IV Therapy, also known as intravenous therapy, is the administration of delivering nutrients and hydration directly into the bloodstream for immediate absorption and use by the body.
IV Therapy is the fastest way to deliver nutrients throughout the body, because it bypasses the digestive system and goes directly into the organs, resulting in a 90-100% absorption rate (as opposed to only 20-50% possible orally).
With one-third of UK workers experiencing anxiety, depression or stress (according to a PwC survey), it’s not a coincidence there is a growing need for preventative and therapeutic IV vitamin clinics, that help to boost energy levels and stimulate the immune system.
Although the media portrays IV Therapy as the latest health craze popular among stressed urban professionals, athletes and Hollywood celebrities, the practice has existed for centuries.
A Brief History of IV Therapy
IV Therapy is nothing new in the medical community, nor is it a crazy fad. Medical professionals first attempted injecting medications into veins in the 1600s, but due to poor hygiene, the practice was abandoned.
During World War I, IV Therapy became a lifesaving treatment, but it wasn’t until the 1960s, when Dr John Myers developed a world-famous cocktail of vitamins and minerals, that the intravenous vitamin therapy we know today began to really take shape.
If you want like to know more, check out our post on the History and Development of Intravenous Therapy.
What Are IV Therapies Used For?
IV therapy is used for several purposes including:
- Hangover relief
- Athletic performance recovery
- Immunity support
- Cold and flu relief
- Digestion issues
Who Would Benefit From IV Therapy?
Originally, intravenous nutrients were used mainly in hospitals for patients who were dehydrated, nutrient-deficient or unable to take medications orally.
Nowadays, pretty healthy people can boost their wellness and energy levels from IV Vitamin Therapy.
The stress of modern living can lower your immune system and general wellbeing: IV Therapy can give that much-needed boost, making it a realistic and practical option.
While stress alone doesn’t cause us to catch a cold or a flu virus, it definitely weakens the immune system’s ability to respond to viruses, leaving us more vulnerable to infection and illness.
So, if you want to boost your immunity, replace lost fluids and electrolytes after a boozy night out or support recovery from high-performance athletics – IV Vitamin Therapy can help to restore your body’s nutrient levels to their optimal state.
Stress is the most common reason people come to us for the treatment. The majority of our clients choose the Myers Cocktail IV and Immunity Booster IV treatments to help them feel energised and boost their immunity.
What Is The Process of IV Therapy?
Even though the process of IV therapy involves placing a needle into the arm or elsewhere on the body, the slight discomfort is only felt when the skin is first punctured.
Prior to the treatment, all clients have their medical history evaluated. If needed, a blood test is taken to make sure the right amount of nutrients is infused into the body.
Once the consultation is done, you proceed to our bright IV Therapy room and are seated in a comfortable chair to start the treatment. The rate and quantity of intravenous fluid given depends on each client’s medical condition, weight and age.
A qualified doctor or a nurse will then disinfect the skin over the injection area, which is often on your arm, locate a vein and insert an IV catheter.
Once the catheter is in place, the procedure will take between 15-45 minutes depending on the type of the treatment (IV Drip or IV Push).
During this time the only thing you need to do is relax. You can watch TV, read a magazine or even nap.
IV Push and IV Drip – 2 Main Types of IV Therapy
There are 2 main types of IV Therapy, known as IV Push and IV Drip.
The main differences are the duration of the treatment and the amount of injected fluids.
Both IV Push and IV Drip treatments allow for 90-100% vitamin absorption.
What Is An IV Drip?
An IV Drip is a type of intravenous treatment that is slowly infused into the bloodstream via a plastic catheter inserted into the vein.
To administer an IV Drip, a small plastic tube (catheter) is inserted into a vein using a needle that is then quickly removed once the plastic tube is advanced into the vein.
IV Drips are performed for 45-60 minutes and an average of 250-1000 ml of fluids are injected per session.
During a drip, clients can read, work or relax.
What Is An IV Push?
An IV Push is slowly administrated into a vein via a previously inserted plastic catheter.
IV Pushes are performed for 15-20 minutes and a total of 30-60 ml of fluids are slowly pressed into a vein.
Because of the nature of the process, IV Pushes are supervised by specialists at all times.
What is in an IV Drip?
The contents of an IV drip will vary depending on the treatment being administered. Seeing as an IV drip is the quickest way to deliver fluids and medications into the bloodstream they are usually made up of the following:
- Saline solution: A sterile solution of water and salt that is used to provide hydration and maintain electrolyte balance in the body.
- Glucose solution: A sterile solution of water and glucose (sugar) that provides energy to the body.
- Nutrients: IV drips can also contain a variety of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are required for the body to function properly.
When admitted to hospital what is in an IV drip may look a bit different. While it may still include the fluids mentioned above it can also include:
- Medications: Depending on the condition being treated, various medications can be added to the IV drip to treat pain, nausea, infection, or other medical issues.
- Blood products: In some cases, IV drips may blood to restore factors such as red blood cells, plasma, or platelets to help with conditions like anemia or bleeding disorders or if the patient has been injured and lost blood.
- Contrast agents: Substances used in medical imaging to enhance the visibility of certain structures or fluids in the body. Sometimes they are delivered through an IV drip during imaging procedures like CT scans or MRIs.
What Vitamin Cocktails Are Used in IV Therapy?
Commonly seen ingredients in an IV vitamin therapy are Vitamin C, the B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and zinc.
IV vitamin drips may also contain amino acids and antioxidants, such as glutathione.
Vitamins infusions can contain a single vitamin — such as Vitamin C — or a cocktail of vitamins and minerals.
The most common IV vitamin cocktail drips are:
What Are The Most Common IV Vitamin Cocktail Drips?
- Myers Cocktail IV – This drip consists of magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C, and is purported to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including immunity and energy levels.
- Hydration IV Drip – IV hydration therapy benefits those recovering from a loss of fluids through vomiting, diarrhoea or hangover, but also athletes wanting to maximise their performance.
- NAD+ Anti-ageing IV Therapy – This contains Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which is an essential enzyme present in all human cells. Its primary function is to repair damaged cells and reverse the effects of oxidisation in the body.
- Detoxification Booster IV Infusion – A drip that combines essential fluids, vitamins and minerals that have been found to lower your toxic load. Toxins are stored in fat cells, which makes it harder for you to lose weight.
- Immunity Booster IV – A cocktail that includes powerful antioxidants, such as glutathione, cysteine and arginine, which helps to protect you from flu and other viruses.
What Are The Benefits of IV Therapy?
One of the main benefits of IV Therapy is fast, more effective results without gastrointestinal side effects, absorption issues or loss of potency.
The process allows the nutrients to go right into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and allowing you to have more energy, think more clearly, and enjoy a better mood.
The benefits will differ depending on the condition treated, the protocol used, the overall health of the client, and how many treatments are done. Some reported benefits include:
- Stronger immunity (warding off a cold or flu)
- Enhanced mood
- Increased sports recovery time
- More energy
- Improved concentration and mental focus
- Increased calmness and relaxation
- Balanced blood sugar
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved jet lag
- Improved hangover
- Reduced instances of migraines
- Boosted fertility and hormonal imbalance
- Improved complexion
- Reduced signs of ageing
How Long Does The IV Therapy Effects Last?
Typically, the effects become fully noticeable after the 12 – 24 hours after infusion, although, many people report feeling better right after treatment.
The effects last for 8 days to 3 weeks depending on the condition, cocktail and type of IV Therapy.
How Much Does The IV Therapy Cost?
The IV Therapy cost varies between £50-£400 per session depending on the cocktail. However, the majority of treatments are between £150-£250.
Is IV Therapy Safe?
Today, the administration of intravenous fluids via IV infusion is common and generally safe, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing, which can increase the risk of adverse effects.
If you have any medical condition, it is always advised to consult with your doctor prior to treatment to avoid any complications.
Also, because of the puncture of your skin – there’s a risk of infection. Although the risk of skin or blood infection is unlikely, it’s important to only consult with a qualified medical professional, who ensures a safe and healthy vitamin infusion.
At IV Boost, every patient will have a thorough medical assessment with our medical director Dr Joshua Berkowitz before any treatment. IV Boost can also perform a comprehensive diagnostic test to assess the levels of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients in a body and customise the cocktails accordingly.
Essential Points to Consider When Planning an IV Therapy
- If you have a particular medical condition, then it is advised to talk with your primary care doctor to see if IV Vitamin Therapy is right for you.
- Always make sure that the doctor you’re receiving IV vitamin therapy from is certified and is aware of all your health conditions and concerns.
- It’s important that you do your research about the clinic before booking an appointment. The regulated clinic should have a thorough medical evaluation in place before clearing you for the procedure.
- Clinicians must ask about your medical history, medications and allergies – and either reject or appoint you.
- You should never feel hurried and a nurse should explain what’s being done to you at all times.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for credentials. Choose your clinic wisely!
If you have any more questions about IV Therapy, please call IV Boost on 020 3095 0002