massages & petals

So let me tell you about my birthday present massage.

First I have to say that I have never been to a spa in my entire life before this summer. And I love (LOVE) massages. I guess I’m too thrifty to spend money on a massage when my husband (or sister, or friend, or stranger on the bus) will give my back a free rub. Wait, I lied. I have had a professional massage before as my husband and I got vouchers for our wedding. I used mine a few years ago, it was a really amazing treat, however it was in a Chinatown basement and let’s just say that there were no flower petals involved. Speaking of which, I absolutely have to remember to find his voucher and use it. I don’t think there was an expiration date on it. (It’s not like I’m stealing his wedding gift, he doesn’t like massages. I know.) Anyhow, this summer in Bali I went to the spa three times. Incredible. Twice with my mother, and once alone using the gift certificate she gave me.

This is the modest room where the magic took place:

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The Javanese lulur package begins with a traditional Balinese massage, which is a deep tissue massage where spice oils are applied with firm strokes. Since I had been there twice before, I knew to tell my masseuse that I liked it ‘strong’ on my back and shoulders and ‘regular’ everywhere else. (I had once asked for ‘strong’ everywhere and it was too painful on my calves and forearms, oh I had no idea how tense my forearms are! These tiny Balinese masseuses are mighty powerful.)

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After the heavenly massage, we moved on to the lulur body scrub, which is an exfoliation scrub made of ‘yellow colored spices and herbs’. (Water added to the yellow powder in the photo and mixed into a runny paste.) I was not able to find out what kind of spices and herbs they use, but it certainly felt, looked and smelled natural. Next came the yogurt rub down, which was wonderfully cool and must be extremely soothing on sunburnt skin. 

Then after a quick shower to remove the goop, I sank into a tub filled with warm water and scented flower petals to enjoy the jamu elixir. Jamu means medicinal herb in Indonesian, and this particular elixir was tea with a few bits of fragrant ginger in the bottom of the cup.

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The divine massage was of course my favorite part of the sublime experience that left me happy, soft-skinned and totally relaxed.

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2 Responses to “massages & petals”


  1. 1 Reshmi July 28, 2009 at 16:06

    Massages are addicting. I got my first one last year and now get one quite often. Including the little places in China Town…but those are not the same as the ones in the Spa.

  2. 2 maris August 9, 2009 at 11:06

    Oh there is NOTHING better than a massage — I love them, you’re so lucky!


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I really like the phrase "always an adventure". I am a Reiki Master and work as a therapist in Manhattan, in my private practice and at a cancer center. I also freelance as a translator in the New York City area and beyond.

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