Monday, 10 December 2012

The Downside Of Fish Spas.....

Having little fish clean off the dead skin of your feet can be a relaxing experience, but there may be a risk of serious infection as I have just discovered that makes me think Dr. Fish spa will no longer be a part of our Thailand travels this year.

The family relaxing in Ao Nang, Krabi, nice photography by our Thai friend....

It was in April 2010, that we first discovered this crazy fish spa sensation in 'Walking Street' Koh Lipe, and for 250THB or the equivalent to $ 8 AUD for our family of 6 for a 20 minute treatment, we decided to go for it and experience what this craze was all about.

As I dipped my feet in the spa, I squealed as hundreds of tiny fish latched onto my feet and began nibbling away at my deadskin, and boy, did they have their work cut out for them!! After a few more treatments I learnt to relax and soon enjoyed the strange sensation of the fish spa.

The garra rufa set to work....

Thailand is fast becoming one of the world's top destinations for Fish Spa treatments and the popularity of this has grown rapidly in recent years as Fish Spa's have started appearing in shopping centres, walking streets and tourist strips.

The Fish spa treatment basically involves clients placing their feet into a water tank filled with toothless garra rufa fish or their common name "Doctor Fish'. Within seconds, an army of fish will gather at the clients feet and nibble away the dead skin tissue, this I have to confess to being the most bizarre feeling I have ever encountered.

Little Lucie being very brave and trying to stay still amidst the squealing as 2 tiny fish come for a nibble......

Check out my face ...this was our first encounter with 'Dr. Fish Spa' and it just felt bizarre....

Prepare for the attack of 'The Garra Rufa'.......

However I recently did a little research on 'The Fish Spa' and have discovered that the good old 'Fish Spa' is not risk free and has been known to cause infections...oooh, NASTY!!!

I have just learnt that if a customer steps into the spa water and if, unfortunately, he or she happens to have an Infectious wound, the infection can definitely spread to other people who step into that very same spa tank. So given the fact that we have already encountered a brush with Rabies, as much as the children will be totally devastated, I am thinking that our upcoming vacation to Malaysia and Thailand in a few weeks time will be Fish Spa free.

Here we are all enjoying maybe our last fish spa???

So what do you all think??Am I over reacting by banning 'Doctor Fish Spa' on our next holiday and just being a neurotic Mum??? Sadly enough, I think our days of Fish Spa's are over and we will stick with the traditional thai massage and reflexology. What would you do? We would love to hear from you....xox

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  2. I don't think you are overreacting by banning these 'fish-spas' i am into spas/ massages/mani-pedi but the fish spa doesnt appeal to me for hygienic reasons too. For one, I dont know how they make sure the water is replenished fresh everytime a new client steps in (not just filtered), and , if the fish nibbled at a previous client who has some skin disease, how will you ensure that that same fish wont be nibbling your feet next? Im not OC nor a clean freak , i think i'd just rather do the normal non gimmiky foot spa way :) Great family travel blog by the way, it's my first time to comment!

  3. Thank-you so much guys. Strangely enough we have just returned form Thailand...AGAIN, on Saturday and it was interesting that every foot spa on the streets of Ao Nang had disappeared within 11 months, so I think you are correct Smither that I wasn't overreacting at all!! Imagine all of the diseases that are floating in theses spas...eek.

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