Style Beauty

Monday 18 November 2019

Body Beautiful: The Balinese Boreh

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images
Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Sinead Van Kampen

Each week Independent Woman investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week, in a bid to say farewell to our aching winter limbs, we placed ourselves at the mercy of the massage table and sampled the Balinese Boreh treatment.

What is it?

A healing treatment traditionally administered in Balinese Villages after a day of hard work. Muscles are soothed with a traditional Balinese massage, skin is wrapped with a selection of warming spices and the body is nourished with a soaking of warm milk.

What's the process?

Although originally administered to farm workers in the rice fields, the spa version begins with a ginger and eucalyptus detox oil. Knots are untangled and the lymph is drained with a massage and a fragrant mix of cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, turmeric root and nutmeg are mixed with water to create a paste which is applied to skin as a body wrap. A traditional head massage is given while the spices work to warm and detoxify skin. After the spices have done their bit, skin is nourished, cleansed and gently sealed in a milk bath.

How does it work?

The Balinese Boreh treatment uses a selection of traditional pressure massage techniques which help release tension and loosen stiff joints while the body wrap of exotic spices works to increase blood circulation and exfoliate the skin. Once your bones are warmed and the blood is flowing, the creamy milk bath helps keep skin smooth, soft and deeply moisturised.

What are the benefits?

As well as being deeply relaxing, the treatment is said to bring many other benefits to the user. A favourite of older Balinese people, Bali's golden generation swear by the treatment as a cure for for headaches, stiffness and even rheumatism. Although the brochure doesn't say so, one well known benefit of the treatment is that it helps to disperse trapped wind.

Wind you say ...

Yes...though no one likes to trumpet the fact!

How long does it take?

About two hours...but you may wish to give yourself a little extra time to enjoy a peppermint tea in the relaxation area post treatment.

The best bit?

Having all the benefits of a curry without none of the calories. As I usually get my turmeric kick in a chicken korma, being smothered in the stuff was just as enjoyable without the for the milk bath, words do not do it justice.

Any downsides?

Worrying that things may get a little windy. As part of the massage focuses on the colon there was a point where I hoped i wouldn't embarrass myself. Thankfully the only red face I managed was caused by the heat of the my milk bath.

How much is it?

The Balinese Boreh is €150 and is available at The Mandala Spa, 35 Dawson St, Dublin. For more information telephone 6717099 or visit

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