How would you like to dangle your legs in a warm spa, and let shoals of small fish nibble your skin and toenails?
These finny dermatologists, Garra Rufa, are called doctor fish or nibble fish. They are particularly helpful to people with psoriasis and dermatitis.
People in Turkey, China and Japan have indulged themselves in this way for many years, and now the practice is spreading to other countries, notably the UK, but also the US, South Africa and Singapore.
While most spa operators promote their pools as health resorts, one in Eilat, Israel,
emphasises the fun aspect. Its website says:
Among the many treatment experiences the city of Eilat offers, ranging from massages to a variety of holistic treatments, there is another unique species of therapy. Doctor Fish brings the newest trend in a series of amenities and cleaning fish gospel of Eilat.
At the Spiral Complex , between the Leonardo Plaza Hotel promenade to the Hilton Promenade, for only 50 dollars, you can get fifteen minutes, in which tiny fish will kiss (kissing fish) your feet.
This is an amusing experience of trying the trend traveling the world for several years.
The Small pool, which is on the second floor at the Spiral center, full with fish, brought in specifically to bite you. Instead of them resting in your plate, you are the first and main courses in their plate. These are not cruel Pyrenees or other predators, but small fish, with no teeth, a breed called Garra Rufa a sort of miniature carp, which has become popular in dermatology and pedicures in particular.
The fish, filling Doctor Fish's small pool, were brought from Japan to the city of Eilat by Amir Rosens, although originally the origin of the fish is in Turkey. The Garra rufa fish live in warm water, where there is no existence of plankton or enough algae to feed the fish, and therefore, in an ecologically adaptive process the fish began to eat dry skin.
The fish have become a global trend, especially for patients who suffer from psoriasis. This is due to the fish nutrition, which consume only the dead or Hard area "of the skin, leaving behind healthy skin. Of course this is not a cure but a temporary treatment that relieves the symptoms of the disease.
Treatment at Dr. Fish is not only painless, but also tickles a lot. The pool's water is very clean, thanks to its everyday recurrent refill, and thanks to meticulous cleanliness and hygiene. The place offers the possibility to buy treatments ticket tab, which for five treatments you will receive an additional gift treatment (250 ₪ for 6 treatments). Also, while soaking your feet in the pool, you can order drinks and lay back to enjoy.
The pool at Dr. Fish is suitable for use by several people simultaneously, and to sum everything up it seems that Spa fishes have been eagerly waiting for a taste of the splendor of your feet.
Dr. Fish is open every weekday from 9:00 to 23:00.
Wikipedia says "In a museum near the River Kwai, recording the privations of prison camps, a sketch drawn by a prisoner showed him up to his waist in water, but with small fish attending to his leg ulcers. There is widespread use of such fish in India, particularly in rural areas."
You can see the fish in action in this video:
And take part in a competition in Ireland: