Dr Fish Therapy: Nibbles that heal

Feel rejuvenated from toe to head as hundreds of little aquatic healers nibble at your feet at the Bamboo Tree Spa

Fish therapy

When I first heard about Dr Fish Therapy, I chuckled. The very idea of little fishes nibbling away at your feet is funny and intriguing. Later, when I did my research, I found that Doctor Fish is the name given to two species of fish: Garra rufa and Cyprinion macrostomus.

The little fish have been gaining popularity around the world for their ability to gobble up dead skin cells. But the fish are more like combfishes—they only devour dead skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, and in the process carrying out a thorough exfoliation of the feet.

Fish ate my feet

Tall claims, I thought to myself. Nevertheless I went ahead to the Bamboo Tree Spa for what was to be my first experience of getting eaten up by another living organism! To my pleasant surprise, my encounter with these little scavengers left me asking for more.

No sooner had I put my feet in the tank than I found them surrounded by about a hundred tiny fish. For about a minute or two, it felt funny but soon I began to enjoy the feeling. I was fascinated at seeing my feet being a snack for the fish. So mild is the gnawing of the fish that it feels like a gentle caress.

But mildness doesn’t translate into ineffectiveness. On the contrary, it’s the most effective exfoliation treatment of its kind—that’s because these fish don’t have teeth. They use their lips to suck away dead skin, which also promotes blood circulation. When sucking the feet, the fish release an enzyme that heals wounds and stimulates regeneration of skin.

It’s not just the feet that feel nice with Dr Fish. The whole body feels relaxed—perhaps because the nibbling of the fish stimulates acupuncture points to relax your body and releases your fatigue. The tickling sensation makes you laugh, releasing stress. The act of merely watching the fish nibble at your fish is a stress buster.

Hygiene factor

Before I allowed my feet to be attacked by the cute little skin-hungry fish, I did some due diligence on hygiene. I learned from the attendant how the tank is kept germ-free by replacing water every evening. More importantly, I was informed that two ultraviolet sterilisers work in the tank round-the-clock to keep the water pathogen-free.

Feeling brand new

After my session was over, I was amazed at the clean job the tiny doctors had carried out. My feet seemed to have been dry-cleaned—they looked spotless, almost sterile; the surface too felt smoother than ever!

Eye for detail

  • Treatment: Dr Fish Therapy
  • Location:Bamboo Tree Spa, Merchant House, New Kantwadi Road, Bandra, Mumbai
  • Price: Rs 350 for 10 minutes; Rs 800 for 25 minutes

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".



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