Rihanna’s at it, so are Cindy Crawford and Cara Delevingne and it’s meant to offer a bigger vitamin boost than B12 injections. Melanie Morris finds out just what makes the vitamin IV treatment so different.
The day we saw pictures of Rihanna hooked up to an intravenous line, getting mega-doses of vitamins straight into her veins, we thought she was mad, that things had reached an all-time low, and frankly, if a girl is partying so hard she needs intravenous intervention, it was time to send in the (other) men in the white coats. A few scant years later, and we’re either all at it, considering it or curious about it. Possibly not as a panacea for rollover partying, but as a support to the relentless pace of modern life. Sure, it’s been possible to get vitamin B12 injections from the GP (I always ask for one as a “reward” for diligently attending bi-annual check- ups), but the new wave of IV cocktails offer a broader blend of health boosters and are becoming more widely available. IV infusions help the mortal body combat a host of ailments, from IBS, poor immunity and detoxification to self-inflicted 21st-century conditions such as jet lag, dehydration, fatigue and hangovers. Massively popular with athletes and lifters, they can speed up recovery time and help restore the body to optimum health. Their efficacy comes not just through the generous quantities of high-quality micronutrients involved, but also through their efficient delivery, straight into the blood stream – a far more direct route, offering a higher rate of absorption than via the digestive system. So, what’s involved? “Clients can come for one-off treatments, but we recommend a course of six,” says Dr Brid Walsh, who has recently started offering IV infusions in Tralee, and has seen a huge demand for the treatment. “One a week for a month will restore the body, and then a couple of top-ups every fortnight for a second month will keep levels boosted.” Dr Walsh also notes that the intravenous method is cleaner and less painful than booster injections.
So, what’s involved? “Clients can come for one-off treatments, but we recommend a course of six,” says Dr Brid Walsh, who has recently started offering IV infusions in Tralee, and has seen a huge demand for the treatment. “One a week for a month will restore the body, and then a couple of top-ups every fortnight for a second month will keep levels boosted.” Dr Walsh also notes that the intravenous method is cleaner and less painful than booster injections. “The vitamin B12 injection is administered through a small needle, but it stings. This is far more straightforward, and if patients want a further vitamin boost, we can always push it through the butterfly valve of the drip.” Popular with men and women, IV treatments definitely come under the category of “effective” treatments. You’ll know it’s working if you feel a little lightheaded afterwards. This common side effect clears quickly but is the result of being fed, quite literally, a potent cocktail. Before you think this trend won’t catch on here, let me remind you that it wasn’t so long ago that oxygen facials were seen as advanced. This is just another new way to help us all cope with “always on” living, so prepare to see an explosion of infusions appearing on salon and spa menus soon. When I heard a guinea pig was needed for this treatment, I jumped at the chance, as I’d heard it is great for bowel problems, skin issues and improving low energy – all of which would be areas of concern for me. I attended Dr Fionnula McHale’s clinic on Dublin’s Leeson Street. Dr McHale talked me through the process, asked me questions about my health, and I signed a consent form. The consultation was detailed, but not daunting, and I felt reassured that I was in good hands. I expected to see a big IV bag on a trolley, but in fact all that’s involved is a larger than normal syringe, into which Dr McHale adds a solution of vitamin C, B-vitamins, magnesium, calcium and glutathione that she prepares herself (an added bonus, as she can adjust the solution to each person’s requirements). I don’t hate needles, but it is always nerve- wracking when you don’t know what to expect; thankfully, the rather large syringe wasn’t half as scary or sore as it looked. The procedure took approximately 30 minutes, although we needed to change arms after ten, as my vein wasn’t working in my right arm. Once we got going the second time, it was plain sailing. When I left, I felt quite lightheaded, which I’d been told to expect, so I went for a gentle walk. That night, and every night since, I slept extremely well – a distinct improvement on my previous form. In terms of my bowel, skin and energy issues, I can honestly say it has helped on all of these, plus I’ve had the added bonus of better sleep. Will I go again? Definitely. Dr McHale is brilliant; she was very professional and made me feel very relaxed. Plus, I love her method, as I prefer to tackle problems from the inside out.
Where to find intravenous micronutrient infusions
REVIV IV infusions and booster shots, €199-€349 – a selection of five vitamin and mineral blends to target specific concerns; follow-up booster shots also available. Heritage House, Dundrum Office Park, Main Street, Dublin 14, venusmedical.ie.
EXPOSE BEAUTY LOUNGE
Intravita infusions, €199 (introductory offer of €99 through July); boosters of vitamin B12 and glutathione, €45 each – eight specific blends targeting everything from immunity to hair restoration. Drs Roisin O’Loughlin and Brid Walsh, Mounthawk Roundabout, Tralee, exposebeauty.ie.
NutriBoost Vitamin IV, from €250; glutathione is an additional €75 – personally blended by
Dr Fionnula McHale to meet
each client’s requirements.
10 Harley Street, London W1 and 44 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, invigorateclinic.com