I have wanted to try this for ages but didn't fancy the idea of sitting in a shop window and being part of the main attraction!
The people at Mind Body and Sole couldn't have been further from the stereotype, firstly it's in a discreet setting, just off the high street but set back in a quaint little courtyard which bizarrly makes you feel like you're on holiday!
There are 4 tanks and if you book you can have the treatment by yourself, I popped in on the off chance and there were a few people waiting, but it was such a warm and friendly place I felt quite happy waiting my turn whilst drinking a free cuppa!
It was literally hysterical watching people put their feet in and squeeling, the staff do giggle along with you but are quite strict at making sure you keep your feet still so as not to stress the little fishies, one girl was laughing so much whilst gripping onto the hand of the poor Saturday girl that she was actually crying! (the customer not the Saturday girl!).
I did think it was a bit of a drama but then it was my turn....
First you wash your feet and they make sure you don't have any cuts, then you're given a pair of disposable slippers so you don't walk barefoot on the floor and you're taken over to a tank.
The seats are quite high and a bit awkward to get on to, but are beautiful and very comfy, I was also nervous about the rumours of hygiene but they explained how the water was continually sterilised and filtered, there's no sharing water and the place was spotlessly clean, following instructions I dipped my toes in the warm water and OMG! it's like nothing I've ever felt!
About 100 fish started nibbling at once, I too lost all my cool and squeeled then giggled like a schoolgirl!
The tickly feeling quickly settled down and the feeling was just gorgeous, like tiny pins and needles or gentle electic currant - I cant really explain it but didn't want it to end, the way the fish eat the skin by rubbing it off is like a foot rub and the staff explained that although really popular in shopping centres and public places, it's actually a spa treatment in it's own right, and I'm glad I did it in this way, it was soooo relaxing :-)
My treatment over and my feet were so soft, they also sell organic products and I bought a foot balm that I've been using since and it's kept the soft powdery feeling for over a month.
I left literally walking on air, both my feet and my mood were all soft and fluffy!
This is a great treatment in a great place - oh and starting at £10 it's fantastic value for money.
If you want a pedicure with a difference head over to Wonderfish (it's part of Tao Hydrotherapy, see my other review).
Essentially, you sit with your feet in a tank of water and fish (called Garra Rufa, originally from the springs in Turkey, apparently) nibble the dead skin from your feet!
Before anyone gets all scared and squeamish, the fish don't have any teeth, they rasp at your feet and release an enzyme that breaks the skin down, leaving your feet really smooth. This I learned from the staff! They're very knowledgeable and obviously really enjoy what they're doing, so any questions you have about the treatment can be answered. They also make you feel very relaxed which is good when you're going to try something new like this.
And it is new. At the time of writing they tell me they're the only place in Hertfordshire to offer the treatment like this.
I was pleased to find out that here you sit with your feet in an individual tank of water, you don't have to share with anyone else, the water passes through a four stage filtration process and there is a UV light that sterilises the water to kill any nasties. I have to say too, that it looked it, the water was really clear and clean.
They have 4 tanks, and there were a couple of other people in at the same time as me and we all had a laugh so I can imagine it would be a pretty fun thing to do if there were few of you. Pre-hen night or something maybe?
Now, as a bloke, I was a bit dubious at first, but I can see the merits. Like many blokes, I don't take care of my feet, they're for walking on and not much else, so to have a treatment like this where you can just go and sit, have a cuppa and read the paper it's a great lazy way to look after them!
The feeling isn't what I thought it would be either. It's not that tickly, and certainly not painful. You need to experience it first hand (or foot!) really. I really did notice a difference after the first time I went too, so will definitely be going back.
For the girls a different way of having a pedicure will probably be the draw. Apparently, it's a great treatment for Psoriasis and some other skin complaints too so could be worth trying if you suffer from them.
Oh, and sometimes the fish are nicknamed Doctor Fish, so if you've heard about them these are the same things, so you can go along knowing you're getting what you've probably seen on TV recently!
I really recommend it. Great treatment in great surroundings, great value and with friendly and knowledgeable staff to boot who really do seem to care about you - a rare commodity these days.
I visited this brand new spa recently to try out the fish pedicure. Some of my friends had had it done and I was not quite sure if I would like fish anywhere near my feet so I was a bit nervous.
I decided to try just a 15 minute session to start with. I was made to feel very relaxed and after the initial shock at how ticklish the fish were, the tickly feeling went and I can honestly say I loved it! Even after just this short time my feet felt softer, next time I'm going for a full half hour!