Sure, you’ve heard of Snakes on a Plane. But what about Snakes in a Salon?
A hairstylist in Germany is using an unusual method to help calm his customers during their haircuts. For $38, he’ll wrap his pet python, Monty, around their neck in an effort to help them relax, reports United Press International. And while massages are generally known as relaxing, healthy, arguably indulgent treats for the body, they are not often associated with live animals of any kind, let alone deadly ones.
The man behind this one-of-a-kind relaxation therapy’s appearance in the German city of Dresden is Frank Doehlen of the Haar Mode Team salon, who claims that the 13-year-old ball python’s muscle movements work wonders for his clients. (The 4-foot-long snake’s body is made up of 90 percent muscle, after all.)
Doehlen started using Herr Monty to give massages to customers after witnessing the unusual massage technique during a trip to South Africa. He told local reporters that the serpent’s services are now in such high demand that he offers them to customers two days a week — “but only by appointment. Monty’s terrarium has no more space in the salon. I always bring it with me at the customer’s request.” Customers like Flora Magdalena, who told reporters, “Monty’s powerful way has done a lot of work. I’ll be back!”
Doehlen is not the first to advocate this massage technique — which might be best suited for adrenaline junkies, however. In 2014, the Cebu Zoo in the Philippines began offering complimentary massages for customers, with a catch: Said massages would be done by four giant Burmese pythons named Michelle, Walter, EJ, and Daniel, according to Metro UK.
“At first, visitors feel fear but most of the guests who try the snake massage say that they like it,” zoo manager Giovanni Romarate told the publication. And yes, the massage recipient’s safety is paramount: The quartet of serpent masseuses are each fed about 10 chickens before the massage to ensure that they are not working while (dangerously?) hungry.
One visitor from Hawaii, Ian Maclean, liked the massage so much that he partook of it twice, telling reporters that both times, he was briefed “on what to do and what not to do during the massage.” What are the safety guidelines that are supposed to keep you safe? “They tell you not to blow air on the snake, because this is like being pinched on the bum, apparently,” he explained. “You can’t shout for help as the snake can feel your vibrations and thinks you’re prey or a predator, depending on the environment.”
Each snake massage session runs 10 to 15 minutes, which is a long time to hold your breath if you’re the nervous type, but the strong creatures’ slithering motion is said to be therapeutic and calming. As for whether or not it’s worth the potential anxiety, that’s a personal call.
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