Something Fishy About My Feet

I am the kind of person who wades into the ocean, sees fish swimming around my legs, and runs out as quickly as humanly possible. It’s not that I’m afraid of fish. It’s just that I don’t want to inhabit the same space as them.

Which will make you wonder why in the world I would go to a fish spa.

Why, indeed? I can’t say for certain. I’d seen Samantha Brown do it on her Singapore episode and had heard how beneficial it’s supposed to be for cracked, dry feet. I needed a pedicure, so I thought, why not?

I went to Kenko’s on Orchard Road and paid $30 for 30 minutes. A man sprayed off my feet and then took me into a small area off to the side of reception where I sat on a wooden bench and stuck my feet into an aquarium. The fish attached themselves to my feet immediately and I panicked.


Oh my god, oh my god, oOH MY GODDD!!! I jerked my feet and the fish scattered away. Only then did I realize I hadn’t been breathing. I took a breath and they re-attached themselves again. I clenched my teeth and stiffened my body to be as still as possible. I was freaking out.

Oh my god, Oh my god. Why did I do this? How long has it been? oh my god, they’re on my leg, get them off, oh my god, get them off, they’re attacking me. Oh my god! They’re all over me! Has it been 30 minutes? Can I quit? I’ll just tell them this was good enough. They’re on me! Get me out of here!!!

I’d look down and see the fish and panic. But then, if I looked away or closed my eyes, I panicked, too, afraid that there would suddenly be something else in the water attached to my feet. Like a snake. Which I know is irrational, since I could see the fish. It was just a big fish tank. But there was no being rational when it came to having fish attached to my feet.

I flinched and clenched and held a magazine up to shield my view from the fish feasting on my dead skin. I was a little surprised and alarmed that they were all over my legs, too. I really wasn’t sure I could sit through 30 minutes of it. I have never been so tense at a spa in my life.

Luckily, I’m not ticklish, and can’t imagine how unbearable it would be if you were. It started out feeling very tingly and very much like fish were nibbling my feet. I was constantly aware of the feeling. As mentioned, it was freaking me out. Gradually, after 20 minutes when I started to calm down a little, it felt more like being in a jacuzzi. But I can’t say I ever got used to, or enjoyed the feeling.

The receptionist came in and abruptly said, “You are finished.” It was music to my ears. I quickly pulled my legs out of the water and put on my shoes, barely taking the time to dry off my legs. I just wanted away from the fish.

I did examine my feet. They were smooth and supple. Maybe a little more so than with a regular pedicure, but not exceptionally so. I anticipate nightmares about it. I just know I’ll have flashbacks the next time I’m at the beach. I may never go in the water again.

So would I ever do it again? I think it’s safe to say, NO. But stranger things have happened, and sometimes I forget my former traumas and fall victim to them again. But let’s just say I don’t intend to be fish food in the future.

How about you? Would you feed your feet to the fish?


29 responses to “Something Fishy About My Feet

  1. Thanks for the laugh (and sorry your torture made me laugh)! I’ve never heard of anything like this but fish groom each other so I guess it makes sense in a weird way. I’m glad you survived and lived to tell about it!

  2. Your account is so funny! Although I’m sorry to laugh at your pain! I’ve heard of this but never knew anyone who had done it or could describe it.

    • Good question. I think Sheila answered that in the comments above. Apparently these fish just consider dead cells as food. All I can say is, they liked it. They were stuck to me like creepy little suckers. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it if you try it.

  3. Pingback: Stingrays & Turtles – Grand Cayman Island | Browsing The Atlas·

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