One of these luxuries that is affordable to the general public is the abundance of massage options in Ubud, from spas to traditional healing centres to everything in between. From my handful of experiences, I must admit that having a Boreh Pijat treatment was the winner.
The entrance is off Gootama Street in central Ubud. A humble framed cardboard sign is hung with prices aimed at catering to tourist and locals. I walked through a herb garden and was greeted by Made – dressed in his traditional sarong, batik shirt and udong. He instantly invited me in and offered me the option of an indoor or outdoor massage bed for the price of $60,000Rp ($6 USD) I chose the outdoor option and directly to my right. I got to watch my boreh paste being ground and in the background i could hear the roosters crowing loud and proud.
The massage takes about an hour and incorporates organic local pressed coconut oil. You start on your back and they begin at your feet, they move upward all the way to your head, you then turn on your belly and the rub down begins all over again.
Once the massage is complete, you have the option of being lathered in homemade boreh paste for an additional 30,000Rp. To make the boreh, herbs are first dried and grounded together, then mixed with Arack (the local spirit), salt and lemon lime juice, this creates a paste and is blended together again with a herb grinder. This paste is then smeared all over your body from head to toe, you are instructed to wait a few minutes to let it dry and then if you wish submerge in a sauna for 30 minutes for an additional $45,000Rp. The sauna allows natural body oils and the boreh oils to combine to leave your skin feeling like a baby’s bottom. After 30 minutes you are directed to a cobblestone shower and offered some homemade Jamu. Jamu is Balinese beverage made out of tumeric used to reduce inflammation and cleanse the intestines.
A highlight to the experience was my conversation with Made. When talking about learning traditional Balinese healing massage Made informs ”we learn this massage from our grandfathers, and they learn from their grandfathers and who knows maybe they learned from Mars”.
They can only handle 10 customers a day in their handmade sauna which took 2 months to build and have no plans of expanding. They are happy, this place was built for healing out of karmic nature and they feel no need to expand it to make more money out of the business, this is not the point. The point is to bring affordable, traditional healing to as many people as possible, both local and foreign.
“we learn this massage from our grandfathers,
and they learn from their grandfathers
and who knows maybe they learned from Mars”.
The location and ambiance is of true Balinese culture. The massage and boreh left me with an impeccable glow. I would recommend this location to anyone. -this truly is Bali living at its best.
- Jl Gootama , Ubud
- Telephone: +62 3612021586