A Clean Pair of Heels

I can only hope, gentle reader, that you are not eating as you are reading this, or at least that you have a bucket close by if you are.

We were in the kitchen at lunchtime today when one of the Pencil-slim Young Wans, the collection of wonderful young women who have become such good friends at work, suddenly asked one of the others had she “done the thing with the fishes”. She replied that she had, and it is very very hard, having heard that, not to ask what’s the thing with the fishes. And this is how, for the first time ever, I heard  the phrase “fish pedicure”.

Apparently there are salons where you go along, stick your feet into a tank of warm water, and fish nibble away at your toes, eating all the dead skin.

I don’t know why I bother my arse trying to make up funny stuff while the real world has things like Fish Pedicure Salons. It’s like being in the same room as Mozart and playing the kazoo.

I thought the idea was weird enough already before I heard that you do not do this alone, there are other people in the salon with you. I suggested it might be embarrassing if all the fish in your tank floated to the top, everyone would stare at you. I was told not to be silly (we’re talking about fish eating your dead skin here, but apparently I’m the one who’s being silly), you don’t get a tank each, you all dip your feet into the same tank (seriously? I’m the silly one?).

One of the girls said that they get rid of your eczema and everything. I asked (I know, should have kept my mouth shut) does that not mean that you just pass it on to the fish and she said “yeah, suppose so”. I then said is that not like going to your pharmacist and giving him your zits and she honestly said “yeuw, that’s gross”.

I must point out, by the way, that most of the girls ate Marks and Spencer sushi the entire way through this conversation. Whoever said that women were the weaker sex certainly wasn’t talking about their stomachs.

I Googled the whole thing during the afternoon. The fish are known as Doctor Fish, and in case any of these words ever turn up on a menu, please be aware that they are from two species: Garra rufa and Cyprinion macrostomus. Other nicknames to look out for and avoid include Nibble Fish, Kangal Fish and Doctorfishen.

The article also says: “in non-medical contexts, Garra rufa is called the Reddish Log Sucker”.

I don’t even know where to start.

9 thoughts on “A Clean Pair of Heels

  1. speccy

    I just had a converstaion about this yesterday! The woman was raving about it and I was having a great laugh, but…somehow… I think I might even try it. Apparently the other folk sharing your tank makes it all the more fun cos you get to be all silly together rather than feeling like a total fool sitting on your own with fish eating your feet. That would just be daft.

  2. Jo

    I heard about this a while back and am RARING to try it. My friend said his very posh grandma used to go get herself totally immersed in Turkey, when it was still top secret.

    You may rest assured that these are specific, tiny fish, and they don’t make sushi out of them.

  3. Tinman Post author

    “Totally immersed?????”


    (Don’t mind spellcheck, speccy, it doesn’t even recognise “spellcheck”).

    And Grannymar, ALL of those rice thingies look like dead skin.

  4. Tinman Post author

    PS, speccy, Spellcheck had a fit at that last comment. Apparently thingies isn’t a word, never mind all your names.

  5. Rose

    I haven’t heard of this process used for pedicures. I am so low maintenance! But I had a friend that use to go to the Middle East for psoriasis treatment by these little fish. It’s called Ichtyotherapy. Even the name is icky!

  6. Tilly Bud

    This sounds like fun! I think you’ll find that anything that allows a woman to sit and do nothing for five minutes and to have a laugh while not doing it, is worth the eeeewwwgghh! factor.


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