When Fish Therapy does not mean having fish as a regular part of your diet …

May 28, 2008 at 8:44 am 6 comments

So what does it mean? It means letting the fish nibble on the dead skin of your feet as part of the healing process. The Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa at the Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur offers this “spa experience like no other” with prices starting at RM30 (Rs. 600).

I learnt about this unique spa during a break in the ASOCIO Executive Directors meeting which we were trying to conduct over dinner hosted by PIKOM (the Malaysian IT Association). Since this was at the tail end of a very hectic week, most of the participants were in a party mood and a karaoke session was taking place in parallel which of course didn’t help reduce the noise levels.

Anyway, one of our Malaysian friends, when asked how one would spend a spare hour or so in KL, told us about a Fish Spa not far from the hotel where most of us were staying. Yup a Fish Spa! Great for therapeudic purposes, we were told. These are not your normal fish you understand. They are toothless so no need to fear them really. Yeah right!!!

The fish are called Garra Rufa and have apparently originated from a hot spring near Kangal in Turkey where they were first discovered for their healing power. Not surprisingly, some people call them ‘Doctor Fish’ as it is claimed that they help in easing the symptoms of those suffering from various skin conditions. As you can see in this picture, they nibble away your scaly and dead skin, leaving your feet smooth and glowing.

Believe me I was tempted to try it considering that I really needed a pedicure but somehow the thought of little fish nibbling away at my feet, was not a very attractive thought. The fact that they have no teeth did not really offer me comfort. However, for those who are less squeamish and ticklish, I am told it is worth a try. By the way, these fish are quite picky from what I hear. They are more attracted to older, scalier, skin, and so fewer circulate around children’s feet. Hmmmm ….

Entry filed under: Posts.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Haris  |  May 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I am planning to visit Malaysia next month so I will definitely try it. Thanks a lot for the info.

    I am loving your travelogues 🙂

  • 2. Jehan  |  May 28, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Glad you enjoy my travelogues Haris. Do share your experience of the spa with us when you return. I chickened out but obviously you are braver than I am.

  • 3. Quli  |  June 1, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Hmmm – so the more smellier the feet the better.
    I’d be tempted to try this but I sure hope the fishes are “trained” to avoid double dipping ie to reduce the likelihood of spreading foot diseases :S

  • 4. ops  |  June 6, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    These fishes are good for people suffering from Psoriasis.

    From Wiki:

    In Turkey & in Croatia (Altermedica), doctor fish which live in the outdoor pools of spas, are encouraged to feed on the psoriatic skin of people with psoriasis. The fish only consume the affected areas of the skin. The outdoor location of the spa may also have a beneficial effect. This treatment can provide temporary relief of symptoms. A revisit to the spas every few months is often required. Best known is the spa “Kangal Thermal Springs”, near the Turkish village of Kavak. According to the testimony of numerous psoriasis patients, the fish lead to a significant relief. This spa is located south of the historic silk road in Anatolia. The next big city is Sivas. Treatment in this hot spring has been examined until now in two small clinical trials, with positive results.

  • 5. くまちゃん  |  July 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Hope fish won’t have stomachache :-))

  • 6. Cure For Psoriasis  |  December 21, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Nice post. I might have to share this with a few friends. Thanks. I’ve had psoriasis for about 46 years now. Psoriasis is bad enough but now I have psoriatic arthritis. After four years of methotrexate therapy, I’ve just about given up any hope. I’ve tried everything — nothing seems to really work for me. Maybe I should try a fish pedicure myself?


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