Doctor Fish Treat Psoriasis in Kangal
The Kangal Fish Spring has a multitude of tiny, toothless fish that live in 37 degree water of the Kangal hot springs. The Doctor or Kangal Fish do not reach more than 10 cm (4 inches) in length and are related to the carp family of fishes.
The Kangal Spa
The Spa has become famous world-wide for the aleviation of symptoms related to the skin diseases psoraiasis and neodermitis. Patients come for a 'cure', the recommended period is 21 days. They bathe in hot, Selenium-rich water and the hungry shoals of fish eat the plaque produced on the skin by these diseases.
The Chinese are breeding Doctor fish for export to spas around the world
Two types of fish are in fact involved in this process the Garra rufa obtusa or 'licker' and Cyprinion macrostomus macrostomus or 'striker'. The fish, especially the younger, smaller ones are attracted by nutrients in the skin cells needed for their rapid growth.
Doctor fish feed on the plaque produced by skin diseases
The Anatolian Region is famous for its Kangal Dogs which herd sheep and cattle
The sensations created by this process are described as pleasant and relaxing at first and then this is replaced by a tingling sensation all over the skin.
The properties of the springs where first discovered by chance in 1917 when a local shepherd injured his foot and bathed it in the waters. It quickly healed, and the story of the healing waters spread.
The Kangal Hotel by night
In 1950's simple buildings were erected to house bathers and in 1960s the springs were taken over by the local administration of Sivas and several lodging facilities were built. The spa began to develop a reputation as a summer resort. An interview with a psoriasis patient about his treatment by a journalist spread news of the treatment throughout the world.
The full 21 day treatment with full board and lodging runs about $5200 for two.