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The Nibbling Wonder Fish

Every now and then, you pass by somewhere in, let’s say, a place like Palma, and there is something that you had not noticed before. Perhaps it was not there before or perhaps, you simply did not see it even though you may have passed there a hundred times. It happens to me all the time.

Like recently, in Palma’s Calle Unión. There is now a new fish spa called Masyo, a place where one can get all sorts of New Age treatments including ichthyotherapy, a kind of skin and wound cleaning pedicure aiding with problems of psoriasis, epidermis or dermatitis eczema, all done by little nibbling fish. The fish employed for the therapy are of the Garra rufa variety, a warm water fish of Western Asian origin and in particular, the Tigris-Euphrates river system, also known as Doctor fish or Kangal fish. This wonder fish is a toe-sized carp with no teeth who, according to those in the business, likes to suck off dead skin. Apart from the medicinal benefits there are also cosmetic aspects as well as wellness and relaxation perks.

Apparently, the idea of treating foot diseases with nibbling fish goes back to an old Turkish legend about a shepherd who injured his foot and stuck it into a hot spring teeming with small fish. Miraculously, the wound healed, so the news spread quickly. A treatment centre for skin ailments related to the feet grew around the springs near the Turkish town of Kangal. From Turkey, the practice soon spread throughout Asia.

By the latest count, there are now four such enterprises in Palma, the one in Calle Unión, one in Calle Sindicato (called Fishy Feet), one in Paseo Marítimo (called Fishy Spa) and one in Can Pastilla (called Espai Fish). The going rate seems to be 10 € for 10 minutes, 15 € for 20 minutes or 25 € for 30 minutes, including a foot massage. Might be worth you trying if you like your feet.

The photo (top) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of The photo (bottom) was also borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of

Muchas gracias.

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