Spa Business issue 2 2021

Page 84


Focus on:

IV nutrition therapy Is IV nutrition therapy as credible as some spas claim? Lisa Starr investigates this increasingly popular spa offering


erusing spa menus today, you may come across IV nutrition or vitamin therapy. If hearing ‘IV’ makes you think of something medical, you’re not far off the mark. Sir Christopher Wren crafted the first intravenous device for human and animal blood transfusions in the late 1600s from a writing quill and pig’s bladder. Thankfully, the delivery system had been updated by the time it came into regular use by the medical establishment in the early 1900s and since then the scope of the treatment has widened.

The concept is based on injecting fluids, vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. Although the method isn’t without its sceptics (see p86), hospitals use it as a quick way to hydrate patients and get them essential nutrients and in the 1960s John Myer, a US doctor, became famous for his ‘cocktail’ of ingredients which help manage the symptoms of many conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, fibromyalgia, asthma and seasonal allergies. The mixture included vitamins B and C, selenium, magnesium sulphate and calcium gluconate and while the exact recipe died with Dr Myer in 1984, it forms the basis for many infusion menus today.

What’s on offer?


As spas extend their menus for differentiation and venture into medi-wellness, IV nutrition therapy has become more available in these settings. It’s customary to see options that promise everything from a general wellness boost and hydration to fatburning, anti-ageing and immune system benefits,

At Mandarin Oriental Dubai, guests enjoy the ability to have a clinical infusion in a spa setting