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IV Drip Bars: Is This the New Path to Wellness?

Carrie Steckl earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a Minor in Gerontology from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2001. She has spent over ...Read More

We’ve all heard of oxygen bars – kind of like cafés or drinking establishments, except the menu is a variety of flavor-enhanced oxygen infusions aimed to give us a boost of energy and clarity. Oxygen bars have received accolades for boosting the immune system, improving concentration, reducing stress, enhancing alertness, and even curing hangovers.

While oxygen bars seem to have found a unique niche in the health and wellness market, they might want to watch out for an up-and-comer: IV drip bars. That’s right – the latest health craze revolves around bars that, instead of filling patrons with aromatic oxygen, infuse customers with vitamins through an intravenous drip bag.

Yep, you heard that right. An IV drip bag like the one you hate when you’re in the hospital. The one with a big scary needle stuck in your hand or arm or other tender area, seeping fluids into your system. I’m not knocking the use of IV drip bags in healthcare settings at all – what I’m concerned about is the recreational use of such medical equipment to accomplish something we can do ourselves by simply practicing healthy lifestyle habits.

I get lots of emails from PR departments promoting various products and services that companies hope I will write about. One recent message was from a PR firm representing The Drip Room (I swear I am not making this up). The Drip Room’s home page shows a photo of a young woman partying it up at a night club. Underneath the picture is the caption, “Did this?” Next to it is a clip-art drawing of an IV bag with the caption, “Do this!”

The Drip Room (and the several other “drip bars” popping up around the country) offer a variety of IV vitamin drips that they claim will cure hangovers as well as boost athletic performance, rehydrate, keep you from aging, strengthen your immune system, lose weight, detox, and reduce stress. There’s even an “extreme party drip” that – in my opinion – encourages people to go out and drink or use drugs to oblivion because a quick IV drip the next morning will apparently restore them to good as new.

Here’s my beef with IV drip bars. First, they encourage bad behavior. Our culture is rampant with the notion that we can make terrible lifestyle choices and then simply fix up everything with a pill or some other type of quick intervention. I’m sorry, but that’s not how real health and wellness works. Living a long and healthy life takes time, discipline, and a balance between physical, emotional, and spiritual health practices. Without this kind of conscious choice to create our own state of health, we are simply fooling ourselves.

Second, we don’t really know whether IV drip bars work for the average person or if they are even safe. Sure, IV therapy is necessary in medical settings when a person is ill or undergoing surgery or another serious procedure. But casual IV infusions on a regular basis? Our bodies were created to work naturally, and that includes absorbing nutrients through our digestive tract. Unless a person has a medical condition that reduces his or her ability to absorb nutrients in this way, I simply see no reason to introduce vitamins (of questionable quality and in ultra-high quantities) in such a way that they are mainlined directly into our veins. Is this really a good idea?

So instead of treating your body like a garbage can and then hopping over to your closest IV drip bar to patch everything up, I encourage you to eat right, exercise, get enough rest, manage your stress, and cultivate a spiritual life in order to achieve the balanced state of health we all desire – no needles required.

Keep Reading By Author Carrie Steckl, Ph.D.
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