Men and women have been known to do some extreme things in the name of health and beauty. Spas and salons around the world have attempted to sell all types of tonics and creams to relax muscles and make skin smoother for generations,  but none of them can even come close to the beauty treatment depicted in a photo posted to Chinese message board tt.mop late last week.

Along with the caption, “My mom went to get her face done at the beauty salon so I went with her. What I saw… instantly shocked me… I couldn’t look,” this photo blew our minds. Although the daughter claims that she wasn’t able to look, she was seemingly able to take a pretty clear picture for us all to see.

This type of treatment is actually not as unique as you might think. Called Huǒ liáo (fire treatment) it is a widely practiced form of alternative therapy. Nevertheless it’s still pretty terrifying to look at.

Huǒ liáo involves a specially prepared “secret elixer” which is soaked into a towel and placed on a problem area. Then some alcohol is added as a starter fluid. When everything’s set, they light it up. After a few seconds the flame is put out.
Here’s a couple guys getting their backs done.

Ha ha ha… Ahhh, fun.

Anyway, the practice is straightforward, but there seem to be few concrete details about why people do this. Searching around the Internet, most people seem to be getting their backs, legs, and necks done which suggests it relaxes the muscles. Most places that perform fire therapy make vague claims like you’ll “feel great.” As for the lady above, either her eyes are just feeling sore or huǒ liáo may have some benefits to the skin as well. Whether or not this is a genuinely efficient treatment, eh, who’s to say. It probably beats the snake massage.

So get on over to your nearest Chinese therapy center and ask about Huǒ liáo. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, you can show your mom how much you care by making an appointment to have her set on fire.

Source: tt.mop (Chinese) via Byokan Sunday (Japanese)
Inset Image: Taipei Navi
Video: YouTube – estherkingking, Ravinda Paul, Jimmy Hui

Stiff neck? Set it on fire!

This guy must have some serious problems. They’re having a whole BBQ on him.