Ancient Healing Practices of Balinese Healers

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Nestled among the tropical forests of Indonesia lies Bali – an island known for its vibrant culture, breathtaking scenery, and most notably, its ancient healing practices. Balinese healers, known locally as balians, have been using traditional healing methods for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. These practices are deeply rooted in the island’s history and have been passed down from generation to generation.

The Rich History of Balinese Healing

Balinese healing practices date back to ancient times and are influenced by a blend of different cultures, including Indian, Chinese, and Javanese traditions. The healing practices of Bali have evolved over time to address the changing needs of the island’s people and have become an integral part of Balinese culture.

Origins of Traditional Balinese Healing

The origins of traditional Balinese healing practices are shrouded in mystery, with many theories surrounding their beginnings. One popular belief is that Balinese healing practices were originally brought to the island by the Javanese. Additionally, it is believed that Bali’s proximity to India and China also played a crucial role in the development of these practices.

According to legend, the first Balinese healer was a man named Empu (meaning “master” or “teacher” in Balinese) who lived in the 9th century. Empu was said to have been gifted with supernatural powers and was able to heal the sick and injured. He passed on his knowledge and skills to his descendants, who continued the tradition of Balinese healing.

Over time, Balinese healing practices were influenced by other cultures, including the arrival of Islamic traders in the 14th century and the Dutch colonial period in the 19th century. Despite these influences, Balinese healing has remained true to its roots and continues to be an important aspect of Balinese culture.

The Role of Spirituality in Balinese Healing Practices

Balinese healing practices are deeply rooted in spirituality and are based on the belief that all living things are interconnected. Balinese healers believe that physical ailments stem from spiritual imbalances, and therefore, their approach to healing is holistic, encompassing the mind, body, and spirit.

One of the key elements of Balinese healing is the concept of “sekala” and “niskala,” which translates to “seen” and “unseen.” Balinese healers believe that there are both seen and unseen forces that affect a person’s health and well-being. The seen forces are the physical and tangible aspects of a person’s life, such as their diet, exercise, and environment. The unseen forces are the spiritual and intangible aspects, such as their thoughts, emotions, and relationships.

Balinese healers use a variety of techniques to address both the seen and unseen forces affecting a person’s health. These techniques may include massage, herbal remedies, meditation, and prayer. Balinese healers also use divination tools, such as tarot cards and pendulums, to gain insight into a person’s spiritual health.

The Influence of Hinduism on Balinese Healing

Hinduism is the predominant religion of Bali and has a significant influence on Balinese healing practices. The concept of balance and harmony plays a pivotal role in Balinese healing, and Hindu deities are often invoked during healing sessions.

One of the key Hindu deities in Balinese healing is Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice and fertility. Dewi Sri is believed to be the source of all life and is often invoked during healing sessions to bring balance and harmony to a person’s life. Other Hindu deities, such as Shiva and Vishnu, may also be invoked depending on the specific needs of the individual.

Balinese healers often incorporate Hindu rituals and ceremonies into their healing practices. These rituals may include offerings of flowers and incense, chanting of mantras, and the use of sacred objects such as bells and statues.

In conclusion, Balinese healing practices have a rich history that is deeply rooted in spirituality and influenced by a blend of different cultures. Balinese healers use a holistic approach to healing, addressing both the seen and unseen forces affecting a person’s health. The influence of Hinduism is also evident in Balinese healing, with Hindu deities and rituals playing a significant role in the healing process.

The Art of Balinese Healing Techniques

Balinese healing techniques are a combination of massage, energy healing, herbal medicine, and yoga. These techniques are designed to eliminate physical and emotional blockages and restore balance to the body. Balinese healing practices have been passed down through generations and are deeply rooted in the culture and religion of Bali.

Balinese Massage and Bodywork

Balinese massage and bodywork are an integral part of Balinese healing practices and are designed to stimulate blood flow, release tension, and promote relaxation. The massage techniques used are a blend of acupressure, reflexology, and deep tissue massage. Balinese massage is typically performed using warm oil and incorporates long, flowing strokes to help soothe and relax the muscles.

In addition to massage, Balinese bodywork also includes techniques such as stretching and joint manipulation. These techniques help to improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and promote overall physical health.

Herbal Remedies and Natural Medicine

Herbal remedies and natural medicine have been used in Balinese healing practices for centuries. Balians often use a variety of plants and herbs in their treatments to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Some of the most commonly used herbs in Balinese healing include ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, and pandan leaves.

Balinese healers believe that each plant has its own unique healing properties and that by combining different herbs, they can create powerful remedies to treat a variety of ailments. These remedies can be taken orally, applied topically, or used in steam baths and other forms of therapy.

Energy Healing and Chakra Balancing

Energy healing and chakra balancing are also an essential part of Balinese healing practices. Balians use their hands to channel energy into the body, and specific techniques are used to balance the chakras and restore harmony to the body.

Chakras are energy centers located throughout the body, and each chakra is associated with a different aspect of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Balinese healers believe that by balancing the chakras, they can help to promote overall well-being and restore balance to the body.

Traditional Balinese Yoga and Meditation

Traditional Balinese yoga and meditation are used to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The yoga poses used in Balinese yoga are designed to stimulate and balance the body’s energy centers. In addition to physical postures, Balinese yoga also incorporates breathing exercises and meditation techniques to help calm the mind and promote inner peace.

Balinese yoga is often practiced outdoors, surrounded by the natural beauty of Bali. This connection to nature is an important aspect of Balinese healing practices, as Balians believe that nature has the power to heal and restore the body and mind.

The Role of the Balian: Bali’s Traditional Healers

Balians are highly respected members of Balinese society and are sought after for their healing abilities. They undergo extensive training and are believed to have a strong connection to the spiritual world.

The Training and Apprenticeship of a Balian

Becoming a Balian is not an easy task; it requires years of apprenticeship and dedication. Balians learn their craft through years of practical experience and are taught by the previous generation of healers. Their education involves learning about herbs, massage techniques, energy healing, and spiritual practices.

The apprenticeship process is rigorous and involves a lot of hard work. Balians must be willing to learn and dedicate themselves to their craft. They must also be willing to work long hours and be on call at all times, as healing is a 24/7 job.

During their apprenticeship, Balians are expected to learn about the different types of illnesses and ailments that they may encounter. They must also learn how to diagnose these illnesses and determine the best course of treatment for each patient.

The Different Types of Balians

There are many different types of Balians, each specializing in a different form of healing. Some Balians specialize in herbal medicine, while others focus on massage or energy healing.

Herbal medicine is one of the most common forms of healing in Bali, and many Balians specialize in this area. They use a variety of herbs and plants to create remedies for different ailments, such as headaches, stomach problems, and skin conditions.

Massage is another common form of healing in Bali, and many Balians specialize in this area as well. They use a variety of massage techniques to help relax the body and promote healing.

Energy healing is a more spiritual form of healing, and many Balians specialize in this area. They believe that the body has an energy field that can become imbalanced, leading to illness and disease. By using various techniques, such as meditation and visualization, Balians can help rebalance the body’s energy field and promote healing.

The Balian’s Connection to the Spiritual World

Balians believe that they have a strong connection to the spiritual world and must maintain a sense of purity and balance to perform their duties effectively. Many Balians go through a purification process before performing a healing to ensure that their energy is clear and focused.

During the purification process, Balians may fast, meditate, or perform other rituals to help cleanse their body and mind. They may also visit a holy site or temple to help connect with the spiritual world.

Balians also believe that they have a responsibility to help their community and promote healing on a larger scale. They may participate in community events or offer their services to those in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

The role of the Balian is an important one in Balinese society, and their healing abilities are highly valued. Through their dedication and connection to the spiritual world, Balians are able to help promote healing and balance in their community.

The Healing Journey: Experiencing Balinese Healing Practices

Experiencing Balinese healing practices can be a life-changing event. Whether you are seeking relief from a physical ailment or looking to restore balance and harmony to your life, Balinese healers can provide a unique and transformative experience.

Bali is known for its rich culture and traditions, and one of the most significant aspects of Balinese culture is its healing practices. Balinese healers, also known as Balians, have been practicing traditional healing methods for centuries, using a combination of massage, energy healing, and herbal remedies to address physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalances.

Preparing for a Healing Session

Before your healing session, it is essential to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is recommended that you avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals before your session. Additionally, it is important to approach your healing with an open mind and a willingness to receive the healing.

It is also important to note that Balinese healing practices are deeply rooted in spirituality and religion. Many Balians will begin your session with a prayer or a ritual to connect with the divine and channel healing energy.

What to Expect During a Healing Session

During your healing session, your Balian will use a combination of massage, energy healing, and herbal remedies to address your concerns. The massage techniques used in Balinese healing practices are unique, combining deep tissue massage, acupressure, and stretching to release tension and promote relaxation.

Energy healing, also known as prana or chi, is a fundamental aspect of Balinese healing practices. Balians believe that illness and disease are caused by blockages in the flow of energy, and energy healing can help to remove these blockages and restore balance to the body.

Herbal remedies are also an essential part of Balinese healing practices. Balians use a variety of herbs and plants, such as ginger, turmeric, and lemongrass, to create healing potions and balms that can be applied topically or ingested.

Depending on your needs, your Balian may also suggest that you practice yoga or meditation. These practices can help to maintain the balance and harmony achieved during your healing session.

It is essential to communicate openly with your Balian and let them know how you are feeling throughout the session. Balinese healing practices are highly personalized, and your Balian will tailor the session to meet your specific needs.

The Importance of Aftercare and Integration

After your healing session, it is important to give yourself time to rest and integrate the healing experience. Your Balian will likely provide you with aftercare instructions, such as drinking plenty of water or avoiding certain foods.

It is also important to continue practicing self-care after your session. This can include practicing yoga or meditation, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest. Balinese healing practices are not a one-time fix, but rather a journey towards long-term health and wellness.

In conclusion, experiencing Balinese healing practices can be a transformative and life-changing experience. By approaching your healing with an open mind and a willingness to receive the healing, you can tap into the rich cultural traditions of Bali and find balance and harmony in your life.


Balinese healing practices are a unique and transformative experience that integrates traditional healing methods with spirituality, herbal medicine, and yoga. Whether you are seeking relief from physical pain or looking to restore balance and harmony to your life, Balinese healers can provide a holistic approach to healing that is grounded in culture, tradition, and spirituality.