A Bangkok-born masseuse who goes by the name of Tata is hoping to storm San Francisco's niche beauty market with a skin-firming procedure: slapping her customers in the face.
In a procedure that the massage parlor touts as "one million percent safe," a woman named Rassameesaitarn Wongsirodkul (New Series World), aka Tata, will deliver precision blows "using Thai wisdom to bring out your own beauty," according to her company's website.
"Face slapping brings out your hidden beauty potential, without invasive procedures. And it's 100 percent chemical free. I am proud to be the only one to bring the face slapping knowledge … to the western hemisphere," Tata says in an online video.
Tata is the co-owner of Tata Massage in San Francisco's Richmond District with her husband, Mawin Sombuntham. The parlor is set to open and begin firming faces across the Bay Area today.
The procedure involves Tata, donning a hat adorned with plastic flowers, slinking around to Thai pop music and delivering a few quick blows. She then firmly pinches her client's cheeks, and gives the client a few more hard slaps.
Sombuntham told ABC News that Tata went through a month of training with professional face slapper Kung Khemika, who runs her own parlor in Bangkok and has dozens of customers per day.
"It's a very closely guarded knowledge. Tata is only one of 10 students that the teacher wants in her lifetime," Sombuntham said.
For $350, Tata offers a "face firming" slapping massage, which is said on the company's website to "lessen wrinkles and make your skin firmer." Customers casn choose a particular area of their face that they'd like to receive a precision smack, including eyebrows, cheek or forehead.
Sombuntham said that the results or a single session, which lasts 15-20 minutes, can last about six months, and with the full course customers can expect the results to last up to a year.
"How long it lasts depends on the treatments. Customers must follow rules in terms of taking care of themselves. If you gain weight, it's not going to last," Sombuntham said. "It can last longer if the person takes care of themselves."
Rose Griscom of the U.S. Institute of Thai Massage in New Jersey, says that although the technique has similarities to tapotement, a technique of rhythmic tapping on the body used in Swedish massage, she's never heard of such slapping used on the face.
"I do know that tapotement does actually bring blood to the surface and increase blood flow as it stimulates the nerves," she told ABC News. "I've never heard of this just for the face, or a focus on the face. But I suppose there is possibly a grain of therapy if administering it."
For those who are looking to be slapped weekly, a money-saving bundle of four treatments within a month is offered for $1,000. As boldly pointed out on their website, Tata Massage accepts cash only.
"You would see the results right away after your first session," he said. "How much change you see depends on the person. And which session you're doing. You're going to see more over the full course treatment."Also Read