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If you’re a fan of Billions (Showtime), you may recall the episode where Lara Axelrod called on her nurse-sister to give IV infusions to stressed-out Axe Capital traders who indulge in too much booze and food while getting too little sleep. But these nutrient-infused intravenous treatments aren’t just for Type A wolves of Wall Street and hungover Las Vegas revelers. More and more women and men are turning to IV infusions to offset the negative effects of our modern 24/7 lifestyles, which often include an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, headaches, sleeplessness, and mega stress.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, more and more people are actively seeking alternative, preventative health approaches, to the tune of a staggering $3.7 trillion economy. IV therapy falls withing that growing global economy. Celebrities, athletes and organic-only types are embracing IV therapy in a big way, thanks to its purported ability to enhance physical and mental performance, increase energy and stamina, and even promote smooth, radiant skin. Why not just take oral supplements, you ask? As little as 15% of the nutrients you swallow are absorbed through the stomach, while IV delivery results in 90% absorption or more.
There are various types of IV infusions, and they can be administered in a doctor’s office or come to you via a mobile service. Think UBER for wellness. The typical ingredients in the infusion solution can include a recipe of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and they can be tailored to specific concerns like immunity, metabolism, jet lag or even sex drive and anti-aging. The “Myers’ cocktail” is among the most common, and this blend of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and B vitamins is often used to treat fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other conditions that prevent nutrient absorption (as well as hangovers and general fatigue).
IV infusion treatments generally take from 45 minutes to an hour and are usually delivered via a slow drip. There’s little to no pain or discomfort once the needle is inserted, though you may feel a slight tingling or cool sensation as the fluid enters your bloodstream. Many people report feeling more energized and focused immediately after IV therapy, and some practitioners claim results last for up to a week. But there are no standard “cocktails” or protocols for IV therapy, so infusions can vary greatly between practitioners and even from treatment to treatment with the same doctor.
Although most IV infusions are administered through a drip, research performed by Craig Koniver, MD of Charleston, South Carolina (also opening in New York City May 8th), found that speeding up the delivery process broadens the actions of nutrients and helps results to be felt faster. This prompted him to develop FastVitaminIV, an innovative patent-pending IV-based nutrient infusion delivered via a super fast “push” that takes only 60 seconds or less.
According to Dr. Koniver, another benefit of the push delivery is that there is no need for a large amount of water that dilutes the nutrients. “By having vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids given through the IV, we bypass the digestive system and essentially flood our cells with vital natural nutrients. It is the most direct way to achieve the proper balance of nutrients,” he says. Among his avid fans, one prominent plastic surgeon’s wife I know considers Koniver to be a miracle worker.
IV+ is a new spa-like location in South Florida where a comprehensive menu of customized cellular therapy is offered through laser-focused, personalized blends of vitamins and minerals with no preservatives.
“Your body needs vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal function. For example, antioxidants such as vitamin E help fight the aging process by slowing the activity of free radicals. Free radicals are linked to virtually every aging process, including the development of cancer and the destruction of tissue,” says Ilya Torchinky, Founder of IV+ in Sunny Isles Beach, FL.
“Our multivitamin IV drip formulas compensate for what’s missing from your diet. We can craft a customized multivitamin blend for each individual client, based on their nutritional profile and lifestyle needs. In a single session, we deliver the nutrients you need directly into to your bloodstream, allowing treatment to quickly penetrate your cells,” says Mr. Torchinsky.
Most people report feeling improvement shortly after IV therapy, but there is not too much scientific evidence to confirm that these treatments are beneficial or even safe in the long run. (Any perceived effects may just be the result of extra hydration.) If you have a nasty hangover or jet lag, stressed out or need to look great for a big event and have an extra $100 to $250 to drop, the new IV drip therapy may be just the ticket.