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What Is Balinese Massage?

Balinese entrance gate
Balinese entrance gate

Balinese massage originated in Bali, of course, and is one of many traditional massage techniques passed down from ancient times in Indonesia as a way to cure a wide variety of ailments. Bali is just one of 17,508 islands that make up the Republic of Indonesia which is the world’s largest archipelagic state. Many of the islands have adopted their own massage techniques that are very similar to Balinese massage but also carry their own unique characteristics. Some of these include:

  • Sasak massage
  • Lombok massage
  • Urat massage
  • Balinese Boreh
  • Javenese Lulur

Like most massage therapies, the Balinese massage attempts to relax and balance the mind, body, and chi (energy) but in order to attain that, the Balinese believe that blood and oxygen must first flow freely before the energy flow can do so. The Balinese massage incorporates several healing therapies such as massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy and is incredibly unique in that way. It is performed on a standard table or floor mat and a great deal of attention is paid to the essential oils used, which can be applied either warmed or at room temperature.

Essential oils with striking aromas like jasmine, sandalwood, rose, cempaka, coconut, frangipani, and sandat may all be used in a single session. For painful or aching body parts, a warmed mixture of lemon grass, cloves, and ginger is usually applied. Overall, the collection of aromas is meant to help tolerate the current condition of the body, induce relaxation, and drive away tension.

In order to access the deeper tissues of the body, a Balinese massage therapist will apply different techniques such as vigorous kneading, cross fiber strokes, and skin rolling. Intense acupressure with the fingers and palms, along with standard massage techniques such as long and short sliding are also used to improve results with long lasting effects.

Benefits of Balinese Massage

Balinese massage is not at all gentle and is often compared to Ayurveda, a holistic Indian therapy which is considered by many to be extremely intense. But because of it’s high intensity, Balinese massage is very successful in reaching the deepest and most tense muscle layers to soothe and calm them. Often times it is prescribed for sports injuries, stiff and aching joints, migraines and headaches, relieving sleep deprivation and insomnia, easing breathing problems due to allergies and asthma, increasing circulation of the blood and lymph, as well as reducing stress and anxiety or depression. At it’s heart, Balinese massage is an intense yet extravagant healing system that attempts to bring the body, mind, and soul in full synchronization of optimal health, well being, and tranquility.

In order to prepare properly for a Balinese massage treatment, you should give yourself plenty of time to savor the session and its afterglow, meaning don’t rush back to work and avoid driving if you can. If you are pregnant, have had a recent injury or surgery, suffer from high or low blood pressure, or have heart problems or adverse medical conditions, you should let your therapist know so that they can modify the treatment and oils to suit your needs.

If you’ve decided to give Balinese massage a try, you’ll definitely enjoy the process and come out feeling completely relaxed and smelling wonderfully!

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