Balinese Massage: Unlocking 8 Powerful Benefits for Mind and Body

Rejuvenate Your Senses with the Tranquility of Balinese Massage

What is Massage 04th Aug, 2023

Bali, often referred to as the “Island of Paradise,” is a popular destination renowned for its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, and rich cultural heritage. In addition to its breathtaking landscapes, Bali is also known for its traditional Balinese massage, a therapeutic practice that has been passed down through generations.

A Balinese woman gets a back massage.

This full-body, deep-tissue massage combines various techniques, including gentle stretches, acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy, to promote the flow of blood, oxygen, and energy throughout the body. Balinese massage not only offers a sense of deep relaxation but also provides numerous physical and mental benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Balinese massage, exploring its techniques, benefits, and different types, as well as comparing it to another popular Southeast Asian massage style: Thai massage.

Bali Massage Technique

A Fusion of Techniques

Balinese massage combines various techniques to create a comprehensive and holistic treatment. Gentle stretches help to improve flexibility and release tension in the muscles. Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body, promoting the flow of energy and relieving blockages.

Reflexology focuses on massaging specific reflex points on the feet, which are believed to correspond to different organs and systems in the body. Aromatherapy is incorporated through the use of essential oils, which not only add a pleasant scent but also have therapeutic properties that enhance the overall massage experience.

Techniques and Tools

During a Balinese massage, the therapist utilizes various techniques to address different aspects of the body. Skin rolling involves gently grasping the skin and rolling it between the fingers and palms, helping to loosen tight muscles and stimulate circulation. Kneading involves rhythmic movements of pressing, squeezing, and lifting the muscles, which can help to release tension and reduce muscle knots.

Stroking refers to long, gliding movements that soothe and relax the muscles. Pressure-point stimulation targets specific points on the body to relieve pain, promote healing, and restore balance. These techniques are often complemented by the use of essential oils, which not only enhance massage strokes but also provide additional benefits such as relaxation and mood enhancement.

Deep-Tissue Healing

Balinese massage is particularly effective in addressing deep-seated tension and muscle damage. The therapist applies firm pressure to target deep, knotted tissues, helping to release stress, improve mobility, and alleviate pain.

By working on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, Balinese massage can be beneficial for individuals experiencing physical issues such as muscle stiffness, sports injuries, or chronic muscle tension.

Duration and Post-Treatment Bliss

A typical Balinese massage session lasts for approximately one hour, although the duration can vary depending on individual preferences and needs. During the session, the therapist’s skilled hands and the combination of techniques work together to promote deep relaxation, relieve muscle tension, and stimulate blood and energy flow.

After the massage, individuals often experience a profound sense of relaxation, feeling refreshed, revitalized, and re-energized. The soothing effects of the massage and the release of muscle tension contribute to a state of blissful well-being.

Overall, Balinese massage is a comprehensive and effective treatment that incorporates a variety of techniques and tools to promote relaxation, deep healing, and overall well-being.

What Can You Expect from a Balinese Massage?

Woman getting a traditional back massage.

Treatment Environment

Balinese massage is typically performed in a serene and tranquil environment to create a relaxing atmosphere. The treatment is commonly conducted on a massage couch, which provides comfort and support for the individual receiving the massage.

However, in some cases, a floor mattress may be used, especially in traditional or more rustic settings. The choice of environment aims to enhance the overall experience and promote a sense of tranquility during the massage session.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Aromatherapy plays a significant role in Balinese massage. Scented massage oils are used, and they are often infused with rare and exotic essential oils such as frangipani, known for their mood-boosting properties.

These essential oils not only add a pleasant fragrance but also offer therapeutic benefits. The aroma of the oils helps to create a soothing and calming ambiance, enhancing the overall massage experience and promoting a sense of well-being.

The Power of Pressure

Balinese massage employs a combination of deep pressure techniques and gentle strokes to address different levels of tension in the body. Therapists apply deep pressure to target deep-seated tension, knots, and muscle damage.

This deep pressure helps to release tension, promote blood circulation, and provide relief to areas of the body that may be experiencing chronic pain or tightness. On the other hand, gentle strokes and kneading are used to relieve tension in the more superficial muscles and promote overall relaxation.

The Afterglow

After receiving a Balinese massage, clients may anticipate feeling incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated. Deep relaxation and overall well-being are facilitated by the use of essential oils, calming surroundings, and therapeutic practices.

People who have a massage feel refreshed, restored and invigorated as the massage helps to relieve physical and emotional strain. Additionally, the after-massage experience is improved by the lingering scent of the essential oils utilized during the massage.

In general, anyone receiving a Balinese massage may anticipate entering a tranquil treatment setting, taking advantage of aromatherapy through the use of essential oils, and receiving a combination of deep pressure and delicate strokes to relieve stress. A Balinese massage leaves behind a lasting sensation of relaxation and renewal as well as a lingering smell that enhances the overall delightful experience.

Benefits of Balinese Massage

1. Spiritual Benefits

Inner Harmony: Balinese massage has a holistic approach that encompasses not only the physical and mental aspects but also the spiritual dimension. The massage can help individuals connect with their inner selves, promoting a sense of harmony and balance within.

2. Detoxification

Lymphatic Drainage: Balinese massage includes techniques such as skin rolling and pressure-point stimulation, which can help stimulate the lymphatic system. This stimulation aids in the removal of toxins and waste products from the body, supporting the detoxification process.

3. Increased Flexibility

Muscle Lengthening and Stretching: The gentle stretches employed during Balinese massage can contribute to increased flexibility over time. These stretches help lengthen the muscles and improve their range of motion, allowing for greater ease of movement.

4. Immune System Boost

Enhanced Immunity: Balinese massage can have a positive impact on the immune system. The combination of improved circulation, stress reduction, and lymphatic drainage supports the body’s immune response, helping to strengthen its defense mechanisms.

5. Elevation of Energy Levels

Revitalization and Vitality: Balinese massage promotes the flow of energy throughout the body, revitalizing and invigorating individuals. By clearing blockages and restoring balance, the massage can leave individuals feeling more energized and revitalized.

6. Improved Sleep Quality

Deep Relaxation: Balinese massage induces a profound state of relaxation, helping individuals achieve deep and restful sleep. By reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm, the massage can improve the quality of sleep and overall sleep patterns.

7. Mind-Body Connection

Awareness and Mindfulness: Balinese massage encourages individuals to be present in the moment and cultivate mindfulness. The focus on the body and the sensations experienced during the massage can enhance the mind-body connection, promoting a greater sense of self-awareness.

8. Emotional Well-being

Release of Emotional Tension: Balinese massage can provide emotional release by allowing individuals to let go of stored tension and stress. This release can contribute to a sense of emotional well-being, relaxation, and a more positive outlook.

Overall, Balinese massage offers a wide range of benefits that extend beyond the physical realm. Its holistic approach addresses the body, mind, and spirit, promoting relaxation, stress reduction, improved circulation, flexibility, detoxification, immune system support, increased energy levels, better sleep, and enhanced emotional well-being. Embracing the healing power of Balinese massage can lead to a more balanced and harmonious state of being.


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Types of Balinese Massage

1. Sasak Massage

Sasak Massage, which has its roots on the nearby island of Lombok, combines conventional methods with elements of diverse cultures. This special Balinese massage variation combines components from surrounding areas, resulting in a synthesis of traditions that adds to its distinctive character.

Sasak massage methods might involve rhythmic palm and thumb strokes, mild stretches, and acupressure. Sasak massage, with its varied inspirations, offers a therapeutic experience that blends the best of several traditions and promotes relaxation, stress release, and a general sense of well-being.

2. Urat Massage

In order to restore the equilibrium of vital energies, the Balinese massage technique known as urat focuses on the removal of energy blockages within the body. It focuses on certain nodes and channels where energy flow could be constrained or interfered with.

The therapist strives to remove blockages and encourage a harmonic flow of energy by using methods like deep pressure, kneading, and stretching. Urat massage attempts to reestablish equilibrium and vigor, leaving people feeling refreshed and renewed. This original method of Balinese massage provides a profound sensation of regeneration and relaxation for the body as well as the mind.

3. Balinese Boreh

Balinese Boreh is a type of massage that has its origins in the customs of rice growers. It entails applying a particular paste to the body that is produced from ground herbs and spices. Ginger, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon, which are recognized for their warming and medicinal effects, are frequently used in the paste.

To help the spices fully permeate the skin and relieve pain and suffering, the combination is gently rubbed into the skin. Balinese Boreh is especially well-liked for its capacity to reduce muscular pain, enhance circulation, and foster a feeling of coziness and relaxation. The therapeutic properties of natural herbs are used in this massage variation to provide a distinctive and revitalizing experience.

4. Javanese Lulur Ritual

A Balinese massage method called the Javanese Lulur Ritual is often done for brides before their wedding. This ceremonial massage includes exfoliation and traditional herbal treatments for a luxurious experience. The treatment starts with a scrub made of natural ingredients like rice flour, turmeric, and sandalwood for gentle exfoliation, removing dead skin cells to reveal soft, smooth skin.

After exfoliation, a herbal mask is applied to hydrate and renew the skin, usually containing jasmine, pandan leaves, or turmeric. The Javanese Lulur Ritual is a cultural practice that indulges and beautifies the bride, while also honoring her with a massage.

Various Balinese massages offer unique ways to relax, rejuvenate, and heal. Each style has its techniques and benefits, allowing you to choose a massage that fits your preferences. From the cultural fusion in Sasak massage to the energy balancing in Urat massage, the aromatic therapy of Balinese Boreh, and the luxurious exfoliation in Javanese Lulur Ritual, these massages enhance overall well-being with diverse experiences.

Experiencing Balinese and Thai Massage

Thai massage and Balinese massage both provide distinctive advantages and methods that are tailored to certain demands. Balinese massage is the best if you’re looking for moderate relaxation for both your body and mind.

However, Thai massage can be a better option if you want intense muscle work and alignment of your posture. To have a genuinely gratifying session, pick the massage that fits your needs and tastes.

Bali Massage

Woman experiencing Bali Massage

Beyond the rejuvenating experience of a Bali massage, the island itself offers a wealth of attractions that captivate visitors. From picturesque landscapes of terraced rice paddies in Ubud to stunning beaches in Seminyak and Uluwatu, Bali’s natural beauty is breathtaking.

The island is also home to ancient temples, such as the iconic Tanah Lot and the Besakih Temple complex, which provide glimpses into Bali’s spiritual heritage. To immerse oneself in the local culture, attending traditional dance performances like the captivating Barong Dance or Kecak Fire Dance is a must. And let’s not forget about the delectable cuisine Bali has to offer, with signature dishes like Nasi Campur, a delightful blend of savory meats, vegetables, and fragrant rice.

For those seeking a memorable dining experience, high-end establishments like KU DE TA provide not only sumptuous meals but also breathtaking ocean views, making dining in Bali a feast for all the senses.

Thai Massage

Thai back Massage

Thailand offers a diverse range of experiences that go beyond the realm of Thai massage. Exploring the bustling capital city of Bangkok unveils a treasure trove of historic temples, such as Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace, showcasing intricate architectural details and centuries-old cultural heritage.

Venturing further, the colorful floating markets of Damnoen Saduak and Amphawa provide a unique glimpse into the vibrant local life and offer opportunities to sample delicious street food. The northern city of Chiang Mai offers a more serene atmosphere, with its ancient temples, lush mountains, and vibrant night markets.

To elevate the culinary journey, indulging in iconic Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong, and Green Curry is a must. For an extraordinary dining experience, Michelin-starred restaurants like Gaggan in Bangkok showcase the innovative side of Thai cuisine, fusing tradition with contemporary flair.


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The Bottom Line

Balinese massage is a holistic and rejuvenating experience with numerous benefits for body, mind, and spirit. It combines gentle stretches, acupressure, reflexology, and aromatherapy to promote physical healing by soothing tissues, enhancing circulation, and relieving muscle, joint pain, and sports injuries.

The use of essential oils enhances the experience and uplifts mood, contributing to overall relaxation. Balinese massage also supports mental and emotional well-being by calming the mind, reducing stress, and inducing relaxation for inner peace. It rebalances the body’s energy flow, promoting harmony and restoring natural equilibrium. Additionally, it has a spiritual aspect that encourages inner harmony and balance, along with lymphatic system stimulation for toxin clearance.


Which is better Swedish or Balinese massage?

The better massage depends on personal preference; Swedish is gentle and relaxing, while Balinese is more intense and incorporates stretching.

Is Balinese massage dry?

No, Balinese massage typically uses oil or lotion for smoother movements.

Which type of massage is romantic?

A couples’ massage is often considered romantic, regardless of the specific technique used.

Which part of the neck is not allowed to massage?

Avoid massaging the front of the neck, especially the throat area, to prevent potential harm.

What is the best massage for relaxation?

Swedish massage is renowned for its relaxation benefits, soothing muscles and calming the mind.


[1]  The Good Spa Guide, What is Balinese massage? Retrieved on Published on January 31st, 2013 Accessed on July 17, 2023

[2] What are the Benefits of Balinese Massage? Retrieved on  Accessed on July 17, 2023

[3] What is the Different Between Bali and Thai Massage? Retrieved on  Published on July 5, 2023, Accessed on July 17, 2023

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