Borneo Ethnic Massages

A 22-hour short course covering Jari Jari Spa's award-winning massage therapies, based on traditional Borneo indigenous treatments.

The Borneo Ethnic Massage is the umbrella term used by Jari Jari Spa in Sabah Malaysian Borneo in cover of its award-winning massage therapies based on traditional indigenous treatments.

Located in the northern tip of Borneo, Sabah is home to more than 35 different ethnic and cultural groups. The largest of these groups, the Dusuns, live mostly in the centre and along the west coast of Sabah. Over the generations, different Dusunic tribes have developed their own distinctive type of massage, drawing upon Borneo’s wealth of tropical plants renowned for their healing properties.

Combining modern spa management with the best of traditional Dusun techniques, Jari Jari Spa co-founder and director Jennifer Lee procured three Borneo Ethnic Massage therapies:

Salts Massage

Dusun Inan Therapy

Passed from generation to generation by the rice-growing Lotud Dusuns, this type of massage evolved to soothe away the aches and pains left by back- breaking work in the rice fields. It is, however, equally as effective in relieving the strain brought on by bad posture often associated with working on computers. Using the thumbs to apply pressure on various pressure points in the body — particularly the neck, shoulders and back — this technique unblocks the flow of energy, releasing tension and relaxing the muscles.

The therapist targets the deeper layer of muscles and connective tissues, using slow strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Jari-Jari’s Dusun Inan Therapy was hailed as the “Best Traditional Treatment” during the inaugural Malaysian Spa & Wellness Awards held in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and in the year 2011, was another award was hailed as the “Best Traditional Local Folk Treatment”.

Palad Therapy

Using the palm of the hand to apply pressure, the Bookan Muruts (a Dusunic tribe living in Sabah’s southwest) developed the massage technique known as “palad”. The healing touch of the hands combines with aromatic oils, which stimulate the olfactory nerves.

Palad Therapy is particularly suitable for stress-related conditions with an emotional component. The therapist’s selection of the appropriate essential oil guarantees a treatment that is the ultimate in relaxation, ensuring a remarkable sense of well-being in both mind and body.

Back Massage

Tanggara Mountain Therapy

The Tanggara Dusuns living on the slopes of the Crocker Range around Borneo’s highest mountain, the 4,093-metre Mount Kinabalu, have developed the perfect solution to aching legs and physical tiredness. Incorporating their traditional massage techniques, Jari-Jari’s Mountain Dusun Therapy is ideal for visitors who may have climbed to the summit of Mount Kinabalu, or have been jungle trekking.

Using long smooth strikes, kneading and circular movements on the superficial layers of muscle, this therapy concentrates on the lower legs, before moving towards the torso, upper back and shoulders. The result is relaxing and invigorating, soothing sore muscles, improved blood circulation and reducing stress.


Course Details

Ethnic Borneo Massage – Accreditation Qualification An FHT Accredited qualification is training course that follows the National Occupational Standard (NOS) and Core Curriculum for the therapy and one which qualifies the students to Practitioner Level

Duration of Course: 5 days (22 hours) @ 4 hours per session.

Course Fees: RM 3,500.00 per student.

Intake: 2 or 4 students (female) per class.


  • This module provides beginners with a comprehensive study of theoretical and practical skills and knowledge related to Ethnic Borneo Massage techniques. It will enhance the range of skills that therapists have to offer both guests and employers and prepare them for global competitive in the field of massage therapy.

Training Period:

  • The training period is 22 hours practical sessions, which will take place over 5 days.

  • Daily Schedule: 11.00 am to 1 pm / 2.00 pm – 4 pm


  • Professionally recognized qualification in Anatomy and Physiology will be advantage.

Assessment of Students:

  • Students will be assessed on a one to one basis.

Case Studies: 

  • Three (3) individual clients

  • Minimum three (3) treatments per individual

  • The overall total should be nine (9) treatments.

  • Period of Time given to complete Case Studies – 4 weeks

Course Contents:

  • Introduction to Ethnic Borneo Massage –Palad/ Tanggara/ Dusun Inan;

  • Print Out Notes – Steps and Sequence of Ethnic Borneo Message – Palad/Tanggara and Dusun Inan;

  • Evaluation and Assessment on each massage;


  • Jennifer Chan Lee, is Jari Jari’s in-house spa trainer and consultant, with CIBTA Diploma.

  • Jennifer is a qualified International Trainer with FHT Accreditation of the Federation Holistic Therapists Association, (The UK and Ireland’s largest professional association).

Registration Details with FHT

  1. Students will be able to join FHT as full members upon successful completion of their training course;

  2. The FHT provide an e-application form, which the graduate student needs to complete and return to the FHT (by email) together with scanned copies of their relevant certificates(s);

  3. The application form will be processed upon receipt, and a Welcome Pack issued to the applicant which includes an FHT membership certificate

  4. Once full membership status has been given, the member will be entitled to all of the benefits associated with belonging to the UK and Ireland’s largest professional association for therapists including international professional status and the use of the designatory letters, MFHT, after their name.

  5. Standard Fee – Member/Affiliate – £57.00 / Association –£62.00

For any further questions or applications, please contact Jennifer – jchanlee309@gmail.com