We already stick tiny needles in our skin and get hot stones laid on our back. Here are 10 bizarre healing treatments around the world that seem unconventional, but are age-old.
At the Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa in Israel, some visitors face their fear of snakes…more than they’d ever imagined. The snake massage allows half a dozen snakes to slither all over your back, arms, legs and even face! The snakes are said to help sore muscles and even migraines.
This isn’t even in a rural area—this is in top salons in London. Apparently bull semen does some serious deep conditioning action due to the high protein, leaving your hair thicker and softer.
Leave it to Californians to come up with this treatment! Allegedly, the nutrients in sheep placenta, including vitamins, minerals and amino acids, can calm skin issues. People have used it to try and treat everything from acne to psoriasis to eczema.
You’ve heard of dog therapy. Dolphins can be just as friendly and just as kissable. Swimming with dolphins is sometimes used in marine parks in Peru by therapists working with clients with speech disorders, physical issues and emotional conditions.
Aside from therapy, some pregnant women also enlist the dolphins. Expectant moms have dolphins nudge their bellies, believing the high-frequency sound of the animal stimulates the babies’ brains.
Hopefully they’re not using the high-grade stuff. Many spas in these three countries let you soak in giant tubs of beer. Supposedly the B vitamins and yeast in beer are great for skin. And soaking in the naturally bubbly liquid is relaxing all in its own.
Just be sure not to drink the “water” in these tubs. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, some spas offer tubs filled with chocolate for your soaking pleasure. Enjoy a whipped-cocoa bath, a warm chocolate-fondue wrap, or an edible dark-chocolate facial mask. Chocolate, now considered a super food, is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
For those not familiar with it, reiki is the Japanese art of passing energy from one body to another in an effort to heal emotional or physical imbalances. At Free Rein in Australia, the reiki therapists just happen to be horses. It’s thought that the horses, with no emotional baggage, are the best practitioners of this art. Clients lie on a massage bed and allow the horses to snort, roll, relieve themselves — whatever they feel they need to do — to heal clients.
This gives a whole new meaning to a “roll in the hay.” This treatment has been around since 1903 in Northern Italy. Clients put on a vegetal straight jacket, said to remove toxins, stimulate metabolism and boost the immune system. Mountain arnica, gentian, thimble and lady’s mantle are often added to the hay.
Bet you never thought those little fishes in your bowl could be giving you a manicure! In spas all over Asia, you can soak your feet in bowls filled with Middle Eastern carp that will eat the dead skin off your body. The treatment is said to relieve psoriasis and other skin disorders. This practice has been famously challenged in the U.S.