Tibiao Fish Spa – SM city mall, Iloilo, Philippines
When we were staying in Antique we were not very far from Tibiao. We visited the town a few times, and enjoyed it. One of the sites was a sign for the Tibiao fish spa. We kept joking about going there but never did. Now, we have been living outside Iloilo for 5 months and every time we are at the SM City mall we joke about going to the branch of the Tibiao fish spa there. And, for some reason, we went yesterday. We should have gone sooner.
For p150 ($3.50) you get 30 minutes of fish nibbling, and a short foot massage. For p250 you get 30 minutes of fish and a 30 minute foot massage. Next time I am going for the p250! The one in Tibiao advertises a free fish spa on your birthday. When we stopped in the Iloilo location to ask about it (on Rogena’s birthday) we were told that offer is only good at the original location – bummer.
Here is what they say about it:
The fish are said to feed on the dead layers of skin cells of clients while at the same time stimulating pressure points to relax the body and release stress. Our beginner tanks are stocked with small fish which gently nibble on our layers of dead skin cells. Meanwhile, the larger fish in our extreme tanks do the heavy duty work of removing calluses and thicker patches of skin
We started with the smaller fish and they swarmed on my feet. If you move they swim away so you have to laugh while keeping your feet still. Tough job! It is said that the fish eat only dead skin and calluses, leaving your feet smoother. Also the nibbling stimulates various acupuncture sites of the feet. I don’t know about all that – I just know it tickles! At first it is excruciatingly ticklish, and I hate being tickled. But after you relax a bit it is quite enjoyable. We did about 15 minutes of the smaller fish and 15 minutes with the larger fish. The larger ones did not tickle quit as much, but I may have just been used to it by then. But let’s be honest, it is fish biting you. If you have a problem with that then this may not be for you. I had a blast though – and a foot massage. A word of warning, when they nibble the skin just under you toenails it tickles a lot!
I read about some of these spas in the United States meeting with health department problems because of the hygiene issues. Understandable I guess because no matter how often you clean the water you still have people sharing the tank/fish. I try not to worry too much about that. I think the US is a little germaphobic anyway. At the Tibiao fish spa they say they change the water 1-3 times a day, use sediment & carbon filters, and UV sterilization, plus some chlorination. Good enough for me!
There has been one spot on my left foot, instep that has been very dry and itchy for a couple weeks. I have lotioned it a number of times to no avail. Well the small fish devoured that section of my foot and it feels so much better. Maybe it does do some good. In any case it was fun and I am sure to do it again.
Here is their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tibiaofishspa
And their webpage: http://tibiaofishspa.com/