In the Victoria Centre here in Llandudno a new shop opened last year and it is a place where people sit with their feet in tanks of water whilst little fish nibble at them! Let me explain.....
The little fish are actually Garra Rufa fish which are also known as doctor fish and they actually feed on dead skin leaving the healthy skin alone.
This process can help to heal skin conditions such as Psoriasis and eczema and it also makes for a lovely pedicure.
The place that I went to is a shop called Neat Feet and I think the treatment cost £10 for 10 minutes and £15 for 20 minutes. I may be slightly out on the prices as we went last December and my memory isn't what it might be. It has probably gone up a bit since then too.
My husband bought me a treatment as part of my birthday present but, since my sister and her partner were staying with us at the time, he decided to buy them a treatment each as part of their Christmas present and of course he treated himself too.
When he purchased the vouchers he was told that we must not put any creams on our feet when we were going for the treatment and there must not be any open wounds on our feet.
We went and looked into the shop first where we could see all the tanks and clients in full view of all the shoppers walking past. If you are shy about people watching you this is not the place for you!
We went in and registered and were sat at the four tanks next to one another so we could chat as we had the treatment. We took off our coats as it was nice and warm in the shop.
The first thing that we had to do was to take off our shoes and socks and then wash our feet in a foot spa to make sure that they were nice and clean.
We then swung round on our seats to put our feet in the tanks and were given timers which were set for the ten minutes that we had paid for.
The water in the tank is about a foot deep and is nice and warm and there are about twenty to thirty little fish swimming around just waiting for feet to nibble! The tank is the size of a small tropical fish tank and it is cleaned between each session so there is no problem with hygiene.
There is a filter in the tank so that the water is constantly being cleaned thus making sure that there is no cross contamination form one person to another.
Now I was expecting to have problems with this as I am very ticklish on my feet but I was fine. I put my feet in the water and relaxed while the fish got on with my pedicure.
I could feel them nibbling and it was a tickly feeling but not so much that it made me want to laugh - it was actually extremely relaxing. The fish collect round your feet, concentrating on the dry skin and they nibble constantly so you get your money's worth.
When the time is up and the timer rings you have to remove your feet from the tank and dry them on the fluffy white towels provided. Then you put your shoes and socks back on and off you go with feet that feel lovely!
I had no pre existing problems with my feet apart from a bit of dry skin and I loved the whole experience. My feet felt really comfortable when it was all over and seemed almost tingly but in a nice way. It was like wearing soft slippers and it lasted for a couple of days although the benefits are said to last for a few months.
It didn't bother any of us that we could be seen through the shop windows and, as far as I am concerned, I was happy for anyone to watch as it was all good advertising for the new business. We were obviously all enjoying the experience as we chatted and laughed together so I hope that we were a good advert for them!
In conclusion I would say that this is something I would love to do regularly if I could afford it but I am afraid that my money has to be spent on more important things at the moment. However I would recommend that you have a go - we all loved it!