By Jill Diver
DERRY — After hearing the Doctor Fish Pedicure was offered at Kim’s Spa and Nails in Derry, I immediately decided I’d be the perfect person to test these fishy waters.
As someone who visits the nail salon on a regular basis and is all too familiar with the intense tickling that the pumice stone — which is meant to remove dead skin on the bottom of the foot — creates, I was sure that flesh-eating fish would not be a problem.
After the technician, Kim, cleaned my feet, I watched her fill up an acrylic cube with the tiny little toe-suckers.
As the fish took notice of their favorite dish — dead skin— I thought I may have squealed.
From the laughter and looks on the faces of Kim, the other client in the salon and my co-workers, my thoughts were confirmed.
While the woman next to me was gently dangling her feet in the water, as if having fish clean your feet was a normal occurence, I had managed to curl my toes under my feet and squish them against the front part of the cube, all the while staring at the fish, daring them to accidentally bite off too much toe.
The feeling of the fish was a slight tickling sensation, almost as if someone had gently attached their lips to the bottom of my feet and was moving their mouth in an up-and-down motion. It wasn’t painful, but focusing on the fish and watching what they were doing made my feet more ticklish.
I have very ticklish feet, and I have had my share of embarassing moments — kicking the technicians, knocking over the trays that hold their tools. But when the sensation of the fish became too intense, I was able to give my foot a gentle shake and the fish would scatter, and I hadn’t maimed, scarred, or ruined anyone or anything in the process.
At this point, my body and I had relaxed enough to enjoy the feeling. It was better than having the pumice stone scrubbed over and over the bottom of my feet and eventually I forgot that there were 100 little fish doing the work of one person.
This article ran on November 6, 2008 in The Derry News.