Donna Sue Robson is a freelance writer and essayist specialising in the arts, Latin dance; & natural & alternative therapies for people and pets. Check out her own energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Published September 12th 2016
Treat your feet in-between retail therapy ventures
Young women in Bali are well-trained in healing modalities. Compassion and care run through healing hands.
Reflexology massage focuses solely on the feet and accesses the meridians needed to achieve full-body healing and health balance. As you recline and enjoy foot-care and massage, reflexology releases subconscious blocks that may also be impacting on the effectiveness of your internal organs. Common blockages include the kidneys, which often hold onto grief and anger; the lungs which are affected by shock; and heart function which can be weakened by emotional trauma, resentment or even inherited behaviours. As a reflexology practitioner works on your feet, your emotions also come into balance. It is a treatment that raises your self-awareness and may inspire emotional insight.
Reflexology is a great way to 'get to the unseen' when you know or even suspect that your body has taken a blow. It is a great option when you feel overwhelmed or sluggish and are not yet ready or comfortable to have a full-body massage. Take off your shoes and let gentle yet firm and mobile hands work their magic.
Although reflexology is a standard energy and healing treatment, practitioners and treatments differ substantially. Treatment is influenced by your own degree of trust as well as the practitioner's own approach to healing and body-touch. While I have had reflexology treatments in the Australia and enjoyed it- all of my experiences have been with those either trained through TCM tradition or who have come from a naturopathic or remedial massage background. The Australian approach is notably more clinical than Balinese interpretation. Bali calls upon ancient knowledge that honours the spirit and spiritual connections: healing wisdom has been passed down. It is not so much an academic study or profession but rather an innate and compassionate calling to heal.
Reflexology massage in Bali is highly intuitive and spiritually directed. It can bring fast relief to physical pain and balance negative self-talk or emotional upheaval. There is no sense of practitioner 'control' in it and absolutely no judgement: you are treated warmly and respectfully, as a guest who needs care and has entrusted the healer to deliver.
Having just stepped out of a Melbourne winter reflexology was my first point of call at Lovina Beach, which is in the north of Bali. Earthbound, positioned at the top of Jalan Binaria, is window-dressed with Buddha statues and resonates a radiant and pure healing energy. The two young women who staff the centre offer a range of healing and beauty treatments, such as Balinese massage, warm stone therapy massage, steamed herb massage, body scrub, manicure and pedicures, facials, hair cream baths and deep hair-conditioning treatments. A great holiday treat would be to try the 2-hour Pure Beauty Package which includes a facial, cream-bath as well as a manicure or pedicure. There is also the popular and value-for-money 1.5 hour Romance Package which gives you an aromatherapy massage and flower spa bath. Hour-long treatments are about $10 and the 2-hour packages rarely exceed $25. Earthbound also have monthly spa package specials so keep an eye on the outside menu board.
Reflexology massage at Earthbound is a $9.00 investment for 45 minutes. The clinic also offers facials and a wide-range of beauty treatments for hair, feet and hands. They offer full-body massage services including the must-be-experienced traditional Balinese massage.
The Earthbound clinic has extendable chairs or lounges at the front of the shop where reflexology and pedicures are offered. The salon has a specialist area for hair treatments and there is a massage room and bath at the rear. There is also space allocated for hand-made clothes, spiritual giftware and aromatic home-made soaps and essential oils. Earthbound is quite a compact space, but privacy is assured and it is conveniently located if you feel like a treatment spontaneously, or want time-out in-between dolphin-inspired or other aquatic activities.
The central location of Earthbound is a real advantage if you are travelling with another person, group or family. You can book in for a dual treatment, or your travel companions can be entertained by Jalan Binaria retail therapy while you opt for indulgence and care. After your treatment, walk to the beach and take-in sea views to maximise post-treatment benefit or pop into one of the great warungs for a healthy lunch or a de-toxifying fresh juice for which Bali is known. There are wonderful seafood restaurants and vegetarian cafes along Central's strip which because of the skilled-use of Balinese spices and herbs, will add health benefit to your Earthbound healing session.
When in Lovina, make the most of health-care treatments that can be costly in the West. This is the opportunity to make the most of the best of Bali: the healing benefits of nature, such as flower therapy and spices and to receive hands-on healing, an art that has been handed down for centuries and which continues to be honoured and treasured. There is a very good reason why Bali is the Isle of Smiles.
Reflexology massage is offered Earthbound, which is located in Jalan Binaria (top end, near Jalan Raya Singaraja-Seririt) or what is known as 'Central'. The salon has a shop front with welcoming Buddha statues and sells spiritual giftware, aromatherapy products as well as other practical and vibrant Balinese beach-wear.