Heat vision – not just for Superman anymore! A Chinese cosmetic and weight loss procedure known as Huo liáo (fire treatment) is attracting notice not for its supposed therapeutic benefits, but for the shocking appearance of those undergoing it.
Huo liáo involves soaking a cloth in “secret elixir” (presumably some type of flammable solvent like alcohol) which is then laid over the part of the body needing attention and set aflame. For obvious reasons, the fire is extinguished in just a few seconds so that the towel and the body parts beneath aren't consumed and converted to charcoal.
Images of this traditional fat burning and skin-tightening treatment have been posted online before, usually featuring obese men who seek to melt away their bulging bellies... and really, who wants to see that? A new image first spied at a Chinese social media message board is, well, different in that no one wants to see it; we just can't look away!
“My mom went to get her face done at the beauty salon so I went with her,” according to the young woman who snapped the shot. “What I saw… instantly shocked me… I couldn't look.” Not directly, perhaps, but thanks to the protection offered by the filter of her mobile phone camera's lens, the eye-searing image was captured and now the whole wide world is sleeping better... and by “better”, we mean tossing and turning and sweating and moaning.
Oddly enough, the mom in question seems quite oblivious to the 700-degree flames flickering over her eyes which raises the possibility that Huo liáo may be more of a placebo than a panacea. Seriously, if an area of the body as sensitive as the eyes are unaffected, then how do the chubby chums above expect to shake a few dozen pounds of stubborn fat?
Regardless, a weight loss center in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun is doing a roaring business selling fire treatments to obese Chinese. The condition is on the upswing due to China's rise in living standards and the increasing availability of rich, sweet, calorie-laden foods and snacks.
Doctors at the clinic also promote the treatment by stating it improves circulation and boosts resistance to the common cold. With each month-long course of Huo liáo fire therapy costing around 4,000 yuan (roughly $585), it's certain at least that some Chinese doctors are eating better these days. (via Flaunt Me, World of Chinese, and Business Insider)