Here you find our Bali Wellness Guide Video:
Aromatherapy is a unique form of massage therapy because of the oils that are used during a session. The therapist may use one from more than 90 oils to provide psychological and physical benefits to the body.
Most of the oils used for aromatherapy come from natural ingredients. Examples of these include herbs, milk powders, hydrosols, sea salts, sugars, clays and mud. It is frowned upon when some use synthetic ingredients.
It is widely practiced in the US and in Europe and integrated into holistic treatments. Aside from oils, aromatherapy can be using candles and bath salts which allow you to enjoy it in the comforts of your home.
Aromatherapy is used to treat various health conditions. These include allergies, bruises, burns, diarrhea, bronchitis, colds, ear ache, energy, flu, headaches, insomnia, menopause, nervousness, scars, sprains, stress, shingles and wounds.
For home treatment, you can buy these oils off the shelf and then use it whenever you feel like it. These are easy to spot as they are all packaged in small bottles with the name of the oil and the ingredients that are used. If you are not familiar with the oil, you can open it and smell it to see if it is worth buying.
With the oil in your possession, you only have to add 2 to 3 drops like eucalyptus, tea tree or rosemary in hot water. You then hold your head over the bowl and then inhale the fumes. For other problems, you can apply oils to baths and compresses.
Aromatherapy per se is not designed to treat any major illness. It can only relieve minor problems so before you try aromatherapy, it is best to first consult with a doctor.
If you decide to go for a massage, talk with the practitioner about your medical history and current physical condition. Knowing how you feel is the only way for him or her to determine what oil should be used for the session.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should never undergo aromatherapy as the scents from the oils could be harmful to the infant.
For those who want to know more about aromatherapy, they can read it in books or in the Internet. There are also classes that can people of all levels can join so they can learn how to mix the oils together.
The benefits of aromatherapy as mentioned earlier are psychological and physical because the scent simulates the brain to trigger a reaction and at the same time supply therapeutic relief. A good example is eucalyptus oil which is known to ease congestion.
When the oil is applied to the skin, it is absorbed by the bloodstream and aids in certain health, beauty and hygiene conditions.
If you want to learn more about aromatherapy, you can take up classes. Here you will learn how to mix the oils together and create your own concoctions. Most programs will cost a little over $500 and with it, the materials to be used during the sessions.
Aromatherapy is a unique form of massage therapy because you don’t need physical contact all the time to get relief.
You can inhale it or bathe in it. It is truly, a holistic form of healthcare that is worth checking out.
Traditional Balinese Spa Ingredients
Experience the traditional Balinese way to health and beauty. Our enormous wealth of diverse ecosystems makes Bali a botanical treasure trove. The medicinal qualities of the abundant plant life have, for centuries, formed the backbone of health and beauty therapy throughout this huge and exotic realm. The following are some of the most common herbal spa ingredients that comprise the exclusive mixtures offered by most of the spa in Bali.
Tumeric (Curcuma domestica)
Tumeric is one of the key ingredients in Bali healing concoctions. It is used internally and externally for its astringent and cleaning properties, typically as an herbal medicine to treat stomach discomfort and in cosmetics to promote healthy skin. When crushed, the oil this rhizome yields is an efficient natural moisturizer and it also has antiseptic properties.
Cinnamon (Cinnamonum zeylanciaum)
Cinnamon is most commonly used as a culinary spice, either in the form of quills from the bark of the tree or as a powder. Otherwise, it is popular in milky or alcoholic drinks to stimulate a sluggish digestive system or to relieve flu symptoms. Cinnamon is a key ingredient in spicy body scrubs as well as slimming & cellulite reduction treatments
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
This spicy herb is eaten raw and adds flavor to many local dishes. Sweet basil has medicinal properties and is used in traditional healing to help reduce mucous, eliminate gas and aid digestion. As an aromatherapy ingredient, the essential oil of the basil plant is used to refresh the senses and relieve tiredness.
Mint (Mentha arvensis)
Mint is a blood cleansing plant with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and it aids digestion. In modern spa treatments, it is used as an ingredient in body wraps and foot treatments because of its refreshing smell. The essential oil of mint is used in aromatherapy to invigorate the senses and ease nasal congestion. Mint is also mixed with cream bath conditioners and massaged into the scalp to combat dandruff and to stimulate hair follicles to grow.
Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citrates)
A signature ingredient in Bali cuisine, this grass-like herb has a sharp, fresh, lemony aroma, making it a favorite flavoring in many foods and drinks. It is eaten to speed up a slow digestive system, and its oil is good for calming hot, perspiring feet. As a medicinal herb, it was traditionally used to cure skin problems and headaches, and was burned to kill germs and repel insects. Lemon grass is a common ingredient in Bali herbal compresses due to its soothing, invigorating and antiseptic properties, while the aroma relieves stress. As part of traditional herbal steam baths, it helps to clear the head and soothe hangovers. Burn lemon grass oil for an effective room deodorizer and a refreshing smell.
Cloves (Eugenia caryophyllus)
Cloves have analgesic qualities and are traditionally used for pain relief, especially for toothaches. They are also antiseptic and increase overall blood circulation; when chewed, cloves can stop excessive flatulence. Suck on a clove when you are tired or stressed, or if you want to give up smoking. Cloves are a primary ingredient in many body wraps and scrubs.
Galangal (Alpinia galangal)
This rhizome is often mistaken for ginger. It is a popular ingredient in Balinese soups and curries because of its fragrant, tangy aroma. Though too pungent to be eaten raw, the fresh root is used in traditional medicine to relieve digestive ailments and to cure skin diseases. Galangal finds its way into spa treatments as an ingredient in herbal body masks and scrubs.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Balinese uses both the young and mature ginger rhizome in many foods and beverages. Ginger is known for is stimulant properties, which have a heating effect on the body. Taken as an herbal drink, it helps reduce gas and aids digestion. Traditionally, Balinese mothers used ginger treatments if their babies had upset stomachs. In aromatherapy, its essential oil is used to boost blood circulation and relieve aching and stiff muscles.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
The incredibly sour tamarind fruit is utilized in a variety of ways in Bali cuisine, and it also has a wide array of medicinal uses. The bark is used as an astringent, the flowers can reduce blood pressure and the fruit has a laxative effect. A refreshing tamarind drink can relieve constipation. The leaves are used in herbal steams as the acidity is thought to help the skin absorb other herbals faster. Traditionally, tamarind paste is mixed with other natural spa ingredients to create beauty products: its high AHA content makes it an effective natural exfoliation. When applied to the face and body, it brightens and smoothens the skin.
Kaffir Lime Leaf (Citrus hystrix)
This leaf is used in Bali cuisine to add a lemony flavor to soups and salads, while the zest is a popular ingredient in herbal compresses and the oil is used in aromatherapy. The fresh Kaffir Lime fruit is an all purpose hair care aid, making tresses soft and silky.
Rice Grains (Oryza sativa)
Rice is not just a food, it is a culture and a way of life. Thais have adopted raw rice as the typical base to bind herbal concoctions, and it is a primary ingredient in natural body polishes due to its exfoliating properties.
Popular Uses of Aromatherapy
- Basil is used in perfumery for its clear, sweet and mildly spicy aroma. In aromatherapy, it is used for sharpening concentration, for its uplifting effect on depression, and to relieve headaches and migraines. Basil oil has many chemotypes and some are known to be emmenagogues and should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Bergamot is one of the most popular oils in perfumery. It is an excellent insect repellent and may be helpful for both the urinary tract and for the digestive tract. It is useful for skin conditions linked to stress, such as cold sores and chicken pox, especially when combined with eucalyptus oil. Bergamot is a flavoring agent in Earl Grey tea. But cold-pressed Bergamot oil contains bergaptene, a strong photosensitizer when applied to the skin, so only distilled or ‘bergaptene-free’ types can be topically used.
- Black pepper has a sharp and spicy aroma. Common uses include stimulating the circulation and for muscular aches and pains. Skin application is useful for bruises, since it stimulates the circulation.
- Citronella oil, obtained from a relative of lemongrass, is used as an insect repellant and in perfumery.
- Clove oil is a topical analgesic, especially useful in dentistry. It is also used an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, and antiemetic.
- Eucalyptus oil is often used in combination with peppermint to provide relief for the airways in case of cold or flu.
- Geranium oil is used as an astringent, antiseptic and diuretic.
- Jasmine is used as an aphrodisiac.
- Lavender oil is used as an antiseptic, to soothe minor cuts and burns, to calm and relax, and to soothe headaches and migraines.
- Lemon oil is uplifting and anti-stress/anti-depressant. In a Japanese study, lemon essential oil in vapour form has been found to reduce stress in mice.
- Lemon oil – Researchers at Ohio State University reveals that Lemon oil aroma may enhance your mood, and may relax you.
- Rose is used as an aphrodisiac
- Sandalwood oil is used as an aphrodisiac
- Tea tree oil and many other essential oils have topical (external) antimicrobial (i.e. antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, or antiparasitic) activity and are used as antiseptics and disinfectants.
- Yarrow oil is used to reduce joint inflammation and relieve cold and influenza symptoms.
- Ylang-ylang oil is used as an aphrodisiac
Ten Of The Best Types Of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has been around for hundreds of years. If you need to relief from muscle pain or stress, you can choose from one of the ten best types of massage therapy around.
1. First is Swedish massage therapy. This happens to be the most common type to find in the World because it is very gentle and relaxing. Here, the masseuse will use long strokes, kneading and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil.
2. Next is aromatherapy and the reason why it is called such is because one or more scented plant oils are used during the session. You will just have to select the oil you want to use. In fact, the most popular one is lavender as it is well suited for stress related conditions together with an emotional component.
3. There is also hot stone massage. Here, heated smooth stones are placed on certain parts of the body to help loosen those tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. At times, the masseuse may also apply gentle pressure especially for those who have muscle tension.
4. Then there is deep tissue massage. This type is designed to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Here, the masseuse will use slow strokes better known as friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.
The distinctive feature of deep tissue massage is that it is used on those that have chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems and recovery from injury. You will often feel sore for the next day or two.
5. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage therapy. Here, the masseuse will use localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for 2 to 8 second designed to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance. Those who have tried it say that it is relaxing yet firm. The best part is that there is no soreness afterwards.
6. Thai massage is similar to Shiatsu because it aligns the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points. Part of the session also includes compressions and stretches as you are moved in a variety of postures just like yoga but in this case, you don’t do anything except go with the flow.
7. For women that are expecting, they can opt for pregnancy massage. It is designed to relieve stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pins as well as reduce anxiety and depression.
8. Reflexology is also known as foot massage because it involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot. Those who practice this believe that the foot corresponds to certain organs and systems so if you are able to work on that, you have also done it in the whole body.
9. Then there is sports massage that is designed for people involved in sports activities. This type is designed not only for professional athletes since it helps prevent and treat physical injuries.
10. Lastly is back massage which usually lasts 30 minutes. Unlike reflexology that focuses on the feet because it represents special points in the body, this one simply relieves tension in the back caused by lifting heavy objects or driving for long periods of time.
Of course there are other kinds of massage therapy aside from the top ten most popular ones mentioned. Given that these are the only ones available in spas, perhaps you should just stick with the best sellers.