Stressed out? Try cured meat therapy

June 23, 2011 at 4:09 PM ET

La Madia Travelfood/Gourmandia /

Mortadella facial? Lard massage? Oh yes, they’re real.

If you’re a meat enthusiast, then you know nothing lifts your mood like a juicy slab of flesh. Ivan Bertelli of Hosteria da Ivan, a restaurant outside of Parma in Italy, put two and two together and started offering a spa-like experience with his salumoterapia salon.

Call it meat therapy. So what does it actually mean? Writing for The Atlantic, Faith Willinger had a chance to get “re-toxed” and describes the experience like this:

La Madia Travelfood/Gourmandia /

“The treatment consisted of deep breathing, eating, and drinking. Participants were served a plate of choice salumi — sliced prosciutto, culatello, salami, and Tuscan head cheese from Simone Fracassi. Then we were given large cloth napkins, to be placed over one's head and the plate, deeply inhaling the porky perfumes, stimulating salivary glands and appetite. Remove napkin, taste salumi, and drink sparkling wine… I felt renewed”

La Madia Travelfood/Gourmandia /

For those anxiety ridden carnivores who need more meat attention, Hosteria da Ivan actually offers mortadella masks, prosciutto wraps (“for tennis elbow or knee problems”) and even a lard massage if booked in advance.

If wearing pig parts is your idea of a good time, you don’t have to go all the way to Italy to do it. Take a cue from Lady Gaga or this resourceful “bakini”-clad woman and let your imagination run hog wild.