Is the Wellness IV the Next Big Thing in ?

From Town & Country

On any given day, the IV nurses from Rescue Lounge in Aspen are on call. They are summoned to the Hotel Jerome and the St. Regis. They are called to sprawling private homes in the mountains, where they often work on pajama-clad patients while a private chef fixes dinner.

Usually the nurses administer a version of the Myers Cocktail, a mix of B and C vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and amino acids delivered with an intravenous needle. It provides instant hydration for someone recovering from a hangover or trying to prevent one.

“Initially this was a hydration clinic,” says John Hughes, the physician who oversees the nurses at Rescue Lounge. But the IVs are more popular than ever, he says. “They’re becoming an immune-boosting nutritional replacement.” IVs have been used outside the hospital setting for decades, to treat everything from a rough night out to altitude sickness to exhaustion, as well as to manage symptoms of more serious conditions like fibromyalgia.

Photo credit: Stephen Lewis

Photo credit: Stephen Lewis

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Photo credit: Stephen Lewis

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But they have never been so readily accessible; there are now wellness IV lounges and mobile units that make house calls in every major city in the country. Drip Hydration will send a nurse to your home, hotel room, or office, anywhere between San Francisco and Los Angeles; the I.V. Doc provides similar services in 21 cities. Both offer IVs starting at $199.

“It’s all part of the shift toward disease prevention,” says Erika Schwartz, an internist who runs Evolved Science, a concierge medicine practice on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. “IVs can help boost your immune system and give you vitamins, hydration, and detoxification much faster than oral supplements,” because they go directly into your bloodstream.

Schwartz’s proactive approach to can include weekly or monthly IV treatments. “Your system becomes more efficient when you give it IV help,” she says. Many of her patients came in for an immune-boosting infusion; others come in for an IV within 24 hours before or after a flight to offset jetlag (prices start at $375). “People are mindful that when they do this they feel better in 20 minutes,” she says.

The ingredients in the nutrient cocktails don’t vary widely by location, but they’re tweaked to a particular client’s need, be it boosting your immune system, energy, calming, or healing. Along with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, popular additions include glutathione, an antioxidant often billed as an instant detoxifier, and NAD+, a coenzyme that, Hughes says, is “almost like giving your brain and body pure energy.”

Among IV proponents are David Colbert, a Manhattan dermatologist who runs NYDG Integral Health & Wellness, where IVs are offered for metal detox, and also pre- and post-­workout. “They can improve performance as well as recovery,” Colbert claims.

IVs can become something of a healthy addiction, in part because of the immediate surge of energy. “If you feel run down, you don’t feel run down anymore,” says Deborah Cavalier, a patient of Schwartz’s who gets regular treatments. “You feel nourished. You feel whole.” And hydrated from the inside out.

This story appears in the September 2018 issue of Town & Country. Subscribe Now

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