Fire Facials – Setting Your Face on Fire in the Name of Beauty

Women have always had to endure a certain amount of pain to make themselves beautiful. But how far is actually considered too far? Apparently, there isn’t a limit to what Chinese women would do to look good, even if it means setting themselves on fire.

The photograph below shows a woman with a thick yellow face-pack, a towel covering half her face and two balls of fire over her eyes. Yet she looks completely unperturbed. Taken by a Chinese girl when she accompanied her mother to the beauty parlor, the pic has been doing the rounds of several websites ever since it was posted on a Chinese message board last month. Along with the pic the girl posted this message: “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.” Well, she did look long enough to get a nice shot of her mom’s eyes on fire.

The fire beauty treatment actually isn’t uncommon in China. It even has a name: Huo Liao (fire treatment). It is a widely practiced form of alternative therapy and a very popular at that. Huo Liao therapists prepare a special towel soaked in a ‘secret elixir’ and a little alcohol. The towel is then lit up, only to be put out just a few seconds later with another towel. Video footage shows people getting their backs treated in a similar manner. Apparently this technique can be used on any part of the body. It is said to stimulate the skin and address dullness, sagging and wrinkles. And it isn’t just for beauty, it is said to relax the muscles and make you feel great as well. Fire treatment is known as a miraculous cure for just about anything, from obesity to the common cold.


Chinese salons claim that the fire treatment is completely safe and harmless, if performed very carefully by highly trained therapists. According to Huo Liao therapist Suzie Lyng, “When administered by a trained therapist, the skin does not get burned but is warmed. Therefore, the procedure is safe.” But an article in the Mail Online says beauticians in the UK are calling it an extremely dangerous treatment. “This treatment looks incredibly dangerous and is obviously a worrying and untested fad that consumers should be incredibly wary of trying for themselves,” said one beautician in particular. Jacob Teitelbaum, the author of Real Cause, Real Cure, said that while he wouldn’t try the treatment himself, “One explanation is that extreme heat triggers an adrenaline response which can shift your body’s chemistry, improving some symptoms like indigestion and slow metabolism.” If you watch the fire treatment video, you’ll see that the Chinese customers are far from frightened; they’re rather nonchalant about the whole process. Personally, I’m not so sure I’d go for this treatment if I had the chance. Would you?


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