Most Bizarre Spa Therapies And Beauty Treatments Across Asia That Will Make You Say “WHAAAAT?”
When someone mentions spa to you, the kind of image that comes to your mind is a fancy, dim room that smells heavenly in order to mask the stinging smell that would otherwise have been emitted by the hole the Spa burns in your pocket, right?
However, not all spa treatments are the ones which make you so ‘Comfortably Numb.’ Following are some of the wackiest spa and beauty treatments available across Asia.
(WARNING- The following content is weird and grossly fascinating; Suitable primarily for thick skinned folk, pun fully intended):
Chinese Fire Treatment
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Ever been fascinated by dragons in fairy tales as a child? This treatment will surely make you feel like you are being treated by one. An alcohol-soaked towel is placed on your body/affected area and set on fire.
Worried about possible burns? “It feels warm and not like you’ve been ignited”, says a patient being treated by fire after a brain hemorrhage. Fire is believed to suck impurities from your body according to the Chinese philosophy.
The heat from the towel does wonders for your skin and provides relief to the aching or diseased area.This treatment is cost effective and safer in comparison to drugs and chemicals according to Zhao Jing, who’s been a patient for years.
Face Slapping Treatment
This is exactly how it sounds: Being slapped in the face literally. Worry not, for the slaps are gentle. This is stimulation of the face by tapping and gently slapping the skin.
This can be your ultimate quest to look younger as it brings out your own beauty sans any artificial use of chemicals and synthetic cosmetics. It is tough love for your facial skin and muscles (but not too tough!).
How would this have come into existence? A woman named Rassameesaitarn ‘Tata’ Wongsirodkul from Thailand started this therapy in San Francisco and now hardly 4 to 5 people in the world have the license to carry out this treatment. So, don’t just get slapped by anyone and everyone in order to enrich your beauty!
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4-5 live snails are let loose on your face and allowed to slither all over. Yes, you might feel absolutely terrible about it up until they are finally placed on you.
“But why would I even opt for such a thing in the first place?”
The slimy mucus secreted by these harmless creatures contains a combination of beauty enhancers which in turn will make you look ‘Young and Beautiful’ by rejuvenating your skin.
Katie Holmes follows this skin regime which outrightly indicates that it is not at all pocket-friendly. However, if you could arrange a few snails for yourself then that would be great or else there are various products made out of snail mucin and are for sale online.
Vietnamese Mud Bath
Unleash the hippo in you by opting for a mud bath, Vietnamese style. You’ll have to coat yourself from top to bottom in mud, let it dry, and then wash it off. What could be the benefits of this child-like activity? Well, if the marketing strategies work on you then this therapy has endless benefits.
Besides, the mineral mud used for the bath is extremely alkaline which leaves you with a detoxifying and refreshing effect. But from where is this mud brought? This is no ordinary mud, rather it is taken from a mine in Vietnam and is rich in minerals required to keep your skin healthy.
So, kindly lay back like a lazy pig in a puddle and let the muddy water do the wonders.
Dry Cupping Spa Treatment
Feel like Gwyneth Paltrow for a few hours, for she is an advocate of this particular therapy. It is derived from the Arabian Hijama therapy. It is done exceptionally well in Yangzhou, China.
How is this initiated? This involves creating a vacuum by placing a burning cup upside down on your skin, the oxygen content of which is combusted immediately before it is placed in contact with the skin.
It opens up the pores, improves blood circulation, releases stagnated substances, and relaxes tense muscles. That sounds like pain and gain at the same time, isn’t it? But do these hot cups leave marks on our body forever? No, they usually last for like 4 to 5 days and then vanish eventually.
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Don’t be a sucker and kindly permit the leech to suck out toxins from your body. This age-old ritual consists of planting leeches on the human body so that they can suck out the contaminated blood.
“Could anything sound worse than this?” I know it sounds like slow torture. But, trust me you won’t feel it because their saliva has a special kind of an active compound that doesn’t make you feel like your skin is being pierced.
These are no ordinary leeches but some high–level blood suckers A.K.A medicinal leeches that are trained to finally attain this designation. So, don’t go looking for leeches in your garden to initiate this at home.
Bird Poop Facial
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You can avail this facial by making your skin a toilet paper for bird poop because the benefits are worth all the cringing that follows.
This Japanese technique of applying bird droppings (mainly nightingale) mixed with rice bran and water is dated back to the 17th century. Used by Geishas, it’s said to be ironically cleansing and refreshing.
“Where are these droppings collected from?” They say that the source of these droppings is a particular type of nightingale native to the Japanese island of Kyushu. The bird is fed a special diet of seeds and berries to receive purely vegan and organic droppings from it. The poor bird doesn’t get to eat non-vegetarian food, even on the weekends.
Snake & Rodent Spa Therapy
They say courage is not the absence of fear, but the belief that something else is more important than fear. Chant this mantra as you undergo snake and/or rodent spa treatment which is nothing but the letting loose of non-venomous snakes or rats on your body.
“But then how is that a spa treatment? Is this some kind of facade?” No, we don’t intend to kill you any sooner. It’s purely a therapy where these creepy creatures end up massaging the tense muscles in your body. The coiling of the snake around the aching body part is particularly therapeutic and it massages your worries away.
Can you gather some courage now or will you still opt for something cliché?
Korean Kiln Saunas
Photo Credits- http://www.dragonhillspa.com
This is hardcore steaming, literally. You might just be an egg or a dumpling. Be prepared to sweat it out in a Korean Hanjeungmak or a kiln sauna that’s followed by an exfoliation session.
Baking inside a charcoal kiln has become something of a fad in South Korea. Korean Public Baths called Jjimjilbang have such saunas.
These rooms are coated with clay and seem like a replica of a kiln. Once you enter in for the session you will feel the heat intensifying as the charcoal is set ablaze. While the beads of your sweat roll down making your pores yawn, you, on the other hand, will feel like a newborn baby with extra soft skin.
Pig Feet Therapy
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Anti-aging creams step aside, there’s a new player in town. Despite the name, this certainly does not mean bacon because this is actually beneficial for the human body. It involves ingesting pig feet. Yeah, because bacon was not enough!
How will that help in enhancing my beauty? It is believed that the collagen contained in pig feet is therapeutic because it possesses anti-ageing properties. “But I have never heard about consumption of collagen before. Does something like this really exist?”
It does exist and does wonders for the hair too, as Himi Okajima, owner of a chain of collagen-rich cuisine restaurants in Japan, insists. The treatment is now popular in New York after gaining success in Japan.
China’s Mangren Anmo
Picture Credits- http://www.timeoutbeijing.com
Ever heard of a blind massage parlor? No, this is not a massage parlor for the visually impaired, but for you to do your bit and give back to the society by indulging in massages given by blind masseurs in China.
They have extraordinary massage technique as they are highly sensitive to touch and end up massaging certain points in your body which they feel are under stress. What else do you need?
The only horror that might strike you here is that what if the masseuse’s hands end up wandering into uncharted territories by mistake! The awkwardness might just make it worse than the fear of getting bitten by a snake or being burned.
Photo Credits- http://www.dailymail.co.uk
This will surely make you say “HOLY COW!” This Indian treatment consists of consumption or application of cow urine.
“Why would someone even think of doing so?” It is believed that cow urine contains medicinal as well as therapeutic properties. This is often resorted to either cure diseases, or for the betterment of the body, skin in particular.
This urotherapy, done the Indian way is so popular in some regions that they have introduced a rose flavored cow urine so as to make it easier for you to chug it down. Though, deep down we all know that we’re never gonna try this despite all the benefits it provides because YUCKKK! I’d rather have some beer or wine and bathe in that than trying this out.
It’s like the kind people at L’Oreal say- You’re worth it. Don’t hold yourself back. Treat yo’ self. Your body needs these exotic spa vacations, and you know it!