Health treatments from around the globe vary from the mundane to the extreme, as different cultures look at health and well-being from very different angles.
While an American might think it’s strange that someone in Malaysia would stick their head in a fish aquarium so the fish could nibble off dead skin, a Malaysian might think it odd that Americans take 10 nondescript white pills a day in order to stay healthy.
Nonetheless, there are certain treatments that seem to go above and beyond what is considered normal by anyone. Yet these are the therapies that quickly become popular, probably due in part to their weirdness and eccentricities.
Here are 6 of the most bizarre health treatments around the world. Have you tried any of them?
1) Snake Massage, Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa, Israel
Ever wanted to feel a slithering, smooth and slightly slimy thing crawling across your back? Probably not.
But if you have, you are in luck. Ada Barak’s Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa in Talmei Elazar, Israel, offers to fulfill the dream of having a half dozen snakes squirm around your entire body, giving you the ultimate massage.
Don’t worry, Ada sits by as the snakes do their thing, not only on your back, but across your legs, arms and yes, even your face. The snakes are non-venemous, of course, and previous clients claim they help with everything from sore muscles to migraines.
Here’s to hoping they’ve fully digested their last meal before they get back to their massage job.
2) Bull Semen Hair Treatment, London
You read that right. An upscale hair salon in London offers a deep-conditioning hair treatment that originates from possibly the scariest of places—a bull’s testicles.
Hari’s in Knightsbridge, London, provides “thoroughbred” semen from Aberdeen Angus bulls by way of a farm in Cheshire. Because of its high protein content, the semen is believed to help thicken and soften your hair while making it extra shiny.
We’ll just stick to the synthetic version, thank you very much.
Can he help you improve your lackluster locks? Photo by Just a Prairie Boy.
3) Placenta Facial, California
Have you been battling acne for most of your life? Well, the placenta facial may be just what you have been looking for. At least according to proponents of this sometimes-sheep and sometimes-human based treatment for the skin.
Apparently due to all of the nutrients in the placenta, including vitamins, minerals and amino acids, placenta facials can help heal a variety of skin issues, from acne to psoriasis to rosacea.
In Beverly Hills, Dr. Harold Lancer is known to give the placenta facial to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But placentas aren’t just for facials anymore. Several Dutch soccer players have been known to use a horse’s placenta to help treat their torn ankle ligaments.
Have problem skin? Maybe you need a placenta facial. Photo by B.G.P.
4) Dolphin Therapy, Lima, Peru
If it’s an option, many people who travel to tropical getaways choose to swim with dolphins. There’s just something about these sweet-seeming creatures, with their puckered lips and graceful dives.
But some believe that hanging out with dolphins can go beyond a simple, “ahhh….” and into therapeutic territory.
One-on-one dolphin therapy can take place in marine parks and can be used for speech, occupational or physical therapy, particularly with children.
It’s also being used by some pregnant women at the Hotel Los Delfines in Lima, Peru. The expectant mother hangs out with the dolphins, they nudge her pregnant belly, and they emit a high-frequency sound that is said to stimulate the baby’s brain.
Though the babies often respond through increased heartbeat and moving around in the mother’s stomach, studies are inconclusive as to whether or not they are actually doing any good, or if the babies are just reacting to sound.
Can dolphins help heal children with disabilities or help the development of a fetus in a pregnant woman? Photo by tolomea.
5) Beer Spa, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic
So there’s health benefits to soaking in a tub of beer? At least the owners of beer spas like to think so.
Supposedly, it is the plethora of B vitamins and yeast in the beer that provides health benefits, particularly for the skin. Whether or not the relaxation comes from soaking in beer or the pints of beer often offered during the soak, remains to be seen.
In Germany, check out the Hotel Brauerei-Gasthof in Nesselwang, or in Austria, you can get sudsy at the Moorhof Hotel and Spa in Franking, Austria. If you are in the Czech Republic, there’s the Right Beer Spa at Chodovar in Chodova Plana.
The best way to get healthy! Photo by Moorhof.
6) Chocolate Spa, Hershey, Pennsylvania
This is one health treatment that more than a few of you are bound to get behind. It’s a spa—filled with chocolate.
Soak in a whipped cocoa bath, have a warm chocolate fondue wrap and partake in an edible dark chocolate face mask as part of your slightly pricey experience at the Hotel Hershey Spa in, you guessed it, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Not a chocolate fan? Don’t worry, the spa also offers a Cuban Experience, which includes mojito sugar scrubs, seaweed soak and Cuban coffee wrap.
What are the purported benefits of chocolate? Beyond the yummy flavor and decadence aspect, it is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Feasibly, it could help soften the skin. Beyond that, true health benefits have yet to be determined.
Bask in the glove of a chocolate massage. Photo by The Spa at the Hotel Hershey.
What are some of the weird beauty treatments from around the world that you’ve had? Let me know in the comments below.
If you liked this article, you might also like: 7 Bizarre Bars around the World.
Main photo: There are more than a few odd health treatments throughout the world by O-BeaR-O.