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A Visit to a Balinese Healer 

A Visit to a Balinese Healer or Balian~ Photos and Video

A recommended experience on all of our tours and a staple of our Wellness Tours is a visit to a local Balinese healer or Balian (sometimes referred to as a dukun). There are many types and styles of Bali Usada or healing in Bali and it takes some time to find the right method and practitioner.  There are essentially four types of traditional healers in Bali. Very briefly, a Pica or Paica works with objects, The Balian Usada studies the Lontars (ancient sacred texts), The Ketakson who serves as a medium or link between the living and the deceased, and the last group is a combination of some or all of the above.


Some healers use hands on techniques like massage or applied kinesiology to move energy, remove blockages, realign meridians and such. While others employ a less invasive approach to energy work similar to Reiki. And others use offerings, tinctures, holy water, astrology, herbal medicines called Jamu, and other traditional homemade remedies. In most cases it is a mixture of several approaches.
Bali wellness healer yogaA Balinese Healer uses her breath to dissipate to illness
I won't comment here on the efficacy of the treatments or the healers themselves, but I will say that I have witnessed some surprising outcomes over the years. Certainly some healers are more gifted than others, so your milage may vary, but it is always an interesting and worthwhile experience. I have seen some people experience near miraculous results, and some receive no tangible proceeds. It has, however, resulted closer to the former rather than latter.
Bali wellness retreat healerUsing Holy Water, a Balinese Balian blesses our tour participants for a safe and rewarding journey
On a recent Balifornian Culture Tour, two participants wanted to seek the help of a Balinese healer. We didn't have much lead time so our "go-to" healers were not available, but we were able to find one with a good reputation that was willing to see them. She is primarily a Ketakson so she acts as a channel to the other world. Occasionally, when a person dies an offering or ceremony is missing or incomplete. A Ketakson can help in these matters and provide the family with the missing piece to allow the dead to travel safely to the next world. 
Bali tour wellness retreatShafts of light illuminate the healing area where The Balian provides closure for a grieving family
We arrived at her compound and waited in the courtyard with a couple dozen others. She was with a family in the open air "treatment area". There was a grieving family around her listening intently as she channeled a recently deceased loved one. I am a bit more skeptical of the telekinesis style of healing versus a more hands on approach, but she was able to sense details clairvoyantly that surprised us and hit home with the family.
Bali wellness healing retreatA Tour Participant peers into the courtyard where a healing session is taking place

Here is a very brief video of the prayer used in the healing session.

When it was time for our tour participants to receive counsel, they took turns sitting in front of the healer while she recited prayers and blessed them with holy water and flowers. Their palms were read as we translated the healers messages. We were told the reading was accurate and the suggestions were valid.
Bali tour healer wellnessOthers look on as The Healer works with other community members
I have not mentioned the healers name or village as occasionally a healer will gain fame and appointments for the villagers may become more scarce as well as expensive.  If this healer or a practitioner of other forms of traditional Balinese healing is of interest to you, please just contact us.
This is a far from exhaustive recap of the visit and certainly only touches the surface when it comes to Balinese Healing. For more information please contact us directly and we can arrange more specific sessions for you during your visit.



Related Blog Posts...

The Sacred Rituals of Besakih ~ And the Gods came down to Bali… A photo/video essay.


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Hindu Priest Blesses Holy Daggers


Ngaben ~ The Traditional Balinese Cremation Ceremony


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Kuta Beach, Bali. Best and Worst, Old and New. The Real Deal.

I am perhaps the harshest critic of Kuta but I do have to give it its due on a couple points.  It has changed quite a bit in the 17 years I have been coming here and just 20 years before that, Jalan Pantai Kuta was just a dirt road lined with coconut trees linking Kuta, Seminyak and Legian.  But now it is packed with hawkers, chain stores, drunk loud bule and the traffic can be worse than the 405 at rush hour on a Friday.  Sure, for the first couple hours you can politely say ‘no thank you’ or ‘tidak tertarik’ to the hawkers yelling out to you every 4 steps, but they are so numerous and persistent that even Gandi would want to get a sign that reads, “NO, I am NOT interested in transportation, neon beer cozies, spiked motor bike helmets, drugs, massage, etc.” I remember thinking after first arriving, “How sad.  Bali is over.  Some places can handle tourism and the influx of the almighty dollar, but unfortunately, Bali can not.”  This was of course before I smartened up and got the hell out of Kuta as fast as I could and saw the real Bali. 


The short video above is from The Balifornian Tours & Travel Blog's "Quick Look" series. 

I return to Kuta seldomly, but I do have some dear friends there like Mas Ngurah and his sweet family who run the newly renovated Baleka Hotel and Resort.  If you want to be in Kuta, it’s a great value in a good location and with the Balifornian discount, you can get a steal of a deal on some modern and impressive lodging.  They have a pool and The Gula Gula Restaurant and Lounge.

That being said, the cause of the over-crowding is in fact for good reason as the beach itself is a world-class beach with white sand and great waves.  If you can avoid road rage getting in, and the crowds at the beach, it can be close to a quintessential beach experience (although I greatly prefer being on a beautiful beach alone or with a small group which Bali also offers).  The trash on the beach is certainly disappointing.  “Littering” is an unknown concept to many Balinese.  In fact our close friend Kadek is a bright and very spiritual person, but I have seen him toss his trash onto the ground on occasion.  Its not that he and many other Balinese don't care or are bad people, they just did not receive the same repeated messages that we in the west did- No cute owls telling us kids to “Give a hoot and don't pollute”.  I in no way blame the Balinese for all the trash on Pantai Kuta as much of the blame falls on the tourists.  However major efforts are underway to educate and its effects are being seen already.  For example, this last weekend was Eco-Weekend on Kuta beach and a massive clean up volunteer effort was held to clean up the beaches.

The surfing in Kuta is great for most levels including the beginner and there are tons of activities.  One secret we recommend is a place on the beach called 27 Beach.  The short video above was shot at this location. Neither I nor the staff knows the significance of the ‘27’ as I asked half a dozen of them, but they have a great pool, post-surf shower, comfy lounges and decent food and drink.  It serves as a great home base to sit with friends, have lunch and drinks, head to the beach for play or surf, and return to your own un-crowded spot.

As much as I can get down on Kuta, I am thankful for it, as it being the easiest place to get to (just a few km from Denpasar Airport), it keeps most of the obnoxious tourists in one small spot leaving much of the real Bali for the rest of us.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of Kuta.