BEAUTY Skin

These $300 Snake Massages are ‘Scary Good’

snake massages
Written by Ruth K

Weird fact: snake massages have been popular in Indonesia for years, and now the trend is slithering around the world.

Most recently, the snake massages made their way into one popular Israeli spa. Ada Barak, the owner, was completely enchanted by the feeling of snakes kneading her body. The experience was so powerful that she decided to add snake massages to the spa menu, and it’s been a top attraction ever since.

According to Ada, getting past the initial fear unlocks an experience unlike any other. One of her clients stated that the experience was “soothing, like a cold compress.” Okurr.

Scaly, not slimy

The massage, which seems daunting to many, is pretty straightforward and Instagram-worthy. Guests position themselves on the massage table, and the therapist places a few non-venomous large snakes on your body. Heck, if you’re mildly scared the therapist will even offer you medium and small snakes instead.

Left to their own devices, the snakes slither up and down your body. The kneading sensation feels like a couple of cold hands kneading your muscles. As the snakes make their way through your body, and you can choose to touch or hold them. The large snakes create a deep tissue-like massage, while the small ones slither create a tickling sensation that stimulates lymphatic drainage. If you’re not scared out of your mind, small snake massages are a great way to increase scalp circulation.

Ada’s spa features a number of various species of snakes, including corn snakes, California king snakes, Florida king snakes, and milk snakes.

Lucky for us, we don’t have to go all the way to Israel to indulge in this experience.

Meet Serpentessa

Serpentessa is a “snake priestess” unlike any other. She has been an inter-species facilitator for over 25 years, and describes her work as a tool to “ignite awe and mystery in people’s lives” using serpents.

In particular, Serpentessa uses boa constrictors for her snake massages. Her time is split between offering massages and operating the Dreaming Goddess Gift Shop in New York’s Hudson Valley, so we’re pretty sure that makes this strange massage trend a wellness destination.

In an interview with the local CBS affiliate, she offered a reporter one of her famous snake massages, and placed three boa constrictors on her body. Responding to the reporter’s uncertainty about the massage, Serpentessa explained, “They [snakes] tone and stimulate the vagus nerve in our body and that releases endorphins and oxytocin. Those are the feel-good hormones. There are no guarantees with a wild animal. You are the one who’s going to choose whether if it’s is safe for you or not. No one has ever been hurt by one of my boa constrictors.”

Serpentessa has two locations in New York. The snake massages go for $297 for a 75-minute session.

Pam Kelly, one of Serpentessa’s clients, described her experience as “Alot calmer and peaceful than I thought it would be. There was a point it felt like they were just hugging me around the shoulders. It just felt very calm – like I could fall asleep.”

Oh good!

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Ruth K

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