Hey, you know what sounds like a horrible idea? Going to spas that offer “alternative” treatments that feature fecal matter, bull sperm, snake massages, and ladybits steaming.
Yet millions of people all over the world swear by these treatments, many of which make claims that have never been verified by any type of scientific method.
We have to admit that bathing in beer and getting covered in Hershey’s chocolate sounds like a good time — but we can’t put our stamp of approval on such practices as cactus massages and snail slime moisturizing.
Maybe we’re just a little bit squeamish or maybe we just see the $250 treatment BS these spas are touting to their customers. Here are 20 really weird spa treatments you can have done but should probably avoid.
Ada Barak runs a carnivorous plant farm in Israel. If that’s not weird enough, her establishment offers therapeutic snake massage.
A snake from one of her plants was passed around to people waiting at her spa when she observed that customers felt more relaxed after they handled the snake. Barak now charge $80 for customers to have the experience of snakes slithering all over their bare skin.
One client says the treatment helps relieve migraines and even helps her sore muscles.
Tiny Carp Foot Treatments
Turkish salons came up with this practice, which has clients place their feet in tanks of water as tiny carp known as “doctor fish” eat away their dead skin cells.
Salons in the United States have started offering 25-minute treatments that often finish with a full pedicure.
The Hakali massage involves a warm cactus mixture which is rubbed on the body to remove toxins, rehydrate the skin, and even rejuvenate the body.
If that’s not extreme enough for you, there are spas in Mexico that mix cactus, volcanic ash, chocolate, vanilla, and honey for a very unique massage experience. That massage is available at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico.
Human placentas obtained from Russian maternity wards are being turned into $350 to $500 placenta facials. Supporters say placenta-based beauty products can stop sun damage and fight acne. It should be noted that there is very little evidence that the claims supporting the treatment are correct.
A Singapore company called Maylande even sells facial treatment products made from Japanese placentas. This product line includes tonic, soap, and a facial mask.
Geisha Nightingale Excrement Facial
Nothing screams “beauty” like smearing the excrement from the nightingale bird on your face. This became a popular treatment by Geishas who used the product to repair their skin after wearing makeup that contained toxins such as lead and zinc.
The bird poop apparently offers enzymes that break down dead skin cells. It also contains guanine, which some beauty specialists say help create a “warm glow” for users.
The Shizuka New York Day Spa provides an hour-long treatment for $180.
Snail Slime Moisturizer
Sure, why not? I mean we eat snails and gave them the fancy name “escargot,” so why not smear their slime all over our skin to give it a smooth feel and a soft glow. This practice started after snail farmers in Chile noticed that the slimy goo left their hands feeling super soft.
Elicina snail slime moisturizer can be yours for $28.99 for a 1.3-ounce-jar.
There seems to be some evidence behind this product working, but EWWW.
24-Karat Gold Facial
This treatment available at Santa Fe’s Eldorado Hotel and Spa will cost you $475. That’s really not a bad price considering you’ll be treated to a 24-karat gold facial.
On the other hand, there is absolutely no proof that this treatment really works.
The gold-flecked serum is said to lift, tighten and lighten skin. The spa also claims it will reduce fine lines and wrinkles and slows down collagen depletion.
Detoxification with Leeches
Leeches have been used for centuries to fight disease and treat blood disorders. While there are scientifically proven uses for leeches, their use in spa treatments provide less-than-stellar results.
This treatment rose to prominence in 2008 when actress Demi Moore said that her beauty regimen involved traveling to an Austrian spa where she had leeches applied to her body. She says it helps with detoxification. This treatment is available at New York City’s Continuum Center for Health and Healing for $600 a session.
Korean Kiln Sauna
The kiln sauna dates back to the 15th century in Korea. Clients sit in a room, surrounded by burning pine wood, while wrapped in a jute garment to protect their bodies from the intense heat.
The goal here is to sweat out toxins with some incredibly intense heat.
Czech Beer Bath
I fully support this treatment even if it does nothing for my appearance. Maybe it’s my love of beer or maybe it’s just my newfound desire to bathe in bear.
The beer bath has become a popular spa treatment in the Czech Republic, and includes a 20-minute soak in a tub full of “bathing beer” which is specially brewed to “stimulate the skin and internal organs.” Following that bath, visitors are given a special rock lager mug of beer. The treatment costs just $29.
Seaweed Bath in Ireland
I have to admit I don’t understand why you would want to be wrapped in seaweed. While swimming in the ocean I always attempt to avoid the stuff. However, people on the North Atlantic coast will pay to sit in a tub filled with seaweed.
I feel like I could receive this treatment for free by simply going for a swim in the Atlantic ocean.
Salt Cave Detoxification
Sit in a freezing cold salt cave huddled under a blanket for 45 minutes — that is the treatment that salt cave detoxification experts say will provide the same results as a two-week cleanse.
The biggest complaint among visitors? It’s too darn cold to relax and enjoy the treatment. So why don’t salt mine workers have the healthiest bodies of all time?
Cover your body in chocolate to absorb its anti-aging antioxidants. That’s the claim by the Aquapura Douro Valley Resort and Spa in Portugal. They provide a 40-minute facial that is made with oxygen-infused Swiss chocolate.
You can also grab a similar treatment in Hershey, PA. Which makes a lot of sense, given the town’s chocolate-based economy. The Hershey’s treatment is fully edible.
Hay, apparently, isn’t just for horses. There is a therapeutic massage available in South Tryol, Italy, which has visitors soak in a hay-filled back.
The hay is cut in the early morning hours and contains ethereal oils. The bath also includes lady’s mantle, mountain arnica, thimble, and gentian, alongside freshly cut grass.
Perhaps the relaxing bath is the secret to this spa treatment’s success.
Black Pepper Body Scrub
For $135, the Pho Tree Thai Spa in New York City will cover your body in a black pepper body scrub that will make your skin tingle and reportedly get your blood flowing.
The treatment starts with a green tea moisturizer which is followed by a full body rub with black pepper. Following the body rub, customers are covered in the extracts of live silk worms.
So basically you get sweaty from the heat and that detoxifies your body.
Edible Caviar Facial
This treatment involves placing caviar on your face. The Cavalieri Hilton in Rome’s Grand Spa said the facial provides a firming treatment for customers. It is also supposed to cause radiant skin by removing a dull complexion.
Caviar isn’t cheap, so this really needs to be edible to make it worthwhile.
Nearly Frozen To Death Treatment
Spas in Finland and Slovakia will bring you close to death in an attempt to make you feel better and look younger. Cryotherapy involves putting spa customer’s in a chamber that is negative 184 degrees Fahrenheit.
You only spend a few minutes in the chamber — you know to avoid death. Spas claim it removes toxins and strengthens the immune system.
It might also remove your will to live.
Bull Seed Hair Treatment
You know what I love — bull seed in my hair. Because nothing shouts “gorgeous hair” like an organic B.S wash-down. This sounds like a really bad show you might accidentally walk into in Tijuana.
The spa offering this treatment claims it “penetrates deeply into each follicle leaving hair supremely moisturized, nourished, shiny, thick, yet light, and vivacious.”
You’ll pay $138 for this disgusting hair treatment.
Intimate female steaming has been used for many years in Chinese medicine to “remove stagnation and coldness in the body.”
Eastern medicine uses this practice to dilate the blood vessels, increase blood circulation, provide oxygenation and relax the pelvic floor muscles.
But there have actually been warnings about this treatment, which often uses various food products in the process. Huh? UTI, anyone?
This practice offered in Beijing involves using suction cups with added flames. If not performed correctly it can leave to severe bruising and burns.
In Beijing you can have this practice performed alongside an aromatic oil massage.
So there you have it — 20 of the most disturbing and strange spa techniques you will ever find. Some could actually kill you, and the others are just incredibly strange.