O.K. the title is a little dramatic, and has nothing whatsoever to do with sharks, and yet it’s a reasonably accurate way of describing the way I spent a recent afternoon in Playa de las Americas!
Friends returning from Asia recently have described the fun of the latest beauty treatment, the fish spa. Basically, you dip your feet into a fish tank and dozens of tiny, tiny fish take a nibble at your dead skin, leaving them silky smooth. Was it all hype, or was it true? And, more importantly, did it hurt? I heard that the fad had arrived in Tenerife, and set out to find out.
I dragged along my friend, Colleen, to help. It turned out that she’d done it before, and knew a Garra Rufa from a Chin-Chin – that’s the original from the Asian imitators, who can, apparently, do harm.
The Garra Rufa are from Kangal hot springs in Turkey, and have been used for generations, not only to get rid of dead skin on the feet and hands, but also in treatment of skin conditions like eczema, according to the information I was given. They suction up the dead skin, rather than bite it.
My friend turned down the first establishment we investigated in Los Cristianos.
“Not enough fish in the tanks to be effective,” she announced.
I bowed to her better judgement, wisely it seemed, judging by the sarcastic comments from the staff, which followed us out of the door.
We wandered further along Geranium Walk in search of another she knew. We finally spied Nature Fish Spa, in the Compostela Beach Complex, the entrance partly obscured by the array of straw hats on display next door.
Entering the colourful, cool premises was akin to entering any beauty establishment. It looked much cleaner and professional than the previous one. I felt reassured, as the friendly assistant showered my feet thoroughly. Soap and detergents can’t be used, as they would be harmful to the fish, so thoroughness is essential, and health and safety are strictly adhered to.
Then I hopped onto the comfy bench. Colleen was already sighing with delight as I timidly lowered first one foot, then the other, into the water. It was as if I was magnetized, and the fish made of iron. Suddenly, my sadly-neglected feet tingled all over, as minute mouths got to work. No pain, but, oh my, how it tickled. The temptation to withdraw my feet was enormous at first, but after a while the cool water was soothing, and I could only watch fascinated for the entire fifteen minutes allowed.
Nature Fish Spa now raise their own fish. According to their literature, the process is known as Ictioterapia, and follows a long tradition. I’m just happy it’s finally arrived in the Canary Islands.
Would I do it again? For sure! It was fun. If you go, take a friend because the opportunities for jokes are multitude. Afterwards my feet felt smooth and cared-for, and at €7 (remember prices vary, but this was the price at the time I went) it was much cheaper than the chiropodist!
Category : things to do
Subscribe : RSS 2.0