The Balinese healer with mystic gifts

Bali, among other things, is also famous for various local traditions. One of them is the profession of the ‘balian’, which is another term for traditional healers or medicine specialists in Bali. The Balian is most commonly seen as a village doctor or shaman type figure that use spiritual knowledge and energy to heal physical and mental afflictions. While those who study ancient scriptures known as lontar become well versed in esoteric subjects, another might simply be chosen to be blessed with wahyu (divine inspiration). This includes a vast knowledge of traditional herbs, meditation, and tantras. In the Balinese dictionary, Balian also means an introduction to ceremonies.

Even in today’s modern age, many people still believe in the “Balian”. When someone suffers misfortune in their life, whether through disease, accidents, or other terrible situations, the Balinese believe that the individual was in disharmony with their surroundings as a result of inappropriate behavior. This leads to the Balinese approaching the Balian to recover from their ailments. Like visiting a temple, you need to be dressed modestly when coming to see a Balian, such as dressing in a sarong or temple scarf. With utmost respect, simply do not touch them or point at things using your feet at the time of your healing.

The Mangku – I Gusti Mangku Sumantra – 75y

The different kinds of Balian – Balinese healers

Balian tulang

A healer that specializes in repairing damaged “tulang” (bone in Bahasa Indonesia). If a friend or family member has bone difficulties, several Balinese opt to go to a Balian tulang rather than undergo surgery. This option is considered far less expensive than medical procedures, and many instances have reported to be miraculously healed after a series of therapies administered by the Balian tulang.

Balian manak

A midwife in charge of assisting other women during the delivery process (manak in Balinese means “to give birth”). The existence of Balian manak is significant in remote communities where there are no hospitals or clinics. Despite the any concern in the hygienic practices and standard techniques used, many infants are born well and healthy with the assistance of Balian manak. Some government programs are also provided to teach Balian manak on how to improve their service to birthing mothers.

Balian tenung

A Balian who specialize in reading the future, the past, as well as prophesying certain things. However, a Balian tenung are most often clairvoyant and usually help people in locating lost objects and revealing crimes.

Balian terang

Bali is a one-of-a-kind destination with hundreds of events every week, including weddings, ceremonies, and celebrations, and can be stressful if an unforeseen drizzle happens. The Balian terang is a rain handler, they are hired to guarantee the weather would remain dry, no matter what season an event is being held.

Balian usada

The one who can cure and heal the sick. They usually have many collections of lontars that describe the natural medicines and therapies to be done towards the patients. Their house compounds also typically have a unique garden that grow many types of medicinal herbs. The balian will pick some ingredients from their garden and proceed to use them as potion called “Loloh” or a thick mashed paste “Baboreh” to be smeared over the afflicted body part. If the balian doesn’t have particular ingredients needed for the remedy, they usually will prescribe the patient to buy the ingredients at the traditional market.

Balian paica

Similar to balian usada, but instead of using natural ingredients as the medicine, they use sacred family relics that have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s mandatory for the patient to carry out specific offerings for the ritual, before the healer start chanting mantras and prayers and using his family relics.

Balian apun, Balian urat

The healer who will be able to help anyone who has a problem within their internal organs by removing lumps and other obstructions, so that blood and other vital fluids flows well within blood vessels.

Balian kebal

Specializes in providing magical charms or spells to protect anyone from spiritual attacks, hexes and curses, to become invulnerable.

Balian taksu

Also known as the spirit medium for those who want to communicate with the family or relatives who just passed away. The balian taksu will be able to help you by inviting the spirits to come into his/her body so that you may communicate with the expected soul, while the balian is in a trance.