Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

Fish Pedicure and Body Treatment

Sampuoton Spa, Selangor, Malaysia

Refresh calloused feet jammed into winter boots by stopping in at Selangor, Malaysia's Sampuoton Spa, where the specialty is fish. Specifically, the tiny garra rufa — nicknamed "doctor fish" — which feed off dead skin. Stick your feet in a pool of water and enjoy what owner Joe Ng describes as a tickling sensation as the silvery black fish nibble away tough skin flakes. Customers emerge posttreatment with smoother, softer skin.

The garra rufa species is native to the Middle East, and fish therapy originates from Turkey, where Ng first discovered the practice. The Sampuoton Spa opened in 2007 and now sees up to 35 customers on a busy day, with a wallet-friendly price tag of $50 per hourlong soak. Flesh-eating fish treatments have also made their way to a few spas in the U.S., including Virginia and Florida.