Traditional Healing in Bali

Bali has a long tradition of Balinese traditional healing. This practice uses natural herbs and spices, holistic therapies and ancient wisdom to cure physical and mental illness.

Some balian have learned their art from studying the ancient scriptures and apprenticing with a master. Others have received divine inspiration and heal from the heart. Both have an esteemed place in Balinese society. The balian may go into a trance state to discover the root cause of the problem and either give the patient plant medicine, a massage or a list of offerings to be made.

Many Balinese homes have the basic healing herbs and trees. These are made into remedies such as an herbal drink (loloh – where leaves are crushed and mixed with water), poultice (boreh – ground up herbs and roots are smeared on the skin), or even a chewed up mixture which spits on the patient (sepuk). Yet healing is not only plant medicine, but energy healing as well.

The Balinese live in two worlds: the seen or conscious world called sekala and the unseen or psychic world called niskala. It is the balian’s job to help the patient restore balance in both worlds. Often the problem lies with the ancestors, who can cause mischief or indeed real harm if not treated regularly to their favorite treats and offerings. The balian may go into a trance state to discover the root cause of the problem and either give the patient plant medicine, a massage or a list of offerings to be made.