A Balinese Massage is a full-body, deep tissue massage treatment and Bali’s signature spa massage modality. It’s originally an ancient, traditional massage that uses a combination of techniques adopted from China, India, Java and Bali, but nowadays it also borrows techniques from Swedish Massage.
The treatment consists of hand palming, skin rolling and flicking, thumb circling, effleurage and strokes, knuckle slides, acupressure, reflexology, stretches, kneading, forearm slides, Kecak (technique inspired by the Indonesian traditional dance Kecak), thumbing, and chopping (percussions).
On Bali, the masseurs love to “crack,” which means that the bones of your neck, fingers and toes and maybe also your spine will be “readjusted.” Additionally, massage practitioners may also apply hot or warm stones, herbal compresses, and aromatherapy elements using a variety of scented oils.
The receiver of the massage typically lies on a massage table or elevated construction, but the massage can also be given on the floor on a special massage mat.
Today, heavily commercialized for the spa and wellness industry, the goal of Balinese Massage is mainly aimed at relaxation and stimulating the lymphatic and blood circulation system. Traditionally however, it was a rather profound therapeutic healing modality. Luckily, in Bali it’s still possible to find traditional local healers (the so-called Balians) who practice this massage in the “old-fashioned” way.