Chennai, Aug 21 : After gaining popularity in China, Japan and other countries, fish pedicure has emerged as a new age beauty treatment for tired souls in Chennai.
Moving around in a tub of warm water, numerous small fish nibble at dead skin, leaving hands and feet shiny and smooth.
Deviating from the usual, a fish pedicure or manicure offers a unique ticklish and lively experience to those who indulge in it.
"A pedicure is not a very enjoyable experience, the normal pedicure. We wanted to make it much more enjoyable and fun loving for people. We thought that when they come here. They should enjoy and have a good experience. We wanted to give them a lively experience and through fish pedicure we have been able to give them that," said Rahim, Director, Naturals Salon and Spa.
The idea behind the fish spa was to find a replacement for scrubbers used for pedicures and manicures. A fish called 'Garra Rufa' or 'Doctor Fish' is used for these beauty treatments.
These fish nibble away at the dead skin on the hands and feet as the hot water in which they thrive doesn't support much plant or aquatic life, so they learned to feed on whatever food sources were available, including dead, flaking skin and this is what gave the idea to start this unique beauty treatment.
They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can't bite it off.
Fish pedicure and manicure has already created quite a stir in the city with hordes of people coming in to try them out.
For the first timers, the experience might have been a little scary, but they come out all full of praise after letting the 'Garra Rufa' nibble away at their feet and hands.
"Initially, it's a bit scary. It's a very nice feeling. Before I used to keep coming for the normal pedicure and manicure, now I keep coming for this because it's different. It's like entertainment when you see those fishes doing it," said Ankeera, a customer.
The fish don't do the job alone. After 15 to 30 minutes in the tank, customers get a standard pedicure, made easier by the soft skin the doctor fish leave behind.
Fish therapy or fish pedicure originated in Turkey where these fish were first used to provide temporary relief to patients affected with psoriasis. By Jai Kumar