As many of you know, I've started at a new clinic that focuses on Higher Health for its patients and clients. In fact, that’s the name of the clinic – Higher Health Naturopathic Centre & IV Lounge.
Just like the name suggests, one of the key services provided by the clinic is IV therapy - using micronutrients to refresh and rebuild the body.
Now, you all know that I’m also a BIG proponent of whole foods for health. But sometimes we all need a hand. You see, a few years back, I was in a hole. A deep dark hole of stress. We moved twice in one year, my husband broke his collarbone and there was life with two busy kids in a big bustling city. I was losing my hair. Weight had crept on. I was diagnosed with fibrocystic breasts. I ate well. I exercised. I took supplements. I slept. But I was tired and depleted.
IV therapy – focusing on refuelling key micronutrients for adrenal balance and stress management – helped me immensely. One session a week for four weeks got me back on track and I was able to continue on my journey and heal my adrenal fatigue. In fact, I felt better after the first infusion. This month, I'm starting a new round focusing on autoimmune and skin health.
If I look younger and healthier by December, this will be why.
IV therapy contains specific doses of vitamin C - vitamin C is an important cofactor for collagen production. Collagen helps with skin elasticity and repair, and it is something we naturally lose as we age. This is why it's such a hot supplement or topic for those interested in anti-aging or gut health - it repairs and preserves the skin. In my case, I'm focusing on eczema, but I'm hoping for youthful side effects.
Since my time at the clinic, I've seen the full range of people in the IV Lounge - from teens managing anxiety to 70-year-old-women who have kicked cancer to the curb and are now loving, thriving, growing. There are athletes, frequent flyers, people with autoimmune and skin issues, fighting disease, preventing disease, trying to slow the aging process, and those who simply know they need supplements, but can't bare to take pills everyday. Together they gather, relax and rebuild. There are wellness dates with husbands and wives, father/son outings and even girl friends chatting over a cup of tea and IV instead of Starbucks.
My explanation of IV therapy is limited. So, I asked Dr. Tara Campbell, founder of Higher Health, to help better explain. She has been practicing IV therapy for almost a decade and has built a thriving IV practice where “IV Leaguers” come in regularly to fuel up on micronutrients and hydration for their Highest Health.
She shared with me the following article from The Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto, originally written by a fellow nutritionist (and yogi), Melissa Singh. We have updated and adapted beyond the IV benefits for yoga so you get a broader understanding.
What is IV Therapy and why is it so awesome?
“IV Therapy, simply put, is an infusion of micronutrients that goes directly into the blood stream where your body uses the nutrients,” says Dr. Tara Campbell.
What really sets it apart from, say, taking a multivitamin, or any oral vitamin is how much actually gets into your blood stream.
“We’re all familiar with Vitamin C. With a typical 1000mg dosage orally, you are actually only getting 200mg to your blood stream. But with IV therapy, you would get the entire amount straight to your blood stream, which can be anywhere from 5-20,000mg! These are wellness based doses.
Vitamin C is a precursor to collagen. Collagen is so important for our joints, muscles and skin. So Vitamin C is incredible for repair an recovery – especially for athletes and an aging population.”
Vitamin C is also incredibly important for those with adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, cold and flu, cancer recovery and a host of other health issues as it is one of the key antioxidants our body uses to reduce oxidative stress.
Why are micronutrients important?
“Every cell in our body requires micronutrients to function,” and as Dr. Tara Campbell asserts, “we likely need to be getting more if we want to thrive.”
The reality of our modern world is that we are constantly exposed to toxins. The more we take in these toxins, the more our body uses up our micronutrients to detox. Our bodies are smart like that. And while yes, we sweat out many toxins while exercising, we also sweat out many important minerals and vitamins in the process.
So, if we’re using most of our micronutrients to detox, and losing many of them through our sweat, how are we supposed to ever have enough to achieve optimal, energetic, thriving health?
Enter – IV Therapy.
What are the biggest benefits of IV Therapy?
According to Dr. Tara, there are 4 main benefits of IV Therapy:
Increased micronutrients have a positive action on the adrenals – AKA your stress glands. Micronutrients help to nourish the adrenals, so they don’t wear out from dealing with all the stress and challenges that life throws at us.
“Stress, essentially, stems from depletion - whether it is adrenal insufficiency,, neurotransmitter (brain food) of mitochondrial dysfunction or having an insufficient amount of micronutrients. Depletion in any of these areas result in suboptimal health and recovery for those with high stress jobs, lifestyles, constant exposure to toxins/electromagnetic frequencies or who love intensive exercise.”
As I mentioned earlier, micronutrients are super important for detoxifying the body. The more micronutrients we have, the more efficient this process becomes, and the more we have left for optimal health and wellness. Or, as Tara calls it, Higher Health. "Your best self. Your highest health."
Specifically micronutrients support your detox pathways. Also, glutathione and magnesium are incredibly important detoxifiers. Frequent flyers (yourself or partner or best friend) need to load up on their glutathione and magnesium following long flights to Europe, Asia and even BC.
Detoxification can be simple and relies on some basics like – getting your blood flowing (exercise), breath work (five breaths per minute), yoga inversions to get the lymph and cardiovascular system pumping, as well as micronutrients and hydration.
REPAIR & RECHARGE:
“The body is made up of trillions of cells, and every cell in your body uses vitamin C, Magnesium, B-vitamins – they all use micronutrients. Everyday stressors, intensive exercise and long flights require more nutrient repletion for recovery and repair of our muscles and our cells.”
Think about it. The body is smart. Your body will function first and foremost to keep you alive. Everything else is secondary. Repairing your muscles, and keeping you feeling energized, thriving, and recovering quickly from exercise of daily stressors are secondary concerns for the body. If we have sub-optimal micronutrient levels, the nutrients we do have will go toward basic functions. There won’t be much left to have you feeling tip top throughout the week.
This is especially true for competitive athletes, the marathon runner or the intense weekend warrior biking 50 – 100km. You’re putting your body through some pretty intense sh*t, so you best be fuelling your body for optimal health. If not, your practice and activities you hold so near and dear may not be sustainable.
11 ways IV Therapy can help
Improve immune health
Indirectly support hormone balance
Anti aging (skin health)
Reduce oxidative stress
Improve the health of muscles, tendons and ligaments
Reduce the risk of muscle injury
Support recovery post-sport
Keep hydration levels up (during winter, you lose just as much water, you just don’t feel it on your skin – you breath it out)
Remineralize after a sweaty race or training session
So, how often should someone get IV Therapy, and how does it work?
Dr. Tara says the first step is just to experience it. Every goal, and every person is different. An “across the board” recommendation for feeling better is to start with 1x/week for 4 weeks. She says that within 4 sessions you should really start to notice an improvement in vitality, hydration, and muscle quality.
As the term IV Therapy might suggest, this therapy is done intravenously. Which means yes, there is a needle, and no it doesn’t hurt. It’s a mosquito bite.
Once the initial needle goes in, a teeny tiny catheter replaces it, which means you can actually move your arm around and feel zero pain and discomfort. Then you sit in a comfy chair for say, 30 minutes, put your feet up and bask in the calm ambiance of Tara’s clinic.
It’s that simple, and yet so magnificently beneficial.
Let us know if you’ve tried this therapy before, and how you liked it in the comments below!