Skip This If You Have Ophidiophobia

A strange story to end a strange year: If you have chronic pain and have tried massage to no avail, there is one type of massage you may consider.

Or not. A small spa in Cairo, Egypt uses snakes, real snakes, to slither over patients’ backs and faces. The treatment begins very conventionally, with background music and massage oil, but then the real masseurs take over — a combination of pythons or around 28 different types of non-venomous snakes crawl over you in 30-minute sessions.

Spa owner Safwat Sedki gives a snake back massage to Diaa Zein in Cairo.

Masseuse and spa owner Safwat Sedki said snake massages help reduce muscle and joint pain while improving blood circulation and releasing endorphins. “The use of snakes is a type of massage, and it has two aims, physical and emotional. The physical aim is to improve blood circulation and mental stimulation and the emotional aim is that it releases endorphins that help with the ‘happy hormone’ that helps people regain confidence and strengthen the immune system.”

Plus, if you suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), this would be an excellent way to face your fears. The trend has reportedly become popular in Indonesia and the Philippines, and is expanding into other countries, like Egypt.

Will this make it to the U.S.? Probably, although I haven’t found it yet. If it does, I’ll still plan to depend on my fellow humans, thank you.

Taken from “Snake massage trend is not for the faint-hearted” by Rob Bailey-Millado (

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