A Visit to Doctor Fish

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doctor fishThe walking and the shopping took a toll on our poor tired feet. My husband gave up on the Funan Digital Mall while I gave up walking through history lane at the National Museum. I thought of calling it a day but… my thoughtful sister-in-law suggested we visit Dr. Fish. Uh-oh, the first time I saw Dr. Fish was at an Ugly Betty episode chomping Betty’s feet. Dr. Fish eating away my feet seemed such a squeamish idea at first. Then again, pampering our feet at the latest spa place in Singapore called the Kampong Fish Therapy piqued my curiousity more than my feelings of ickiness. If you haven’t met Dr. Fish, it’s a fun, natural, painless skin exfoliating treatment. How?

doctor fish“Doctor fish” – so named for their ability to produce healthy, glowing results from even the most crusty or diseased epidermis – are the key ingredient in a spa and skin treatment becoming increasingly popular across Japan, China, Turkey and Europe. The idea is that you immerse your feet, hands or, if you are brave enough, your entire body in a warm pool that swarms with hundreds of hungry minnow-sized feeders. The fish zoom in on your most crusty, flaky or scabby skin and chomp away at it to reveal the fresh layer beneath. According to the spas and their enthusiasts, you emerge refreshed, healthy, buffed and glowing. Source: Lucy Atkins

Kampong fish therapy is not your usual beauty saloon since their beauty services range from hand and feet fish therapy to nails services. Imagine a one stop hand and feet beauty shop with Dr. Fish.

After washing my feet, I proceeded to the tub of eager, hungry “Dr. Fish” who looked like our native dilis. As I dipped my feet onto the warm water, hundreds of feeders’ mouth swam to my feet and started to nibble at the dry skin under my soles. It felt so weird that I pulled my leg off the tub with a yelp. Is this how piranhas eat human flesh? It took getting used to and after 5 minutes, the gentle nipping felt like “micro massages” which seemed to improve the blood circulation around my feet. See the video for yourself:

I couldn’t place the camera flash on as it scared these tiny fishes away. Meanwhile, hubby felt invigorated as Dr. Fish ate away the dead skin cells of his feet. Sometimes, I wonder if they get satisfied eating our dead skin. I mean is it healthy for these fishes? They seem to be really enjoying their “meal”. We just sat there mesmerized at the fishes as we sipped on warm tea.

The visit to Dr. Fish was so much fun as hubby and I took time off to relax and just be by ourselves until the next tour.

View photos of our visit to Kampong Fish Therapy

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • They featured this in the newspapers recently, there are 2-3 locations offering the treatment here in Singapore.


  • I know there is one in Sentosa but the Kampong Fish Therapy is the only one I know of in Singapore. Yes ticklish and tingling too. Until now I feel the tingle on my feet.

  • this is so funky! i would try this out myself 🙂

  • It looked like a fun novel experience!
    These fish must be somewhat related to the janitor fish that clean up fish tanks.
    Ang sipag nila =P

  • FreakedOutGirl

    I don’t know, that looks quite gross actually. Not so much the fish-eating-your-flesh part, but the fact that everyone submerges their feet in the same tub. I’m assuming they don’t change the water after every customer since that would be too traumatizing for the fish. And even if they have filters, etc., it’s still gross. I mean, other people’s nasty, dead, scaly, scabby skin cells are floating in that water. Their website even shows people with WARTS. You know you CAN get that from public showers like in gyms, let alone, in a tub of water?

  • sounds interesting. I’d like to try this! 😉

  • @freakedoutGirl- if you checked the photo gallery, there’s a part where we sanitize our feet before we submerge our feet inside the tub. Also, open wounds on feet are not allowed. Water is not stagnant as a fresh supply of water is filtered into the tub all the time. After we’re done, they wash off our feet again. There are a lot of hungry fishes in that tub to eat all the dead skin floating around. One cannot get warts in water. It needs direct contact via towel,etc.

  • I couldn’t believe it at first but when I saw the video…amazing!! I’ll make sure to look for Dr. Fish if and when I visit Singapore again 🙂

  • Ooglles

    Nice!! I wish I could go there 🙂

  • ive never heard of this. i am so amazed. i want to try this!

  • Noems, I don’t know… I don’t think I would immerse my whole body with Dr. Fish. I’m not THAT brave. Maybe I’ll look at the video later on when I don’t feel so squeamish.

    On another note, there are many people who read your blog, courtesy of your publicist sister’s encouragement. They’ve emailed me to let me know how much they enjoy reading your blog.



  • Samantha

    Hi there,

    Came across your blog while looking for news about the earthquake today in Manila – as my boo is currently working permanently in Makati. He felt it while about to sleep, but soon after he forgot about it totally!

    About the Fish Theraphy, I recently also gave it a try at Pavillion in KL, Malaysia – and was told that treatment could only be 30 mins each time.

    Verdict – I screams and yelled for 15 mins, soon after discovering adult fishes were not friendly and baby fishes were much better, I spend only 15 mins on the theraphy. Haha..

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