Newest Review: ... the process is as hygienic as possible. It must cost a fortune We paid £10 for the 15 minute treatment we had and it is £20 for 35 min... more
"Appiness, Appiness the greatest gift that I possess"
Member Name: catsholiday
Date: 05/09/10, updated on 27/10/11 (3209 review reads)
Advantages: It feels good for your feet and is a reasonable price
Disadvantages: Does not have a luxurious spa treatment feel about the place
Appy feet Trafford Centre Manchester
What do you do when your husband is at a cricket match?
On the Sunday that England were knocked out of the World Cup Football and England won the One day International cricket against Australia my step daughter and i were happily wandering around the Trafford centre as my husband was at the cricket match. The centre was pretty empty as mosr people were gathered in groups watching the football.
We had treated ourselves to a nice meal in China town and were enjoying the excitements of smoothies in a cafe, free samples at Lush and looking at the shops. As we wandered around we noticed the rather strange shop that was a bit bare and looked like a cross between a new shoe shop and a [et shop selling fish. There appeared to be nothing in the shop but there were quite a few people just walking in and looking so we had a nosey.
We had found" Appy Feet" in the Trafford Centre and as it was pretty empty and a very reasonable price we decided to have a try. We had my lovely granddaughter of six months with us but she sat in her pram quite happily watching us throughout the experience.
The shop had only been open a couple of days and so it was as others have described, very uninviting, not really like a relaxed spa with soothing decor and quite music but we accepted that this was just a new place just setting up. The other problem with this being new was that we had to pay cash but I understand that has been sorted and certainly in the Derby one in the Westfield Centre cards are accepted.
What is "Appy Feet"?
The Appy Feet group have shops in Meadowhall in Sheffield, Westfield in Derby and The Trafford Centre in Manchester. There are apparently plans to open more stores in other areas in the UK so look out for one coming near you.
What "appens" at "Appy Feet"?
When my daughter went to Thailand she met these lovely fish as she went swimming ina river with them. She was not that keen as they nibble away at your dead skin and she found fish nibbling at her body a bit unnerving.
Garra Rufa fish are like little dermatologists as they have little suckers which remove dry, flaky, scaly dead skin. They only eat dead skin and leave any good living stuff so no need to worry that they will chomp away at your feet like a piranha; they just eat the dead skin. They may help heal certain skin conditions such as Psoriasis and eczema. Even if you don't suffer from either of these it is great to experience this as it makes an excellent pedicure
Where are these funny feet eating fish from?
The fish were originally bred in outdoor pools and spas across hot areas of the world such as Thailand and turkey. As they became more popular they have managed to breed these fish to cope with life in heated tanks inside all around the world.
Garra Rrufa fish need careful looking after and need just the right conditions to survive. Apart from dead skin their diet needs to have the required nutrients and specific food so they cannot just be bought and shoved in the tanks just to feed on willing punters coming in to the shop.
So does everybody just stick their dirty feet in the fish tank?
No. Prior to your treatment you complete a form asking you about illnesses and feet problems and if you have any cuts on your feet. Once that is okay then you sit on a very uncomfortable high bench and put your feet in a foot spa of water to clean your feet prior to putting them in the fish tank.
The foot spas are disinfected between users but your feet are just in plain water as the fish would not fancy polluting disinfectant coming in to their tank.
What "Appens" next?
After about five minutes of foot soaking in the foot spa you are allowed to put your feet into the Garra Rufa fish tank. Each person has their own tank. The bench that you sit on is quite high so fifteen minutes was as much as I could stand with my legs hanging down into the tank as I had to sit forward and I found that my circulation was being cut off in my legs by the hard edge of the wooden benches,. I noticed a young lad og about thirteen with his mother was given a chair which was much lower and had softer edges so if i go back again i shall ask for a chair as my short little legs can't reach comfortably in to the tank from the high benches.
As you swivel around to put your feet in the tank the timer is set so that you have you allocated time that you have paid for which is good so there is no feeling short changed.
What does it feel like to be eaten by fish ?
It feels like they are kissing you or sucking lightly on your feet. It does not hurt at all and is far more pleasant than rubbing with a grater or pumice stone. They swim all over your feet and it just feels like someone is wafting a cloth over your feet, a pleasant tickling sensation but not like someone tickling your feet which I hate.
They seemed to really love one of my feet and ignore the other however when I wriggled my ignored foot they did seem to be a bit more interested. They particularly enjoyed the bits around my nails. I thought they'd love my heels but they were not so interested in those. After about five minutes they seemed to lose interest again and went in to one corner of my tank so I stuck my foot over there and that apparently renewed their interest as they swarmed over my feet again.
Feeling like a goldfish
As this was a new venture in the shopping centre there were many on lookers and people came in to the shop just to look. Many asked us what it was like and how it felt. We were happy to talk to people and a few came in and joined us after speaking to us. I think we should have got a discount as we were sitting almost in the shop window and we seen as an attraction.
If you prefer you spa treatments in private then don't go in for this as you really are a sitting advert for the place by experiencing the treatment.
And then what?
After the timer rings the assistant comes over with a towels and a small bottle of Body shop peppermint foot lotion. You dry your own feet and apply the foot lotion yourself. You put back on your shoes and leave with you light soft feet floating on a cushion of peppermint lotion and air!
Is it hygienic?
The Garra Rufa fish \I am reliably informed cannot transfer diseases to humans. Everyone's r feet are pre-rinsed and each person is given their own fish tank. Sterilized water constantly flows through each of these tanks so hopefully this will ensure that the process is as hygienic as possible.
It must cost a fortune
We paid £10 for the 15 minute treatment we had and it is £20 for 35 minutes. Appy Feet also charge for a hand pedicure, its £5 for 5 minutes and £10 for 15 minutes. As we left from out treatment we were given a £5 voucher for Body Shop where they had a sale so I got a lovely body lotion free with my £5 voucher. So our experience was reduced to £5 in reality.
We both really enjoyed the treatment. The shop was basic and it was obvious it had just opened and where not really settled in. There was no nice calm soft spa feeling about the place and no nice twinkly spa type music either. You did feel a bit as though you were part of the advert for the shop and on show to the punters and it was not a comfortable relaxed experience as the seats were so high and very hard at the edges.
However having said all that, I would happily return and will be trying the one in Derby at some time. I think this is something you either really love or hate. We both enjoyed it and have been talking about it to friends and family since our visit. I'm trying to tempt my hubby to a session at the Derby shop before we go off on our travels again as then I can have another go.
Thank you for reading and maybe I have tempted you to give this a try. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Summary: Good value pedicure with a difference