by Catriona Mitchell

Body ‘n Soul is made up of a group of local professionals, trained by the owner, Alfrida (or ‘Ida’) Payung, who inherited her healing lineage from her grandmother in Toraja, Sulawesi. Ida’s bodywork blends intuitive, relaxing and traditional Indonesian healing techniques.

Ida, what kind of massage do you practice?

What I’m doing is not traditional Balinese massage, but a combination of Indonesian traditions. It’s more therapeutic. Our most important specialty is abdomen therapy, which not many people do. Everyone here practices this: I teach my staff in order to give them a deep, deep understanding of the body and its problems.

What is abdomen therapy?

Abdomen therapy is for digestive problems, also hernias, and even if you just feel blocked, if the energy feels stuck in this area. My sister Mary, who works at Body ‘n Soul, is the specialist in abdomen therapy.

-1If someone is blocked in a certain part of the body, can you feel it with your hands?

Yes. People sometimes ask what the difference is between massage and therapeutic massage. With our therapeutic massages we give extra energy and attention. We do some meditation first and then focus so we can really connect with the person.

Whenever I have a massage myself, I always learn from the person who gives it to me. I often go looking for good traditional Balinese healers, so I can learn from them. I ask them if they will teach me. They’re working with energy, and with touch also.

Does that mean you practice spiritual healing at the same time as you’re massaging?

Yes, but with touch. I only work with touch; I cannot channel energy like traditional healers can.

-2How is Body ‘n Soul different from other salons in Ubud?

I wanted to open a place where I could really choose the staff, where I could teach those who wanted to learn in more than a superficial way. That’s why I didn’t open a big spa. I wanted to keep the focus on quality.

Also, we do trainings. I give private lessons by the hour to individuals or small groups. Sometimes the student brings a partner or friend to practice on, and sometimes we have a model here. Professional therapists come too. They are different to teach – we have to go deeper. I don’t only teach technique; for example I explain how to remove blockages.

How long does the training take?

Sometimes they learn for 5 or 10 hours, and sometimes they take longer.  It depends on their level of interest and experience.

BodynSoulLogoIf you are interested in contacting Body ‘n Soul for a massage treatment or training, see our listing under ‘Massage’ here.