Monday, July 21, 2008

Fish pedicures

I found a news story about fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. Here's what the treatment looks like:

And here's a video of people reacting to this treatment:

Here's a much longer video (6 minutes) that gives tips on visiting a fish spa.

According to the story, the spa in Alexandria believes itself too be the only spa in the US currently offering the treatment. Quoting from the news story:

"Dennis Arnold, a podiatrist who four years ago established the International Pedicure Association, said he had never heard of the treatment and doubts it will become widespread.

"'I think most people would be afraid of it,' he said.

"Customer Patsy Fisher, 42, of Crofton, Md., admitted she was nervous as she prepared for her first fish pedicure. But her apprehension dissolved into laughter after she put her feet in the tank and the fish swarmed to her toes.

"'It's a little ticklish, actually,' she said."

Here's a quote from a Washington Post story from almost a year ago about the same treatment in a spa in Japan:

"In a culture where food and fashion seem straight out of science fiction, Doctor Fish is hardly extraordinary. Strangely enough, the spa's finned employees, which are imported from Turkey and are known scientifically as Garra rufa, have a taste for dry, flaking human skin. The fish act like living pumice stones, nibbling off the dead epidermis and leaving behind baby-smooth skin. (Thankfully, they don't have a piranha streak.)...

"When I arrived for my pedicure, two Japanese women were sitting on the edge of the pool giggling as they viewed the fish vacuuming their legs. I hesitantly plunged my feet into the warm water, then watched as a dark, wiggling nimbus darted over to my legs. Fresh dead cells, yum. Their little pouts attached to my ankles, toes and feet, but they were intimidated by my runner's callus. I could feel the light flutter of their fins against my skin and the slight pinch of their mouths. It would have been calming had it not been so disturbing.

"When my time was up, I gently shook off the clingier critters and wandered over to the footbath. Amid radiant flowers and streaming water, I admired my smooth legs glinting under the sun. Doctor Fish had cleaned his plate."

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