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Fishy fishy

Something fishy is happening in Stockholm – you find it walking through malls, ads for it are everywhere, entire salons are dedicated to it. 

It’s fish pedicures and manicures! Have you heard of them? Your feet and hands are placed in a tank of water filled with dozens of tiny, flesh-eating garra rufa fish which eat your dead skin. Sounds pretty nice, huh?

I experienced my first – and probably last – fish treatment on Friday. A Groupon lure, MP and I decided to give it a shot. It wasn’t until about 3 seconds before we submerged our hands in the tank that I realized how disgusting this was. The visions I had of relaxing with a “manicure” and “pedicure” disappeared with the cool water temperature and feeling of creatures nibbling away on my fingers. I never would have envisioned participating in this treatment, let alone actually paying for it, but the craze has become so wide-spread here that I didn’t give it much thought until it was too late.

Apparently the practice of fish pedicures started in Turkey where these garra rufa fish originate. The fish have been used for healing purposes for over 400 years, not only softening skin but also alleviating eczema and psoriasis. The practice has spread through Asia, too, where you can also submerge your entire body in a tank of fish! I don’t think I’ll ever be lured into that tank, no matter how healing it may be, thankyouverymuch.

There were a few others in the salon with us, none of whom seemed to be too bothered by what was happening to their hands or feet, while MP and I squirmed and writhed every few seconds as a fish tail flapped against our hands and feet. 

20 minutes of hand and 40 minutes of feet submersion later, our appendages felt… soft. Not so soft, but slightly soft. I wonder how long we would need to be in there to get a drastic effect. Athough I have to say, I’m not curious enough to ever do it again. 


4 Comments

  1. that's real gross. very interesting post though. i'll just have to live vicariously through you on this one and take your account of it as my own.

  2. hahah yea it was pretty weird. apparently the trend is growing in the US now too, so look out for it! im gonna call you tomorrow!

  3. This might have promise….especially for older people with dead skin! Of course, in the USA someone would file a lawsuit about it… I wonder if there have been problems with it…if a very hungry fish takes a big bite and removes a toe!

  4. Haha very true, it could be useful there. And it actually has already been spreading in the US a bit, too. The first one opened a few years ago in Alexandria apparently. Also, the fish don't have teeth – they're more sucking on the dead skin… lovely image there, huh?

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