There are many exotic health and beauty treatments in KL that seem bizarre to first time visitors. It’s true that age old treatments can be found all over the world, but as a truly multiracial city, Kuala Lumpur is home to a wide range of traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous beauty practices, as well as western and contemporary treatments.
After a day of exploring Kuala Lumpur, invigorate your fatigued mind and body by enjoying the city’s plethora of weird but wonderful holistic treatments. From giggle-inducing fish spa treatments to intricate henna body art, we’ve listed 5 bizarre beauty treatments in Kuala Lumpur that you should definitely try!
Jamu massage is a conventional Malay treatment that’s intended to help a new mother get back in shape after childbirth. Practiced during a new mother’s confinement period, a piece of cloth is tightly wrapped around the stomach area with a blend of herbs, essential oils, lemongrass, nutmeg, and jasmine flower. Jamu massage treatments are often accompanied with warm herbal-infused bath to ensure better blood circulation, reduce water retention, and break down fatty tissue. Aside from beautifying properties, it is believed that jamu massage helps in alleviating a wide variety of health problems such as migraines, rheumatism, arthritis, and body aches.
Where to find: Jamu is a compulsory practice among young mothers in the Muslim community, so you can find many post-natal massage centres in Kuala Lumpur. We highly recommend Jamu Massage Kuala Lumpur, which houses highly-qualified masseuses with more than 10 years of experience.
- Opening Hours: Daily (by appointment)
- Address: A-23A-7, The Elements, Jalan Ampang Ulu, Ampang
- Tel: +6012 978 0904
Gua Sha TherapyBangsar
Gua sha is a traditional Chinese treatment, popular in Kuala Lumpur, which involves rubbing a smooth-edged instrument (such as clay spoons, jades, or contemporary gua sha tools) across the skin surface to produce light bruising and redness. Commonly performed on the upper back, neck and shoulder areas, gua sha is used to treat a variety of acute and chronic health problems including colds and flu, fever, headache, indigestion, dizziness, injury, joint pain, and fibromyalgia. While the treatment may leave your body looking battered for a few days, you’ll definitely feel much lighter and more relaxed for an extended period of time.
Where to find: You can find plenty of Chinese reflexology centres in Chinatown KL, Kepong, and Setapak. However, Zouk Spa in Bangsar is one of the most well-frequented centres as it employs experienced therapists from mainland China.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 00:00
- Address: 8, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru
- Tel: +603 2287 0118
Henna is a form of body art that’s most popular amongst the Indian, Sikh and Malay community. Henna is a black paste (made with crushed leaves and twigs of henna plant) that’s commonly used for weddings and religious celebrations; intricate Mehndi designs are drawn onto the hands and feet of women. Practitioners believe that the dark shade of henna on a bride’s skin signifies the strength of her husband’s love. It’s similar to a temporary tattoo, leaving a dark maroon stain in the skin which lasts almost two weeks. Henna is also used as a natural hair dye that also promotes hair growth and reduces dandruff, resulting in stronger and softer locks.
Where to find: As henna is a popular practice in the local Indian community, we recommend heading to any beauty parlour in Brickfields Little India and Bangsar. If you prefer having it done in the comfort of your home, we recommend booking a session with local favourite Jastina's House of Mehndi & Bridal.
- Opening Hours: Daily (by appointment)
- Tel: +6014 362 2303
Fish SpaMid Valley Megamall
Fish spa is another common beauty treatment in Southeast Asia, where patrons dip their feet into a water tank filled with numerous toothless garra rufa fish. A pedicure with a twist, the fish will nibble at the dead skin tissue which results in smoother and softer feet. Originated from the Middle East, this treatment is also used as a medical treatment for those with skin diseases and athlete’s foot, stimulates blood flow, improves circulation, and reduces foot odour. While it hasn’t been scientifically proven, other health benefits from fish spa treatments include stimulating acupuncture points, regulating the nervous system, and releasing fatigue. Plus, it’s a unique and unforgettable experience!
Where to find: After a day of shopping in Mid Valley Megamall, drop by Kenko Reflexology at Level 2. Aside from the fact that it’s cosier and cleaner compared to most fish spa centres in KL, you can also enjoy foot reflexology, shoulder massage, and body acupressure services.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: Level 2, Mid Valley Megamall
- Tel: +603 2284 3707
Threading is an Indian-style method of hair removal that’s great for those with sensitive skin. Not only does it remove unwanted facial hair, this practice provides a more precise control for eyebrow shaping compared to waxing. Threading requires the use of a thin, twisted cotton thread and talc-free powder where the thread is pulled along unwanted hair in a twisting motion, trapping hair in a mini lasso before lifting the hair right out of the follicle. There are plenty of Indian beauty parlours in Kuala Lumpur, where experienced beauticians can thread a person’s eyebrows in less than two minutes. After the treatment, many have claimed to have fuzz-free, baby smooth skin for about three to four weeks.
Where to find: Brickfields Little India and Bangsar are home to numerous Indian beauty parlours that offer threading services. The most well-frequented establishment is the First Impression Beauty Saloon in Bangsar, where you can have your eyebrows shaped for only RM5.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 - 20:30
- Address: 34, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru
- Tel: +6012 213 3314