Fish pedicure
June 12, 2007 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Japanese onsen are now offering fish pedicures, where little flesh eating fishes nibble your toes. It's very youtube-genic, but there's a longer video report here.
posted by tombola (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

As a person who fears fish at the best of times...this is so incredibly fightening.

I couldn't get the Times Online link to load, though...prolly just my place of work putting the clamp-down on streaming video. Anyone want to do a quick summary?
posted by Hildegarde at 8:15 AM on June 12, 2007

These are the same fish that the Vanessa Williams character in Ugly Betty used to sexify her feet. Apparently, it seduces billionaires! Take heed, metafilter vixens!
posted by Xere at 8:28 AM on June 12, 2007

Japanese fish eat raw human beings. The circle is complete.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:29 AM on June 12, 2007 [13 favorites]

I am *so* doing this soon! Sandal weather here we come! The little beasties will be having a feast!
posted by gomichild at 8:30 AM on June 12, 2007

i thought this was just a joke on ugly betty
posted by timory at 8:32 AM on June 12, 2007

A friend of mine told me that in the lake at her cottage the fish nibble on her toes. She likes the feeling, but once a fish bit her on an inner thigh, and that HURT.
posted by orange swan at 8:34 AM on June 12, 2007

Goldfish shoals nibbling at your toes? Fun, fun, fun.
posted by johnnyfive at 8:42 AM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

They are known as Doctor fish and the treatment spas seem to have started in Turkey, but have become very popular here in Japan as well lately.
posted by gomichild at 8:43 AM on June 12, 2007

what happens if you fall in?
posted by petersn1 at 8:44 AM on June 12, 2007

From gomichild's link: The term doctor fish is the name given to two species of fish (Garra rufa, discussed here, and Cyprinion macrostomus). They live and breed in outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow
posted by caddis at 8:47 AM on June 12, 2007

So, would the little fish stop once they had sucked off all the sloughed off dead surface skin, or would they keep on digging into the epidermis until they hit blood (and beyond)?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 AM on June 12, 2007

Been bitten by crescent wrasse(s) and didn't enjoy the pinch. But I suppose a little nibbling on the dead skin on the feet would be fine.

Still... reminds me a little of this. Same principle, no?
posted by dreamsign at 8:51 AM on June 12, 2007

caddis responded to my question telepathically.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 AM on June 12, 2007

As long as they don't try to swim up my urethra.
posted by NationalKato at 8:52 AM on June 12, 2007

Fish nibbled my feet while we were taking the boat out of the lake a couple of weekends ago. For free.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:04 AM on June 12, 2007

NationalKato...What? Is Urethra Franklin having this done?
posted by howfar at 9:22 AM on June 12, 2007

That's cool. I'd do it.
posted by mckenney at 9:23 AM on June 12, 2007

Oh, cool. Nibbling my own pedicures has really been hurting my back. Thanks for the fish idea.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:32 AM on June 12, 2007

howfar: Maybe, maybe not.
posted by NationalKato at 9:54 AM on June 12, 2007

This isn't unusual fish behavior. I've swam in rivers in California where small fish will do this if you just sit still. It kind of tickles.
posted by homunculus at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2007

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