Intravenous Injections from The Fountain of Youth

Tired, rundown and time-strapped? Perhaps you need an infusion. A worldwide trend favoured by celebrities such as Madonna, Simon Cowell, Rihanna and Cindy Crawford is now available in South Africa. Love it or hate it, believe in the benefits or think it’s snake oil, there is no denying the growing popularity of intravenous vitamin therapy.

The concept started over 30 years ago, invented by a Baltimore physician, John Meyers. His original drip, called the Meyer’s Cocktail, contained magnesium, calcium, various B vitamins and vitamin C. These vitamin therapy infusions have since been adapted, with customisation to the client’s particular needs and wants.

Research has found that IV infusions are beneficial in helping anxiety and depression, boosting your immune system and detoxifying the body. They may even aid in chronic conditions such as heart disease, neuropathy, poor circulation, arthritis, candida infections and digestive disorders, as well as degenerative diseases and cancers.

Although IV infusions have been a popular practice in Europe and Asia for some time, and are becoming the latest fad in the US and UK, they are just beginning to gain momentum in South Africa.

In Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas, drip bars such as Reviv are popping up. Here clients can relax in massage chairs in front of flat-screen televisions as nutrients flow into their arms.

It was this concept that fascinated South African-born businessman and marketer Says Mia. It was while he was living and working in London that he heard of Reviv at the MGM Grand in Vegas. “A friend had been there and mentioned it to me, just as I was returning to South Africa.”

At the time, Mia was weighing up his options on what to do on his return. The concept intrigued him, so he researched it further. “I made enquiries at Reviv Global and was delighted to find that the brand was not yet in South Africa. Since we are a very health-conscious society, I knew this concept would work here.”

Before committing to the idea, Mia contacted his good friend (and now business partner) Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the South African Cricket team manager and doctor, as well as consulting physician for Kaizer Chiefs, for advice. “He looked into it and thought it was an excellent idea. I managed to secure the franchise rights for South Africa, and as they say, the rest is history.”

Mia’s team consists of himself as CEO; Moosajee as his business partner and chief medical officer; Dr Ibrahim Moosajee as the medical director; Aamena Mohamed, the registered nurse; and Tasneen Mia, the spa manager. The spa with a difference has opened its doors in Nelson Mandela Square’s West Tower, creating a space to chill and revive in one.

Mia explains that having something administered through an IV gives you 100% benefit of that ingredient, medication or cocktail of vitamins. “If something is taken orally, you lose between 50% and 60% through your digestive tract, so IVs are more effective.” The IVs consist of natural ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants. Only the Recovery Infusion contains some medication.

At the beginning of the session your medical history will be taken (if you are a first-time visitor), and your blood pressure and vitals are checked. “We do a medical examination first before any IVs are administered, to understand the condition of the client. We have to adhere to strict protocols throughout the process, and the IVs are administered by professional nurses or doctors. “

Mia adds that, internationally, Reviv has grown in three years from just two wellness spas in the US to five flagship locations and nearly 20 express locations across four continents, with a further five flagship locations scheduled to open this year.

And, says Mia, the best part is that there are no contraindications. “The majority of the treatments are derived from natural sources. Only in the Recovery Infusion is there some medication for nausea and pain; however, through our medical screening of clients prior to administering the IV, we can evaluate whether they are suitable for these treatments.”

REVIV OFFERS FIVE IV TREATMENTS:

Megaboost Vitamin Infusion. This signature vitamin infusion contains minerals, different antioxidants and electrolytes to bring your body back into equilibrium and maximise your productivity, leaving you feeling healthy and refreshed.

Vitaglow Anti-aging Infusion. This IV infusion aims to rejuvenate your skin with high doses of the antioxidant glutathione, which helps to restore hydration, reverse the effects of free radicals and rejuvenate skin.

Ultraviv Recovery Infusion. This has been geared towards those who are experiencing sleep deprivation, an excessive workload, dehydration or simply overindulgence from a night out. The IV infusion aims to decrease inflammation, relieve pain and nausea, and give you an energy boost.

Hydromax Pure Hydration Infusion. Sports activities tend to drain the body of hydration and salts, while generating toxins. This infusion, fortified with electrolytes and antioxidants, helps to rebalance lost salts, restore hydration, and flush out lactic acid and toxins.

Royal Flush Deluxe Infusion. The premium infusion combines the recovery benefits of Ultraviv with the cleansing effects of Megaboost, for maximum productivity and detoxification.

Health Renewal, part of the Skin and Body Renewal group of aesthetic mediclinics, is also offering IV infusions as part of its service. A team of qualified medical doctors and nurses is headed up by Dr Burt

Jooste, an integrative and aesthetic medical practitioner. At Health Renewal, each IV infusion contains a specific cocktail of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, based on the needs of the individual patient.

“In today’s world we cannot be guaranteed that we are receiving the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we require only from the food we eat. Factors such as mass production, pollution, as well as high levels of toxins and free radicals in food, all contribute to the reduced quality of nutrients. This is compounded by the fact that most people suffer from some form of gastrointestinal tract problem, leading to the poor absorption of nutrients.

Supplementation is necessary in order to correct deficiencies and to fight against ill health,” says Jooste. As with Reviv, each client at Health Renewal undergoes an in-depth assessment, which includes a full medical history, comprehensive blood tests to gauge deficiencies and hormone levels, and, if necessary, a stool analysis. An individual treatment plan is then developed for the client and progress is carefully monitored so that the programme can be adapted to ensure optimal results.

Each client’s mineral and vitamin solution is compounded for them specifically, according to the prescription by the doctor.

“The treatment programme typically runs once a week for the first four weeks and then once every second week for eight weeks. The treatment itself lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, and is administered via an IV drip,” adds Jooste.

Currently, Health Renewal is providing individualized IV treatments at the Cape Quarter, Constantia, Somerset West and Stellenbosch branches in Cape Town, and the Fourways, Morningside and Parkhurst branches in Gauteng.

 

RENTIA’S STORY

FOUNDER AND OWNER OF AFRICOLOGY,

RENTIA DROGANIS:

Being a holistic healer, I know that the best way to heal is to ensure the body is boosted with good nutrition and stress management practices. Couple this with a positive mind and the physical body will show this in good skin. Vitamin C is important to stimulate collagen production in the cells, but sadly barriers exist in the gastrointestinal tract that prevent adequate absorption of oral vitamin and mineral supplementation.

So, to boost the cells with an IV infusion, while having a facial, is the ultimate in working from within and with the skin. The results are amazing. I believe that an IV, together with a facial, massage or detox wrap, adds that boost the body needs holistically, to rejuvenate and restore. IV nutritional therapy can provide enormous health benefits, and lead to increased energy, enhanced immune support and a better overall sense of wellbeing.

Spas have become very popular over the years, purely because there is a need to relax, to heal and rejuvenate. If we don’t work with the inner workings of our biology, the outer workings might not always be as beneficial as they can be.

A few years ago, half of my thyroid was removed. Immediately after the operation, I started suffering from panic attacks, severe exhaustion and brain fog.

Restless legs became my challenge. But with the administration of magnesium viaeng.

IV, they recovered within the first day! My panic attacks eased. And I could feel the difference in my overall wellbeing. I was receiving an IV one day when it occurred to me how wonderful it would be to have this administered just after a massage. I could imagine the effect of being destressed, and boosted with nutrition to help with my immune system.

My skin started to change, and many people could not believe my age. I knew that this was the solution to premature aging. My search for a doctor who could work in our Africology spa to administer the IV was endless. With the launch of Reviv in South Africa, and the experience of the doctors in the sports and wellness industry, I found this a blessing. It reminded me never to give up on a vision, to have faith and know that, at the right time, the opportunities will present themselves.

At Africology, we have dedicated Wednesdays to our IV days, but our doctor and nursing sister are on standby to administer IV infusions with or without a treatment. Booking is essential for this service.

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Kim Bell

Kim Bell has been in the media industry for the past 17 years and has always had a strong passion for health and wellness. Kim started as Features Editor at Longevity in 2006, before moving to the position of Managing Editor in 2010. She has developed a thorough knowledge and understanding of health issues and her stories aim to be balanced and highly informative. Longevity's mandate is to provide relevant and informative stories that are science and research based. and ensure a balance of opinion from a range of specialised experts. Longevity aims to empower readers to make informed decisions regarding their health and wellness. Topical subjects and health issues are tackled, unpacked and presented in easy reading, yet informative way. It is Kim's role to ensure this is carried out through the brand of Longevity.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.