Balinese massage is a massage therapy indigenous to Indonesia. It uses massage techniques such as kneading and skin rolling as well as incorporating acupressure, acupuncture and reflexology into the massage sessions. There is a focus on essential oils throughout the massage as well, helping with the relaxation process. If you are familiar with massage and are experimenting with various massage techniques, this is a great one to try.
A Balinese massage can be an incredibly luxurious experience. There are a variety of techniques the massage therapist will apply to your body to try to stimulate blood flow as well as working on harmonizing the patient’s energies, or “qi”, not to mention relieve stress. People who regularly partake of Balinese massage report decreased stress levels, increased relaxation and a general sense of well being.
The system can be traced back to Indian ancient medicine and the Ayurveda massage. Due to Indonesia being a country made up of many islands, there are many regional variations of the Balinese massage. Bali is one of the major islands that make up Indonesia. The Sasak, Lumbok and Urat are three other common variants of the Balinese massage system. There is also the Balinese Boreh which is more pain-relief oriented and utilizes a ground spice paste to help accomplish this goal.
Uses of Balinese Massage
Balinese massage is a recommended massage treatment for sports injuries as well as many other types of pain and stress. It is a deep tissue massage style which promotes circulation. This can help speed up healing of damaged tissue as well as bring better blood flow to strains of muscles or joints. The reflexology and acupuncture/pressure techniques further help with sports injuries as well as a number of other maladies including migraines, sleep disorders and anxiety.
A Typical Bali-style Massage
A normal first session will begin with the client telling the therapist a bit about their health, their health background, surgeries they have had and if there is any specific issue that needs to be worked on during that session. The massage therapist will press on some of the health issues to insure that they pick the right oils for the massage.
Most Balinese massages are done on a massage table or more traditionally on a mat on the floor. However, there are some techniques that can be done comfortably from a massage chair if that is what the client needs or prefer. The massage will typically last about an hour and will vary from deep pressure to relieve stress knots to longer more gentle kneading to help promote general circulation.
At the end of the session, the therapist typically pours some scented oil, such as coconut, onto the client’s body. From here the client can opt to shower or enjoy the smells and go on about their day. Many places that offer Balinese massages offer a place to steam afterwards. This is a treat after the massage, especially with the scented oils that have just been left on one’s body.