Spa days are for feeling human again when we’ve burnt out. But sometimes a treatment can leave us feeling confused; has anybody else had that one massage that left you thinking, what just happened?
But we’re not here to discuss questionable massages. The treatments featured here are bizarre, true, but they have strong ties to different cultures, science, and rituals drawn from ancient times … and are worth trying, even just for the experience.
From unlocking the secrets of deep sleep to getting massaged by an actual waterfall, here are the most bizarre treatments from around the world. Which one would you surrender yourself to?
DeepSleep, Swissotel, Berlin
Sleep. We all need it, and some of us are certainly better at it than others. If you belong to the 27% of people in the UK who find sleeping a formidable task, book yourself in for the DeepSleep treatment at the Swissotel in Berlin.
What you’ll experience is a few hours of light and aromatherapy while power-napping on a sound pillow. If that makes no sense to you, basically you get to sleep in a wonderful smelling room surrounded by things that’ll swiftly lull you into a tranquil slumber.
The scientific-based treatment was created by Dr Michael Feld who describes it as ‘bio-physiologic regeneration’ (that’s the renewal and restoration of your body and mind). Napping in the name of science has never sounded more appealing.
Snake Massage. Ada Barak’s Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa, Israel
“Hi Darling, fancy a weekend at Ada Barak’s Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa? I think we could both really do with a snake massage.” Said nobody, ever.
Apparently, though, snakes dropped on your naked body is a thing in Israel. Anyone with Ophidiophobia might want to skip this one, but there is logic to this rather slithery treatment.
According to spa owner Ada Barak, it’s a soothing experience because when snakes move on your body they produce a relaxing kneading sensation.
The bigger the snake, the deeper the massage, and because that isn’t a reassuring bit of information, you should know all the snakes are non-venomous. Phew!
Face Workout, FaceGym, London
We think about our phones a lot. What we don’t think about is the impact staring at our screens has on our on our pretty profiles.
Luckily FaceGym has a treatment that can fight the consequences of the ‘phone face’, an expression most of us pull for four hours per day (according to Hakernoon).
Forehead creases, jaw tension, tight neck muscles, and tired eyes: we don’t realise how much we aggravate these unwanted symptoms from our phone-time.
But now you do, and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. Sorry, I guess your best option is to tackle the problem head-on and book yourself in for a treatment before the wind changes.
Fire Cupping, Oriental Taipan Spa, Beijing
Holistic healing centre, Geppert, explains that Fire cupping “is where suction is created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame before placing the cup on the skin.”
Is it dangerous? Sure, if your ‘cupper’ isn’t a qualified professional. You might not have ordered them but burns and bruising could be on the menu if you’re in the wrong hands.
And sure, even in the right hands, fire cupping is a massage technique known for being famously brutal. But apparently, it treats acne, anaemia, asthma, and arthritis to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Is it really that effective? Try the Chinese Meridian Aromatic Oil Massage at Oriental Taipan and find out!
Silence, Shreyas Retreat, India
Silent treatment has less to do with being ignored and more to do with the importance of removing everyday noise pollutions. Sound overwhelm has been found to lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks and other various health issues.
For five days of silence combined with meditation, yoga, and luxurious massages, travel to India and book a treatment at the Shreyas Retreat.
Remember to leave your voice at home, and you’ll experience peace like never before.
Chocolate Facial, Hotel Hershey, Pennsylvania
The fact that you can get a chocolate facial at the ‘Hershey Hotel’ isn’t a coincidence. The largest chocolate company in North America is 100% responsible for this facial pudding.
If you get the chance, try it. It’s the only time having food on your face is appropriate above the age of two. And when your chocolate face is ready to come off, you won’t need to eat anything for dinner.
It would be sacrilegious to neglect the Hershey Hotel’s other treatments too. Wrapping your entire body in chocolate is possible, as is soaking in a whipped cocoa bath at this delicious establishment. Well, I know what I’m doing next Easter.
Waterfall Massage, Sankampaeng Hot Springs, Thailand
Possessing a love of nature might sound like a cliche this century but most people mean it when they declare it. People aligned with the earth’s greener attributes will appreciate how special this nature certified treatment is at Sankampaeng Hot Springs, near Chiang Mai (Thailand).
The experience? Like a very intense, cold shower. But one you value highly. The surrounding national parks around Chiang Mai offer extraordinary beauty. It’ll be a battle for your senses, but a privilege you’ll remember nonetheless.
Surrender yourself to new experiences …
Want to combine a massage with a meal? Try the chocolate facial. Treat anxiety with fire? See a doctor first, then try fire cupping. Got a knot only a waterfall can knead? Travel to a jungle-come-spa for a powerful dose of h2o.
Whatever you try, remember, if it hurts, it may or may not be good for you.