Cokorda Rai a traditional healer and shaman of Bali

Balian are the name of the traditional healers and shamans of Bali, they play an important role for the tradition here on this beautiful paradise island.

WOW was I excited to go to this healer here on Bali. All ready on our arrival evening, I told out Villa manager Suzanne, that we wanted to visit a healer. She speaks the local language and she has lived here for more than 22 years. So she called the next morning and we could go the day after between 10 and 11. What was I to expect for me and my family - we where all to go for this sitting!

The evening before I started to have butterflies in my stomach, as I was so excited. In my heart I feel I need to get much more into shamanism and healing after being practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 10 years now. There is this longing for insights towards the beginning of an original medicine, the shamanism, from where all natural healing medicine originates from.


Cokorda Rai is the name of our healer and he is over 80 years old. He is sitting in his Balinese temple and we are to sit in front of him on a straw mat. He asked us where we are from and by telling him we are from Switzerland, he pulls out a business card from one of his former students from our country. You don't believe it this person is from Chur, which is only 40 min away from where we lives in Switzerland. I will have to meet up with this Iris at our return to the mountains. We had to wait for a minute until Cok Rai was finishing chopping up some herbs for a local patients, who had dizziness and nausea.

So Thomas is the first one to step up to Cok Rai and sit below his feet. He starts to feel on Thomas's ears, temples, cheeks, around his face, on his neck and shoulders. Thomas feels pain on the right side all the time and he says, that his problem is less good sleep. The next question from Cok Rai is what kind of job Thomas is doing. He then tells this to Thomas: "You are too much on computers, that is giving you stress and bad sleep". Cok Rai now sits down next to Thomas's feet and starts to make a pressure with a wooden stick on the side of the toes.  Avvv the sleep point are painful and the hormonal point. You can almost start to sweat tears, when being pressed on the "pain" point. Cok Rai tells Thomas to take a weeks break from computers and during he work at home also to take a break very 2 hours. Then he gives him a visualization exercise, which he are to do every evening before going to bed and the to fall asleep with his hand on his heart, quietly feeling his heart beat.

The next one is me and I show him my skin allergies, which I always get on my arms being in the strong sun and in the sea. He asked me to lay down on the straw mat and he is looking for the "painful" point on my toes. All along our children Sean and Zoey are taking great interest in this and I wonder what they are thinking. Avvv my pancreas point and my hormonal point are hurting and I pull my leg back. "Yes yes you have dampness in your body and you must eat less sucker and only drink water when you have been to the toilet. First eliminate water before taking in water again." Did I not know this all ready and my sweet tooth have a hard time letting go off me. As to my hormonal point hurting, he asked me, if I have menstrual pains, are taking the pill or if I have had a sterilization. My answer is no to all the questions. Then he looks at me and says he will give me medicine for my arms. A little bag of oil with herbs inside and I shall rub this into my skin each day!

I then asks him if he will look at the children, but at first he say he don't treat children. Though Sean is all ready standing up to be looked at, so I want to show him that Sean has a swollen glans on the side of the neck. Cok Rai say that if it is on the left side he eats badly - that is so true! He then say that if he had it on the other side, right side, he would be a naughty boy. Sean has it on both side and yes he can be a big handful. Our daughter Zoey only have it on the right side, she too is a big handful, but she has all ways be a good eater. What he knows just from the swollen glans on the side of the neck by a child. At home we visited the GP and he said that it is normal for a child to have this, if the swellings are small. Well there are much to know about why they are there and what kind of effect it has and what to interpret from it. So we got medicine for the children too. The herbs are looking like green grass and I am to mix it each night with a bit of my saliva and then rub it on the swollen glans.

This was such an interesting visit and I day dream about, if one day I could become a student of his. Like the france women that is also at the temple that day, she is a student of Cok Rai learning this old traditions. She is smiling at us telling us that she is totally grateful to have this opportunity and that it is at times a big challenge for the ego learning this old tradition of healing.

Balian are the name of the traditional healers of Bali and there are about 8000 of them on Bali - they are to serve the community and not to turn anyone away. There are rich possibilities to visit a Balian being on holiday on Bali. "Eat, Pray, Love" the film with Julia Roberts, which is based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert (loved the book ;-), the focus and spotlight on the Balian has exploded. Many tourists wants to visit one and that is all okay being sick or just of interest. But it is utterly important to respect this tradition and act accordantly to the rules of visiting an healer. There are more to read about all this from the website of Made Surya, who is an authority on Bali's traditional healers - see the link below.

It is all very interesting and very inspiring. Now I would love to get more into the shamanism of my own medicine - the shamanism of Chinese Medicine. All in all I am sure this is also one of the gifts that Bali are to hand over to me being here on our "a dream come true" family trip. Getting a insight into this traditions healers and shamanism.


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