10 Most Bizarre Spa Treatments Around the World

That's a snake. You can actually get a "snake massage." We dare you.

As a culture, we underestimate the power of stress, either by not taking it seriously as a health risk or tallying up every trivial annoyance and dwelling on them. Stress, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. In fact, the human stress response has helped us survive as a species, alerting our minds to danger so we can remove ourselves from potentially harmful situations. It's time that we fully accept the fact that stress has very real, physical consequences on our bodies and our minds—so if you want to take a bath in coffee, wine, or green tea, you should friggin' go for it.


In Japan, you can do just that in the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun spa, which markets itself as a "hot springs amusement park." In Greece, tiny fish have been eating the dead skin off humans' feet for 400 years. Extreme beauty treatments have existed for centuries, but when combined with the promise to relax you and provide an escape from life's stressors for just a brief moment, we get a world full of bizarre spa treatments.

Cupping (Yangzhou, China)


As an ancient form of eastern medicine, cupping is the practice of placing hot glass cups along your body, usually your back, in order to alleviate tension, reduce inflammation, soothe pain, or heighten your overall feeling of "wellness," that elusive quality that means very little but makes "lifestyle" companies like Goop so much money. As WebMD recounts, "Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it's not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C. Now it's thought to actually open the blood vessels, inducing a feeling of relaxation.

Bathing in Wine

Beaujolais Season Starts At Open Air Wine Spa

Huff Post

At the "hot springs amusement park" in Japan, adults and children can bathe in (diluted) red wine. The antioxidants are thought to benefit the skin with anti-aging properties. Meanwhile, Yunessun also offers baths of coffee and tea, also purported to confer their own antioxidant-rich ambrosia to enhance relaxation and also health. But as Lonely Planet notes, "The resort's site claims that 'bathing in red wine is a rejuvenating treatment for the body' but as fun as it sounds, red wine can actually dry out your skin. So while splashing about in wine won't make you look younger, it sure as hell will make you feel younger and that's what really matters. Cheers to that."

Hammam (Morocco)

To some, it's a traditional cleansing ritual in a communal steam room, followed by a massage. To others, it's a crucible of will power and strength in which you are completely naked while a stranger bathes you aggressively in "scalding hot" water. One western visitor described the body scrub as follows: "I was led out by my hand and was laid down on a marble slab in another hot room where my body was exfoliated. When I say exfoliated, that's an understatement. It's more like having your skin peeled off with sandpaper. At one point I was sure that there was a trickle of blood pouring down my leg as she rubbed up and down my calf." But hey, some people are into (consensual) skinning, so go for it.

Swaddling (Japan)

Have you ever wanted to be suffocated by an Asian woman? Who hasn't, right? Starting in Japan, swaddling therapy is a straight-up Freudian treatment that will send your mind back to the stillness and peace of the womb by wrapping you in cloth. A Japanese midwife invented the therapy in 2015. According to Vice, "Nobuko Watanabe initially created the treatment to alleviate concerns of parents who worried that the swaddling of their infants—a practice known as Ohinamaki—might be leaving the babies feeling claustrophobic." The practice of Otonamaki (simply translated to "adult swaddling") promises the unique chance to "experience zero-gravity" and "become a different person," as well as other existential meditations on your identity, the existence of the human soul, the nature of time and space, why people were so angry when Starbucks' holiday cups turned red, and why boomers can't take a decent selfie. There's also some color therapy involved while whatever matronly Asian woman you pay to swaddle you rocks you gently from side to side.

Snail Facial (Japan)

Snail secretions (i.e. mucus) have already become a popular ingredient in Asian skincare. Snail facials just promise to be the purest and most direct hit with fresh slime. Claims that nutrients and natural antioxidants in snail mucus rejuvenate skin make this a unique experience to have, most easily found in Tokyo where it began. Prices range anywhere from $30 to $200, and while there are no known scientific studies that support its benefits, snail facials are not even a new idea. According to The Guardian, "Concoctions made from snail mucus are said to date back to ancient Greece, when the great physician Hippocrates reportedly crushed snails and sour milk as a cure for skin inflammations. In recent times, the French have turned this essence of escargot into assorted creams and lotions." If nothing else, we can only assume fresh snail mucus is cool to the touch? So embrace the power of the snail, and let Spongebob's pet crawl all over you, we guess.


US News Health

The promised benefits of exposing the body to extreme cold (via liquid nitrogen) for a limited amount of time include quick injury recovery, pain management, improved athletic performance, tissue repair, and quick weight loss. By exposing the body to temperatures as low as negative 240 degrees Fahrenheit, cryotherapy is the perfect mix of extreme and dangerous to become heavily popular. At least one woman has died in the United States while attempting to undergo cryotherapy. But the temptation is understandable: Imagine the futuristic set up, the thrill of danger, and the physical burst of energy that inevitably follows a session (that's because all the blood rushes to protect your internal organs and leaves you feeling pretty limbless, but when you step out all that blood rushing back to your arms and legs feels exhilarating-you know, because you're almost dying).

With that being said, there's no scientific evidence backing up the extreme lengths (and cost) of cryotherapy. In fact, a sports medicine expert, Dr. Jordan Metzl, told Fortune, "Icing or cooling the body is a great anti-inflammatory that helps speed recovery. That being said, to step from an ice bath to spending hundreds of dollars to get repeatedly cryogenically frozen is a big leap…without scientific backup." You're better off choosing "simply to move every single day."

Diamond Blowout (England)


For just $500, you can have diamond-infused shampoo and conditioner applied to your hair. As a result, your hair will be...mildly more shimmery. At Harrod's Urban Retreat Spa in London, they actually offer "diamond and meteorite dust-infused" products. But hey, at least you get a couple full-sized bottles to take home with you: Truffle by Fuente haircare promises to "leave your hair looking silken, shining with health and feeling light as air - just like our favorite red carpet starlets." By the way, do you know what "meteorite dust" looks like? Dust. It looks like dirty dust.

Fish Pedicure (Greece)

Tasty Thailand

Do you suffer from psoriasis and eczema on your lower legs and feet? Try a fish treatment: "Known colloquially as doctor fish, Garra rufa are native to Turkey and several Middle Eastern countries including Syria, Iran and Iraq. They are used almost exclusively for fish pedicures because of a survival tactic that enables them to thrive on dead scales and skin whenever their preferred food is scarce." That's right. Pay anywhere between $45 and $95, and about 100 fishies will nibble on your flaky feet.

Nightingale Facial (Japan)

Bird Poop.

The Telegraph

It's bird poop. For anti-aging and brightening miracles, you can pay over $200 to have very special bird poop smeared all over your face. Nightingale facials are said to have originated as a beauty secret of Japanese Geishas, who used the droppings of a very rare species of bird only found on the Japanese island of Kyushu to heal their skin from their heavy face make-up. You can find this treatment outside of Japan (with heftier prices due to importing the precious poop), or you could just...hydrate and wear sunscreen.

Snake Message (Phillipines)

Some people do it to conquer their fear of snakes. Some people do it because they're adrenaline junkies. Some people do it because snakes hold a place in their spiritual beliefs as divine creatures, as descendants of the serpent in the Garden of Eden and maybe because they poop really, really weird. For whatever reason, snake massages exist and lure people to be covered in boa constrictors for 30 minutes to an hour. But don't worry; the snakes are fed beforehand so they don't get hungry. As one New York Times reporter noted when she signed up for her one-on-den time, she received forms including the warning, "There are NO GUARANTEES that you will never get hurt by a snake. No one ever has in any of my work with my Snakes and clients."

Why do people do it? Simple: It feels like a really huge hug. "It was a lot calmer and peaceful than I thought it would be," said one client. As Serpentessa, the Snake Preistess of Poughkeepsie, NY informs her clients, "They tone and stimulate the vagus nerve in our body and that releases endorphins and oxytocin." Of course! An adult female boa constrictor can weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, inducing clients into a feeling of calm. "There was a point it felt like they were just hugging me around the shoulders," one of Serpentessa's clients said. "It just felt very calm – like I could fall asleep."

So really, it makes sense. Snake massages provide the comfort of a weighted blanket, except instead of a blanket...it's f*cking snakes.

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Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com


A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.