It is no secret, whether you are a leading corporate lawyer, fashion designer, celebrity, elementary school teacher or a parent with three kids, we all want to look our best. For relaxation and rejuvenation, many of us head to the spa for specialized skin treatments to help bring out that healthy and natural glow that is consistently dimmed by the chaos and stress of everyday life. Most of the time, these treatments include cucumbers placed on the eyes, facials, massages and saunas, right? While these are generally beneficial and affordable, there are a few spa-goers who like to do things a bit differently.
If you are in the market to spend big bucks on a wacky adventure at the spa, we have found 10 of the weirdest spa treatments. Do you have money to spend and time to kill? Some of the treatments on our list range from hundreds to thousands of dollars and are considered to be practices that are centuries old, causing many faithful practitioners to swear by them! But, just because something is old does not mean that it works, which is probably why the world has since upgraded from carriages and buggies to automobiles. Welcome to the modern world, ladies and gentlemen.
So what are the weirdest spa treatments and who swears by them? Here’s our wackiest top 10 list where you will find animals and animal parts that will no doubt leave you wondering why anyone would pay mega-bucks for such slimy and gooey treatments! Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Leeches were once a huge part of medicine for a very long time up until the development of medicine in the 20th century. People believed that leeches could suck the ‘bad blood’ out of the body and cure most ailments for patients. Although the method was not very effective, there are still people who claim it works. Some professionals in the cosmetic and skin fields swear that the treatment is successful, which proves that leeches still have an iota of value remaining.
About 40 years ago, it was discovered that leeches could still be used for skin grafts and plastic surgery. This benefit has carried over into spas and, as a result, many are charging big bucks to attach the little bloodsuckers onto your skin to better alleviate some of the toxins near the skin’s layers. You could probably find a leech and put it onto your skin yourself, but that takes too much time. Spas typically charge over $500 to find them for you and put them on. Yuck!
A placenta is the sac of fluid that develops in the uterus while a baby is growing inside of the mother’s womb. It’s the baby’s lifeline as it helps the baby to eat and breathe. Although it sounds beautiful, when you see it, you will admit that it is definitely one of the things that you would never want to touch willingly. However, some people might disagree as they have paid high dollar for spa treatments utilizing a placenta. What is even more disgusting is that some people even nibble on the placenta itself! No, we are not kidding!
The placenta can be saved, dried out and then ground up into powder. A placenta has a variety of nutrients to keep the baby alive, so it does make sense that it would be beneficial. However, that really does not change the fact that it sounds gross. The powder is made into a paste and is then used in facials, which is said to help people achieve glowing and smooth skin (like a baby’s cheeks). If you try it, just prepare for the smell that comes along with it.
We have not even made it very far on the list and we find more people who pay a great deal of money to have slimy creatures put on their faces for smoother skin. Using an African snail to glide over your face is a form of treatment that started in Japan. After many people saw its success, snail facials started to spread across the world (slowly, we assume). African snails are said to bring a very relaxing feeling as they crawl on your skin, but we imagine that we would get a bit fidgety.
Snails create slime in the trail that they ‘crawl’ which, when used on the face, is said to have anti-aging effects. Because there are a lot of nutrients in the slimy trail, these snails are extra special and receive better treatment than most humans. The snails are fed an organic diet and are allowed to rejuvenate for almost a week before they get back to work on people’s faces. Imagine only having to work twice a week, lucky snails.
Bird Poop Facial
Normally, bird poop is an obnoxious pile of yuck that splatters on cars, causing much anger and annoyance in the dead of winter or the height of summer as it becomes either frozen or melted to the car’s surface. What a pain! Ironically, some people are now praising bird poop instead of cursing it, even going as far as rubbing it all over their face. A salon in New York City is offering facials using bird poop for the low (did we mention low?) price of $180. Unlike leeches, however, this price seems a bit high since bird poop is pretty easy to find.
This is not just any old bird poop, though, as it comes from nightingales that are treated much like the snails we mentioned before. The birds are eschewed into pooping in the same spot. The poop is then dried down and powdered, later being mixed with rice and water to create a liquid that can then be applied to the face. Specialists also sanitize the bird poop, so your level of being grossed out is minimal rather than catastrophic, of course.
If you have ever felt a snake crawling on your skin, you know that the sensation is really weird and, if you can get over the fact that there is a snake crawling on your skin, it actually feels quite good. But, then again, it is a snake. For most of us who have held a snake, we have usually only held the little green ones that are the most harmless in the animal kingdom. However, if you go to the Philippines and get a snake massage, know that the snakes are just a wee bit bigger.
The Cebu City Zoo proudly offers snake massages using multiple Burmese Pythons at a combined weight of a quarter ton. It is actually a very relaxing massage, as long as you stay perfectly still and avoid blowing air on them like you would your dog. Too many panicky movements, and those Pythons might think that you are trying to escape, which is when the constriction starts. Don’t move a muscle and you should be just fine.
They say that hay is for horses, but apparently humans can use it in the spa, as well. The spa at the Hotel Heubad offers a full detoxification treatment through the magical power of hay. This treatment seems more farfetched than anything we have seen on the list so far, but it is claimed to be over 100 years old.
The treatment is very simple as the hay used is fermenting and you basically sleep in it like a farm animal. Sounds fun, right? All you really have to do is lay in the middle of the hay, which is over 100 degrees, for 20 minutes and then return to the spa to sit for another half hour. If you have ever been surrounded by hay, you know that you are usually ready to get away from it after a minute or two as it is stifling and smelly. Now, imagine actually paying to sit there for 20 minutes by choice.
When you hear the name, the Platza Treatment, it may sound enjoyable at first. When translated from Yiddish to English, the word Platza means shoulders and back. The treatment takes place in a steam room and focuses on both the shoulders and the back, but, that is where the enjoyment ends. The Platza Treatment is a Russian process that involves hitting you with a bundle of leaves and twigs to help you relax. Does this sound relaxing to you?
This treatment is supposed to work for a few reasons. First off, the smell from the twigs is supposed to combine with the heat to create a pleasant aroma that will clear your sinuses in an instant. Secondly, whacking you with the leaves releases oils that are helpful for the skin, which can help you to exfoliate. If you are skeptical of the treatment, you are definitely not alone. People have claimed that it is ironically both painful and relaxing at the same time.
The cupping therapy treatment is certainly an odd one, but it is probably the most popular on this list. You might have seen it before in movies or television shows that feature ridiculous treatments. This one started in China by using suction cups that are supposed to cup around the skin and even pull out a little bit of blood in the process. This is very similar to the leech treatment we saw before but does not involve nasty critters latching onto your skin.
A lot of people swear by the cupping treatment and say that it prevents anxiety, high blood pressure and unwanted varicose veins. There has not been a lot of evidence to support these claims (and it even hurts quite a bit), so you are really just taking a leap of faith when you head over to the cupping area of the spa. Plus, it takes a while to get those red marks off of your back and chest, not to mention that it can hurt for a long period afterward.
We are not done with using animals to help you achieve total relaxation and better skin just yet! Soaking your feet in water is an age old tradition to help relaxation and, in this case, there are obvious benefits in doing so. Now, imagine that the water you use on your feet is swarming with fish that are ready to take a few chomps on your feet. Originating in the country of Turkey, this tradition involves using fish to bite off all of the dead skin on your feet.
There are plenty of products on the market now that get rid of dead skin, but some people might not have gotten the memo. This practice has not really translated into Western culture since sanitation standards are incredibly high and, in most cases, the fish cannot be reused. This is still a prominent therapy in the country of Greece.
At first, the Vampire facial may sound just like the leech treatment, except with a human instead of a leech. This is definitely not what happens here, as you are actually using your own blood to help other parts of your body. The origin of the practice is unknown, but in the beauty obsessed city of Miami, Florida, it is very popular, where even Kim Kardashian gave it a try. During the Vampire facial, blood is taken out of your arm through an IV and is then separated from the plasma.
The blood that is left over could go toward saving lives, but this $1,500 treatment adds Juvederm to your blood, which then gets shot back into your face. This is not just one big injection straight into the forehead, but there are multiple spots where the blood is dispersed. Why? The Juvederm-filled blood is supposed to rejuvenate the skin. Of course, while rejuvenating your skin, it also leaves you looking like you just got into a street fight with a gang of knives.