A basic therapeutic massage is a one-hour, top-to-toe, deep-tissue massage to relax the muscles, tone the skin and eliminate stress, while aromatherapy massages feature a choice of essential oils, such as ginger, nutmeg, coconut and sandalwood. Commonly offered massage options also include Shiatsu, Thai and Swedish massage and reflexology (concentrating on pressure points of the feet). For something special, the ?four-hands? massage, where two therapists will treat you, is also an option at many spas.Based on traditional herbal treatments, popular spa options include the mandi rempah (spice bath) and the mandi susu (milk bath). The mandi rempah begins with a massage, followed by a body scrub with a paste made from assorted spices, and ending with a herbal-and-spice hot bath. The mandi susu begins with a massage, followed by a herbal scrub and a milk-and-yoghurt body mask. The treatment ends with a soak in a milk bath.The most popular

treatment though, is the Javanese mandi lulur body scrub. Based on a centuries-old Javanese palace ritual, the mandi lulur takes almost two hours but it feels longer as all sense of time is lost during the deep-tissue massage (ask for strong treatment if you dare). The massage is followed by a full body rub made from a vibrant yellow paste of turmeric, sandalwood and rice powder. This is allowed to dry and then gently rubbed off, exfoliating and polishing the skin. Next, a mixture of yoghurt and honey is smoothed on, to moisturise and feed the skin and restore the perfect pH balance. After a quick rinsing shower, the highlight follows ? a long and lovely bath in fragrant essential oils amid pale, floating frangipani petals. Refreshing hot ginger tea is normally served during the calming recovery time following the bath, when you?ll feel so good you?ll be dreamily planning another two hours of luxurious bliss.from Lonely Planet?s Bali, 9th edition, p.88-89.Bali

by Kate Daly

9th edition

ISBN: 1 74059 346 4

368p, 45 maps


Lonely Planet Publications