Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Crazy Spa Treatments

Traditional spa treatments include facials and massage.
Traditional spa treatments include facials and massage.
Image: Shutterstock

Spas seem like neat places; I’m not overly informed on the subject though, considering I mostly see them as places to go in the future, when I’m rich (of course). I think of manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, saunas and aromatherapy when I imagine spa treatments. I do not think of lava shells, getting muddy, burning sticks, suction cups, or scratching myself with a tree. 

But apparently those all have their part to play when it comes to spas. Check out these 5 crazy spa treatments.

You’ve heard of hot stone massage, right? Of course you have. But have you heard of tiger-striped lava shell massages? Apparently these smooth clam shells “are heated from the inside by combining natural ingredients of minerals, sea kelp, algae and salt water… [to create] a synergy of warmth, relaxation, and beauty for a sensation of unsurpassed bliss.” The treatment is offered at the Viceroy Zihatenejo luxury spa.
Love that mud? It could do wonders for your skin!
Love that mud? It could do wonders for your skin!
Image: Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of mud wrestling, you might be one to try a mud bath, which are offered at various Napa Valley locations (among others). Muds that have tons of minerals in them can do wonders for the skin, but if you’re squeamish about getting dirty then you might not be a fan.

Acupuncture is perhaps the best reference I have for this next crazy spa treatment, called “moxibustion,” or “moxa” for short. A type of Chinese therapy, moxa involves burning mugwort sticks, which look like Chinese cigars. It can be practiced directly (ouch!) but also indirectly, where the burning sticks are placed near the skin or near acupuncture needles. It is said to stimulate circulation and induce “a smoother flow of blood and qi.”

Cupping promotes circulation & healing.
Cupping promotes circulation & healing.
Image: Shutterstock

Cupping takes fourth place on the crazy spa treatments list. Essentially, bells or glass cups get heated up and placed on the skin. Suction attaches the glasses to the skin, which supposedly promotes blood flow and healing. There are many different methods, varying from dry to wet to fire cupping therapy. It’s been popular among movie stars like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Last but not least is the olive branch massage. Olive oil can have great benefits for your skin, so I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised that some massage therapists use smoothly carved olive branches to rub pure olive oil directly into the skin. The Mizpe Hayamim spa in Israel, calls the treatment a “deep massage of the muscles, the tendons, and ligaments of the body.”

What are some other crazy spa treatments you have heard of? Which have you tried, or do you plan on trying when, like me, you’re rich someday?
Google