Liz O’Reilly finds there’s something fishy going on down in Adliya
Time Out Bahrain staff
The promise The Dr Fish fish pedicure is a seriously weird concept that’s become a worldwide phenomenon in the last couple of years. It originated wth hot-spring bathers in Turkey who discovered the local garra rufa fish were really helping as they nibbled away at skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The idea was quickly given a beauty industry make-over and now you can dip your toes in the water and let the fish do their thing on your hard skin and overgrown cuticles.
Step by step On arrival I was given a cup of orange tea and asked to fill out a fairly detailed form giving some health information which I suspect is aimed at people having the more serious treatments the salon offers. Once completed the therapist brought out a plush purple velvet cushion for me to sit on and it was time to take the plunge and dangle my feet in the water of the small pool that’s right there in the reception area. The fish pedicure lasts for about 20 minutes during which the ravenous little devils feast on the dead skin on your feet.
I was expecting them to head straight for my soles and heels, which were certainly looking somewhat the worse for wear after a summer spent in flip flops, but these guys were equally interested in the top surfaces of my feet right up to the water line.
I was amused to see them concentrating on one foot at a time, almost as if they know they have a job to do and the experience of seeing dozens of tiny fish attached to your foot is quite freaky. But, though they are happily munching away on your dead skin cells, there’s absolutely no pain. Rather it tickles a bit but, like watching the fish in the destist’s surgery, it’s actually quite relaxing.
The fish pedicure is followed by a scrub and leg massage lasting another half hour to enhance the benefits.
And, before I left, salon owner Habiba Al Mosawi prepared me a wheatgrass shot. Apparently this is something that’s grown on the premises and offered to every visitor.
A shot-sized serving of wheatgrass is said to be the equivalent of 1kg of salad in terms of health benefits so it can’t be a bad thing.
The results To be honest, I wasn’t overly optimistic to start with since my pedicures usually involve a callous blade and pumice stone. I couldn’t really believe these tiny fish could really counteract the months of neglect to which I’ve subjected my trotters but I was pleasantly surprised. My cuticles almost always bleed when I go to the salon but not so with Dr Fish and my feet did come out of it feeling much improved. The massage also left me feeling rested and the skin on my legs really soft.
Not sure about the wheatgrass though, I suspect that might be a long-term project.
The pros It’s very reasonably priced and a really natural way to tackle the hard skin which I’m sure plagues most of us during the summer months.
The cons Unlike the usual salon pedicure, this did leave some hard skin on my feet and doesn’t include the nail trim and polish I would normally associate with a pedicure.
The Dr Fish pedicure costs BD15 at Lei Garden Spa in Adliya which introduced the treatment to the island. (17 290 008).