For an unknown reason, I have tried to stay away from salon and spa procedures of every sort. Yours truly has been a DIY girl, right from threading eyebrows to doing her own pedicures. Friends who knew this decided it was time for my first spa visit and took me to a Fish Spa. It was a very refreshing and relaxing experience.
First, some gyaan about fish spa. This is a new concept which was brought to India only a couple of years ago. Essentially, your hands or feet are immersed in a small pool of water which contains a rather large school of fish, known as ‘doctor fish’. These fish have their place in Oriental medicine and are known for their exfoliating properties. What happens in the fish pedicure is that these fish nibble away dead skin cells, leaving behind soft, smooth skin. The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. The spas are not meant as a curative treatment option, only as a temporary alleviation of symptoms, and patients usually revisit the spas every few months. This process also tingles your feet, thereby improving blood circulation.
I was taken to a Spa in Bangalore which was the first to offer fish spa in the city. Since it was a Monday afternoon (the joy of being in college..you can relax in a spa while the rest of your class is in session :P), the place was nearly empty. We had taken appointments earlier and were led to the spa area with no fuss. The assistant carried out the preliminary procedure of cleaning our feet thoroughly to remove all traces of skincare products which can accidentally poison the fish. Here’s what the spa looks like (it has low lighting)
Next came one of the most fun experiences ever. As soon as I placed my feet in water, a hundred fish swam swiftly and surrounded my feet. Some practically fought to have a nibble of skin and it was extremely ticklish; I kept giggling non-stop for the entire session. If fish creep you out, I suggest you close your eyes or read one of the magazines they keep handy. Please don’t freak out because you’ll only be wasting your money – the fish are practically harmless and you get used to the tickle pretty soon. Here’s how my feet looked –
They had a really good collection of fashion and lifestyle magazines to read while you’re being treated. After 5-6 minutes, we were told that we can immerse our legs in water as well (up to the knee). So we did and the fish feasted on our legs!
A clever way to make the best out of this procedure is to immerse only your ‘problem’ areas or rough spots for a while. For instance, my friend who had trouble with callus formation kept only her toes in for half the session. The fish chewed up all the rough skin instantly! Likewise, if you have rough heels, let the fish work on your heels for 3-4 minutes. Also, make sure a maximum of two people occupy a fish tank. The more fish at your feet, the better.
Results: We came out refreshed with baby soft feet, tan considerably reduced due to the exfoliation. All the tingling had acted like a massage and my feet felt very relaxed.
Pros of Fish Spa
Quick pedicure – a 10 minute session is all you need.
Value for money – Exfoliation AND massage for Rs. 200 is a decent deal
Cons of Fish Spa
Not something you can do alone or in a hurry.
Rating: 5/5. Definitely recommended!