It is well-known that Bali is synonymous with Relax & Recreation, making it the perfect destination for enjoying the sun, sand, sea and, of course, spas. Bali is quite famous for its long history of traditional and spiritual healing therapies, known as Bali Usada. Balinese traditional healing methods implement natural herbs, spices, spiritual therapies and ancient wisdom to cure both physical and mental illness.
Balians are well known traditional and spiritual healers who work with divine energy to treat and manage your physical and mental sufferings, remove spells and channel energy from ancestors. Some Balians have learned their art from a detailed study of their ancient scriptures known as lontar and apprenticing with their master or have received wahyu or divine inspiration and healing from the heart. Balians may go into a trance state to discover the basic cause of your illness and either give the patient with natural plant medicine, massage therapy or a list of offerings to be made on regular basis.
In Bali, Balians are viewed with the same status and due respect as a western doctor and they have different specialities to heal specific problems of the visiting patients. They have had a long and deep study of the lontars, thousands of ancient books in Kawi script; contain information on ethics, Human Anatomy, traditional herbs, meditation, yoga, tantra and other relevant topics.
What can you expect
The spotlight was focused on Balians in Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat Pray Love’ book and movie and since that time, more and more travellers use to visit a Balian as a must-do when visiting Bali. It is very necessary to understand the traditional and spiritual nature of a Balian’s work.
Visiting a Balian in Bali is a quite serious matter, not a regular tourist sideshow and it should be attended with full respect if you are genuinely in need of healing for your complaints. The Balian is considered as an instrument of divine healing, and it is expected that the client should enter their premises with respect, reverence and humility to receive this gift of spiritual healing
At their place, your experience will be very public, with all the other patients watching avidly. The healer may make some magic, create fire, use different types of mudras, draw patterns on your body parts, spit wads of chewed herbs on your skin, apply scented oils on your body, poke you with sharp sticks and/or give you a deep body massage or manipulation that may be very painful indeed. You will probably howl; as a majority of people do. But you will probably feel better after and you may need several treatment sessions to be fully healed.
A Balians are very much committed to their service, and may never turn anyone away. A tourist who casually visits the Balian’s expecting to receive treatment often delay the healer from working with the genuinely ill Balinese patients who have come to see him or her. Because of this, being foreign visitors (including resident expats) you should make a prior appointment with the Balians who prefer this.
It is very much expected that you should dress appropriately with your arms and legs fully covered, and please remember don’t point your feet at the healer. Women should not be menstruating. The fee is usually IDR 100,000 for a consultation and IDR 200,000 for actual treatment. If the treatment is extensive then your fees may increase; ask the Balian about it. Your hotel can make the appointment and supply the offering, and you might be needed to hire a translator as many Balians do not understand the English language.
A spiritual healer in Bali usually attends to all individuals with proper care and with a detailed explanation about how you can continue with your emotional and mental healing long after you’ve moved from this place.
- A spiritual healer in Bali is the Balinese equivalent of a “Doctor,” who follows all the etiquette and moral code, not so different as compared to a modern Western doctor.
- Healers should not consider Balians as movie stars or celebrities (so don’t treat them like one).
- There are many types of healers who work and focus on specific problems, from broken bones to broken hearts, mental disorders to “mysterious” problems, so select one that is appropriate for you and your complaints.
- Expect that it may be a long process of healing, and expect to receive multiple treatment sessions at least and that you might have to change Balians if you did not experience any positive results. (It is not an instant and fast process, so don’t be under impression that you will be healed on your way to the airport).