The IV Wellness Boutique: Intravenous Vitamin Therapy

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Ever go to bed feeling fine and wake up feeling like a truck ran you over while you slept? Ever wish there was something you could do that would immediately improve how you feel or at least get you on your way and through your day? Well, it looks like the solution has finally come to Vancouver.

At 1060 Homer Street in Yaletown, Robin Szakacs and Naturopathic Physician Dr. Heidi Rootes, have opened Vancouver’s first intravenous vitamin therapy lounge, The IV Wellness Boutique. With its concrete floors and walls of crisp white and deep mauve, The IV might look like a spa at first glance. But as passers-by are now noticing, this is a storefront with a difference.

“We are getting some very strange looks,” said Szakacs. “People are walking past and seeing people hooked up to an IV drip, and they’re wondering what is going on in here!”

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So what IS going on? We thought we should find out.

A quick Google search of IV vitamin therapy will show you it’s a treatment that’s been around for a long time as a means to get large doses of vitamins and minerals directly into your bloodstream. Through their own use, stars like Rihanna, Simon Cowell and Madonna have increased public awareness of IV vitamin therapy. With a multitude of vitamins, minerals and amino acids available in IV form, the concoction can be mixed to fit your particular need or deficiency. They can be tailored towards health, diet, sports training, energy and even that ubiquitous hangover. But is this a trend along the lines of those oxygen bars of the early 2000s?

“I’ve been using IV vitamin therapy in my practice for years now with patients who have a variety of needs from depression to pain relief and even menopause,” said Dr. Rootes. “It’s something that’s becoming increasingly more popular so we thought: let’s create a clinic that allows people to enjoy their treatment in a relaxing, enjoyable space.”

With an IV “menu” from which to pick treatments, and suggestions like a brain-boosting Einstein, a replenishing The Burnout or The Mojo to get back, well, your mojo I suppose, I opted for The Cold Buster, seeing as I actually have a real-life cold. This is a boost of Vitamin C, immune supporting zinc and selenium with lot of B vitamins and magnesium thrown in.

The process takes some time off the top, but as this is a clinical procedure, I appreciated the attention to detail. After some form-filling and a checkup with a doctor in a private room, I was cleared for takeoff.

Rather than opt for one of the ‘lounge’ areas, where you can watch a movie or snuggle up with a blanket and an iPad, I took a seat in the window, ready to watch the world go by. The needle was quickly inserted and I hardly even felt it as some tape secured it in place.

I could definitely feel the IV once the dripping started – it wasn’t uncomfortable; more an unusual feeling.

Throughout the approximately 45-minute treatment, doctors and staff are checking in on you to make sure you are doing well. You feel special and any concerns (like my blanket had slipped – first world problem) are immediately addressed.

At the end of the drip, I didn’t feel too different – my sniffles were still there and my voice was the same level of husky (Marge Simpson, not Scarlett Johansson) as when I went in.

Some people can feel the effects right away; particularly, I’m told, with the energy booster or the hangover IV. With those treatments replenishing things that are seriously depleted, you are more likely to feel the vitamins kicking in.

Off I went to dinner and then home for the evening. The next morning, however, was another matter altogether. My cold was almost entirely gone and I had more energy than I’d had in weeks, possibly months!

While clinical studies into IV vitamin therapy are varied and reach a number of different conclusions (both positive and negative), I can only speak about my own experience, which was a good one and which I’m sure helped me get over my cold faster than had I not had the treatment. With an expert staff of qualified doctors on hand, you feel safe and professionally taken care of.

As Dr. Heidi Rootes encouragingly said, when I expressed I wasn’t good with needles at the start of the procedure; “That’s OK. I am!”

 

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