NEW YORK – A new style of massage is creating quite a buzz online, thanks in part to National Snake Day earlier this week.
Some cultures revere the serpents while others simply keep them as pets, but now you can get a snake massage.
“Just enjoy them and feel them,” Serpentessa, a snake priestess at Dreaming Goddess in Poughkeepsie, told one of her clients, Pam Kelly, during a recent massage session.
Serpentessa guided three boa constrictors, some longer than six feet, all over Kelly’s body. She can’t force them to do anything — each serpent chooses its own path, gliding over Kelly, wrapping around her feet, her head, even resting on her neck.
“They tone and stimulate the vagus nerve in our body and that releases endorphins and oxytocin,” Serpentessa said. “Those are the feel good hormones.”
Serpentessa has specialized as an interspecies facilitator for 25 years. Murdock asked her how safe this is.
“There are no guarantees with a wild animal,” she said. “You are the one who’s going to choose whether if it’s is safe for you or not. So no one has ever been hurt by one of my boa constrictors.”
Serpentessa says people typically reach out to her for one of three reasons: healing, empowerment or to get over their fear of snakes.
In the end, Kelly said the session helped.
“It was a lot calmer and peaceful than I thought it would be,” said Kelly. “There was a point it felt like they were just hugging me around the shoulders. It just felt very calm – like I could fall asleep.”
Kelly’s ease on the table gave Alan Lesner the courage to try it. He barely flinched as a snake went in for a kiss.
WCBS video showed reporter Vanessa Murdock force herself to at least sit with a snake, the only animal she says she’s ever really feared. Within a few minutes, she could finally relax, breathe normally and even smile for a picture with Serpentessa and one of her snakes.
Serpentessa also offers snake massages in New York City – one hour and 15 minutes will cost you $300.