THE BALINESE MASSAGE THERAPY
Having originated on the exotic island of Bali, the Balinese massage therapy is one of a number of ancient traditional massage techniques of Indonesia which had been carried down from one generation to another as a method of curing a wide variety of complaints. The Balinese massage is extraordinarily unique in that it brings together several alternative medicine practices such as massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy with the use of essential oils scented with striking aromas of jasmine, rose, sandalwood, coconut, cempaka, sandat or frangipani into a single massage session. As it is true with most massage techniques, the Balinese massage strives to reach the ultimate state of relaxation of the body and the mind. What sets it apart is that the Balinese believe that, in order to attain that heightened state of relaxation, blood and oxygen must flow freely and only then will the gi or energy flow without restraints as well.
The Balinese massage therapy is performed on a conventional massage table or on a soft mat on the floor and a great deal of attention is paid to the scented oils which are generally applied at room temperature. For restorative purposes of an ailing or painful body part, warmed oil with an added mixture of lemon grass, cloves or ginger is applied. Overall, the bouquet of fragrances used in the Balinese massage therapy is intended to induce relaxation, to promote indulgence of the body and to drive away nervousness and unhealthful tension.
To reach the deeper tissues of the muscles, the Balinese massage therapist alternately applies vigorous kneading, cross fiber mobilization as well as skin rolling with gentle motions to every muscle of the body. To enhance results with long lasting effects, robust acupressure movements such as hardy press point and strong palm pressure are generously applies in addition to the prevailing massage techniques such as sliding, long and short exploration and manipulating.
The Balinese massage therapy is far from being gentle or delicate and it is, therefore, time and time again compared to Ayurveda, an Indian holistic medicinal method which is considered by most as being extremely intense. And it is due to the inherent intensity of the Balinese massage, that this therapy is so successful in reaching deep into tense and strained muscles to sooth and calm their spasms. As a matter of fact, the Balinese massage therapy is quite frequently prescribed for sports injuries as well as for stiff and achy joints due to various injuries or ailments, for easing migraines and other kinds of headaches, for relieving sleep deprivation and insomnia, for mitigating chronic and acute breathing maladies due to allergies and asthma, for boosting blood circulation and the lymphatic system, as well as for alleviating stress and easing anxiety and depression. In essence, the Balinese massage is a rigorous yet lavish therapeutic system that aims to bring the body and mind in full synchronization of optimal health, well being, tranquility and spiritual renewal.
In preparation for a Balinese massage treatment, you should give yourself plenty of time to savor the entire experience and its afterglow. Under certain circumstances, your massage therapist may need to modify the treatment or the oils which are used and you should, for that reason, let him or her know if you:
- Know that you are pregnant or think you might be.
- Have any pains or stiffness in your joints or limbs.
- Have had a recent injury or underwent surgery.
- Are suffering from high or low blood pressure.
- Have any kind of heart problems or any other medical condition and are going through some form of treatment.
Bali is just one island out of the 17,508 islands which comprise the Republic of Indonesia, a nation located in Southeast Asia and the world’s largest archipelagic state. Many of the other Indonesian islands adopted their own massage techniques which are similar to the Balinese massage in their endeavor to heal the physical body and the spiritual mind, yet they are also distinct and bear their own unique characteristics. And they are:
- Sasak massage.
- Lombok massage.
- Urat massage.
- Balinese Boreh. A paste of ground spices is used to relieve pain and this massage technique was conceived by local rice farmers.
- Javenese Lulur Ritual. This is customarily executed on brides in preparation of their wedding day.
Have you decided to give the Balinese massage a try? Good choice! Relax, enjoy the process and come out smelling heavenly.