....... Divertimento: Doctor Fish

Monday, 3 October 2011

Doctor Fish

Have you heard of the “Doctor Fish”? Sounds fishy? Well, it’s the nickname given to Garra Rufa fish which are reputed to nibble off dead skin.

I first encountered these fascinating little fish at a spa in Hakone not far from Mt Fuji, about 100 km from Tokyo. Guests first wash their feet and legs then sit around a shallow pool filled with warm spring water. The pool is also filled with the tiny Garra Rufa fish. Frankly, it takes a lot of resolve to keep your legs in the water when the fish swarm up to you and start nibbling. It is both ticklish and freaky at the same time. It is supposed to be very good cosmetically as the fish nibble off dead skin leaving your skin smoother and cleaner. The nibbling and the warm water is said to improve blood circulation, leaving your legs and feet with a healthy glow. Well, for me, I end up completely de-stressed after all the laughing and giggling.

In Hong Kong, there is a Doctor Fish place in the Peak Galleria at the Peak. Not quite as interesting as a spa in Hakone but the great thing about it is most times, you don’t have to share the pool with strangers, particularly if you go with a few friends. They have 2 pools at the shop, each with seating for 6-8 people. This is great as I never quite know what to think when you sit next to someone who is attracting the lion’s share of the Garra Rufa fish.

Here is a picture of me “feeding” the Doctor Fish at the Peak Galleria. Notice the plaster - for hygiene purposes, every scratch and wound is covered up.

Doctor Fish Gurra Rufa
Do give it a try, it’s really fun.

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