I tried an IV therapy spa so you don’t have to

IV Bags
Photo by NIAID, used under a Creative Commons license

As someone who gets easily dehydrated during the hot summer months in a good year, I found myself struggling to get enough fluids after a recent illness. No amount of water, herbal tea, Gatorade, etc. seemed to be cutting it. I needed something stronger — and I needed it fast.

So I went to an IV therapy “spa” (or clinic, really) to get my blood supply topped off with a liter of saline.

Now if you’re unfamiliar with IV therapy, this type of treatment was starting to become trendy shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began, so it never truly had a chance to catch on.

I know for many people this sounds like their worst nightmare because they hate needles, or at the very least seems like something questionable that warrants immediate skepticism. 

I went to Ivy En Rose (try saying it out loud if you don’t get it) over on West Portal. On the inside the layout is kind of like a barber shop; a strange irony considering that barber shops once relieved people of their “bad” blood.

After a check in and medical evaluation that focused on my blood pressure, the nurse brought out the IV bag, the needle, etc. and hooked me up. This took maybe five to ten minutes.

Next came the waiting game, as in waiting for that saline solution to drip its way into me. This was a little under 45 minutes for a one liter bag which left plenty of time to peruse some magazines.

So based on my extremely limited experience it’s not as though anyone can walk in the door and demand that stuff be injected into their veins, no questions asked. Of course this assumes you go to a place that’s actually licensed.

However there is one big reason to be skeptical: the primary business of IV therapy spas is not to cure dehydration, but rather to supplement your blood directly with vitamins, minerals, etc. These treatments can be quite pricey and I’m not sure how medically necessary they are for most people. That said, I could see someone with a liver malfunction, or an iron deficiency, etc. getting a quick boost from some of these IV therapies; I’m far less sold on mainlining vitamin C for an immunity boost or an entire cocktail of supplements for post-workout recovery.

In my case I’m pleased to say that one liter of saline drip was exactly what I needed. 

Today in our modern era of on-demand convenience, there are mobile IV therapy nurses who can come directly to your home or office. There’s not much equipment involved so this could be an option for someone who’s either bedridden or is busy with work.

Is IV therapy right for you? Well, if you’re a biohacker type or if you’ve undergone similar treatments under the supervision of a doctor, you’ll be fine. On the other extreme end I can’t see anyone who’s terrified of needles opting in to an IV under any circumstance. As for everyone in between, it’s ultimately your call — assuming you even have a reason you’d even need IV therapy, of course.