This is the fourth in a series of reports from Corvallis LMT and Oregon School of Massage instructor Marybetts Sinclair, who is teaching in Indonesia. Traveling there and to nearby countries like Bali she is also learning about a variety of Asian massage modalities and businesses. To learn more about Marybetts’ work check her website:

Introduction to Balinese Massage
My 10-hour class in Balinese massage and 2 wonderful, 90-minute sessions seems like just a beginning in understanding this ancient style. From what I gather so far, Balinese massage is about equal parts of compression (using palms, fists, and thumbs, sometimes with full body weight behind them)and sliding strokes on oiled skin. Deep stretching and range of motion are also included, as well as a few strokes I would classify as more myofascial in nature, and even a little lymphatic drainage. I find it a moderate to deep, slow (almost meditatively)paced, thorough and deeply relaxing technique. Some strokes could fit into any Swedish routine.
Therapeutic/Clinical Massage in Bali
My teacher, Komang, also said that although the technique she taught me is primarily for relaxation and pampering, there are also practitioners who use it for therapeutic applications, but they are hard to find. Evidently, there are even some who use it with bone-setting and to heal serious injuries. The spa is locally owned and operated by a German man and his Indonesian wife, and they have put a lot of time and dedication into decorating it and training their staff. (Here in Bali many spas are owned by multinational corporations, and located in their hotels, like the Four Seasons Resort and Ritz-Carlton.)
Business Note
Interesting data about the spa business here:
-95% of their business, both clients and students, comes from the internet.
-they have brochures printed up in Japanese and Russian (both frequent vacationers here!) and English.
Now for my Massage
My evening massage included a 90 minute massage in a therapy room with tiny triangle-shaped niches in the walls filled with candles. This created a soft relaxing light. Fresh frangipani flowers are placed all over the spa…in niches, on platters, under statues, everywhere. Balinese gamelan
music played in the background. Looking up (if one could get up the energy to open their eyes) was a beautiful thatched roof, and looking down was a bowl filled with fresh frangipani flowers under the face cradle. After the massage with ginger-and-coconut oil, a blend of coconut, rice protein, and essential oils was applied as an exfoliant, and to conclude, a shower in the room.  The lulur-exfoliant-had a stimulating and cooling effect, and left me relaxed but energized. What a rough way to learn about bodywork.
Teaching Again – Pedicatric Massage for Children with Special Needs
I return to Jakarta in 2 days to hold a seminar on massage for children with special needs. This one is for parents of children with disabilities, and will be the first time in the history of the country they have gathered in one place. We also expect representatives from organizations that work with special needs children. I hope to do a lot of educating on the causes of disabilities (many here believe it they are caused by a curse on the parents), and show parents how great massage can be for their
children. I have slides of children I have worked with from Mexico, Ecuador, Oregon and Alaska, as great examples of how massage can help them.”
Indonesian Herbs

I was fortunate today to visit a botanical garden on Bali which grows some of our best bodywork herbs-the first 10 feet featured ginseng,vanilla, ginger, tumeric and cardamon plants, and later I saw a cinnamon tree, a cacao tree, a white pepper tree and chiles. Samples of coffee, ginger tea, hot chocolate, lemongrass tea and ginseng tea were fun to try. If only we could grow these in Oregon!


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