Ever got in a situation where you are tickled by a shoal of miniature sized, cute suckers? Oooh, the very thought of tiny mouths nibbling away at my feet, gives me goosebumps. So, when a fish spa opened up in a mall close to my place, I definitely wanted to check it out. I had read a lot about the miraculous ‘cleansing’ powers of the Garra Rufa fish a.k.a Doctor Fish and was desperate to have a look at it.
The spa salon was bright and freshly painted with pleasant colors with an occasional flower vase here and there. A huge square-shaped water tank with hundreds of Garra Rufa caught my eye. The very thought of surrendering my feet to these toothless healers gave me a prick. My family had accompanied me and all of them were excited to try it out. So, each one of them got their feet sanitized by the assistant. I tried to play safe and ducked out at the last moment. I know, I am such a spoiler! I decided to capture this enchanting moment and went clicking pictures of all random things in the spa.
The tank was buzzing with the doctor fishes. My mom in law and the rest of the troupe decided to dunk in. Honestly, I never thought anyone would bear the tickles for long enough. I seriously wanted someone to agree with me on the fact that it is not easy to get one’s feet mauled in a decorative water tank! The assistant checked everyone’s feet for bruises and cuts (obviously for the fear of infecting the fish as well as oneself) and then assured us that it will be a relaxing experience. She also told us that the tank gets filtered water and is cleaned every time a customer gets a pedicure done. So my folks got into the groove and happily put their feet into the tank. Immediately all the fishes in the water gathered around the feet and began their work. All i could hear was squeals and shrieks of laughter. The expressions on everyone’s face was worth a watch. I envied them. One of my uncles gave up immediately as he couldn’t take it anymore. It felt like a million needles pricking at your feet or like an army of ants on your feet, according to my folks. It takes around five minutes to get adjusted to the tickles. You can see the fish nibbling at the dead skin meticulously.
Since the fishes do not have teeth, it’s a relaxing affair. However i was still unconvinced about the fact that they are happily nibbling my foot. Imagine being tickled between the toes! Humanly impossible! After a 20 minute session of being pleasantly manhandled by the Garra Rufa, a pedicure routine follows. A regular pedicure by the assistant brings back some life to your feet which , by now, feels numb . The entire experience of 30 minutes was reasonably priced. By now the heels and soles of your feet resemble a baby’s feet. Each and every nook and corner of the toes and heels are cleaned thoroughly. I kept cursing myself for missing the experience. It was quite a rejuvenating experience for my folks and they thoroughly enjoyed the fish pedicure.
Recently, I read some reports which stated that Fish Pedicure is totally unhealthy as the water in unclean and increases risks of getting infected. It seems the Fish pedicure thing is banned in the US and some other countries. However, the fish pedicure promoters insist that the clean water is filled in the tank every time and special care is taken to keep up the hygienic environment. May be these are just rumors to cripple the competition brought about by the Fish Pedicure spas.
I loved the experiment, watching my folks rolling with laughter and enjoying their Sunday evening to the most. May be, in future I shall get motivated enough to try the Fish Pedicure on my own.