I was in a fishy situation recently, and quite literally. Going up north, we stopped at Kultura Splash Wave in the province of La Union for some rest and recreation before heading to our main destination. As I was terribly bored and definitely suffering from the blues, I decided to try something new. The place offered some interesting activities for me to try for the first time, though let me just say that I wasn't really intrested in going on rock climbing or being suspended on a zipline. But just right after we paid for our entrance fee, I saw this tarpaulin and it immediately got hold of my usually fleeting interest, and has stirred back to life my nearly dying sense of curiosity:
|Fish Spa sign|
Hair spa, foot spa, hand spa... you name it and I have surely tried it. In the name of spas though, experiencing a fish spa remains in my bucket list. I lost no time inquiring about it from the resort's staff, losing my interest in all other things the place offered. As soon as I settled my bags and other belongings, I hurriedly went to where the fish were located and surveyed the spa area. Talk about being excited (haha!) . Havent felt like this for the longest time, and I have our dear aquatic friends to thank for :D
|On my way to the spa area, I saw this tarpaulin indicating some interesting information.|
Health benefits derived from a fish spa, as indicated in the tarpaulin are: physical rejuvenation, release from fatigue, great enjoyment and recreation, and so on. From the banner also, it says "OTHER NAME: Nibble Fish". This information wasn't good enough for me, so I went around and asked about what the real name of the fish might be. Sadly, no one knew. As I wanted proper answers, I googled about it and this was what I found: Nibble Fish is one of the nicknames of Doctor Fish, which is the name given to the species of fish Garra rufa (Thanks Wiki :D ). Ok, perhaps Nibble fish is easier to remember than Garra rufa (hehe!). Further from the internet, I also learned that if one wants to have a fish spa, caution must be made if the person has certain skin ailments such as psoriasis, or if one has open wounds that would be exposed to the fish. We wouldn't want our dear Nibble fish to suck on those and also, for your own protection as well.
Before finally deciding on getting the fish spa, I had to consider if the cost of 150 PHP for 30 minutes was a good deal. I wasn't sure if this was also the cost of having a fish spa in other resorts or establishments. But since I was already there, why not give it a try and just worry later about the cost? And so, without further ado, i kicked off my Crocs and dipped my feet into the waiting mouths of the Garra ruffa aka Doctor Fish aka Nibble fish (whew!) ... Presenting my attackers, I mean spa therapists (hehehe!) :
|The Garra rufa aka Doctor Fish aka Nibble Fish.|
So how does it feel like to have a fish spa? Hmmm... at first, the sensation wasn't really pleasurable. It was more like.. frightening! hahaha! Little mouths sucking on your feet and legs. It felt ticklish, and at times, their sucking little mouths would catch me off guard. I was screaming for the first 3 minutes, I think. And I was just glad that I didn't scare off the fish. I had to ask the resort staff several times if the Nibble Fish were close relatives of the piranhas. Or if they weren't really piranhas disguised as something else (hah!). The staff probably thought I was going crazy. To stop my fishy rambling, I had to assure myself that they weren't piranhas. Otherwise, I would've immediately lost a toe a second after dipping my feet into the water. But lo and behold! After the first 3 minutes, I was starting to adapt to the sensation brought about by the fish's sucking; I was already warming to them, and getting used to what they were doing.
The Nibble Fish having a field day with my feet. I highly presume that the fish were all toothless,
because if not, blood would have easily trickled from my feet.
When the 30 minutes ended, I wanted more (sigh!). However, all things, whether good or bad, have got to end (double sigh!). I really felt good having experienced this fishy situation (hehe!). I think you would too so go ahead and try it one of these days :D