A fish pedicure.

3 Spa Treatments from Around the World

A fish pedicure.

Fish Pedicure CC Photo Courtesy of Sebastien Michel

I’m sure you’ve heard about some crazy spa treatment, usually associated with someone rich and famous, that you aren’t sure you’ll ever try. It seems as if someone famous tries it, everyone wants in. News reports surface about why exactly the seemingly insane treatment works (or doesn’t). Spas in Windsor and everywhere around the world are inundated with phone calls, all inquiries as to whether the spa offers that hot new treatment.

The crazier they are, the more quickly they seem to fade from popularity. The world realizes that it was just a fad treatment, only popular because so-and-so celebrity was rumored to have received it. Sometimes, the treatment sticks around, usually if it is found to actually work the way it’s intended. There are those that try every single of-the-moment treatment, while others opt to stick with the basic massage and facial.

Here are a few treatments that you may not have heard of, and others you probably have thanks to some celebrity somewhere in the world.

Fish Spas

This became popular last year, with adventurous news anchors giving it a try on national television across the country. Most of these spas are located in Thailand, with others in Japan and Greece. Some people just can’t fathom the treatment–it involves small fish called garra rufa, or doctor fish, eating the dead skin off of your feet, leaving behind fresh, smooth skin. They are found in the Middle East, and are commonly used over there to treat people with skin diseases like psoriasis.

Here in the states, New York and Texas are among 14 states that have banned the fish pedicure. Even though there isn’t really an instance of disease or infection that has come from the use of the fish, most of these states ban beauty salons using the fish for hygiene reasons. Why? You can’t disinfect the fish in between customers, nor can the tubs be cleaned after each and every client. What’s more, in order for the fish to be able to eat the skin they need to be hungry, and animal rights groups say that starving the fish in order to use them to eat dead skin is animal cruelty.

Zareeba Treatment

This treatment isn’t found in your fort collins day spa. Instead, you’ll need to travel to the Regent Palms Turks and Caicos. ‘Zareeba’ is Afrikaans for “personal space,” describing the enveloping feeling of the treatment. You are placed into an area about 5′ in height and 8′ in length, featuring a bench to sit on and candles and cushions to relax you and keep you comfortable. Boiling water is placed into a vessel along with the scents of eucalyptus and lemon, and a curtain is lowered to enclose you in the steamy environment for about 20 minutes. After your 20 minutes is up, you are dried and laid on a table for a follow-up massage.

People who have undergone this treatment speak to its relaxing benefits. They also say the steam from the boiling water is more tolerable than the electric steam machines found in typical treatments.

Snow Treatment

Those who’ve braved this incredibly frigid winter might not find this idea appealing, but this treatment is said to boost your immune and respiratory system. K West Hotel & Spa in London offers its Snow Paradise treatment, where you alternate between a room filled with natural snow and kept at a chilly -15°F and a sauna. It is said to improve circulation, and you can follow up your treatment with a visit to  the relaxation room or hydrotherapy pool.

Do any of these treatments sound appealing to you, or do you find them appalling?

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