Thanks to the deafening success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel Eat, Pray, Love (forgive the cliché), the Island of the Gods has been flocked to by punters on every variation of ‘health journey’. Regardless of your struggle narrative – be it an ugly break up, a job that steamrolls your sanity or a lazy prognosis from your local GP – Bali will respond with a vast provision of alternative therapies.
Allow us to navigate you in the direction of some legitimate healing hubs to help you hurdle the hurt and hit that home tarmac a happier human.
IV Vitamin Therapy
While Bali has evolved to stay erect despite the colossal pressure of tourism, our brains haven’t quite evolved to keep us upright under the pressure of a hangover. Waking up with the hydration of a burnt chicken and the IQ of a sultana isn’t ideal when you’ve only got a few weeks to unwind. But then again, you really needed that Bintang blow out to let off some steam. No dramas. Assuming you’ve got deep pockets (check – that’s how you got here in the first place) you can have all those displaced vitamins mainlined directly back into your system the following day. Bali’s IV game is strong. So strong, in fact, you won’t even have to leave your villa. Most services bring their hook ups straight to you (little drip joke there). You can stay horizontal all day in the name of health, rather than head trauma.
Disclaimer: not a needle fan? Keep reading, this isn’t for you.
Where to try IV Vitamin Therapy in Bali: The Hangover Lounge, The Dose Bali, Hydro Medical Bali, Cocoon Medical Spa, iv.ME Bali, Eden Life Centres
Live Blood Testing
This is the perfect entry-level alternative therapy for the skeptic who only trusts science. Live blood analysis is a negligible pinprick of the finger in exchange for a stark view of your current health. The practitioner pops your blood under a microscope and displays it on a screen in front of you right there and then. No labs. No waiting. With this level of scrutiny the therapist can tell you exactly what’s going on with your innards, from organ blockages to infections, inflammation to gut parasites, imbalances in hormones to toxins in the blood and, god forbid, anything more sinister. If the diagnosis isn’t great then you’ll be suggested a range of herbal medicines to help restore your equilibrium.
Disclaimer: not a needle fan? Bring something to squeeze, you can handle this.
Where to try Live Blood Testing in Bali: Bali Healing, Fuller Life Bali
This is an all round treat for your senses! You’ll be guided by a Gong Master through a full session of sound healing where your body is coaxed into a ‘theta-wave’ state – a
place of deep meditation – with the aid of percussive instruments, bells and Didgeridoos. In this theta phase it is said your body can realign it’s own energy centres, connect to a higher, ancient wisdom and begin rejuvenating physical, emotional and psychological damage. If you’re interested in chakras, sacred geometry, the work of Japanese author Dr. Masaru Emoto (the guy who exposed water to emotional influence and then observed it’s molecular patterns), or even just a good ole’ daytime nap then this is the healing mode for you.
Where to try Sound Healing in Bali: Pyramids of Chi, Sound Healing Bali, Radiantly Alive
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian modality of medicine that aims to achieve complete
harmony of the mind, body and spirit. This unity is believed by the monks to prolong life and mitigate all disease. The practice bases itself on an understanding of the body’s three bio-energies or doshas – Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and a little water) and Kapha (water and earth). A disproportion in these doshas is what leads to illness and suffering, yet each individual requires a unique balance to be at optimum health. The averages Joe’s experience with ayurveda will start by an in-depth consultation to discern their body’s exact constitution. The treatments and detox for the patient are decided upon following discussion and so ensues an in-house stay of anywhere between 7 and 28 nights. Each day in treatment consists of herbal medicines, yoga, meditation, tailored meals, therapies and more consultations.
Disclaimer: this is not a spa vacation, there are dietary restrictions and the possibility of discomfort during treatments but the results are well worth it.
Where to try Ayurveda in Bali: Oneworld Ayurveda, Sukhavati Bali, Bali Spirit
Chi Nei Tsang (Internal Organ Massage)
Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is a Chinese Taoist therapy and translates directly to “working the energy of the internal organs”. The treatment is predominantly performed on the
abdomen and navel area and applied through a series of deep massages, aiming to reenergise and recalibrate the vital organs. While the practice can help with digestive,
respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, endocrinal, urinary, reproductive and muscular-skeletal issues, its objective is also to move unprocessed emotion through the body’s meridian system and unblock energetic pathways which may have manifested in physical distress. Sounds pretty esoteric but CNT has successfully treated chronic back, neck and shoulder pain as well as problems related to misalignment of the feet, legs and pelvis. It also has been used in combination with psychotherapy to treat mental illnesses. All that just from a little gut rub!
Disclaimer: make sure you’ve pee’d before your session begins.
Where to try Chi Nei Tsang in Bali: Bali Detox & Meditation Retreats, Gaia Retreat Centre, Revivo Wellness Resort.
There you have it! A few to start with and plenty to keep you occupied between brunch and happy hour. Merry health hunting.
Hero image via Morgyn Danae