Are IV Drips, Cryotherapy and Other Alternative Healing Options Worth It? I’ll Show You…

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Lately I’ve noticed that elective IV drips at medical spas have taken off.

So… just in time for halloween… can a nutritional IV decrease your sugar cravings?

 

Today I’m going to take you on a trip to a MedSpa and tell you if it was powerful enough to make a difference in my sugar cravings or any other boosts to my energy level and well being.  Plus… if you hate needles, read on for some non-IV alternatives.

Although I am one of those who truly hate needles, I went for a nutritional IV to find out if they are worth the hype.  I take you along to get an IV and tell you my thoughts before, during, and after.

Was it worth the high price tag?  Here was my experience:

 

 

 

 

So all in all… for spending over a hundred dollars to try to temporarily boost certain nutrients for a few days, I could have purchased several months worth of the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements that would have supported me for an entire season.  With a bonus of no needle punctures required, plus a much longer window of support, all for less cost.

Below is a list of common ingredients you can select in these nutritional IVs (including the vitamins that Stacey and I tried) and as I scan through them all, every single one of them is available as an oral supplement. 

 

  • B-12:  helps boost energy
  • Glutathione (Stacey had this one): super powerful antioxidant, decreases inflammation
  • Vitamin B complex (I had this): B vitamins are supportive to many metabolic processes in the cells of your nerves, digestive tract, skin and more
  • L-Carnitine: boosts energy and mitochondrial function, fat burning, a favorite of athletes
  • Taurine: essential for brain, eye and red blood cell function, may aid muscle function too
  • Vit D: essential for bone health, immunity, hormone balance and so much more
  • Vit C (Stacey had this one too): powerful antioxidant that boosts immune function, promotes wound healing and tissue repair
  • Glutamine (I had this one — this one was responsible for my decreased sugar tolerance): Boosts digestive health, repairs leaky gut, decreases sugar cravings
  • Lysine:  An essential amino acid helpful for tissue growth as well as having anti-viral properties
  • Magnesium (I had this one too): essential for hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body, essential for proper nerve & muscle function, promotes relaxation
  • Trace Minerals: helps electrolyte balance, boost energy levels and immune function, enhances conductivity

 

Many MedSpas will combine the above supplements to create their own nutritional cocktails, for example the popular Myers Cocktail is simple a combo of B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Trace Minerals (usually calcium and magnesium.)

I have all of these nutritional supplements (and many, many more) hand selected for you — the same supplements I take and that I give to my own children — in my trusty online dispensary right here.  I’ve applied an automatic discount for you as a reader of my blog.

Head over here to order oral glutamine supplements to effectively decrease your own sugar cravings without an IV.  Enjoy skipping the needle and getting the same support for  less right here:

 

 

 

Next up?

 

Stacey and I are headed to give cryotherapy a go, then sauna, then acupuncture, then a 3 day fast, then a yoni steam (I mean… should we do that last one?  I’m on the fence…)

But no matter what holistic therapies intrigue you, keep moving forward with your health and healing.

If you feel that your healing journey has reached a plateau, know that there is always a fun new way to approach wellness with fresh forward moving energy.

Here are some additional ideas for unusual alternative healing modalities that you might want to consider, plus some tips on how to try an at-home versions of each as well!

 

 

 

 

  1. Float Therapy: which I try out and review for you in a video right here.

 

There are tons of studies that show that floating in a sensory deprivation tank — a body temperature tank of ultra-concentrated magnesium salts that allow the body to float effortlessly — is helpful in decreasing chronic tension headaches, significantly decreasing anxiety, and treating insomnia.  A study published in Biological Psychiatry: Neuroscience and Neuroimaging in June 2018 found that muscle tension was significantly decreased and blood pressure was measurably reduced after float therapy.   Another study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal in March of 2016 found that anxiety symptoms were significantly reduced to the point that almost 40% of patients with generalized anxiety disorder reached full remission post-treatment.

 

Want to try it at home? Take an epsom salt bath.

 

If you don’t live near a floatation therapy center or want to experience an inexpensive at-home version of float therapy, draw a warm bath just before bedtime, making it close to body temperature (98 degrees) and add several cups of epsom salts to make a hypertonic magnesium solution.

Darken the room or place a warm washcloth over the eyes and soak for at least 15 minutes… up to 60 minutes… adding warm water when needed to maintain body temperature.

See if you feel more calm, with less muscle tension, and get a better night’s sleep!

 

 

 

 

  1. Halotherapy: which I try out and review for you in a video right here.

 

Halotherapy is simply the inhalation of aerosolized dry salts… a very popular new therapy added to many spas. These salt therapy lounges can be very beautiful, with gorgeous Himalayan salt wall features and flowing loose salt over the floors to give the appearance of a salt cave, while sodium chloride crystals are aerosolized into the room’s air for inhalation.

These spas claim that halotherapy can improve respiratory allergies, fix chronic dermatologic skin issues like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, and even decrease the frequency of upper respiratory infections.  There are some studies that back this up, one notable study published in the journal Meditsina Truda I Promyshlennaia Ekologiia in 2016 which showed that mild cases of chronic obstructive lung disease was clinically improved in about 40% of cases.  Another study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology showed that halo therapy decreased the size of tonsillar hypertrophy in almost half of the patients studied, and was particularly well tolerated by children compared to medical-surgical treatment for sub-obstructive hypertrophy. Lastly, a study published in Pediatric Pulmonology in 2017 showed that asthmatic children had less bronchial hyper-responsiveness, although lung function tests did not show measurable improvement following treatment.

 

Want to try this at home? Use a personal Himalayan Salt Inhaler.

 

An economical alternative to inhale microparticles of salts is a personal inhaler made from ceramic, used with Himalayan sea salts.  Simply hold up to your mouth, breath in through the mouth and out through the nose for 10 minutes daily.  But with the mixed reviews on inhaling salt — some studies found it triggered cough and irritated breathing tubes — plus with my own dismal experience with going to a salt cave, I recommend you consult your physician before use.

 

Another alternative?  Plug in a Himalayan Salt Lamp.

 

Although there are no medical studies directly proving a salt lamp is therapeutic, there are lots of general claims that a Himalayan salt lamp provides negative ions to the living space — and negative ion therapy actually has been studied and shown to slightly reduce depression symptoms, decrease headaches, and marginally help normalize circadian rhythms.  So theoretically there may be a slight health benefit to introducing a salt lamp into your home and it’s certainly much cheaper than halotherapy at a therapy center… if you are even lucky enough to have a therapeutic salt cave in your area.

 

 

 

 

  1. Cryotherapy:  which I try out for you and review in a video right here.

 

Just like a football player taking an ice bath after a big game, exercise enthusiasts swear by intensely cooling down the body with cryotherapy after strenuous exertion as a way to reduce inflammation and expedite recovery.

Cryotherapy centers are gaining in popularity, but do they work?   One study, recently published in Wiadomosci Lekarskie in 2018, found that cryotherapy treatments decreased back pain and increased the range of motion of the lower back in patients with degenerative spine disease.  Another study published in PLOS One in June 2011 showed cryotherapy after exercise reduced blood markers of inflammation.

I tried it on my left knee, which has hurt me since I injured it playing soccer as a teenager decades and decades ago, and I loved it!  Definitely felt less knee pain for about 48 hours.  My friend did whole body cryotherapy and found it not only invigorating but had less aches and pains as well for at least two days.  This one I give a two thumbs up to!

 

 

 

Want to try this at home?  An ice bath may be just as effective.

 

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology Performance in March 2017 showed that a 10 minute ice bath (50 degrees Fahrenheit) was actually more effective than whole body cryotherapy (3 minutes at -110 degrees Celsius) in reducing muscle soreness and accelerating muscle recovery after exertion.

Can’t tolerate an ice bath?  Simply use an ice pack (for no longer than 10 minutes) placed directly on areas of pain and soreness to decrease inflammation in targeted joints and muscles.  Better yet, use a grounded ice pack to synergistically combine therapies for better results.

 

 

 

  1. Acupuncture: this one is next up for me — I’ll share a new video with you on this in December!

 

Acupuncture isn’t a new therapy, but a longstanding ancient healing modality that has proven benefits in the medical literature.  In a study published in Headache in March of 2015, acupuncture was shown to decrease migraine occurrence as well as any conventional drug therapy, with less side effects and no prescription necessary.

Acupuncture was also shown to reduce chronic back pain (recently published Jan 2019 in Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP) and significantly decrease pain and increase functionality in fibromyalgia patients (published Jan 2019 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.)

 

Want to try this at home?  Acupressure.

 

Several studies have shown that acupressure — holding pressure over pressure points — is equally effective to professional acupuncture with needles.  Pre-surgical patients ranked similar relief with acupressure as with acupuncture in alleviating pre-surgery anxiety, and psoriasis patients actually improved more with short term acupressure therapy over traditional acupuncture therapy.

At home it’s super easy to hold or massage acupressure points — many important acupressure points are found in the hand and the feet, on the external ear, the scalp, neck, back, wrist and more.  In fact, many of the benefits of traditional massage are thought to be from stimulation of acupressure points, along with increased circulation by mobilizing muscle and fascial tissue.  So even if you don’t know specific acupressure points, even a simple foot or hand massage can relax your whole body, from head to toe.

And for a no-brainer way to apply acupressure, there are lots of inexpensive tools like Aculief (for headache therapy,) acupressure wrist bands for nausea relief, acupressure foot massagers, acupressure clips to use on ears, hands and feet, even whole body acupressure mats.

 

 

 

  1. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: I’m not trying this one out… ever.  Sorry!

 

One of the most new exciting areas of research, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that increases oxygen to the tissues of the body, theoretically improving tissue survival and recovery.  Classically used to treat resistant infections and non-healing wounds, fascinating newer research is showing that hyperbaric oxygen treatments can actually make a marked improvement in older brain injuries such as prolonged concussion syndrome.

Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews in July 2005 showed that brain injuries that were 1 to 5 years old significantly improved cognitive function, increased quality of life, and induced neuroplasticity after hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Even more recent research (published 2015 in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience) showed that brain injuries that were over 10 years old responded to hyperbaric oxygen therapy by increased cerebral blood flow and blood volume.  These changes increased perfusion of the brain and resulted in significant improvements in global cognitive scores, which is unheard of in decade old traumatic brain injuries.

More recently (published in Frontiers in Psychology in December 2018) researchers were able to measure significantly increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, orbital frontal cortex and subgenus areas of the brain on brain imaging studies.   Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are popping up all over in a more accessible, lower cost version called Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

However, I never plan to ever try this, because vascular malformations in the brain run in my family, and I just don’t want to have any external pressure applied to my cardiovascular system lest I encourage an unwanted bleed.  So my advice — only give hyperbaric oxygen therapy a try if you have been cleared by your own personal physician.

 

Want to try this at home?  Intentional Deep Breathing

 

Deep breathing is incredibly effective at boosting cognition, reducing blood pressure, calming heart rate, and improving heart rate variability, and it only takes 3 slow deep breaths to boost vagal tone and feel the immediate benefits.

Taking slow, measured breaths is one reason that mantra — repeating a word or short phrase — has been shown to treat PTSD and improve insomnia better than traditional talk therapy (published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2018.).

In fact, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in Feb 2019, researchers found that study participants who practiced slow mindful breathing for 15 minutes nightly improved cardiac vagal activity and improved quality of sleep.  Not bad for a completely free, totally accessible healing modality that you can try right now.

 

Never let healing get dry, boring or mindless.

Interjecting something new to once in a while can stimulate your body to recover in all new ways.

As I mentioned above, even brain injuries that are over ten years old can show significant improvement by treatments that are considered alternative.

There is a first time for everything, so breathe new life into your health and healing by trying something you’ve never tried before!

xoxox, Laura