Monday, September 12, 2011

Fish Pedicure

And now for something completely different, as the guys in Monty Python used to say.

Dave and I went to see a movie ("The Inbetweeners") on Saturday afternoon. We walked over to a shopping center on Queensway called Whiteleys, which isn't far from our apartment, and once there we had a little time to kill. So we walked around the mall and came across a curious kiosk called "X Feet," which consisted of benches set up above several aquariums full of fish.

Turns out, these fish actually eat the dead skin off your feet. For about £1 per minute, you sit on the bench with your feet in the aquarium, and those little suckers eagerly swarm all over them. We had to try it!

Here's Dave giving it a go:

And here's my experience:

The fish, called Garra rufa, are apparently from Turkey, where they're used in this treatment. (The attendant at the booth said there's even a full-body option offered in Turkey, but I think I'll pass on that.) It was amazing how the fish zeroed in on our feet. They were not swimming lazily about. They were hungry.

It felt kind of good, but mostly just weird. Kind of tingly, like my feet had fallen asleep and were just regaining circulation. I can't imagine those tiny fish had any real effect on my skin, at least not in the 10 minutes I paid for, but it was an interesting experience and oddly relaxing.


  1. Sounds great! I love your adventurous spirits. Which one of you actually said, "Let's do it?"

    I would much prefer little fish nibbles to the rough pumice stone they often use in a pedicure.

  2. Why are you not reacting with a little more OHHHH!EEEE!
    I think that I feel a little sorry for their little fishy lives- fancy having to depend on human cheesy detritus for a livelihood!
    Glad you guys did it- Glad you filmed it- now I won't have to seek out a place with little feety fish to make me tingle. My curiosity quelled. Thank you.

  3. Now, this is one adventure most of your friends probably haven't tried...

    If I ever get to London again, we'll go check this out.

  4. Barbara: It was Dave's idea, and in fact, I thought he was kidding at first! A pumice stone may be less comfortable, but I think it's more effective.

    Linda Sue: You know, I feel sorry for the fish too. I hope the proprietors take good care of them.

    E: I've heard there are places like this in the states. My friend Kevin went to one in Alexandria, Va. Keep an eye out! (But yes, when you come to London, we'll go!)