Throughout history, massages have been known to have many health benefits, including relieving pain, reducing stress and improving circulation. However, in many parts of the world, a deep tissue massage is not the only massage on offer. From being massaged by an elephant to being massaged with meat cleavers, these are some of the world’s most unusual massages, most of which only the bravest of you would ever want to try!
The snake massage is carried out by a spa in Israel, where six non-venomous snakes are positioned on a person’s body. The writhing motion that the snakes make as they move are therapeutic, and the fear that the client feels releases adrenalin through their body, which provides a huge boost to energy levels and metabolism. In the Philippines, the Cebu City Zoo also uses snakes to provide tourists with a unique massage treatment. Here, four giant Burmese pythons, that together weigh a total of around 250kg, are first fed 10 chickens each, to keep any hunger pangs at bay. The client then lies on a bamboo bed and the snakes are placed on their body, for a 10 to 15 minute session that is said to be calming and therapeutic.
This is an ancient Chinese form of massage, dating back to more than 2000 years ago, and is still practiced in Taiwan. The patient lies down during the treatment, and meat cleavers, with 10 inch blades, are quickly tapped all over the body. It is the sharp side of the blade that is used, and the treatment, which is meant to be relatively painless, is said to eliminate harmful toxins, increase blood flow, and release the body’s stored energy.
This treatment is offered in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is more of a tourist attraction than somethin that could benefit your health. Asian elephants, which can weight over 5000kg, use their feet and trunks to replicate massage techniques, ‘gently’ patting the client’s body. Since one wrong move could prove to be extremely painful, this massage would only be for those of you that are truly fearless!
Rather than deeply massaging your body, a spa in Spain uses delicate tickling techniques to relieve stress. The treatment takes place in a darkened room, with soothing background music and the smell of incense in the air. The massage therapists run their fingertips and feathers over the client’s body, adjusting their technique depending on how ticklish each individual client is. Although new clients usually tense up at first, they always leave feeling much more relaxed than when they came in.
Although some of these massage techniques may seem exceptionally unusual, they usually have a deep root in that country’s history and culture. The next time you travel abroad and want to visit a spa, have a look at what some of the more unusually traditional forms of massage are in that country, as you may find something that you will end up loving!