Thursday 3 March 2011

If You Are Wondering What A Fish Pedicure Is Like...

You must read this!

Now the thought of a fish pedicure personally doesn't really interest me in any way, shape or form. I have a real phobia about animals, fish etc so I would definitely not be relaxed. However, I am sure a lot of people would be curious and interested to know what it is like as the amount of establishments offering this treatment have grown.

I have asked 2 of my friends (one keen to try it, the other who was initially reluctant to try) who have been to share their experiences...

Joy R shares her experience - 

I’m sure the thought of dipping your feet into a tank full of small fish would turn the stomachs of many people, but where feet are concerned I’ll give anything a go.  After working in jobs where I was on my feet for long periods they are more like hooves than anything else, and over the years I’ve tried different pedicures, foot files, chiropodists you name it, so when I read about fish pedicures I was intrigued

At the end of last year I had the opportunity to try this treatment out and visited the Aqua Preena Spa in Leeds.  After filling in a quick health check form it was on with the treatment.  It started with a quick footbath to remove any product that might be on my skin and then it was straight into the fish.  The initial sensation is a bit ticklish, but that soon subsides and it is pleasant to sit with your feet in warm water while the fish get on with their job.  The salon has a pleasant ambience and a variety of complimentary drinks are available during the treatment.  After 15 minutes I felt so relaxed I opted to stay for another 15.  At the end of the session peppermint foot cream was available to use, to finish off the treatment.

I have to say that this is probably the best foot treatment I have ever experienced, I really did feel like I was walking on air afterwards.   The effects lasted for a few days as well, but like everything it is probably best if you can have regular treatments.  

Lisa Taylor shares her experience

Garra Rufa Fish Pedicure

The last time my feet got anywhere near any fish I was about 16 and in the Mediterranean Sea in Greece and one of the blighters took a chunk out of my ankle drawing blood, so you can see why I wasn’t rushing to voluntarily dip my toes into a tank full of fish – teeth or no teeth. But then the too good to refuse offer popped into my inbox and an appointment for a date with a tank full of fish was made.

I was a little apprehensive on arriving at the salon but sat and watched the fish whilst the previous clients finished off and to be honest my first concern was whether they’d be hungry! They didn’t seem overly active and as it was mid afternoon I was a little worried they’d already stuffed their little faces.

The tanks are really clear boxes at the foot of a couple of stools, nothing fancy and obviously constantly filtered (there is no water change between clients though). When it came to my turn I was asked to pick which tank I’d like (there were two) or pop a foot in each as there was no-one else at the same time as me. Naturally I did the latter being so focussed on their appetite.

My feet were quickly rubbed with a towel and I gently placed my feet in the water. I can’t even remember how warm it was, it definitely wasn’t cold. There were approximately forty to fifty little fishes in each tank and gently they started exploring my feet. It was a weird sensation, especially for someone with rather ticklish feet, although it was more like pins and needles than tickles. I needn’t have worried about their eating; they’re greedy little things that need feeding every day too! I probably had about a dozen fish on my feet at any one time. I was quite surprised at how many liked the top of my feet, as I had been told they eat the dead skin and there’s definitely more on the underside.

It was nice to sit for half an hour and read a magazine and drink a coffee, but I must admit I was rather uncomfortable. The tanks are at the base of stools which meant there was no kicking back and relaxing. The fish were fascinating and mesmerising to watch, so tiny and constantly on the go.

When the time was up, the receptionist (yes that’s right – you don’t need a qualified beautician for this) dried my feet and put some cream all over them and it was done.

My feet do feel smooth, but you can’t ask fish to concentrate on one area and surprisingly they didn’t really go for my heels or the base of my big toes where I develop hard skin. I’m not sure they feel a lot smoother than if I’d put my feet in a bowl of water for half an hour. The one thing I did find was that it took about two hours for my feet to warm up afterwards, but that could just be me.

Would I go again? Probably not – there is no substitute for someone really massaging your feet and getting the blood flowing whilst you sit back and relax. So I think that a traditional pedicure would win every time.

If another too good to refuse offer popped into my inbox? Maybe :-)

Many thanks ladies for sharing your experience of the fish pedicure, I am still not convinced though!

Have you been, would you go? 


  1. I was in Newark a couple of weeks ago with my mum, and spotted a place that has just opened up that does this type of pedicure, and you can stand looking in the window at the girls dipping their feet in, and I have to say that it makes me absolutely cringe everytime I walk past.

    I'm slightly curious enough to try it, but I don't think I'd dare! Nope, looks too weird for me haha :)

  2. I'm way to ticklish to try it... plus I know the water is filtered for the fish but I'd still worry someone elses feet had been in there first... ewwwwwwwww.


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