The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

In Egypt, fiery massages are all the rage

There are extraordinary massage and relaxation methods available all over the world. This one, practiced in the land of the pharaohs, does not deviate from the rule since it consists of... setting fire to the patient. No, you're not dreaming, but of course, there's a trick!

It is, in fact, an ancient pharaonic technique, called “the fiery towel”. As Abdel Rehim Saeid, a masseur working in Gharbeya, explains, it consists of applying flames on the patient’s back in order to absorb all the moisture, and thus relieve back pain. 

A towel soaked in alcohol

First, the massage begins in a conventional way, in order to stimulate blood circulation and reduce pain in the stressed parts of the body. Then, the participant applies different layers of towels on the patient’s back. He sets fire to the last one, soaked in alcohol, which he lets burn for about a minute, before covering it (of course, insulating materials are also used). The heat then spreads to the patient’s back and affects the body’s moisture level

Although, “It is a technique that cannot be used with people with high blood pressure, kidney failure or hemophilia,” warns the masseur.