Massages from around the world – Weird, wonderful & whacky

Wierd and wonderful massage types from around the world

Everyone has had a massage before, whether it’s your bog standard Swedish style or something a little more touchy feely if you know I mean… Either way, most people have experienced first-hand the delights and wonders of massage in any form. Massage is an ancient ritual and was established thousands of years ago in Asia. Over the years, this sacred practice has adapted; hybrid styles have emerged and people have used their imaginations to create new styles. That’s all well and good obviously, but some people just have to take it too far don’t they? There is nothing wrong with being creative, but it’s safe to say that some idiots from across the world have gone a little OTT with experimentation. It’s almost a competition to see who can invent the most ridiculous massage style. Although the list is seemingly endless, we have gone to the effort of narrowing down our favourite weird massage styles from around the globe. Some call them revolutionary, I just call them down right stupid to be honest; but I’ll let you be the judge of that…

Python massage

Why not try a massage with a python wrapped around you

Okay, so imagine it. You’ve been sightseeing all day and you’re aching in places you didn’t even know existed. You’re offered a massage- are you going to turn it down? Of course you aren’t, it’s exactly what you need right now. Or is it?… Cebu City Zoo in the Philippines is a tourist hotspot, but also attracts people from across the world for a different reason. Lunatics from around the globe don’t just come to the zoo to see animals; they come to get up close and personal with them. Well, the Pythons, to be exact. Cebu City Zoo’s notorious Python massage is arguably one of the strangest massage styles on the planet, and is probably a living nightmare for most people. Four giant Burmese Pythons, weighing a massive 250kg collectively are placed on a brave ass mother f***** and left to slither around as they please. The pythons, named Walter, Daniel, Michelle and EJ are fed about 10 chickens each before the massage to curb their hunger pains. No human for dessert then? The session is said to last around 10-15 minutes and is apparently very therapeutic and calming; each to their own. I’d rather not tempt 4 man-eating snakes to have a bite…

Cactus Massage

Cactus massage using de-spined cactus paddles

When it comes to spa treatments, we are all spoiled for choice. There’s a treatment for absolutely everything- literally. When you’re on holiday or out of town for business, exploring luxury treatments is a given- but would you be willing to take a risk on potentially waste a load of money on something unconventional? If your answer is yes, take a trip to the Four Seasons’ hotel in Punta Mita, Mexico and give their famous Hakali cactus massage a go. Before you ask, this isn’t an ancient form of acupuncture- the needles are removed before the session and only the paddles (the leaves) are used. The paddles are heated in warm water and are split in half once soft. The gooey side is then rubbed onto the skin, helping to heal sunburns, hydrating the skin and banishing toxins. And the best part is, the nopal juice absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or sticky after the session- result! Sounds pretty good if you ask me!

The meat cleaver massage

Would you be crazy enough to try a massage with a meat clever?!

Is it just me, or does this sound like something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre? No, this terrifying massage wasn’t inspired by horror movies; it was actually invented in China and dates back to 770BC! The session, which typically only lasts around 10 minutes, begins when the brave participant lays face down on the massage table. The masseuse/butcher look-a-like then uses the SHARP side of the 10” blade and gently begins to knead and tap the skin with the cleaver. However, these massages aren’t necessarily sought out for muscle release- it’s more of a spiritual style. It is believed that the steel can help to remove ‘negative energy’ from the body, and can encourage deeper sleep and better circulation. Okay, so maybe it isn’t as scary as I thought, and it only costs around $7 a session- bargain. Maybe you’ve pulled my leg…

Gondola Massage

gondola massages on a boat in venice

Everyone dreams of experiencing the picturesque and sickeningly dreamy sites that Venice has to offer; after all, it is the most romantic city in the world. But, if bopping along the city’s’ famous canals in a gondola wasn’t good enough already, imagine getting a massage at the same time? Sign me up right away! Yes, Gondola massage is now a thing, and it’s safe to say people have lost their shit over it. At the Casanova Spa at the Hotel Cipriani, Venice offers these sensational massage experiences for any relaxation-seeker with a few hundred euros lying around. Easy. The massage is conducted in a private gondola with a trained masseuse and gondolier at hand, and is performed on the beautiful waters of the ancient city. As the massage focuses mainly on the feet, hands and upper part of the body, you don’t have to worry about passers-byers having a cheeky peek at your goodies. Afraid you’ll fry under the sun? Don’t worry; the massage oil used during the session was specifically designed to contain SPF protection agents- so no sunburn today kids. Get me there right now!

Elephant massage

Would you be brave enough to try an elephant massage

Have you had a stressful couple of weeks and need a massage to let off some steam? If you’re feeling a little tense, why not commission an elephant to sort it out for you? No, we don’t mean some middle aged masseuse on Craigslist, we mean an actual elephant, believe it or not. A tourist park in Chiang Mai, Thailand advertises these chancy massages to any courageous volunteers with balls of steel. Of course, the elephants have been trained to delicately press their feet on the backs of the subjects, and also sometimes use their trunks to lightly manipulate the muscles. Don’t get me wrong, I love elephants, but I don’t fancy the idea of one standing on me. The fact this massage is free says it all!

African snail massage

is your stomach strong enough to let a snail give you a massage

If you’re obsessed with turning back the clock and preventing ageing as much as possible, then you’ll probably have all of the latest fad creams on the market. But how do you fancy giving snail slime a go? Anything for youthful, soft skin, right? Believe it or not, salons across the world are using this bizarre technique all in the name of beauty. This rather unusual facial was created by a French bloke a couple of years ago who claimed that snails are full of collagen. As such, having these gross little critters sliding all over your face can actually work wonders for the skin and its elasticity. This apparently, ‘relaxing’ massage/facial is meant to feel god damn amazing- that is after you’re able to get over the fact smarmy insects are probably crapping on your face. I’m going to pass, thanks.

Tickling massage

would a massage involving tickles make you squirm

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find being tickled to be the worst form of torture known to man. Seeing a finger float towards my neck literally sends fear pulsating through my body. Unbeknown to me, however, not everyone shares the same dislike as I do. In fact, some people pay for it (weirdoes). Tickling massage is a thing, and for me, it is a manifestation of my worst nightmares. This tormenting massage style originated in Madrid, Spain and is performed in order to reduce stress. Using delicate finger tips and soft feathers, masseuses gently trace down the clients’ back and other areas, and adapt their routine depending on how ticklish each person is. The more ticklish, the more sensitive their routine becomes etc. Personally, I’d rather not pay a stranger $35 to torture me, but if this sounds like your kind of thing, be my guest. It’s your funeral!

Flames massage

Fire massages look like the scariest thing in the world

Oddly enough, setting fire to yourself isn’t as bad as people seem to think- well, not when it comes to Flame massage, anyway. This rather fiery form of massage is not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure- but if you’re brave enough to get hot and steamy, then you’re in for a treat. Originating in China, Flame massage is very popular during the winter in traditional, Chinese hospitals and it used to prevent illnesses such as flu and colds. Typically, masseurs sprinkle towels with a flammable substance (usually alcohol) and then set it on fire. The towel is then placed on the client, and is then eventually put out using another towel. Surprisingly, the massage isn’t at all painful and is actually meant to be great for losing weight? The term, ‘burning fat’ has never been truer!

Massages by the blind

blind massages might just be the best you've ever had

When you’re investing money into a luxury, you should never go into it blind. At least, you shouldn’t- but your masseuse might. Believe it or not, ‘blind massage parlours’ are insanely popular in China- so much so, it is believed that there’s one on every street block in some areas. The massage itself is pretty standard in many regards, and still focuses on relieving muscle tension and inducing relaxation. However, creator Ly Yuan says that blind massage is better because, “giving a good massage is dependent on a person’s tactile sensitivity. Obviously, blind people have a strong advantage in this.” If you say so Yuan, if you say so.

Pancake massage

dont eat your pancakes, get a massage with one

Well, what would you know? Finally a massage with sense behind it! I mean, I don’t actually know what a hot pancake could do for the skin, but does that really matter? You’re covered in pancakes- that’s all I need to know! But seriously guys, pancake massage is an actual thing, and its meant to be pretty good. Essentially, fresh, hot pancakes are applied directly to the skin which is said to help tackle fatigue, nourish the skin and banish excess fluid. Practitioners of this tasty massage treatment also claim that it improves bloody circulation but maintaining proper body heat and utilising natural flour for healing properties. Sounds like a load of crap if you ask me, but count me in!

Egg massage

get an egg massage, just hope its not scrambled or runny!

Oh my god seriously? Guys, my head if seriously scrambled now. I wish I was kidding, but im not- ‘Egg massage’ is a thing, and it’s more popular then you’d think. This style originated in china (obviously) and is practiced more for superstition purposes as opposed to healing ones. In China, they believe that it is good luck for a father to give his child a head massage with eggs after the baby has had a haircut. Traditional belief dictates that on the second day of the Lunar month, the egg-massage is said to bring good luck and fortune. I’m just going to stick to fortunate cookies I think guys, I don’t know about you.

Thankfully that concludes our list of weird and not-so-wonderful massage styles from around the world. I myself will stick to the more traditional styles; after all, I don’t really fancy being set on for, eaten by a deadly python, being tickled to death and being squashed flat by an elephant. Oh, and don’t forget about being smothered head to toe in smelly egg. No thank you. I’ll stick to something less eccentric I think…

If you’d like to book in for a massage that’s a little out of the ordinary but not too wild, why not consider an Oriental massage with a trained professional? If you’d like to be pampered and pleasured by a gorgeous Asian masseuse at a time and a place that suits you, then give us a call on the telephone number below or come visit us at our address:

Hotel Massage London
Jermyn St
St James’s
London
SW1Y 6JD
07818115228