Native Healing Rituals
The latest trend in spa treatments is working on healing your spirit rather than a focus on beauty with a number of spas offering native healing rituals. In Bali there are a number of luxurious spas putting healing rituals in the mix. From the Four Season’s three-hour Karmic Cleansing Ritual, to the Sayan Resort’s visiting Balinese healer, there is plenty on offer.
woman with drive checked in for the full day signature healing experience at Five Elements Spa in Ubud.
Five Elements is not a traditional spa but a healing centre founded on Balinese traditions. It’s located on the banks of the Ayug River, which flows rapidly past the eight guest rooms, and each of the spa treatment rooms. This flow of water, combined with the bamboo mandala pavilions in a lush tropical setting certainly sets the mood for relaxation.
This small resort also features a Living Foods dining room and kitchen where you are treated to an amazing raw and vegan three-course lunch. Our travelling companion, who is not renowned for healthy eating, loved every course, which was miraculous in itself.
But what about the treatments? We started with a Sandi Prana 90-minute massage conducted by a local healer. The session starts with a body scan so the healer intuitively locates any issues. He then finds reflexology points and massages, sometimes very vigorously, to correct energy imbalances. The healer chants while massaging and at the end of the session explains his process. The massage aims to help the body relax, rejuvenate and improve circulation, mood and mental clarity.
The next part of the day was the 90-minute Pancha Mahabhunta session with a healer from the nearby island of Nusa Penida. You lay face up under a sheet and close your eyes. The healer starts with a prayer and meditation and then passes his hands over your body. In this session there is no touching, as the healer channels a connection from the universe to clear unhealthy energy from your body.
Finally there was the 45-minute Agni Hotra fire ceremony conducted by the local priest. This is where you get a chance to offload any negative thoughts and feelings into the fire, and manifest new intentions to your life. This is a very active ceremony as you participate in Sanskrit mantras and make many offerings into the fire.
You’re invited to sit by the pool, or overlook the flowing river at the end of your day’s sessions and contemplate your experience. Our travelling companion tried the more standard spa treatment plan of the “Blooming Beauty” package (90 Minute Aroma massage, Aromatic flower bath, and super food facial). She concluded that this was the best spa treatment she had experienced while in Bali and without doubt, the best massage to date. This was a big call given the day before we had enjoyed the famous Four Hands massage at Jari Menari.
For woman with drive – the healing rituals left us feeling more energised, positive and relaxed than a regular round of beauty treatments. Plus encouraging some inner contemplation and healing adds an extra dimension. It’s also fantastic to experience something cultural rather than opting for treatments that you could quite easily get at home.
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