What is a Balinese Massage? Everything you need to know about a Balinese Massage

Modern-day massage isn't just about the stroking of hands on a body. It is the amalgamation of different cultures, the knowledge passed on from generations to generations from the very beginning of ancient civilizations. A modern-day customer is spoilt with various varieties of massage therapies to choose from. They not only differ in style but also the philosophy behind it, intensity of pressure, techniques applied. One of the most famous massage therapies is Balinese Massage. The holistic massage therapy technique has been popularized by the Western countries but is now famous worldwide. 

Balinese massage combines different massage therapies like acupressure, skin rolling, friction, flicking, a combination of firm and gentle stroking, percussion. At times, the technique of stone massage may also be used where smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on specific parts of the body. They are supposed to be the energy points of the body. 

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History of Balinese Massage:

While there is no exact date of the origin of Balinese Massage, it is believed that the origin lies thousands of years ago. Merchant ships used to set sail for the Spice Islands(modern-day Indonesia) in the quest of spices. It is believed that massage therapy was popularized when the sailors discovered the local massage technique. It is also believed that the modern-day holistic approach of the Balinese massage was a result of the meeting of various civilizations. The Hindus from India incorporated the healing massage techniques and herbal properties. The Chinese are known to have brought the concept of acupressure. Finally, the Balinese Massage was an output of the combination of all of them. 

The Indonesian manuscripts named "Lontar Usada", which is known as the Balinese health science and medical literature mentioned the traditional healing properties of the massage therapy.

The first instances of writing about the Massage therapy can be traced to the 1930s when Dr Wolfgang Weck wrote about the therapy in his book entitled "Heikunde und Volkstum Auf Bali"

Since then, many anthropologists and researchers have investigated the details and principles of the Balinese massage- the theories behind it, diagnosis, medicinal ingredients, and methods of concoction.

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What to expect:

Generally, there is no specific flow of a Balinese Massage. It depends on the client to client, from masseuse to masseuse. The massage combines various properties of manual therapy and aromatherapy. The application of natural oils and their healing properties is essential to the massage technique. A Balinese Massage will focus on the "Qi" lines of the body. This concept is taken from traditional Chinese Culture. It refers to the energy lines of the body that can be stimulated during the massage to "restore the balance of the body" 

The therapist also uses different techniques like gentle stretches, reflexology, acupressure. Different parts of the body require different massage techniques to be stimulated. This includes kneading, skin rolling to stimulate the lymphatic system, stroking. 

The massage lasts for about 60-90 minutes on an average. The main objective of the masseuse will be to provide a relaxed state of mind. For that purpose, the stimulation is generated to provide an improved flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. It is believed that if this flow is generated, then the flow of "qi" follows. 

At times, the healing properties of heated stones may also be incorporated during the massage. 

Aromatherapy is an essential part of massage therapy. Different combinations of natural oils with different healing properties can be used. Their benefits are not only restricted to the body. Different oils are used to induce different moods. Inhaling these concentrated oils rejuvenate the mind and provide much needed relief from stress, anxiety and depression. 

Spiritual music may also be played at the background. But that depends on the comfort of the client. 

There can be many types of Balinese massages. Some of them are the Sasak massage, the Lombok massage, the Urat Massage, the Balinese Boreh, Javanese Lulur Ritual. 

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What to wear:

A traditional Balinese massage requires the client to undress into their underwear for the massage session. The massage therapy needs some degree of trust on the masseuse regarding privacy. After the session is over, the client covers their body with towels to soak in all the benefits of the natural oils. 

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Difference between Balinese and Swedish Massage:

While the Balinese massage therapy has been going on for thousands of years, the Swedish massage is relatively new. 

One of the key differences between the two techniques is that the Balinese massage incorporates massaging the stomach. Research has proven that the stimulation of muscle tissues in the stomach region is beneficial for colon health and reproductive system.

A traditional Swedish massage relies on a handful of techniques including Effleurage- Sliding and gliding of the hands, Petrissage- kneading, Tapotement- rhythmic tapping, Friction- working the hands across the layers of muscle fibres and vibration. 

On the other hand, the Balinese massage involves far more movement as compared to the Swedish massage. It uses techniques like crabbing- the movement of hands in sideways or obliquely, cat squeeze- gentle squeezing of the body in a specific area, palming- application of pressure with the palm on different body parts, skin rolling, thumb circling, sliding with knuckles, wringing, forearm slide, chopping and thumb walking. 

From the perspective of a masseuse, a Swedish massage is relatively easier to learn. A Balinese massage requires much more expertise and requires a lot more education to master. 

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Benefits of Balinese Massage:

A well-performed Balinese Massage is beneficial for both physical and mental health. 

If someone is having trouble sleeping or has disturbing sleeping patterns, a Balinese massage helps in boosting sleep. It also enhances the quality of sleep. This is because of an increase in blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, helping the brain to function properly. 

The second benefit of a Balinese Massage is relief from muscle pain. The different forms of massage techniques help in aligning the tissues of the body. This not only soothes the muscles but also improves the range of motion to a great extent. 

Since the Balinese Massage focuses on the "qi" lines of the body, the massage serves as an Energizer. The application of various massage techniques combined with the goodness of natural oils helps the body to rejuvenate. 

Since the massage boosts blood circulation, it alleviates stress, tension and anxiety. 

The application of essential oils on the body also acts as a skin revitalizer. Dryness, rough skin, dead skin- a Balinese massage is the remedy for all. 

Since the Balinese massage also pays heed to different systems of the body- the digestive, nervous, respiratory systems, it also helps in boosting immunity, promoting colon health. Book for a Body Massage in OMR Now!

Balinese or Swedish? 

The choice between Balinese Massage and a Swedish massage is a difficult one to make. A Swedish massage is great for a first-timer. It has long, sweeping strokes that helps the client to relax. It works well on muscles and helps to improve blood flow.

However, if you have strained muscles, a Balinese massage works best. It has more hand techniques and works wonders for both the muscles as well as the mind. If you are looking for a solution for damaged tissue, strained muscles or joints- this is the answer. It works well on facing stress, emotional loss or trauma too. Book for a Massage in Medavakkam Now!


A well-performed Balinese massage costs around 2400- 4000 INR in Chennai. At Le Bliss Spa, we offer a 60-minute Balinese massage for 2100 INR, 90-minute for 2900 and a 120-minute massage for 3800 INR. 

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