Experience the healing union of massage and travel
Travelling to far-off places and experiencing new sensations, aromas, people and cultures awaken and expand our view of the world and help us to grow. Likewise, sampling different healing massages can open us up to new ways of perceiving the world.
While many types of massage were originally developed for therapeutic value rather than pleasure, the popularity of the spa culture has propelled an interest in all sorts of massage styles for healing. Still the most preferred choice of treatments in spas around the world, massage is a time-tested modality that brings great benefits to body and mind. The Balinese style, for instance, passed down through families over generations, has an abundance of benefits.
The long, rhythmic, smooth strokes using palm and thumb pressure are incredibly relaxing, especially when experienced on warm tropical days when the scent of jasmine, ylang ylang and frangipani transports you to paradise. The massage is performed inside the traditional Balinese home with many lucky babies massaged since childbirth to ensure good health and circulation. Little wonder, then, that Bali is often described as the spiritual island of the East.
Believed to originate from India, the style promotes the flow of blood, oxygen, energy and circulation. Techniques include skin rolling, strong and gentle kneading, acupressure and reflexology. Say goodbye to joint pain, sleeplessness, muscle tightness, anxiety and stress for a while. Let your therapist take you on a journey where the borders between our inner and out worlds disappear.
Whatâ€™s significant about Balinese massage is that no two are ever the same. The Balinese massage honours the village-style approach where the therapist relies on her intuition to ensure your experience is profound. Itâ€™s said that the masseuse is guided by her heart rather than following a particular technique, her intention simply to create harmony of body, mind and spirit.
There are hundreds of islands in Indonesia but Bali seems more renowned for its healing treatments and massage. It would be difficult not to find a spa or massage centre in Bali offering this homegrown massage. Other revered offerings in Bali include the mandi lulur, a ritual traditionally performed leading up to the wedding ceremony that entails a turmeric scrub and milk and flower bath. Alternatively, the Balinese boreh is inspired by the tradition of rice farmers applying grounded warm spices onto their body to relieve pain.
Donâ€™t expect, though, that one massage will forever drain away years of stored tension in your body (although this happens sometimes, too). The best results come from the recipient working in synergy with the therapist during each session and booking follow-up sessions when needed. Do inform you therapist if you are pregnant or have experienced surgery or suffer more serious health challenges. Feel free to ask the therapist to increase or decrease the pressure. Communicate clearly what works for you. Be fully present in the experience. True wellness is about living in present time.
If possible, leave the oils on your skin for a few more hours to further soak in the benefits. Essential oils have been proven to have a wonderful uplifting or relaxing effect on our brains and can influence mood in a good way. Plus, youâ€™ll smell delicious.
Wherever your travels take you, on arrival at a new destination book the local massage to help you ease into the surroundings. The exotic aromas of local herbs and oils, freshly made compresses and the grace of the therapistâ€™s touch are bound to enhance your experience of the local culture.
There are countless essential oils extracted from plants, herbs, fruits and flowers. When exploring at home, follow your nose. It senses what you need. Inhale and learn to listen to the language of fragrance. Select oils that resonate with you. Use references as a guide but your intuition as the leader. To create your own blend, use 2â€“4 drops of pure essential oils in one tablespoon of carrier or base oil.
Sandalwood & lawang root Indonesian massage blend
Lawang root essential oil, which originates from the mountains of Irian Jaya in Indonesia, is known to soothe and relieve tired muscles. Warming with a spicy-sweet aroma, it combines well with stimulating oils such as citronella, lemongrass and lime. The following blend is good for stimulating circulation and is recommended for sports injuries. A touch of jasmine rounds it off with a subtle floral aroma.
2 tbsp cold-pressed grapeseed oil with 20 drops of lemongrass, citronella, jasmine, sandalwood and lawang root (or cinnamon as a substitute) essential oils.
1 tbsp coconut oil blended with 2 drops each of caraway, basil, nutmeg, vetiver and patchouli essential oils.
1 tbsp grapeseed oil blended with 2 drops each of lavender, lemongrass and nutmeg essential oils.
Peace of Bali
1 tbsp grapeseed oil blended with 2 drops each of sandalwood, ylang ylang, black pepper and ginger essential oils.
Jasmine massage oil
1 tbsp sweet almond or macadamia oil blended with 5 drops of jasmine essential oil.
Suggestion: After your jasmine oil massage, step into a warm bath filled with a cup (25g) of jasmine blooms.
Sweet almond oil with patchouli & ylang ylang
Evoke a sensual atmosphere with the heady scent released from the white ylang ylang flower picked in the early morning. Blended with grounding sandalwood oil and balancing patchouli and together they create an ideal fragrance for lovers.
1Â½ tbsp sweet almond or coconut oil blended with 5 drops each of sandalwood, patchouli and ylang ylang essential oils.