For many, regular mani-pedis is part and parcel of their personal grooming routine and a deep tissue massage might be a much-needed reward at the end of a particularly grueling work week. But what about more adventurous spa goers who are looking to try something off the beaten path? From a snake massage in Israel to placenta facials in LA, these are the most outrageous spa treatments from around the world.
Snake Massage at Ada Barak’s Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa, Talmei Elazar, Israel
Ada Barak discovered the calming ability of snakes after letting visitors to her farm hold them and seeing how relaxed they’d become. This is how the snake massage came to be. If you’re brave enough to give it a try, Ada will drape you with dozens of large and small nonvenomous snakes that will squeeze and knead away your aches and pains, and even get rid of that pesky migraine, for around $80.
Beer Bath at Chodovar, in Chodová Planá, Czech Republic
If the idea of bathing in milk isn’t strange enough for you, how about soaking in a tub of beer? At Chodovar, visitors can relax in in specialty bathing beer, made from a secret family recipe. Just like sipping on your favourite brew, beer baths are said to have a calming effect on the mind. They also support your skin’s regenerative capacity, help lower blood pressure, and improve circulation.
Fish Pedicure at Tami Beauté des Ongles, in Montreal, QC
Originating in Turkish salons, fish pedicures have become popular around the world. The treatment involves soaking your feet in tanks of ravenous Garra Rufa fish. But don’t worry, they’re tiny and toothless; the procedure doesn’t hurt a bit. By gently nibbling the dead skin off your tootsies, the fish provide a gentle exfoliation that leaves your feet soft and smooth.
The Geisha Facial at Shizuka New York Day Spa, New York, United States
The traditional makeup of Japan’s geishas contained toxic lead and zinc that took a heavy toll on their skin. To remedy this damage, they applied face masks with an unusual secret ingredient: nightingale droppings. It turns out that the bird’s feces contains enzymes that breakdown dead skin cells and creates a glowing complexion. This treatment is now available at Manhattan’s Shizuka Day Spa, where nightingale excrement is sterilized and mixed with rice bran that provides additional exfoliation.
Not for the faint of heart, spas around the world are now offering facials made from the organ that envelops a fetus prior to birth. Depending on the brand, the placenta may be derived from sheep, but it often comes from humans. Although there is little evidence to prove the medicinal or therapeutic benefits of placenta, Traditional Chinese Medicine claims it contains “qi” or “life force” and prescribes its ingestion for a wide range of problems. Whether proven or not, celebrities like Victoria Beckham swear by placenta facials and rely on them for their red carpet events.