The first time I heard about IV infusions was when Rihanna tweeted about it. It was back in 2012, and she had posted a picture of herself hooked onto an IV drip. She wasn't admitted to hospital (thankfully), but instead she was the latest celebrity to have a high-dose cocktail of vitamins drip-fed into her bloodstream, in a procedure that claims to cure hangovers, combat exhaustion and boost the immune system.
It wasn't the first time we've seen celebrities take on wacky health pursuits, and like many others, I wrote it off as another celebrity fad. But that was three years ago, and instead of dying down, this "trend" seems to be on the rise, and Hong Kong is the latest city to jump onto the bandwagon.
REVIV HK, which opened on Duddell Street in Central late last month, was brought to Hong Kong by four A&E (Accident and Emergency) doctors with over 40 years of experience in treating dehydration and restoring energy levels. The intravenous delivery of fluids and wellness agents via IV Hydration and Energy Booster Shots, the clinic claims, can restore the body to its peak function, alleviating tiredness, increasing alertness, boosting the immune system, relieving depression, and even providing noticeable results in skin, hair and nails.
"Can't people just drink eight cups of water every day and get enough sleep?" I asked Dr Johnny Parvani, founder of REVIV and Sarah Lomas, president of REVIV, when they came to Hong Kong to launch the city's first clinic.
"You could," says Lomas. "But these days, no one has the time to do that. When was the last time you've drank eight cups of water?"
"The body is made primarily of water, even mild dehydration, even as little as 2 per cent, can result in a significant decrease in productivity and the way people feel," adds Parvani. "Actually the leading causes of mortality in the world are related to dehydration and illnesses that cause dehydration. So hydration really is the key to life."
Hydration remains the core benefit of every treatment REVIV HK provides. Treatments such as Hydromax IV delivers pure hydration replenishment after physical exertion. Ultraviv IV packs a punch with Vitamin B12, anti-nausea medication, pain reliever and energy booster to address anything from muscle aches to jetlag. Vitaglow IV is any woman's best friend, fighting free radicals and restoring skin to optimum health.
REVIV HK combines Western medicine with an Eastern philosophy of healing. "Usually when someone's not feeling well, they have two options, either to go to a clinic or a hospital, or buy over-the-counter medicine," says Parvani. "We self-medicate every day. You don't run to your doctor every time you get a headache. So what we're doing here is to fill a void in the marketplace. Now there's a third option, a comfortable spa-like setting where you can take care of a lot of your needs."
My interest piqued, I sat down for their pure hydration treatment. All treatments are administered by Board certified physicians and doctors, registered nurses and trained paramedics. My nurse was friendly and chatty, taking me through the process with ease. If needles turn you off, fear not because the procedure is painless. I didn't feel much of a difference when I left 30 minutes later, but I did have a long-haul flight to catch the next day. Usually on flights like these, I get an itchy throat, dry eyes, chapped lips and a blocked nose, all signs of dehyrdation; but for the first time, I was breathing fine. Jetlag also didn't get to me this time. Maybe it's placebo? I'll just have to go back for more treatments to find out.
REVIV HK. Suite 2202, 1 Duddell Street, Central. +852 2530 9882