Would you pay $350 to be slapped Bizarre anti-aging Thai beauty treatment sees therapists HIT your face to erase wrinkles
A Thai natural health practitioner claims she can turn back the clock simply by 'face-slapping.'
The traditional technique is said to erase wrinkles, shrink pores, and tighten the skin without surgery, instead using slapping, kneading and massaging of the area.
Tata Sombuntham, who was trained in Thailand, says she is the first face-slapping beauty therapist in the western hemisphere, and charges $350 for each 15 minute session at her San Francisco salon.
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Ouch! Tata Sombuntham, from Thailand, says she is the first face-slapping beauty therapist in the western hemisphere, and charges $350 for each 15 minute session at her San Francisco salon
While there is no medical evidence to prove the slapping works as an anti-aging treatment, according to ABC News, doctors concede it could 'improve circulation and bring on a healthy flush'.
However Tata and her husband, Mawan, who co-owns the salon, both claim you can see results immediately.
'Make sure you have
no jewellery on, keep your elbow relaxed, your wrists relaxed. Swing with authority and don't be afraid'
'This is definitely not rubbish, this is very serious,' said Mawan, after opening Tata Massage yesterday.
Good Morning America asked Hank Schob, an acting coach from Penny Templeton studios, if it was possible to forgo the $350 fee and carry out the procedure safely at home,
'It's very simple,' he said. 'The trick is to make sure you have no jewellery on, keep your elbow relaxed, your wrists relaxed. Keep your fingers together and cupped, and come up and hit right in here,' he explained while pointing to the flesh of his cheek.
Hard truth: The traditional technique is said to erase wrinkles, shrink pores, and tighten the skin without surgery – GMA sent Nick Watt (pictured) to find out
'Swing with authority and don't be afraid,' he added.
Also popular in Thailand is 'butt punching', to firm the rear, and 'breast slapping', to enlarge the size of the chest.
Fighting wrinkles: Tata was trained in Thailand, and has now brought face-slapping to the U.S.
A 44-year-old woman, known as Khunying
Tobnom, made a career out of this 'ancient wisdom', cornering the
Bangkok market; her skills in high demand.
'Ancient people didn't share it much because back then people didn't care about breast size,' she told the Bangkok Post.
But the slapping works, she says, by shifting fat from one area to another, kneading excess fat towards the breasts.
Doubters of the treatment's efficacy may be assuaged by the Thai government's endorsement of Khunying Tobnom's trade.
According to the Independent, a study by the Thai Health Ministry ministry found vigorous massage left volunteers' breasts measurably bigger.
The Ministry even sponsored a programme that saw women learning to slap their own breasts to enhance their size as an alternative to surgery.
Khunying Tobnom says that clients can expect to gain a couple of inches, post-slap.
'If your breasts are 30 inches, for example, we will record that with your signature. After treatment, your breasts will be enlarged to 32 inches. We will record and you have to sign again,' she said to the Thai newspaper.
Miraculous as it sounds, the therapy is sadly not fool-proof.
Ouch! Khunying Tobnom has made a career out of the wisdom of breast- and buttock-slapping
'Sometimes we have to refuse treatment because some breasts are too small to be enlarged.'
And, while it may be surgery-free, the popular treatment is not without its discomfort factor. Clients say the treatment is painful, but that they can cope.
'Sometimes we have to refuse treatment because some breasts are too small to be enlarged'
'I like it a lot,' says one satisfied customer. 'I came here because I don't want to have plastic surgery. This treatment gives fast results and it's safe for my body.
'After the treatment, I feel a little pain, but I can stand it.' It gives a whole new meaning to the adage 'no pain, no gain.'
Now, as the world's only expert in the ways of ancient body slapping, Khunying Tobnom is sharing her skills with others.
And learning the tricks of the trade doesn't come cheap.
Training courses for body-slapping, breast-slapping and face-slapping come at the eye-watering price of $330,000, $263,000 and $164,000 respectively.
Before and after: One client shows her face before, left, and after four sessions of face-slapping, right
'I believe my wisdom is very
valuable. It's a heritage from my grandmother and I'm the only one in
the world who can practice this wisdom,' says Khunying Tobnom.
One trainee – who has presumably forked out the requisite hundreds of thousands of dollars – proudly shows off before-and-after pictures of her face to the Bangkok Post.
After four treatments, the woman's face appears slimmer, her cheekbones and chin more pronounced.
'I learned face-slapping because I believe it is a one million per cent natural beauty treatment,' she says.
'When I saw what happened to my face, the face-slapping training course became very interesting to me.'
Happily for the flat-chested,
wobbly-bottomed or facially flabby, six 10-minute sessions at the clinic
are a far more affordable option at around $380.
Still, Khunying Tobnom remains realistic about the treatment's apparently prodigious potential. 'If you really want to enlarge your breasts, have plastic surgery to get them as big as you want!'
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