Balinese massage was developed in the Indonesian province of Bali, with influence from the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia. Balinese massage techniques include acupressure, skin rolling and flicking, firm and gentle stroking, percussion, and application of essential oils. The practitioner may also apply stone massage. Here’s everything you should know about the Balinese massage.
Balinese massage is a full-body, deep-tissue, holistic treatment. Balinese massage uses a combination of gentle stretches, acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and “qi” (energy) around your body, and bring a sense of wellbeing, calm and deep relaxation. Balinese massage uses a variety of techniques including skin rolling, kneading and stroking, and pressure-point stimulation, combined with the aromas of essential oils.
In Balinese massage, techniques are performed very slow and very deep (to clear energy blockages) with essential oil. Also the Balinese will always massage the stomach as this is beneficial for colon health and the reproductive system. Ideal for those with damaged tissue or strained muscles or joints, and for anyone experiencing some emotional loss or trauma.
The origins of Balinese massage
From 600-800 AD Hinduism and Buddhism were introduced into Indonesia via traders along the spice route archipelago, so the thinking goes that they brought their massage rituals with them. The amalgamated Balinese massage bears the hallmarks of a mix of Ayurveda India, Chinese and Indonesian techniques.
The therapeutic herbal oils delivered with the traditional massage have similarities to the Ayurvedic massages from ancient India. The acupressure and pressure point techniques are said to derive from China. Indonesian beauty rituals – once practiced in the royal palaces of Java – also form part of the experience.
In contrast to the sometimes rather painful Chinese reflexology and Thai massage techniques, Balinese massage produces a relatively small impact on the body. Given the broad range of practitioners and day spas, no two massages will feel the same. That said, the treatment usually includes acupressure, palm pressure, long stretches and soothing strokes – all of which help to relax mind and body and induce a feeling of delightful well-being.
What is Balinese massage good for?
Balinese massage techniques work to soothe damaged tissue, and relieve strained muscles and joint pain. The boost to your circulation will help reduce stress and rebalance your body, and the aromatic oils can also boost your mood. As this massage targets deeper layers of muscle, and boosts circulation, Balinese massage is useful for sports injuries.
Different Types of Balinese Massage
Bali is just one of hundreds of islands that make up Indonesia. Many of these islands have evolved their own special kind of Indonesian massage. All of the massages fuse ancient traditions and practices into treatments that will help your body to heal physically and spiritually, and leave you feeling wonderful. Here are a few examples:
- Sasak massage
- Lombok massage
- Urat massage
- Balinese Boreh ( a massage created by rice farmers to ease pain using a preparation of a paste of ground spices)
- Javanese Lulur Ritual (traditionally performed on brides in preparation to marriage).