Bali’s holistic wellness tradition

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Updated: February 02, 2016 12:42 PM

The tradition of wellness in Bali is famous worldwide. Combined with mystical rituals, stress relieving massages and other age-old techniques, the focus is on holistic healing. The Wellness Spa at the Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club in Bali incorporates these aspects and many more to give its international clientele a true experience of Balinese wellness By Sudipta Dev

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The tradition of wellness in Bali is famous worldwide. Combined with mystical rituals, stress relieving massages and other age-old techniques, the focus is on holistic healing. The Wellness Spa at the Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club in Bali incorporates these aspects and many more to give its international clientele a true experience of Balinese wellness By Sudipta Dev

The Wellness Spa at the Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club in Tanjung Benoa (Nusa Dua Peninsula), Bali, Indonesia focuses on holistic restoration, which is a hallmark of Balinese wellness tradition. It is both therapeutic and relaxing. The Wellness Spa is exclusive to the hotel and is not part of any chain. The spa has a unique entrance, a spiralling dramatic wooden staircase that goes down to the lounge. The facilities include luxurious lounges, treatment rooms, steam showers, heated spa beds and stone baths.

Both international and traditional products are used for the different kinds of treatments. Balinese massage is very popular all over the world, including India where many spas offer the massage therapy. Talking about what makes Balinese massage so unique, Wayan Sukarni, spa manager, Mantra Sakala Resort & Beach Club says, “For Balinese massage the technique is thumb pressure and palm pressure, as a result of which the massage is very relaxing. You can also ask the therapist which area you want more focus on and which area you want less pressure. If you have a problem with your shoulder, you can ask the therapist to massage the area accordingly. That is the difference between Balinese and other massage therapies. Balinese massage is effective in relieving stress and tension from the body. You can feel the healing effects of the massage immediately.”

Traditional aspects

Hot stone massage is also incorporated to relax muscle tension. Hot stones are a part of Balinese massage. “Dissolving muscular tension and releasing stress is a key to this treatment. It is great for easing muscle stiffness and increasing circulation and metabolism. It also promotes deeper muscle relaxation,” informs Sukarni.

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Different massage oils are used for different treatments, but for Balinese massage, the oil that is used offers relaxing treatment. “The ingredients used in the oil causes relaxation. Traditional Balinese massage is mostly a simple massage, apart from oil and the technique,” states Sukarni. She points out that when people come to Bali they are always interested in getting a traditional Balinese massage. “In our hotel in particular international guests are very keen to get Balinese massage as it is so popular all over the world,” she mentions.

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The wellness tradition of Bali is not just physical but also spiritual. The Wellness Spa in the resort continues the tradition with offerings like Sunrise Rituals (breathing exercise and meditation on the beach as part of a relaxation ritual during sunrise); and the Balinese Blessing Ritual (a traditional Balinese ritual that focuses on enhancing the spiritual path to a more balanced body and soul). “The rituals are done at the beach front before the temple. It is a blessing ceremony conducted by the priest to cleanse the insides and then the priest will bring you holy water. The sunrise ritual is done at sunrise time, then breathing exercises are done to transfer energy inside the body. It is a unique treatment we have,” mentions the spa manager. The Sunrise Ritual is only for about 30 minutes and includes the basics of yoga. In fact, yoga is combined with spa and fitness packages.

Extensive treatments

While the traditional treatments are simple, the packages, etc are used for more modern versions. “The clientele who want to get pampered can opt for the traditional Balinese massage as well as the other treatments that come in packages. We can combine with Balinese massage, body scrub or body warp and then Elemis facial,” remarks Sukarni adding that the spa offers traditional and therapeutic massages, luxury Elemis skin-rejuvenating facials, unique anti-aging Jade Facial, body wraps, romantic couples’ packages, plus a hair and beauty salon. The spa menu is exclusive with many special treatments, which the guests can also enjoy in the privacy of their rooms or villas. For instance, the Jade Facial looks like traditional facial but here rolling stone is used; it is a centuries old anti aging facial with jade stone. Acupuncture points are massaged on the face and the pores are closed with the jade roller.

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The spa also offers honeymooners ‘Spa under the Stars’ option, which includes body massage at the beach front at sunset, along with a romantic dinner under the stars and release of the ceremonial lantern.

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An interesting aspect of the spa is the ‘Spa for the little ones’. These treatments are designed for children above the age of 10 years. It includes relaxing foot massage for the little ones, a body massage with all-natural oils, a Munchkin package which includes body massage and bubble bath, Mum and Me special which offers back massage, natural mini facial and express manicure. “Pedicure and manicure is a favourite aspect with the children who love colouring the nails,” adds Sukarni with a smile.

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There is also international treatments like Colonic Hydrotherapy, which is an effective methodology of removing toxic material in the colon. There is also the Bikini Body Kickstart package with a fitness and detox menu. The spa also offers the VIP All Inclusive Detox Package where fitness sessions are combined with meal plans. The fitness and wellness experts at the spa follow up with guests for three months to ensure that the journey to wellness that has been initiated has a positive outcome long after the guest returns home.

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