The Spas of Bali offer an enormous range of treatments. Everything from basic massages, facials, and relaxing baths up to exotic body scrubs, wraps and masques. The ancient Ayurvedic treatments from India are available at many spas, particularly the warm oil Shirodara, and even specialised ones such as Vaginal Smoking and Colon Hydrotherapy.
Most are available individually or as a part of a carefully selected package of treatments. We show them in both forms.
- Traditional Balinese:
This is a therapy where pushing techniques predominate, working very deeply to ease muscle and joint pain. It is an ancient system of healing which relies upon deep pressure massage to break down tensely knotted tissue and promote harmony of body, mind and soul. It should improve your circulation, calm your nerves and alter your mental state.
The Traditional Balinese Massage is an extension of the Ayurvedic massage. It is a deep oil-based massage. The deep pressure massage also uses skin rolling to relieve tension. Oil is mixed with some essential oils for a Balinese Traditional Massage.
Ancient Massage or Thai Massage originates from the time of Buddha. Nuad Phaen Boran, as it is called in Thailand, is sometimes referred to as Yoga Massage or Thai Yoga Massage. Like many traditional massages it has acquired, over time, techniques from different disciplines and merged them into its own. Based on ancient Yoga and Ayurvedic sciences, Thai Massage incorporates everything from yoga positions and Yoga therapeutic practices to Reflexology and even Thai style foot massage.
The term Swedish Massage refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish Massage was developed in the 1700's by a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling.
The main purpose of Swedish Massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Swedish Massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable.
- Lomi Lomi
The word Lomi Lomi simply means Massage, in Hawaiian. It is a unique healing massage derived from the ancient Polynesians. One of the alternative names for Lomi Lomi is 'Loving Hands' massage. The reason for this is that it works gently yet deeply into the muscles with continuous, flowing strokes.
Japanese Shiatsu is also known as acupressure. It is a finger pressure massage, often confused with acupuncture. It usually performed with the recipient fully clothed. Both acupuncture and Shiatsu are founded on the Chinese meridian system. But with Shiatsu, no needles! Massage techniques like tapping, squeezing, rubbing and applied pressure are applied along the meridians to unblock energy blockages and re-introduce the optimal flow of ki.
This is a natural healing art, based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands which correspond to every part of the body. By stimulating and applying pressure to the feet and hands, you are increasing circulation and promoting specific bodily and muscular functions. Kevin Kunz, one of the pioneers of reflexology stated: "Imagine stepping on a tack. Your whole body reacts because of something perceived by the foot. Reflexology with a full range of pressure sensors, utilizes the same body system of flight or fight to relax the body."
Indeed the feet and hands are more sensitive than most people realise. Similar to how we use our eyes to detect light, the hands and the feet detect pressure, stretch, movement and weight distribution.
A paste is made, consisting of many different ingredients. This is spread over your body and left for 15-20 minutes, then scraped off. The main aim is to remove all of the dead skin.
- Balinese Boreh
Traditionally found in the rice growing areas of Bali, the warm potent spices of the Boreh paste were blended at night by the mother and applied as a warm healing pack on family members who spent their entire day in the rice paddies. Many different herbs and spices are combined to make this paste but usually include cloves, ginger, pepper and nutmeg.
- Javanese Lulur
Often described as The Queen of Body Treatments, it originated in the palaces of Central Java during the 17th century. It was used by Javanese brides as a purifying ritual before marriage. The Lulur scrub with its golden yellow colour refelcting its main ingredient, turmeric, has unique cleansing properties. Turmeric is most commonly combined with sandalwood and rice powder. After this scrub the body is usually coated with a yoghurt splash to cleanse and nourish the skin.
Other scrubs can consist of coffee, green tea and many other ingredients.
A body wrap is a specialised spa treatment, for both men and women, to help detoxify, tighten and tone your skin. Body wraps work in two stages, absorption. and squeezing. In the absorption stage a substance is applied to your body within wraps. Once the pores in the skin are opened fluids are extracted or absorbed by both the substance and the wrap.
The effect of the wrap is determined by the ingredients used. Sea clay, herbal, seaweed, mineral and aloe vera are amongst the most common. The more absorbent the product used the drier your skin will feel for a few days.
Body masques are used to revitalise your skin. They usually consist of fruit such as papaya, cucumber, yoghurt, pineapple or coconut, but sometimes include such additives as honey. Mud is also sometimes used. A similar application is used for facials.
Ayurvedic is a traditional hindu system of medicine. Its history goes back centuries and it has had an effect on almost every other system of medicine. Ayurvedic is a Sanskrit word derived from two roots: ayur which means life and veda knowledge.
The traditional Indian massage techniques are based on the Ayurvedic doshas and marmas, pressure points as in reflexology, except that these pressure points ar located around the head rather than in the feet.
Shirodara is the Ayurvedic treatment that involves warm oil being poured onto the 6th Chakra [third eye] in the centre of your forehead. It is done in complete silence and is a most relaxing experience.
Heated medicinal oils are massaged over the entire body. This detoxifying treatment is said to improve flexibility, loosen joints and strengthen the nervous and circulatory systems.
Herbal medicinal powders are massaged over the entire body to improve general blood circulation and assist with detoxification.
- Pinda Sweda
Hot towels soaked in medicated waters infused with steam are draped over and wrapped around the body. This detoxifying treatment eliminates the build up of impurities.
Herbs and oils are applied to specific points of the body to cleanse and improve dosha balance. This cleansing can improve certain skin conditions and reduce skin inflammations.
Herbal poultices of rice and oils are rubbed rythmically over the body to assist in the treatment of fatigue, insomia, hypertension, and nerve and joint disorders.
More Specialised Treatments
- Colon Hydrotherapy
Colon Hydrotherapy is a safe, clean and relaxing method of removing toxins and waste from the colon or large intestine. The colon is a repository of all the accumulated waste in the body and research has shown this can be one of the greatest causes of serious health conditions.
- Vaginal Smoking
In the USA referred to as Venus Smoke and often included in a Balinese Beauty Package. In fact it is not Balinese in origin but an ancient Javanese custom where women go a 'secret place' to beautify and rejuvinate their bodies prior to weddings and other special occasions. Available in some of the upmarket spas in Bali but is normally found in any of Javanese origin such as the Martha Tilaar spas.
The woman sits naked in a chair with a hole in the seat while a bowl of seeds and herbs is burned under the hole. The smoke that wafts up into her vagina is meant to stimulate and disinfect the region.
Provides relief for a wide variety of problems. physical, emotional, chronic and acute. The Therapist uses subtle movements and corrections to bring the body back to balance. A Healing discipline.