Monday, August 15, 2011

What to do when your child has a fever in Bali

See a Healer of course....

So here is the story.......

Jack had been running a fever on and off for the past 5 days. We were in Ubud having lunch and he started to heat up again. I noticed a Balinese Healer was right across the street, so I asked Jack if he wanted to see if we could get him in for a visit. He was all for it, so we walked across the street. Wayan was with another client, but she walked right up to him and felt his forehead. She asked me if I had an appointment, and I told her no, but my son has had this fever for 5 days and I was wondering if she could help him. With out saying anything to me, she went to work on him. She began by rubbing something that smelled so good across his forehead and on his back. She then went into her kitchen and came back with a large bowl of shallots that she had me grind up into a paste. She added an entire bottle of yellow "healing ointment" to the shallots. After this was mixed in, she had Jack take off his shirt and she began rubbing it all over his back, belly, and arms, and also placed handfulls under each arm pit. She had me assist her in massaging this into his body for about 15 minutes. Then he sat there for about 20 minutes......smelling like dinner. She gave him a hot green drink and some fresh Papaya to help with the after taste. Jack gagged it down. She also had him smell something very strong out of a bottle, which made his eyes water. Jack began to sweat, so it was now time to rub off the shallots . He put his shirt back on and she then had him lay down, and handed him a bag of holy water to place on his forehead. She said she was now going to go make him something to eat. Over an hour had passed since we walked in, and the girl she was assisting was just sitting and waiting. I felt bad for her and told her I was sorry that she to wait so long. She smiled and said, it is no problem. Wayan is worth the wait. At this point, I also began to wonder how much all of this was going to cost since no price had been discussed...... Wayan handed Jack a bowl of what looked like red rice, shallots, and something green. She instructed him to eat it very slowly, and she watched him intently. Jack - hating onions his entire life - ate it anyway. Just then her daughter walked in from school, and she introduced her to us. She said - this is my daughter "Tuti", and it was in this moment that I realized that this is the healer that Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about in her book, Eat, Pray, Love. Being the tourist that I am, I asked if I could snap their photo. For the first time, Wayan smiled. She is a VERY serious woman. She had Jack drink some water from a very fancy bottle, and felt his forehead again. His fever was gone. She gave us a bag full of items to take home, which included, two offerings that she blessed, one for the home alter, and one for Jacks bedside, she picked some green leaves from a plant in her front driveway, and told me how to make tea for Jack with them, she gave us several packets of the green drink, and one packet of a red drink, one lime, some honey, some sort of orange root, that I will also make a tea with, and a bottle of fancy water. I now braced myself for the bill.......160,000 rupees........$18 US, for over two hours of her time and care, and all the potions. I thanked her for healing my son, and we went on our way.

I was an experience we will never forget!


  1. I am rapt with attention reading your blog and cannot believe the journey you are having ~ twice now, blessed by healers in Bali! So glad that Jack is better and just love your blog and pics ~ what a cool experience!

    There is something to be said for holistic medicine...when will our culture "catch up" to the old ways...AMAZING, girlfriend, wow...

  2. love that you shared both the story and the photos... fascinating!