Move over oxygen bars, make way for IV bars! You may not have heard of this service, though it’s gaining popularity. In fact, celebrities ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow and Adele to Rhianna are singing its praise. IV therapy (also called drip bars, intravenous micro-nutrient therapy, or IV hydration services) is quickly becoming one of the most popular services for spas, naturopaths, and wellness centers. Drip bars offer a variety of “IV cocktails” designed to treat everything from overexertion, dehydration, hangovers, jet lag, and the flu. Many proponents also believe IV therapy provides hydrating and anti-aging benefits. Some athletes report IV therapy provides quicker recovery time and improved overall performance. But is it safe, and more importantly, does it even work? If you’re considering visiting a drip bar, here’s what you need to know.
How IV Therapy Works
Before your appointment, you’ll be given a waiver acknowledging the risks of IV therapy. These include soreness, bruising, infection and (though the risk is minimal, but real) nerve damage. Next, a trained, certified health professional (usually a registered nurse or lab tech) will insert a catheter (a needle inside a thin tube) into a vein. The needle is then removed, and the catheter is left in, generally taped down to keep it in place. From there, the catheter tube is attached to the IV “cocktail” bag, and the IV therapy process begins. From start to finish, the whole visit takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It’s important to note that while IV lines are typically painless, although some report that the initial needle insertion can be painful. This usually depends on your comfort level with needles and if your veins are easy to find.
Are Drip Bars Safe?
First off, it’s important to note that IV therapy isn’t intended to treat any medical conditions. The risk involved with having an IV drip is minimal, and there are rarely adverse effects. In general, IV therapy is safe, and well-tolerated by most people. As with any invasive procedure that breaks the skin, there runs a small risk of infection and nerve damage. Minimize your risks by doing your research and check out what others have said about IV therapy before you visit. Use Vagaro to find local drip bar businesses and check out their reviews and ratings, too!
So, Does It Work?
At present, there are no clinical trials and no supporting data to either support or invalidate the benefits of IV therapy. Whether it works or not is completely subjective, though notably, most people who have visited a drip bar have reported that IV therapy helps with a wide variety of conditions. Whether the benefits are real or part of a “placebo effect” can’t be validated. Supporters report relief from everything from dehydration, overexertion, hangovers, jet lag, food poisoning, and stress. Others have noted relief from cold and flu, and better management of symptoms related to celiac disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and IBS. Symptoms of asthma, depression, anxiety, and migraines may also respond positively to IV therapy. Finally, drip bars have the potential to boost energy, memory, and impart a revitalizing effect on hair, skin, and nails. You be the judge!
Additional Things to Know about IV Therapy
- For most, it’s not covered by health insurance.
- Make sure your drip bar has their licensing and certifications
up-to-date and on display.
- IV therapy is an invasive procedure where skin
is broken, so if you typically have a hard time with needles, it might not be
- Ask if the ingredients used in your “drip
cocktail” are sourced from FDA-approved facilities.
- The noticeable effects of a drip bar typically
last 2-4 days.
- The cost is variable, ranging from as low as $95
to upwards of $875.
Intrigued about IV therapy and whether it’s right for you? Browse the Vagaro Marketplace to find an IV therapy drip bar in your area! Had IV therapy? Sound off on social media (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook) and let us know if it’s worth the hype!