The Art of Balinese Massage

Posted on Posted in Bali

Before being a relaxing experience for tourists, massages were meant to heal the tired body of Balinese farmers, it was a natural therapy practiced by all. After work, at dawn, families will gather and massage each other. Done with dexterity and gentle hands, it was a necessity for all rice harvester passing all day the two foot in the field.

Nowadays, Balinese massages are well known for being unwind. Relaxing yet not sleepy, they are a great way to help release stress and anxiety.
Like the Swedish massage, it is a firm and deep massage but done more gently, it is more powerful than the Californian massage and quite different than the Thai one (which one use a lot of stretching techniques). In Balinese massage, the palm of the hand of the therapist will work your body doing firm movements in a well know choreography to leave you a deep feeling of relaxation.
While massaging, therapists stimulate blood flow, along with pressure point techniques and reflexology, to help soothe muscle tension. Essential oils are often added to the coconut oil in order to leave a delicate perfume on your skin. Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and deeply nourish the skin, it’s anti-microbial properties make it a great massage oil that keeps out infectious bacteria.

The Balinese body massages are called Pijat or Urut. These include belly massages, pregnancy care, Siam herbal stamps, volcanic stones as well as specific versions of hands and feet reflexology.

Many versions or styles of Balinese massages exist, each of them having a different origin; they’re inspired by Indian and Chinese medicine as well as Indonesian islands cultures and traditions.

If you are looking for a traditional Balinese massage with comprehensive techniques adapted to the eastern body and mind, go for a Pijat one. Original and usually taught from mum to daughter and father to son, this massage is a pure bliss.
This highly sensory treatment can be used to heal muscular tensions for example but also to prevent any tension to occur as it focuses on needs we usually leave aside; the body’s relational needs that allow us to be fully aware and anchor ourselves to the present moment. This helps us reconnect with our inner selves, and let go of polluting thoughts and tensions.
Ask us on where to go to get it.


Plenty of other treatments are performed in Bali, still in traditional way.

The most popular ones and most used are the Boreh and the Lulur, both made with herbs and spices mixed altogether ingeniously.

Lulur treatment is a full-body ritual originally from Java. It was performed to royal brides you would have a skin scrub using natural, aromatic ingredients to perfect their skin before their wedding.
Brides would traditionally have the lulur treatment every day for 40 days before their nuptials to make their skin soft, supple and glowing. It’s still a pre-wedding ritual today for Indonesian brides, and an excellent therapy to purify and exfoliate the whole body.
The scrubs usually use a rice powder base blended with turmeric and jasmine.

The Balinese Boreh massage, traditionally a home remedy of Balinese rice farmers to restore their weary muscles and joints after days in the field, is a healing and reviving body treatment.
Boreh pastes usually contain pulped roots of ginger, galangal and turmeric along with herbs such as star anise, coriander, cinnamon and pepper.

Plenty of massage salons are opened in Bali, not all deliver the same quality of services. Choose wisely the place in order to get the best of your experience or ask us for advices.