IVs commonly are associated with illness and hospitals. But in recent years, businesses across the country – including here in metro Phoenix – have begun using them to deliver health and wellness treatments.
The Drip Room in Old Town Scottsdale provides a range of intravenous drips, from detox and anti-aging to vitamins and hydrogen peroxide.
Sarah Ortolf, a businesswoman and marathon runner, said she comes in about once a month to get a vitamin drip.
“I came in on their soft-opening weekend and had a drip for the first time, and I loved it and have been coming ever since,” she said.
Intravenous vitamin therapy techniques have been around since the 1950s. However, they recently became more common, in part, because of their popularity among Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes.
The idea is to deliver vitamins and nutrients directly into the bloodstream, which allows the body to immediately absorb the liquid, according to the Drip Room and sites such as Health24.com. That doesn’t occur when vitamins are taken orally.
However, the science behind the treatment is inconclusive and subject to debate. Dr. Ather Ali, a doctor of naturopathic medicine and health researcher at the Yale School of Medicine, told NPR that some of the benefits that people feel can probably be attributed to a placebo effect.
Even with the skepticism, the industry continues to expand. Customers say they feel the difference.
“As soon as, within, like, 15 minutes or so, I always feel better,” Ortolf said. “Even if I wasn’t feeling anything negative before, like sick or not feeling good, I always feel better really quickly and I notice the benefits really well.”
Shirley Kelly is a registered nurse and founder of the Drip Room. For her, the success of her business and other IV vitamin bars across the country speaks for itself, and she plans to open another location in north-central Phoenix later this month.
Kelly said IV vitamin drips provide a multitude of positive effects.
“Most people will experience better sleep,” she said. “It will help with sleep patterns, improved mood. It can help with allergies, energy – but it’s nice, natural energy. It’s not that wired kind of feeling that some might get after a caffeine or something like that.”
Ortolf said she thinks the trend will grow as more locations open nationwide.
“It’s one of those things that will move its way into being much more mainstream or isn’t something just new and exciting for certain people because I think there are so many health benefits.”