My Balinese Healing Experience…

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Balinese HealingIn 2013 while staying in Ubud, Bali, I had the great pleasure of meeting a lovely French woman who is a writer and journalist-photographer, and has been living in Bali since 2001. She knows the Ubud area like a local.  And so, it was with great excitement that I got to tag along with her as she took two women (Michelle and Natalie) to see a Master Balinese Healer…

Personally, I didn’t have anything specific that I thought required ‘healing’, I was more going for the experience to see what it was all about and that maybe I’d have a healing done if I felt inclined.

Bapak Cokorda Rai (the Master Healer) is a busy man and we had to wait about 15 minutes before it was our turn. As a show of respect we all wore sarongs, tops that covered our shoulders and a tie around our waist (this separates the pure half from the not so pure half).

Pain tells us there’s something wrong…

Natalie went first.  Sitting on the tiled floor with her back resting against his knees as he sat in the chair behind her, he puts his fingers in her ears and presses…”eeh” she squeals. He moves his fingers and presses again…”eeh” she squeals once more.  On he moves, all around her ears, head and jaw, more often than not she was screeching in pain.

Then he gets her to lie down on the mat and proceeds to get out his special wooden stick which he presses the tip into different parts of her toes.  “Eeh” she squeals, several times more as he works the tip of the stick in and around her toes.  Prognosis – problems with lymphatics, abdomen (gyno), hormones, stressed mind.  OMG I thought, what am I gonna be like!

Michelle and I look at each other thinking “I don’t know about this.  It doesn’t look pleasant!” Cokorda Rai sits back in his chair and has a smoke while a couple of his ‘apprentices’ do some acupressure work on Natalie’s feet and some energy clearing.  Once finished, he gets his stick out again and starts poking it into her toes. 


We wait for the “eeh” again, but nothing comes.  He moves to another point and presses – hard; nothing, she feels no pain.  Amazing.  She sits up and her whole face has changed.  She looks very clear in the face, almost peaceful and her eyes are sparkling.  Wow, I’m impressed.

Then it’s Michelle’s turn.  I wish her good luck in my mind as she takes her seat on the floor.  Same thing – fingers in ears, poking around her ears, head, neck.  Nothing.  No screeches.  This looks promising…he asks her “So why are you here? What can I do for you?”  Michelle was a bit like me and didn’t really have anything major she thought was going on so mentioned that she gets Asthma. 

He got her to lie down and poked the stick on her toes…sure enough, when he poked at the lung point she let out a yelp.  Ahh, he’s happy with that, so he pokes again, a little harder.  Another yelp, this time a bit louder.  He said it was only a little bit in her upper lung area.  She said yes, that’s where she gets short of breath, in her upper chest.  So he did a little energy balancing thing with his magic stick, told her to throw away her inhaler, that she didn’t need it, it was nothing to worry about.

Uh-oh my turn…

Then it was my turn (I decided what the hell, I’d give it a shot).  I sat on the tiles, with my back resting against his legs.  He ran his hands down the sides of my arms and said “Powerful”.  Wow, really? That made me feel pretty good for a start!

Then he put his fingers in my ears, poked and prodded, checked around my jaw and glands, head, eyes, neck, shoulders.  All good, no pain (thank God). So then he asked me “What can I do for you?”  All I could think of was my lower back issue, so I said I had lower back problems – very tight and locked hips.

Warming up

Doing the scan

He prodded at a point along the back of my clavicle (back collar bone above shoulder blade) and that made me jump.  Yep, got the spot.  He got me to lie down on the mat and he got the dreaded magic stick out and started poking at my toes.  I waited for the shot of pain and sure enough, when he got the lower back point on my toe I wasn’t disappointed!  Happy, he prodded again making me yelp once more.  “Ok, ok, yep that’s it! You enjoy doing this, don’t you?”  I said. He just laughed.

Testing the toes

I’m waiting for the pain when he hits the right spot!

Then he asked me “What else?” (I obviously wasn’t yelping enough), so I asked him to check my hormones (thinking they are bound to be out).  They were, but only a little (only a little pain), so I was very surprised and relieved. Seems my HRT is working pretty well. He told me “You need more passion”, at which I cracked up as he wasn’t talking about my vocation or hobbies!  More passion, yep, I like it, I’ve never been told that by my Osteopath before 🙂.

You need more passion!

“You need more passion!” – okay 🙂

Sitting with my legs out straight in front of me, he pushes into my shins…”Hmm not good” he says. “What’s not good”, I ask. “Poor circulation”. I could still see the dents left in the skin of my shins from where he had pushed his fingers…oh.  Not enough exercise for a start me thinks!

Poor circulation

You can see his finger dent in my right leg – eek!

So, then it was time to work on my back.  He got me to kneel and bend forward with my forehead on the floor.  I was surprised to find I could actually manage it as my back has been particularly tight and sore lately.  Then he got his trusty stick and did a big “X” from my right shoulder to my left hip, jamming the stick into my piriformis muscle in my butt which made me squawk! Then from my left shoulder to my right hip and another jab in the piriformis muscle on the other side, damn it that hurts! Then some runs down my spine from my head to my butt.  These moves were to open and balance the energy of the area.

Criss Cross

Opening and Balancing

Then I had to sit cross legged and he showed me a ‘cross stretching’ exercise to do (must remember to do it) and he gave me some special herbal oil to rub on my lower back and down the IT band of my thighs (side of thigh).  As I got up off the floor I must say my back did feel better.  Psychosomatic? Maybe, but the results I saw with Natalie were pretty amazing.

All happy and money paid, Ibu took us for a tour of his compound and temples.  Wow.  She showed us his sacred scripts, (lontars) handed down from healer to healer which detail knowledge of anatomy, astronomy, mantras (sacred healing prayers), mudras (sacred healing gestures), phytotherapy, etc. The words are etched into dry palm leaves and then soot is rubbed in so you can read it.

The lontars are blessed by the High Priest, bound into a fan/blind-type scroll and kept in special boxes in one of the domestic temples.  You cannot touch them. They are for the healers/priests only. 

Special healing scrolls

Sacred healing texts

He also had some special Kriss daggers made hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago by blacksmiths layering metals together, in between each layer is sacred texts.  It was a wonderful experience and to see the sacred tools of his trade was the icing on the cake.

Sacred Kriss Daggers

Sacred Kriss daggers

Beautiful Temples

Beautiful Temples in his compound

Happy Cat

Happy cat!

For EASY and fuss free organisation of a healing session with this MASTER HEALER contact Ibu Marie below…she can also set up rituals with HIGH PRIEST/ESS, meeting MYSTIC CARVERS, exploring HIDDEN TEMPLES or having a SOULFUL TAROT reading…

Please register DIRECTLY:


Read about my other Balinese healing experiences:

My Balinese Healing Experience No. 2

Learning Meditation and Yoga from a Fifth Generation Balinese Priest

My Bali Tarot Reading Experience



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  1. Kristina Jacobsen says:

    Hi. Loved to read Your blog abourt Cokorda Rai and Mangku Mastra. I like to have healing With and do the chakra and yoga too so I will contakt Maria. I am very excited. I am going to Bali on 5th of july and stay for 7 days and would love to try this. I am also interested in astrology and fortunetellling, do you know anyone good in Ubud who praktis this?

    • Hi Kristina,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed my stories, they were wonderful experiences 🙂

      I don’t know anyone who does astrology/fortune but Marie will certainly know if there is anybody in Ubud as she’s lived there for years and knows the area well.

      Enjoy your trip and please let me know how you get on with your healing experiences 🙂



  2. Amazing that people are this gullible to pay money for this snake oil. Incredible!

    • Hi Dav, thanks for your opinion on the subject, we’re all entitled to our own views. Have you ever tried anything like this yourself before?
      My motto is – don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – worst outcome is you’ll come away a bit lighter in the pocket, and in this case we’re only talking around $30! BUT you may just get a wicked, amazing, story-telling experience and some healing out of it instead…
      Live life – EXPERIENCE it!

      • I saw him today. He unlocked my injured shoulder. It was a funny, fun, experience. I can extend my arm further than I’ve been able to in more than a year. And I too need more passion. He wasn’t going to treat me because he sensed I didn’t believe. I’m naturally skeptical. Not dismissive, not closed minded, analytical and sceptical. There is more than we understand. The truth is out there. I’m so thankful for today.

        • Hi Teri, wow, that’s so fantastic! Thanks so much for letting us know how you got on. Yes, he is certainly a character and I felt quite safe in his presence. Interesting that he sensed you were a ‘non believer’…but yes, there is certainly more out there than can be seen, touched and felt for sure! So happy for your success – thank you once again. Take care and happy travels. xx Paula

  3. Vicki Mann says:


    What a beautiful Blog i have contacted you regarding a session with Cokorda Rai, if he can help my back i will be greatful.

    Keep Up the Good Work

    • Thank you so much Vicki, it’s always lovely to get great feedback like that – makes my day! I’ll certainly send you details on how to get in touch with Cokorda and I hope he does the trick! All the best x

  4. Marie-Laure says:

    Hi Paula, beautiful story and beautiful blog! Are you still in Bali?

    • Hi Marie-Laure, thank you so much for being in touch, and your lovely comment – it means a lot when people respond to what I’m doing 🙂 No, I’m back in NZ now but will be heading back to Bali June next year. Will be hosting a couple of retreats too so watch this space! 🙂

  5. What a cool experience Paula! I am falling in love with Bali just because of your blogs!

  6. Hi – we are so sad we didn’t get to see this healer. We went to see him yesterday and the girl in his house said he was visiting his brother in hospital. So we say sorry to that and get healers direct mobile number to organise time. He says come at 2.30 – we arrive and he is not there again. We have now travelled for 5 hours. He said tomorrow morning no problem. We arrive this morning – we saw him walking around but says he can not see us as his child is in hospital. Our translator asked him why as he only spoke to him on the mobile one hour ago?? He would not see us? The uncle in hospital and then we hear the wife and now his child! If this is all true I am sorry for his family illnesses and hope he can heal them. We spent over 7 hours now traveling to him so we decided we couldn’t go back again – it wasn’t meant to be – very disappointing!

    • I’m so sorry you didn’t manage to see him! As with many of these healers, it’s often much easier to go through someone ‘in the know’ and who has a good relationship with them (such as Marie Bee in this instance)… In this case it seems he has a lot of family things happening all at once, and like you, I hope everything works out ok for them all…please don’t lose heart with him…even though it was very disappointing for you, I truly believe he had a family crisis on his hands…

  7. Thank you for your article..can u please tell me where I can find Bapak Cokorda Rai in Ubud? Going in July!

  8. Sonya Heenan says:

    Hi Paula, I finally found some time to actually read your email. I am sitting here reading it with a big smile just loving your reality of it all. So good to read about your travels. I am well.
    Take care

    • Hi Sonya, it’s so great to hear from you! I’m so pleased you liked the article…it was a ‘different’ and ‘fun’ experience and I enjoyed writing about it :)…must catch up when I’m back :)x

  9. Carolyn Morris says:

    Oh my goodness Paula. This looks like an amazing experience! How is your back now? Did you sort the passion thing out!? hehehehe. Hope all is well with you. Great to get your emails. We are all good here in Rotorua with our cows, shed and puppy! Hot pools next door! The girls are all good and thriving and Baz is just loving being a farmer/engineer!
    Take care and keep the experiences coming!

    • Hey Caro, it’s so wonderful to hear from you! Yay, you’re just down the road from me now so we’ll have to have a BIG catch up when I’m back! Yeah, the healing certainly was a wonderful experience. I’m just relieved he didn’t find anything major going on – I’ve since heard he’s the ‘real deal’ so that holds more weight too.
      My back was much better for a few days (would love to know the oil concoction he gave me) but I still have problems first thing in the morning – can’t bend over…have to wait for the old bod to warm up! And if I stand for too long or sit for too long then I know all about it.

      It’s just traveling – not good beds, lots of sitting and not enough good exercise. When I get back home It’ll be better – regular walking, Pilates etc. As far as the passion goes…no opportunities thus far..BUT I’m sure one will pop up sometime – hehe 😉


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