Bali sounds fishy to me
Ama Lia, an intuitive healer, recently invited me to attend a retreat for healers in Bali. I had always wanted to visit this exotic, remote island in south-central Indonesia and was curious about Bali massage work. So last month I took off for the South Pacific to learn how the Balinese do it. Here's the first of three posts on my adventures.
Entering the open room, I was invited to sit on a low stool and place my feet in a tank filled with one-inch fish, which promptly started nibbling away at the skin, removing bacteria, dirt, and loose skin. Once the fish were full, my therapist removed my feet from the tank and proceeded to clean them with oils, then placed them in a wooden bucket filled with lemon, fresh tumeric, lemon grass, a huge assortment of tropical flowers and essential oils, and other organic substances. Then she gave each foot a vigorous scrub! Next, she soothed my feet in hot oil.
I was then escorted into a heavenly massage room; the table was draped just with a sheet. I was given a rolled-packaged panty to put on. I disrobed and got on the table. The open room was so serene, facing a mangrove with the sounds of trickling water, singing birds and croaking geckos. Ahhhhh, so relaxing! Then the Balinese massage began! The therapist started stretching and pressing at pressure points on the feet with force. “OUCH! Please do it lighter!” I requested, but I don't think my therapist understood. Then she grabbed my calves and progressed up the legs, squeezing and pressing hard on all the tired muscles! “Hey, go easy!” I've heard of compression, but this was too much!
Once my body was squeezed, pressed and stretched, the massage continued with application of hot oils that smelled like jasmine, or coconut oil, all very pleasant. Then my therapist administered long strokes to the total leg, up to the buttocks, then to my back. The pressure was almost irritating! Then I was asked to flip over! I felt like a fish! Oil was placed inside my belly button, and the therapist's hands swirled around my belly, making me feel like a baby! Then her hands worked their way up around the chest area, but avoided the breasts. Then the feet, legs and arms and hands got the treatment, while the face and head were saved for last! My therapist gripped my hair in her hands and gently tugged; it felt like the hairs were being pulled from my head!
I spent 18 days discovering such techniques, and had my therapists demo how they used their hands to do some of their movements. My conclusion: I can see the benefits of Balinese massage, but only if it’s done gently! One can use strong compression without leaving bruises! Most of the therapists had received only a month's training – not what I'd call therapeutic! But, it was worthwhile learning some of their techniques, and meeting so many nice, caring therapists! I'm looking forward to incorporating some of these approaches into my other healing modalities. But I'm not yet ready to give you the fishy feet treatment!
5/28/2012 03:19:59 pm
I'm glad you didn't get the foot nibbling treatment in Brazil. I believe they use piranhas there, and they take off more than the dead skin layers. The Egyptians use crocodiles, and we won't even go there!
5/28/2012 03:23:45 pm
Thanks for your travel advisory! I hope to discover healing treatments from all over the world. A few years ago I was offered snake wine to aid stomach problems. and the snake was floating in the jar, I just couldn't go there!
6/7/2012 07:52:29 am
they won't hurt no-fin!! Thanks...any strange things ever happen to you on your healing journey?
12/15/2020 10:46:20 pm
Denny, Better the fish than my hands! Hahaha. If you are in the Cleveland ,Oh. area come for a treatment. It really is awesome, and thanks for taking the time to experience a mini vacation! There's nothing fishy about it!
6/21/2012 12:47:45 pm
I wish I would have gone with you. Why the heck don't I have a passport. I'll apply before the month is out. Maybe the Chicago trip.
6/22/2012 02:22:06 am
that would be lovely!!! Chicago Qi Revolution should be awesome! what a birthday prsent for you!
7/19/2012 06:59:14 pm
This is the first time I am reading your post and admire that you posted article which gives users lot of information regarding particular topic thanks for this share.
1/22/2013 01:22:46 am
Your willingness to learn everything there is to know about your field is one of the things that makes you so valuable! Thanks!
4/18/2016 10:59:03 pm
Thanks Marge, I hope you are feeling better. I need to find another exotic place to visit to learn more! Barbados was very interesting, and people enjoyed experiencing acupressure from me. So learning continues and YOU benefit!
4/18/2016 04:46:13 pm
It certainly looks lovey, but I imagine the fishes and the heavy-handed treatments were a bit much....
4/18/2016 11:04:18 pm
Hi Judy, The fish were a delight! They gently pecked at my feet and it sorta tickled! And as far as heavy handed? My foot was surrounded by delicate fragrant herbs and flower leaves, and crushed gently against the skin of my feet to remove dead skin and dirt! It sure beat pumous!- and THAT is heavy! Rachelle
4/23/2016 03:49:36 pm
they clean up their environment...just think How they feel about us polluting their environment! I had no problem with it, they are pretty keen in taking care of hygeine, more than in US! Thanks for responding.
12/15/2020 01:40:14 am
Thanks for sharinng this
12/15/2020 10:51:00 pm
Hi Stacy, Im grateful that you took the time to read of the exotic experience. Bali is amazing for respecting the human body and people are willing to plunge into new sensual/healing experiences. I wish it would rub off in the USA! Happy Holidays to you, and stay safe where ever you are./ And I invite you to read my other blogs that are here. Take care.
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