I have tried many types of spa treatments but this one beats them all for an unique experience. Today I went to the Fish Spa in Macau, located in The Shops at Four Seasons. A small place, with a menu of services including chair massages, hot stone foot massages and the Fish Spa! Small fish, called Garra Rufa or “Doctor Fish” with a special diet of dead skin, nibble away the dead skin on your feet and lower legs. The first discovery of these special fish was in the waters of a hot spring near Kangal, Turkey and have been scientifically proven by several universities to help people with skin problems. The type of suction these fish have allow them to only take off the dead skin, leaving the live skin cells in tact and in a healthy state.
Here at the Fish Spa at The Shops at Four Seasons in Macau, there are three small pools, each with fish in them. You first clean your feet and then starting with the “Doctor Fish”, the smallest of them, about an inch long, you submerge your feet and lower part of your leg. Dozens of the “Doctor Fish”immediately come to your feet to have a smorgasbord of your dead skin. When the nibbling begins your first reaction is to snatch your feet out of the water. The fish anxiously wait for you to re-submerge your feet. At first it tickles and definitely takes some getting used to. Then, you calm down and start to relax as the “Doctor Fish” focus on getting the job done. It gets more intense the longer you’re there and you can really start to feel the suction. In between your toes, on the bottom of your feet, around the cuticles of your toenails, around your ankles and up your calves, actually all the way to the top of where your legs are in the water. It’s strange and exhilarating at the same time. After about 10 minutes you move to the next pool with larger fish called Piranian. Our guide jokingly told us they were piranha. These fish are light brown in color and about 3 inches long. As you approach the pool they immediately come to the surface eagerly awaiting to doctor your feet. This time it feels more like pecking. It was hard to get used to the larger fish because you could feel them more individually then you could the “Doctor Fish”. The third pool has the largest fish also Piranian and about 4 inches long. They are a bit more aggressive and come to the surface if you just look into the pool. Here is where I chickened out. I don’t know why because they don’t have teeth but their lips are larger and to me look like small human lips. They were just a little too big for me to try.
After all was done my feet did feel more smooth and actually silky. I put my socks and shoes back on and my feet were still tingling. This tingling sensation lasted for about an hour. This was truly a unique experience that I’d do again, with the smaller Garra Rufa fish.
Until next time….
Co-Host, The Traveling Eye
President, Advantage International