My Experience with a Balinese Balian Healer.
Most trips to Bali for us are about working, as in sourcing, searching and having made, essential things we can’t find in Australia to keep Ikatan Spa authentically Balinese.
One such trip to Bali, between work commitments, I was in need of more than a day spa treatment to help me recover from a stressful family time in my life, which surprised me as to how much it affected me physically, mentally and emotionally.
My friend had been seeing Putu, a Balinese Balian Healer for years and recommended him to me, and I am now happy to recommend him to you but before I do, I would like you to understand a little about a Balian Healer and I why I am happy to tell you about my experience with him.
I’m a Little Sceptical.
Apart from owning a Balinese Day Spa in Noosa, Australia and teaching Balinese massage in Bali, I used to be a fitness instructor and personal trainer, therefore have a good understanding of the human body. I’m also a beauty therapist and qualified in a number of massage styles, including remedial and Balinese, along with studying Bowen Therapy Technique. I’m not what I would call overly ‘spiritual’ but feel I have good intuition when it comes to dealing with bodies and different therapies. I was therefore open to seeing a Balian Healer but a little reserved about what Putu could actually achieve with my stressed body. However, I share many of the same beliefs that Balinese live by and am always open to new experiences.
What is Balian?
Being a Balian is not a job, it’s part of who they are and what they do for others. Balians don’t choose to be a healer themselves, they know their skills are a gift to help others and it is their destiny to have been chosen. Some Balians learn healing techniques handed down from Balians in their family and many Balians also study and are qualified, skilled anatomical practitioners.
It is better to be recommended to a Balian healer by someone else as generally Balians do not like to draw attention to themselves, as in advertising what they do as it is not customary to do so. You will find brochures of leaflets about Balinese healers which are more about informing people about what they do rather than advertising themselves which makes it easier for tourists to find a healer, however, Balinese people are not enticed by this kind of advertising. Balians do not like to be addressed as a Balian, as they are genuinely humble souls and their work speaks for itself, which is why advertising themselves is not culturally acceptable.
What does a Balian Healer do?
There are numerous types of healers who work on specific problems, from broken bones to emotional stress, mental disorders to “mysterious” problems. Always choose a Balian that is appropriate for your own needs and don’t expect miracles or to be fixed in one session.
I found Putu in a small shop on the back streets of Legian. It was no more or less than I had expected, as I knew it would be a humble place where an authentic Balian would choose to be. I stepped inside the room and was met by Putu’s wife Wayan. Putu was blessing a bottle of water for the person he had treated before me and I could see he was totally immersed in what he was doing, and I liked that. Wayan escorted me to the corner of the room, behind the half pulled curtain and explained to me to get changed and lay face down on the bed.
How do You Know if Healer is Gifted or Qualified?
I didn’t tell Putu my problem areas or anything about myself, I wanted to see if the skill I had heard so much about were as good as I had expected. If Putu was an authentic Balian Healer, he should be able to find my ailments and work with them. Yes, I was definitely going to test Putu’s healing, massage technique and knowledge as a Balian.
Putu laid his hands on my back and spoke softly to me ‘Hello Miss Katrina, I will look after your body’. I held back the tears, as I felt so in need of someone to look after my body and intuitively know what I needed after all the stress and grief I was carrying. I felt Putu’s energy, kindness and ability to help me in a simple touch.
Warm healing hands worked my muscles without pain while he softly whispered to me in a soothing Balinese voice, advice about areas of my body that had issues. I could not believe what he was telling me, how did he know so much from touch. I should not have doubted this as I know what I can sense in the touch of a body.
Putu’s understanding of the body felt like he could see through my skin as if it was a map with blockages that need clearing. When I looked up at Putu a few times, he had his eyes closed in deep concentration while his gentle but firm hands manipulated my body.
I got my Breast and Cervix Protected.
I love a good back massage that doesn’t hurt but soothes away the tension. As a therapist, I know that gentle persuasion of muscles to relax is the best way for the body to let go of stress as deep, firm massage can add to body stress.
Putu’s healing hands work on my upper back into my neck as well as under and down my arms, Putu tells me to look after my breasts and he was protecting them by working through these main lymphatic areas. I understood what Putu meant as it’s generally a neglected, sensitive area to have massaged.
It’s especially good for women to be massaged in the area around the side of ribs and underarms due to us wearing bras that can be restrictive to lymphatics, however, it’s often neglected during a massage for fear of being intrusive. At ikatan Spa, I created the Mantra massage to includes massage around the upper arm and along the side of the body to the underarm area to help relieve tension in this area and increase lymphatic flow.
Putu’s English is good but some things he told me were lost in translation, however, I got the general idea when he said he was ‘protecting my cervix’ while massaging deep in my stomach, obviously meaning female organs and I was relieved when he said ‘all in good working order now’.
Skilled Balian Body Reader.
I was totally in ore of Putu’s anatomy skills when he started working on my psoas (hip flexor) which is a very important muscle responsible for all sorts of body movement and issues, often neglected, misunderstood and rarely massaged unless it’s with an excellent remedial or sports massage therapists. It’s an uncomfortable area to have massaged, as it needs to be found and worked on deep into the abdominal and groin area. Putu worked with skill, grace and kindness while letting me know if he needed to work deeper, which can be painful but not this time and I could feel the release throughout my body.
Putu is a what I will call a ‘body reader’, it’s a map he knows well, working on fixing all the blockages and speed bumps he travels over during a massage. Putu is a skilled ‘bodyworker’ and my kind of healer.
No Eat, Pray Love for Me.
I was not interested in a Balian that could give me ‘spiritual predictions’ like the Balian in the movie or book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ however there are Balians that specialise in spiritual healing for those that seek this kind of help.
Bodies are what I know and understand and while that comes with a good sense of intuition and awareness of a mental and emotional connection, I needed my stress healed through my physical body first, knowing the rest would follow from a better working physical body. I did feel a great sense of relief both physically and emotionally after several treatments with Put. I can highly recommend Putu’s skills if you need your body physically balanced with a professionally qualified practitioner who is gifted with skill, kindness and intuition.
Physical, Mental and Emotional Healing.
The healing experiences my husband and I had over a week, with three ninety-minute healing treatments worked for both of us physically, mentally and emotionally and yet it seemed so uncomplicated and naturally better each day. Working on a body takes time, repeated visits to the same practitioner who learns and works with your body and rest between treatments.
My advice from experience in working on bodies and seeing a Balian Healer is to always book the longest treatment time you can have or afford. It’s actually more economical to have a longer treatment, and while you might think 90 minutes is a long time to lay having a massage but if you decide the time over a body with 30 minutes on your back, 30 minutes on legs, turn over and 30 minutes left for front of legs, arms, neck and shoulders the time goes fast when you are trying to work on a tight stressed body. You won’t get fixed in one massage, go back a few times or don’t go at all.
Putu is a genuine Balian Healer who learned his skills from his father and generations of healers before him as well as extensive and continued study but it’s his gentle soul that delivers the skill he has, which I feel makes him so gifted as a healer.
Owning a day spa and being a therapist myself, I know some people feel uncomfortable having a man massage them but if it makes you feel better, Putu’s wife Wayan, stays in the room, on the others side of the curtain, and this may help some people feel more comfortable. Putu covers you with a sarong and does not overly expose the body, he doesn’t need too. Bodies are his work, therapists don’t see or look at bodies in the way people think we do. We feel what is going on beneath the surface with touch, therefore we don’t take any notice of what people ‘look like’ it’s irrelevant to a therapist.
My Tips for Finding and Having a Balian Healing Treatment.
- Ask friends or Balinese staff where you are staying for a Balian recommendation.
- Ask your hotel to book your first visit. Sometimes we are hard for Balinese to understand over the phone.
- Or Book via a text message or email.
- Wear loose underwear.
- Don’t go for a treatment with a full bladder.
- The cost of a Balian is inexpensive and relative to how long they work on you, but well worth your health.
- Remember to book one or two days in advance.
- Book a minimum of 90 minute treatment.
I am a paying guest at all day spas and treatments I review and visit. I hope this helps you select the right day spas and treatments for you when you travel to the same places I do.
Experiences, it’s how we get to know others and ourselves.
If you would like to visit Putu you are welcome to tell him Katrina from ikatan Spa Noosa recommended you and I am sure you will be happy with his treatments. If you are not satisfied with his style of healing find another healer that is more suited to your needs.
Putu Balinese Healer – mobile +62 813 3852 7069 email@example.com
I would love to hear from you about your experience with Putu or another Balinese Balian Healer.