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VIDEO: A treatment to sink your teeth into
Culture & Life

VIDEO: A treatment to sink your teeth into

14.03.2012 From our online archive
A therapy centre in Luxembourg has taken the plunge, offering a new kind of treatment for people ashamed to show their feet to the world.

A therapy centre in Luxembourg has taken the plunge, offering a new kind of treatment for people ashamed to show their feet to the world.

Dead skin build-up, calloused or webbed feet, it's nothing the 500 tiny fish at Luxembourg's first Fish Lounge haven't seen before. The Kangal Garra Rufa are known for their appetite for dead skin and after a few sessions immersing feet into their tank, their nibbling leaves clients with baby soft feet.

Fish Lounge founder Sebastian Backes explained: “It doesn't hurt. It feels a little bit like a massage. Some people say it's like putting your feet in sparkling water!”

Taking a bite of the action

The entrepreneur and personal trainer opened Fish Lounge in rue Jean Bertels, in Merl, on January 9. He got the idea when he tried the therapy while on holiday in the South of France. Since then, he has been overrun with bookings from clients curious to give the treatment a try.

“We've had a very good reaction so far. I had hoped we would get at least seven people in the first week but we had 15 alone and it's growing,” said Sebastian.

Two seats have been installed at the facility, placed next to tanks containing 250 of the tiny fish each. The Kangal Garra Rufa fish, which are native to Turkey, live up to four years. Sebastian says he expects to replace the fish every two and a half years to prevent them growing too big for the tank.

Hygiene

The Fish Lounge places great emphasis on hygiene. A series of pumps and filters connected to the tank ensure that the water in the 130-litre tank is renewed every 30 minutes and the tanks itself is cleaned every two weeks.

A pause of 30 minutes is observed between treatments to allow for the water to be cleaned. The tank's water is maintained at a balmy 30 degrees celsius; meanwhile regular checks are carried out to test its quality.

The cosmetic therapy is available to almost anyone, provided they meet the strict criteria set by Fish Lounge. Customers must complete a questionnaire and cannot participate if they suffer from skin disorders, have had a tattoo or have a blood-borne disease.