Four-handed massage: sure. Hot-rock treatment: fine. Getting stepped on by an elephant: now you’re
talking. Behold, the five craziest massages in the world. Why, yes, a lot of them do require a trip to
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS
Where Rubdown Meets Lockdown
File under “Thailand being Thailand”: a women’s prison where you can stop in and get a massage. The
joint’s focused on rehabilitation, and the inmates are trained in Thai stretching massage and cake baking.
Warning: the cakes probably have files in them.
And Now, an Elephant Will Step on You
First, Disney taught an elephant to fly. That was... something. But this, this is also something: a baby
elephant that gives you a backrub on the beach using its feet and trunk. Feel free to tip in peanuts.
Lighting Your Back on Fire in Taiwan
Step one: martial-arts master applies hot glass cups to your back. Step two: he puts an herb paste and
alcohol on your skin. Step three: he lights it with a blowtorch. This is supposed to relax your muscles and
ease your pain. As soon as it’s done causing pain, that is.
A Tangle of Snakes on Your Back
There’s eccentric. Then there’s this Israeli woman, who opened a roadside attraction of flesh-eating
plants. Not satisfied with that, she developed a massage technique in which a knot of (nonvenomous) serpents
unknot themselves on your back, chest and face. Indiana Jones does not approve.
Getting Kneaded with Meat Cleavers
Cleavers. Great for quartering a chicken. Apparently also great for your aching shoulders. At this giant
Taipei market, you sit down, pitched forward at 45 degrees, and your masseur rhythmically gets to work on
your pressure points and sore spots, armed with only two small cleavers. Which you hope are dull.