Monday, March 22, 2010

Is There A Fish In The House???

Okay all,

You've all known me long enough to see I'm open to pretty much any new experience as long as it doesn't tip my morality scale. Here in Singapore, I've had plenty of different and exciting things to try and am so blessed I had that chance.

One of the things that is REALLY cheap over here is massage. Now, CAN get THAT type of massage. It's out there and even though they say they aren't, the people around here seem to let the idea of it go without too much fuss. But I'm talking about a real massage. Where someone rubs your back and gets all those kinks out.

Places to do these massages are as numerous as the Javan myna birds that flock all over the city. You can't spit (which is illegal in Singapore, by the way--$200.00 fine) in any direction without finding a massage place there.

And that is great because it really keeps the prices down. $10.00 for 10 minutes is the cry you hear and the savings go up the longer you are down on the table.

Now for Jonathon, who has chronic neck pain, this place is great. So we were out looking for a place to get him some help when we came upon a totally different type of massage. And this one, I wanted to try.

Have you ever heard of Garra Rufa? Or maybe Cyprinion Macrostomus? Well, I hadn't until I was wandering around Chinatown and saw them. I had to drag Jonathon back for another look.

Garra Rufa...or as they are more commonly called, Doctor Fish, massage your feet and hands by nibbling on them. That's right...nibbling. They aren't biting you...far from it. They have no real teeth. What they are actually doing is sloughing off all the dead skin with their strong lips.

They've been used for centuries in the Asian countries for the treatment of skin diseases as well as cosmetic purposes. And after trying it, I might go into the spa business myself.

As you can see from the pic, they look like little catfish and are about the size of a child's pinky.

So, how does it work? The spa/massage place has these tanks that are set up so you can sit and put your feet in the tank. Some places have higher, shallower tanks with fish for your hands. Once you're ready, you stick your feet in and let the critters do their work.

This is the spa we went to. It's upstairs in Chinatown above the MRT station, and the second I saw it, I thought this was the place for the experience. So, I kicked off my shoes, settled down on the bench and prepared for 10 minutes of fishy heaven.


Did I forget to mention the little buggers tickle like crazy?

I let out a shout that had Jonathon rolling in laughter, and every Asian within a mile running to see the crazy American who was squealing and snickering and giggling. The man who owned the spa kept grinning and nodding and saying. "Feels funny. Feels funny." (They always say everything twice here, like they want to make sure you got it.)

So there I am on display. The doctor fish are nibbling away, and I'm about ready to pee my pants it tickles so much. Then I hear another shout and Jonathon has put HIS feet in. So much for being manly. Now we were both making spectacles of ourselves.

Humor aside. If you are VERY ticklish, this is NOT for you. I'm semi-ticklish and I was wriggling like a kid on a hot slide. BUT, after about five minutes I did get used to it. My hands and feet both got the nibble treatment and I actually found myself enjoying it. A lot!!!

The little fish are an industrious lot. They just go to town and find any little piece of loose skin you may have. I have very dry skin and since I always wear sandals, my feet were like manna from heaven for them. But by the time I got out, ten minutes later, my feet looked and felt quite smooth. (click on pic to see the fishies better!)

And I could still feel them nibbling. Took a few minutes for that weirdness to wear off. LOL Our friend, Scott, who was the first to try this treatment out at a fish farm did his for 30 minutes and he said he could feel them nibbling the rest of the day!!!!

Do they have these in the states? A few, but even though people are intrigued about the idea, Big Brother and the sometimes ridiculous health rules make it difficult to get a spa going. All I know is if I could have some of these little beauties at my house, I'd be using them every day.

What, Jonathon? You want to leave? NOW??? Oh...a massage? Go ahead and find yourself a spot. Have a nice long massage and leave me alone! I'm going to sit here and commune some more with the fishes!!!!


I'll be back on Wednesday with D. Musgrave as a guest blogger. He's one of my favorite people on the planet so come and visit with him!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


SiNn said...

what a cool post those fish r cute! glad your having a good time

Stephanie said...

OMG! That was so cool CJ! Talk about going organic LOL Nice way to go fishing.

Phylis said...

I would have been rolling on the floor my feet are so sensitive. I would have to try it just once. lol Such fun!

CJ England said...


LOL It was so much fun. I can't wait to do it again. LOL


CJ England said...


Fishing bores me after a while, but this type was right up my alley!!!


CJ England said...

Exactly, Phylis,

Getting used to it was sooooo hard!!!