“Met a real Balinese medicine man. The kind of medicine man that comes from a long lineage of healers. The kind who never turns anyone away. The kind who does not charge for his services. The kind whose energy work you FEEL physically and not just imagine or wish you did. The kind in which it is almost sacrilegious to talk about and selfish not to. I was blessed by a great man today – a day I will never forget.”
Never ceases to amaze me how things line up to lead you along your path. I few days ago, I was rifling through a Balinese magazine and saw a little postage stamp of an article about Balinese medicine men. It spoke of how tourists are “swindled” by so-called healers and that true medicine men do not charge for their time or turn anyone away lest they lose their healing powers. It went on to mention two healers, one near Ubud. Feeling brave, I jotted down the information and hastily emailed my Bali driver friend if he knew where the Ubud medicine man was and if he could take me and be my translator if necessary.
The next day, I don’t remember how, it came to my attention that the author of the best-selling book “Eat, Pray, Love” had come to Bali to study with a Balinese medicine man near Ubud and as fate should have it, I spotted a copy of the book at the lending library at Ubud Sari. I re-read the final chapters on her Bali experience and took down the name of the Balinese healer. It was a different man and I thought, why not meet him too? When in Bali, do as the Balinesian, right?
The following day among all the Bali distractions, my desire to see the Balinese healers waned and I decided instead that I wanted to go to a hot spring that I heard about, off the beaten tourist path. But late that evening when I checked my email, my driver had replied stating that he would be picking me up the next morning at 8am to meet the medicine men. All of a sudden I was scared and intimated to meet them. What should I bring as an offering? What was I going to say? What were they going to do to me?
Next morning, my driver arrives and I told him I didn’t have an offering. He said we would get one. I told him, I don’t know how much to donate. He told me how much. I told him I was scared and he said don’t be. After shooting down all my arguments, I resigned to the plan.
First we went to the hot spring pool because I needed time to think. It was gorgeous and peaceful. I had the whole place practically to myself as I don’t think many people know about this one. The water is not super hot like “Eden Springs scorching,” but pleasantly hot. I lounged around in the cold and hot water pool for an hour.
Then we drove to the first healer. There were five people in his courtyard waiting for his teachings. As soon as he came out, I must have stuck out because he asked my driver in Balinese what I was doing here. He didn’t sigh out loud, but I got the feeling that I was intruding. He called me up front and asked me why I came to see him. With everyone watching and within earshot, I spoke to him. He asked me to sit in front of him where he proceeded to touch trigger points on my head, face and shoulders. He found a point on my face and asked me if I felt pain there and it was like a vibrating electrical shock! An unbelievable sensation. Then he asked me to lie down and he pressed more points specifically on my feet… “heart good, liver good, lungs good, gallbladder good…” then the searing pain! He hit a spot that made me laugh out loud to deal with the pain. Once he found that one, he followed it up my leg and touched another one on my outer thigh and one on my rib cage that had me doubling over. And all I could do was laugh and feel the tears of pain welling up in my eyes. He kept working on me, allowing me to rest when the pain was too much and then he leaned over and whispered to me “bad memory, I can not fix. You must fix.” Then he proceeded to “guess” what the memory was and his words hit home and made me finally break out in a sob with 12 strange eyes watching me, but I couldn’t care less. He started to prepare some medicine while I recovered. Then he asked me to lie down again and he stood on my feet and said an incantation. It was just so incredible I can’t describe in words, so I’ll stop here.
We left and I collected myself as we drove to the second healer, Ketut Liyer, the one mentioned in “Eat, Pray, Love.” As we pulled up, I almost changed my mind because I was still in a daze and emotionally spent. But when we arrived, someone came to the door to greet us, so I figured I would just do the palm reading…(to be continued.)