Traditional Balinese Massage: Should You Give It A Shot?

If You Haven’t Already Been, Beautiful Bali Is Definitely Worth A Visit!

Seriously jet lagged, bedridden with a stubborn cold, sunburned all over, but couldn’t be more grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Bali last week! Now that I’m back I have all the time in the world to reflect on my experiences.

While many of those are related to my foodie endeavors, just as many are massage related!

While visiting Bali, I made sure to massage every other day. Why? Well for one massage in Bali is super cheap, and secondly the Balinese are pretty talented when it comes to massage, so generally speaking you can expect a good experience!

Beautiful Bali Is A Must See!
Beautiful Bali Is A Must See!


What Is Traditional Balinese Massage?

Just like the Thai have their own variation of massage (famously known as the Thai massage!), so do the Balinese! Yes it might not be as world renowned as the Thai or Swedish massage, but Balinese massage is definitely something worth trying!

In fact after trying a Balinese massage for the first time, that’s pretty much all I ended up getting for the entirety of my trip!

So what is Balinese massage anyways and how does it differ from your traditional massage therapies? Balinese massage is a form of deep tissue massage therapy derived in yes you guessed it, Bali! It uses a variety of massage techniques including rolling, stroking, kneading, tapping, stretching etc. Another important component of Balinese massage is aromatherapy, or the use of aromatic oils to massage the body.

The use of aromatic oils is what I love most about Balinese massage!


How Does Balinese Massage Differ From Other Therapies Such As Thai Or Swedish Massage?

Contrary to popular belief, Balinese massage is hugely different from Thai and Swedish massage. The only similarity I can think of between the 3 is that they’re all forms of deep tissue therapy.

Other than that Balinese massage is totally different. Balinese massage does not rely on a single technique, but as mentioned previously employs several techniques throughout the therapy. Thai massage on the other hand is more focused on stretching various parts of the body to achieve a specific outcome, such as pain relief for example.

Thai Massage Is One Of My Faves!
Thai Massage Is More Focused On Stretching!

Even though both Thai and Balinese massage are forms of deep tissue therapy, Thai massage feels a heck of a lot more intense than Balinese massage!

At least that’s my opinion after having done both within a 2 week duration. But it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience may be different!

Another distinction worth noting is that Balinese massage is a lot more focused on the relaxation aspect whereas other forms of massage therapy are focused on relief and treatment of pain. In Balinese massage, everything is done to ensure that the patient is as relaxed as he/she can be.

For example, the lights are dimmed down, soothing Balinese music can be heard succinctly, and of course the scented oils help things as well!

Aromatherapy Is An Important Aspect Of Balinese Massage!
Aromatherapy Is An Important Aspect Of Balinese Massage!


So Should You Get A Balinese Massage?

The answer I’m dying to tell you: yes you must absolutely try Balinese massage cause it’s amazingly awesome! Alas, when it comes to deep tissue therapy I need to be careful with what I tell you.

Because of the intensity of Balinese massage, it’s always a good idea to check with your physician before commencing a routine. This is especially important if you plan on incorporating Balinese massage as a regular routine into your life.

Please don’t take this advice lightly. It may seem excessive while you’re vacationing in Bali, but trust me when I say that it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Once you’ve got the green light, go ahead and enjoy the wonders of Balinese massage!


Where Is The Best Place For A Balinese Massage In Bali?

That’s a tough one! There’s a lot of massage establishments in Bali to choose from, and you can find them pretty much everywhere. Of course there are differences between each of these establishments!

From my limited time in Bali, what I observed is as follows: there are local establishments and then there are tourist establishments. The local ones are a lot more reasonable in price compared to the tourist massage spots.

Which one should you go to?

I went to both local and tourist establishments and had great experiences in both. The tourist spots are definitely more cleaner, typically larger and offer you the opportunity to sit and relax for a couple minutes post massage. You don’t usually get the same luxury in the smaller local massage establishments. That’s not to say that the local spots are lacking!

Just like Balinese cuisine, you can find some of the best massage spots simply by exploring the island and seeing where you wind up!

Ubud In Particular Has Some Fantastic Spas!
Ubud In Particular Has Some Fantastic Spas!

If you walk into a place and it looks dirty or doesn’t feel up to par, simply walk out and look elsewhere. As mentioned earlier, massage establishments in Bali are a “dime a dozen” so finding another place shouldn’t be that difficult or take you too long.

Pro Tip
Like you would in any place in the world, make use of online reviews! They will help you to make an informed decision and save you from overpaying or being scammed!

Yes if you’re not careful you will end up paying much more for your massage than you should! This happened to us once during our stay.

We asked our driver for his opinion on where we can get a good massage, and he suggested this one establishment which ended up costing us two and a half times than what we paid at other places subsequently!

It turns out the drivers make a bit of a commission by means of referral, so the consumer basically ends up paying double or triple than market price. Even though we kinda figured this out with our driver, we felt bad and did take him up on some of his suggestions so he did make some commission (and the additional $$$ spent wasn’t much for us when we converted). In any case, it’s worth mentioning so that you’re at least aware!


What Can You Expect From A Balinese Massage?

You can expect some serious R&R! (rest and relaxation). Other benefits include pain relief in the muscles and joints, improved flexibility and range of motion etc. Typically all the benefits you’d see coming from deep tissue therapy.

Best of all though, you come out smelling like a fully blossomed flower in the spring!

And that comes from the aromatherapy aspect of Balinese massage. Also, what’s cool about the aromatherapy is you get to choose from a number of oils before you start the massage. In our case, it was sandalwood, jasmine, green tea, and lulur.


If You Enjoyed Reading, Please Share!

That’s it from me. I do hope you got some value out of this post. If you did, a share on the social platforms would be hugely appreciated. It really does a lot to support to growth of this site.

Finally, if you do have any unanswered questions about Balinese massage, please drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to do my best to find you an answer! Alright, that’s all for now, see you next week!

About Eve

Just an average bloke intrigued by massage and its incredible benefits. Oh, did I mention I also own a massage chair? More on that in the blog posts!

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