The Velas Fish Therapy, as they call it, is a 50-minute treatment that begins by sitting down and submerging your feet into this pool of "toothless doctor fish." For 25 minutes, these little carp will nibble on the dead skin cells of your feet, giving you a natural exfoliation and improving your circulation. Apparently, their saliva produces the natural healing enzyme dithranol. Once the fishies have done their job, a masseuse steps in to give you a traditional foot massagewith their hands.
Even though we saw one man dozing through his fish pedicure, we still couldn't bring ourselves to try it, ticklish toes and all (the rest of the spa, however, is stunning, and you must, must try the Water Journey experience, included with every treatment).
Once we were back in the States, we realized that there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the fish pedicures, with many states banning the procedure on the grounds that it is unsanitary.
Despite the bans, those who've tried it seem to like the feeling. Diane Sawyer likened it to "tiny little delicate kisses."
Some of our favorite comments on the fish pedicure, however, come from this TripAdvisor forum reacting to the proposed ban in New York:
my goodness, no smoking and now no fish pedicures ==the city is on the down swing.
Wouldn't sticking your feet in the East River work just as well?
Tell us: have you let the doctor fish loose on your tootsies? Would you? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo: Courtesy Grand Velas Riviera Maya]