil of Valor, asking me if he could rub them on the soles of my feet. I gave him my permission and then the room was suddenly filled with a mixed aroma of spruce, rosewood and frankincense, from which the oil was made. According to Young Living, the oil was crafted to promote strength, courage and protection, and so to pass that to me, Ishilta held my feet for a while. But this did not stop my thoughts from running to and fro.
The next oil in line was called Harmony, made from ingredients like lavender and ylang-ylang. Ishilta then proceeded to putting oils on certain points of my body, with my full permission, like my wrists, my neck, my forehead. Ishilta later on revealed that these were the chakra or energy centers on my body and the oil was set to harmonize the flow inside my system. Still, my thoughts were stubborn enough to align themselves.
The next oil was called Release, made from ingredients like grapefruit, spearmint and rose. When coupled with the oil of Forgiveness from sesame and chamomile, these scents were said to unlock emotional and personal walls, releasing repressed and hurtful memories. And if the oils were busy doing their job, my brain was so pre-occupied to even notice anything about the fragrances.
At some point, Ishilta also asked for my help in putting some oil on my stomach and on my chest.
Another oil was something called Present Time, which reminded my brain to be “in the moment.” I somehow felt that time, my thoughts finally noticed the scents and started to relax.
Lastly, there was the oil of the Inner Child. The blended fragrance of orange, lemongrass and spruce was aiming to reconnect me to my inner self, which could have gone through some tough time during my childhood. According to Young Living, when people got “misused” at a very young age, they tend to detach from their “natural identity, or inner child.”
Activating the Halimuon
After all the oils had been applied, I felt Ishilta position himself near my head. And the moment his palms touched my hair, the remaining perkiness of my thoughts suddenly disappeared and my mind and body just seemed to “align” themselves towards Ishilta.
Applying oil on my stomach. Photo by Ime Morales.
He went on by asking me some questions and I answered accordingly. But for some weird reason, there were no images forming on my head. The thoughts that were disturbing me earlier were never awakened. It was like staring and floating into a vast sea of nothingness, welcoming Ishilta’s whispers inside my already opened personal wall and just letting those expressions explore the hidden corners of myself.
I was drifting into deeper states of relexation when he started whispering words like self-worth and forgiveness. And then all of a sudden, a tear just fell from my eye. I was not sure what specific emotion I was feeling at the time. All I knew was that the words, somehow, had finally hit their targets.
Ishilta continued the flow of words and soon I was catching my breath. There even came a point when I could no longer produce an answer to him for I was overpowered by some faint whistling from my chest, a sign of a mild asthma attack.
Finally, Ishilta stopped talking. But lifting his hand from my head was like removing the plug from the drain. He said that the session was over. I sat down and the moment I took off the eye mask, all the emotions that reacted to his words earlier just burst out. I had been emotional for the past months now, but I would say that this cry was the most liberating of all.
Ishilta gave me time to gather myself up. And for the first time in months, I felt so light. It seemed like a huge weight, which I had been carrying for the longest time now, had just disappeared.
Ishilta said that normally, clients would only get emotional when the session was over. But I was already reacting midway through the therapy. Maybe there were just so much to be released. I now wonder what would be the effect of 12 oils.
He also said that the topics he was asking the clients during the session differ from one to another. He said that maybe everything depended on what He wanted this particular person to know.
And in my case, maybe, He just wanted me to finally let go and be free.
On March 19, Bahay Ginhawa will be having a special event entitled, “Indigenous Healing Practices of Women,” with guests from Mountain Province and Mindanao. On March 20, guests Donna Vergara and Karen Gamutan would be sharing some enlightening talk. For more details, you may contact them through:
Or through their Facebook page linked above.