There’s a lot to be said about getting a massage while you’re in Bali, and just about all of it is true. The massages truly are one of a kind; they’re priced incredibly cheaply, feel amazing, and can be found just about anywhere you go.
For a mere £5 you can experience a full body massage unlike any other, while surrounded by all of the sounds and smells and everything else that makes Bali such an amazing place to be.
There are a few things you’ll want to consider though before hopping into the first spa you see, and there are no doubt lots of questions you have on the topic of Balinese full body massage. Therefore, we’ve put together the following piece to guide you through you all you need to know about Bali massage, and hopefully further perfect the already amazing time you have ahead of yourself in Bali.
What is Balinese Full Body Massage?
With a mix of acupressure, aromatherapy, some reflexology and gentle stretches, the holistic, full body, deep tissue Bali massage can effectively stimulate blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, along with your qi energy, to bring about an incredibly deep relaxing and calm sense of wellbeing. There are a number of different techniques used for a Bali massage, from kneading and stroking to skin rolling and pressure-point stimulation, all in combination with the amazing aromas of essential oils.
If you’re looking to experience a mix of different massage techniques rolled up into one then Balinese massage is a great way to go, especially if you’ve been feeling low or need help with relaxing. Not only will a Bali massage help you to feel calm though; it will also give a great boost to your body’s circulation, while also addressing any knotted tissue or physical issues that you may be experiencing.
What you can expect from a Balinese full body massage
Scented massage oils are known to be incredibly therapeutic, and the mind especially can find the aroma of essential oils incredibly soothing. For this reason, a huge part of a Balinese full body massage is aromatherapy. As an added bonus too, the massage oil that’s used helps to free up any friction from the massage, and a free and fluid massage is only going to make the whole experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
You can expect some fairly deep pressure to be used by the therapist during your Bali massage, as this is required to reach any muscle damage or deep and knotted tissue that needs working on. Long, gentle strokes are also used in conjunction with kneading to help improve circulation and relieve tension amongst the muscles that are closest to the skin’s surface.
Once your massage is over, you can expect to feel all kinds of amazing, and not only will you feel completely rejuvenated, re-energised, refreshed and relaxed, chances are you’ll also smell great too thanks to the oils. For added gratification after your Bali massage, take the time to have a good lie down, and bask in the amazing and relaxing mood you’re now in.
While a Bali massage can sometimes be performed on a floor mattress, it’s more commonly done on a massage couch. A whole session typically lasts an hour, although 90-minute massage sessions are also fairly commonly available.
Different types of Balinese massage
There are hundreds of islands in total making up Indonesia, and over time, a number of these islands have developed their own unique forms of massage, each fusing ancient practices and traditions to create an amazing full body massage to help physically and spiritually heal the body. A few examples of the different types of Balinese massage include:
- Balinese Boreh (created by rice farmers, Balinese Boreh uses a paste made of ground spices to help ease pain)
- Urat massage
- Sasak massage
- Javanese Lulur Ritual (a traditional massage used to prepare brides before marriage)
- Lombok massage
What is Balinese Massage Good For?
The special techniques used with Balinese massage are great for relieving strained joint pain and muscles and soothing damaged tissue, while also triggering a boost to circulation that will help to not only rebalance your body and reduce stress, but also, thanks in part to the aromatic oils, give your mood a great boost too. In addition, since Balinese massage is so great at boosting circulation and getting into the deeper layers of muscle, it’s a fantastic treatment for sports related injuries.
When it comes to any spa treatment though you should ensure that you’ve informed your therapist of any medical issues you may have, or if you’re pregnant too.
Is Balinese Massage Painful?
While other types of massage, such as a Thai massage for example, can be a lot more painful than a Balinese massage, you can still experience some degree of pain should your therapist find a knot. Generally speaking though a Bali massage should be a lot gentler than a Thai massage, since unlike a Thai massage it relies only on firm pressure and a careful combo of acupressure and gentle stretching to increase circulation, loosen tight muscles and relieve stress.
As far as most cases go your therapist will adjust the amount of pressure she uses to your needs, so whether you’re into stronger massages or gentler ones, your Bali massage can be adapted to suit your wants and needs.
How Much Should I Pay for a Massage in Bali?
A good rule of thumb if you’re unsure of how much you should pay for your Bali massage is to look to pay around Rp100,000 (around £5 – £6) per 60 minutes.
Depending on the type of establishment you go to for your Bali massage though prices will obviously differ, so use the following information as something of a guide to follow when shopping around for your Balinese massage.
What’s a good price to pay for a Balinese massage in a spa?
If you’re looking around at spas for your Bali massage, then you’ll want to consider the following.
For a 60-minute massage in a private or curtained room you’ll want to go with something between the Rp90,000 and Rp130,000 (£5 – £) range. If you’re looking for something a bit longer, you can typically expect around Rp130,000 to Rp180,000 (£7 – £10) for 90 minutes.
Additionally, if you’re wanting to go to somewhere that offers tea, a foot bath, post massage showers or a choice of oils, you can expect to pay around an additional Rp40,000 to Rp80,000 (£2 – £4.50).
What’s a good price to pay for a Balinese massage in a hotel?
If you’re looking for a Balinese massage in a hotel then this is going to cost a little extra, and while you can expect an additional 10% service tax and 10% government tax, you’ll find many hotels that offer daily promotions and ‘happy hours’ on their spas, so keep an eye out.
Typically though a good deal in the spa of a 3 to 4 star hotel will cost you around Rp150,000 to Rp200,000 (£8 – £11) for a 60 minute massage, and around Rp200,000 to Rp300,000 (£11 – £17) for a 90 minute massage.
With prices like these though additional perks such as the aforementioned tea, foot baths, post massage showers and oil choices should all be included, and this will typically be the reason why it costs a little more. The hotels are also obviously aware of the convenience factor of having the spa in your hotel, and as such include all the extras and charge extra for it.
What prices are too expensive and should be avoided?
If you’re looking for a spa on the street, don’t pay anything over Rp450,000 (£25). This is just a blatant rip off, and they’ll be offering you nothing more than anywhere in a more reasonable price range will be. Some places can even go as high as Rp700,000 (£40), and these places will offer you nothing more than brand names and fancy lobbies worthy of not a lot more than some fancy holiday snaps to show off about. While the massage will no doubt still be great, and you’d hope so for somewhere up to 7 times price of the average, you certainly won’t be seeing even close to 7 times the quality.
As far as hotels are concerned, you could easily find something as ludicrous as Rp2 million (£112) at some of the luxury places, which again is just way over the top. Sure the rooms will no doubt be super fancy, but will it really be worth the cost of 20 already fantastic massages you could get elsewhere?
So again, if you find anything over around Rp450,000 then you’ll definitely want to consider going elsewhere.
Does Full Body Massage Include Private Parts?
Typically speaking a full body massage won’t include any private parts, although justifiably this is East Asia. You’ll remain in your underwear for the duration of your Bali massage, although ladies will need to remove their bras.
You can expect the following areas to be covered during your Balinese full body massage:
- Upper back
- Lower back
This isn’t to say that you won’t be able to find a place that will include every single part of your body, if that’s what you’re looking for. If you are, then you may be more inclined to seek out a Nuru massage…
What is Bali Nuru Massage?
While doing your research into Bali massage you may or may not have come across the term Nuru massage and found yourself intrigued. For the unaware, a Nuru massage is a special type of erotic massage found all over East Asia, although finding a genuine place in Bali or even in all of Indonesia offering customers genuine Nuru massages won’t be so easy to find.
The term ‘erotic massage’ refers to a massage involving some form of sex, and since massage places aren’t allowed to openly state that they provide full sexual services, you’ll often see the terms erotic massage or tantric massage used instead.
Similar to a Thai ‘soapie’ massage, a Nuru massage is a body to body full body massage, with both yourself and your masseuse getting completely naked before she covers you in special imported Japanese Nuru gel and uses her naked body to massage yours. The whole experience will usually last around an hour, and you can typically expect a little something special at the end.
You can obviously expect a Nuru massage or any other form of erotic massage to set you back quite a bit more than your run of the mill Bali massage, and prices for a Nuru massage typically start somewhere around the Rp1,000,000 (£57) mark.
Can You Get a Happy Ending Massage in Bali?
If you’ve been wondering about the mythical ‘happy ending’ massage and whether or not it can be found in Bali then the short answer is yes, and they can typically be found even at standard massage places. These aren’t usually advertised services though, and most often are only a personal extra service provided by the masseuse, not the spa. If this isn’t something you’re after though don’t worry about it being sprung on you while you’re not paying attention. If your masseuse is offering a happy ending then she’ll give you several hints towards the extra service throughout the duration of your massage.
You’ll find happy ending pricing to be relatively standardised, costing around Rp500,000 (£28) for a simple massage with a happy ending. If you were so inclined you could even find girls online or in the street who will come to your hotel room to provide you with a massage and a happy ending for as little as Rp300,000 (£17).
You’ll ultimately be able to find happy ending massages in just about any part of Bali, although it’s not a particularly popular service or available everywhere you look. If you do decide that this is something you wish to pursue during your time in Bali, be sure to do some research first, and always make sure to keep safe and keep your belongings nearby at all times.
More Bali Travel Guides:
The Best Viewpoints in Bali
Most Deadly Snakes in Bali
Best Beaches In Uluwatu
Nightlife in Bali