The relaxation area at COMO Shambhala’s spa in Bali.

When I go to the spa, I rarely book a massage. I’d rather a
deep cleaning facial, a scalp treatment, or a little extra
TLC for my toes. But after a week traipsing through Thailand, I had a few days in the far more chilled out jungle of Bali, staying at the
COMO Shambhala Estate, perched atop a lush mountain, and I needed a little relaxation. I was told that this was THE spot to experience a true Indonesian massage. Before I left on the trip, I still needed some convincing to get the massage. In fact, I contemplated changing it to my regular facial. Once I sank into the airplane seat, leaving Ko Phi Phi (the party island featured in
The Beach the 2000 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio) and Bangkok far behind me, a full-body massage by a gifted Balinese therapist sounded like a slice of Indonesian heaven. Here’s why
massages and I normally don’t mix: I’m über ticklish and get nervous at the thought of someone lightly touching my side. That equals tense muscles and a lot of urging from my therapist to “relax.” That urging makes me even tenser as I have my face squished into the bed thinking, “But I AM relaxed!” After a Thai massage in Bangkok that my friends insisted I try, I was feeling more convinced than ever that massages and I weren’t destined to be BFFs.