Nothing soothes your mind, body and soul than a good old massage by a real expert. Massages are nearly as old as man and the art and tools of the practice have improved over the years. A Massage is a pleasure-based service though and what counts as pleasure to one person may not be as pleasurable to the next and the same. That is why one person feels more fulfilled after receiving the dreaded python massage while others enjoy a snail facial better. From the knife massage to the crazy Hammer and chisel massage, here is a look at the 10 most interesting types of massages from around the world.
The Cactus Massage
Being massaged by cactus leaves sounds more like painful acupuncture than a massage but that is not the case here. It is believed that this type of massage originated in Mexico where the providers believed that cacti leaves have juices that moisturize and smooth skin, relieve pain and rejuvenate it. The leaves used for massage are picked from adult cacti branches and then the spines are removed to prevent puncturing when massaging. Before the massage, the leaves are dipped in water or alcohol-free liquid and then cut in half so that most of the succulent leaf’s surface area can touch the skin during the massage.
The Elephant Massage
If you take a safari through the Savannah and meet an elephant, you wouldn’t agree to the idea of being massaged by one. The largest land mammal can get aggressive and dangerous and their giant feet are better used for trampling rather than massaging. In Thailand, elephants are different because most of them have had years of training and interaction with human beings so they don’t enjoy trampling as their wild counterparts do. There are places in Thailand where you can go and have an elephant massage you by tapping you gently with its feet and massaging you with its trunk. Being tapped all over by the heavy foot and powerful trunk must feel like cheating death while enjoying a weird type of pleasure.
The Python Massage
The very sight of a python can make some people freeze while others flee for dear life. There are some spas around the world, especially in The Philippines and in Indonesia where pythons are used as both attraction and massage specialists. The most famous one in the Cebu city Zoo in the Philippines where after paying the entrance fee, visitors can get the chance to relax while their stressed nerves are worked on by powerful Burmese pythons that squeeze and press their bodies. Pythons are not poisonous of course but the patience to sit perfectly still through an hour of a massage by pythons is a difficult one to fathom.
The Snail Massage
If you thought pythons are a difficult massage tool to stomach, then try a snail facial. Snails are totally harmless but they are slimy crawlers that most people don’t like to have around them. However, Thailand is the nation where all beauty adventures are accommodated and even a snail facial is embraced. There are multiple spas in Thailand and some in Japan where you can go and have snails crawl all over your face with their creamy secretion left on your face believed to repair skin and rejuvenate it. Those who have ha it confesses that the snails love the nose because they like climbing.
The Hammer and Chisel Massage
Now, the human body would have to be a concrete block to get any valuable benefits from being chiselled. However, this experience is not as painful as you would think and no one needs the hospital after this crazy adventure. It all happens in select spas in Thailand where the tools of the trade for the therapists are a wooden hammer and chisel expertly designed to slide over the specific part of the skin they are struck against.
The whole process sounds like a construction site but the customers confess that it is actually very pleasurable and stress relieving. The therapists praise their massage as the ultimate solution to restoring tired joint bones and tendons as well as relaxing your muscles. You should probably carry earplugs when going for this one though.
The Fire Massage
The Chinese fire massage is one of the most exciting massage therapies practised around the world. It may sound dangerous but those who have had it actually have good things to say afterwards. It involves placing a piece of cloth in alcohol and setting it aflame before putting it on someone’s face, backside or stomach for a while. The fire is then put out using a towel before it eats out the cloth and burns the person. The adrenaline rush from the fire burning a few inches from your vital organs and your fate in the hands of a massage therapist isn’t exactly what many would describe as pleasure but it is a massage and it works.
The Hot Cup Massage
This therapy is also believed to have been used by ancient Egyptians, Chines, and other Asian countries including the Middle East. The main purpose is to create a vacuum in the cup so that it can suck in your skin when placed on your back or stomach. It is believed that the hot cup or glass placed on you for up to three minutes helps treat inflammation and improve your blood flow as well as your well being.
The most common version that makes rounds all over the internet uses silicone cups which once they stick to the skin, can move while attached to you to give the actual feeling of being massaged. The skin becomes red at the spot where it is sucked into the cup, but it is not painful.
The Knife Massage
Daoliao which simply translates knife massage is believed to have originated in China over 2000 years ago. On the surface, it sounds more like a dangerous process or someone getting their skin chopped at by a pair of knives but it isn’t. The therapists believe that the steel knives have the power to relieve pain and help with your general wellbeing. The knives target pressure points all over the body but they are not applied with enough pressure to cut you.
The Face Slapping Massage
Being slapped across the face can mean lots of things but a massage is not one of them. That is why it was so bizarre of one California based therapist to introduce face slapping in the many ways they would use to improve blood circulation and “unlock” hidden energy. The slapping isn’t the assault-type though, just measured slapping according to the spot being struck and the level of pain you can bear.
The Ticklish Massage
Being tickled makes you laugh but it is not because you are feeling pleasure. It would be hard to imagine laughing your way through an entire massage session but it is quite awesome. Many therapists actually complain of having a problem massaging ticklish clients. However, over the years, spas have opened in different places whose primary purpose is to give you as much tickle as you can take. The most interesting one opened in Madrid in 2011 and has since become the favourite massage spa for tourists looking to be stimulated into laughter and get some better blood circulation and rejuvenated skin while at it.
Have you had any of these massages yourself? Maybe you have had a different one! Do let us know in the comments below.