With winter here, Bali is once again of great appeal to many of us. (That is, when Mount Agung allows the planes to fly in and out!) Of late the tropical isle has been bustling with tourists, lured by the warm weather and smiles, the delicious, affordable restaurant meals and shopping bargains.

We just went back there ourselves, and had a terrific time  And of course, Bali is the place to enjoy some terrific pampering massages. Jari Menari is one of the better known massage centres in the Isle of the Gods.

It’s certainly a favourite with Bali-based Starfish correspondent Rachel Lovelock.Not content to simply be pummelled into oblivion, she decided to do a massage course there on a bid to emulate their splendid techniques. She writes about her experience below.

And we have two massages to give away to two lucky Starfish readers to enjoy when next in Bali. Valid for one year. Details are at the end of the article.



Using rain drops and circles of energy, monster hands and butterfly hands, thumbs in golden triangles and cat shampoo, I’m connecting, tapping, gripping and saying hello.

No, I’m not taming tigers in the jungle, I’m at Bali’s Jari Menari Massage Centre, participating in a one-day Learn Massage Workshop.

 With its team of all-male practitioners and branches in Seminyak and Nusa Dua, Jari Menari’s exceptionally good massages have long been touted as the best in Bali, and I have to agree.



Yes, I love receiving a massage but I’m a novice when it comes to giving one, which is why I thought I’d like to learn how it’s done.

There are eight of us in the class, including two women who already have their own massage businesses back in Australia.

“Why do you need to do this class?” I ask.

“We want to learn some new techniques,” they reply in unison.



There’s also a couple who want to get better at massaging each other (damn, I should have brought my fella), and three others who, like me, are keen to acquire some new skills.

Our teachers are three of Jari Menari’s senior massage practitioners, Gusde, Wahyu and Agus, and they certainly know how to make the class fun as well as informative.

The training is based on a nine-step, oil-free sequence of strong, firm and consistent pressure, and we pair up with our fellow students so that we each have someone to practice on.



The names given to the different hand movements are beautiful, making it very easy to remember the sequences. We learn that “Kung Fu” is, not surprisingly, a chopping motion, used between the strong muscles of the shoulder, while the mysterious “Cat Shampoo” movement is inspired by a cat using a dampened forepaw to groom his head.

Thankfully, my massage partner doesn’t dampen his forepaws before he begins and I’m impressed at how seriously he is taking the instruction.



The class finishes with a deliciously healthy ‘nasi campur’ lunch, followed by a wonderful 90-minute massage by one of Jari Menari’s professional practitioners.

I eagerly signed up for the option of the half-day follow-up class, and rushed off to practice on my man at home, who gave me a score of 9 out of 10.

Jari Menari’s massage workshops take place once a week and are priced at Rp. 2.363.000 /person with the optional, additional class priced at Rp 700,000 per person.

Two lucky Starfish readers have the opportunity to win a complimentary massage voucher, each worth Rp 500,000  at Jari Menari on your next visit to Bali. Valid for one year. Simply like this post on FB, and email us at info@thestarfish.com.au telling us why you would like to win. You have to be a Starfish subscriber of course (and it’s free to sign up.) Good luck!




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