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_MG_8246webRuth Indiathi, Founder of the ‘Village Balinais’ (Balinese village) massage institute

Hello Ruth, it’s a pleasure for How To Spa to interview a Balinese massage expert, thank you for kindly giving us this opportunity.


Can you tell us a bit about your work and how you got where you are now?

I am from Indonesia, and I grew up in a comforting bubble of calm and care. From what I recall, my very first massage experiences are the soothing massages parents give their children in my home country. These roots undoubtedly guided my professional choices later in life and still inspire me today in my work.

I started my professional development path in Indonesia in the 90s, in Bali and Java. Back then, I learned a lot working in what you can call precursors of the spa institutes as we know them today. There, I experienced and learned many traditional massage techniques; the creambath, a Balinese head massage, the Mandi Lulur, a traditional face massage and many others such as the Mandi Susu, the Mandi Rempah and the Boreh.
My career took me to Paris where I worked at the Cinq Mondes institute in the early 2000s, when the spa concept started thriving in France. After that, I became a spa consultant for various spa institutes in Paris; the ‘Coiffure & Nature’ institute near Bastille, the Six Senses, the Shangri-La and the Park Hyatt. In 2007, I also became a trainer for various spa schools and I founded the ‘Village Balinais’ training centre in Paris, dedicated to the Balinese massage art. The centre is aimed at all the wellbeing professionals who want to develop their skills (spa therapists, masseurs and masseuses, beauticians etc.). The summer training session includes an experience in Bali.
In 2016, I opened a Balinese massage private studio dedicated to a private clientele.

To me, the Balinese massage is no different to yoga; they’re both everyday natural therapies that guide you on a path to wellbeing and fulfilment, helping you take care of both your body and soul. Balinese massages provide a much deeper inner experience than what most people think; what a lot of people experience in Bali as tourists are unfortunately often watered-down versions, if not painful unprofessional versions in the worst case scenario.

The best Balinese massages are the Pijitan®/pijat Bali , a comprehensive massage technically thorough and given in due respect of the Indonesian hindouboudist tradition, while fully adapted to the eastern body and mind. These massages make you experience a deep wellbeing.

They are particularly famous for the great pleasure they bring, one of the many physical and emotional benefits of these massages being the unique relaxation they induce.


Balinese massages seem to have very specific benefits. You teach everything about them in your training centre, tell us a bit more about it.

I base my training on the pijat Bali techniques.

This highly sensory massage can be used to heal muscular tensions for example but also to prevent any tension to occur as it focuses on needs we usually leave aside; the body’s relational needs that allow us to be fully aware and anchor ourselves to the present moment. This helps us reconnect with our inner selves, and let go of polluting thoughts and tensions.
Here are the benefits these massages can provide:

On a body level,

1) they restore muscle flexibility and toning, and help heal the contracted areas (tensions, strains, stiffness of the neck and back).
2) they increase you sensory feel and your proprioception (inner sensations).
3) they benefit the circulatory system (blood, lymph) and help drain toxins and purify the body.

On the psychocorporeal level:

1) they bring lightness to your body and mind.
2) They help improve you sleep thanks to the feeling of happiness, wellbeing and great relaxation they bring. The pressures, tension and polluting thoughts disappear, the inner excitement is soothed down.
3) The global let-go state they make you experience allow you to reconnect with the present moment and experience new feelings and sensations.
4) The highly sensory touch techniques used and the positioning of the therapist open the mind to a new communication experience based on trust and empathy.


Are there various versions of this massage? Is it suitable for everyone?

There are many versions or styles of the Balinese massages because they have multiple origins; they’re inspired by Indian and Chinese medicine as well as Indonesian islands cultures and traditions.

Everyone can benefit from Balinese massages, as the therapist will consider any specific needs or precautions, or potential medical contraindications.

Women and men who enjoy life to the fullest with respect will be receptive to the fulfilment the Balinese massage induces!

Thanks to the healing and tension release benefits the Balinese massage has on muscles, it can be very useful and effective for athletes, dancers etc.

The pijitan®/pijat Bali can also help get rid of tiredness and fatigue, improving the quality of your sleep. Restaurant workers, engineers, journalists etc. can benefit from the soothing effect of this massage. The effect can be enhanced and optimised if combined with a pijat kepala head massage. It works wonders!

Due to its effect on emotions and feelings, the Balinese massage can also help highly emotional or shy persons gently and safely reconnect with their relational needs.


You say there are many versions of Indonesian massage, can you give us some more details?

In Indonesia, the Balinese body massages are called pijat or urut. In France, I call them pijat Bali. These include belly massages, pregnancy care, Siam herbal stamps, volcanic stones etc. Head massages are called creambath in Indonesia but I call them pijat kepala or more recently pliritan® in France. While in Indonesia it’s mainly a hair beauty ritual, in France it goes beyond the simple beauty ritual as it induces an intense psychocorporeal relaxation (body and mind).
In addition to these, you’ll find specific versions of hands and feet reflexology in Indonesia that are different to the ones you’re familiar with in eastern cultures. These traditional Indonesian techniques are taught in my training centre.


Are there any places you would recommend for How To Spa readers who want to try quality Balinese massages in France or anywhere else in the world?

Well, there are all sorts of massage offers in Indonesia, so just make the most of the opportunities you have if you go there.

In France, you’re welcome to my private studio. It is conveniently located in central Paris, near the welcoming neighbourhood of the Saint Martin canal, 2min away from the Place de la Republique.

There, be assured to find high quality professional massage. We always tailor the treatments to your needs and if you come regularly, we adapt each session so that you get the best results over time. My clients enjoy the minimalistic style of the premises, calming and relaxing. What they value most is the deep wellbeing they experience; the relation created with the body through touch leads to a deep psychocorporeal communication and an enlightened awareness of your body in both space and time. You’re thriving. To make the most of this feeling, you’re invited to slowly reconnect with the world after any treatment in a calm and quiet private room.
My clients like the studio for all of this, and for the competitive prices as well I think!

Apart from my studio, there are many places you can try that I can recommend; there are many places where former interns of my training centre work. Spas, luxury beauty institutes, independent masseurs or masseuses, sports coaches, personal trainers, naturopaths, guest house owners etc. I can’t name them all! They all offer quality treatments and you can get their details through the centre.
Some of them don’t necessarily mention the origin of the massages or use them in combination with other beauty treatments for example. Beauticians particularly like the fact that they’re not as tiring to give as some other Chinese massages for example, so it is easy for them to include them in their daily work routine. Former trainees that come to mind (based in France):

In Paris, Ruth Indiathi Balinese massage private studio, Mobile +33 (0)6 50 20 62 33
Near Lille, Rebecca : ‘Lille aux massages’ :
Near Strasbourg, Caroline, beautician: Bayi Institute : Bayi Institut :
In Reims, Jessica, beautician: ‘Prélude Beauté’
In Epernay, Marlies, ‘message massage de Bali’. See her Facebook page.
In Bordeaux, Fabrice :
Near Nîmes, in Uzes, Fabienne manages ‘La Maison rouge’, a beautiful guest house. She offers Balinese massages if you wish

Original text in French from Ruth Indiath.


If you are interested in:

1- professional training, there are sessions all year round in our training centre in Paris. The summer session includes an experience in Bali.
2- trying Balinese massages in a peaceful environment and enjoy all the benefits we detailed in this interview, come and visit the ‘village balinais’ in Paris.

Village balinais training centre and private studio,
9, rue de la fontaine au roi, 75011 Paris
To register or book an appointment:
Contact : Ruth Indiathi
Mobile : +33 (0)6 50 20 62 33
Email :
Blog :

Original text in French from Ruth Indiath

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