In the annals of strange spa treatments, NAD therapy—which led me to gather with colleagues in a Sunset Boulevard medi-spa to chat casually while we were ingesting a vitamin cocktail through intravenous drips—has got to be one of the oddest ones I’ve tried as a wellness editor. And the way I felt afterward makes a case for you trying it, too.
A little background: NAD+ therapy is the shorthand term for a series of intravenous infusions of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), basically an organic molecular compound that was discovered as far back as the early 1900s to be key to the body’s ability to create energy, protect itself from stress-related breakdown and prevent aging-related decay. (It’s also been used, controversially, in the treatment of addiction to chemicals, food and porn.)
What’s this got to do with medi-spas, you may ask? Those welcoming urban pitstops that are more commonly associated with nothing more invasive than a bit of Botox or a B12 shot? Well, in the same way that looking a little fresher or feeling a little healthier from those interventions has proven popular, now spa-goers want to feel more vitality. And if it takes a little bit longer than a few quick injections, so be it.
“I’ve had a few of the four-hour IVs,” says one 50-year-old professional woman devotee. As a single mom to a pre-schooler, she was recommended to the procedure by her naturopath. As an experienced consumer of alternative medicine who’d previously enjoyed a sense of calm and well-being after a Myers Cocktail infusions (a B-vitamin mix), she was game—even though the $1,500 price point was daunting. As was the treatment sensation—“as it flows into your body, you feel your muscles constrict, and a feeling of tightness” not unlike anaphylaxis. “It’s jarring and feels almost like you’re getting a workout as you feel it flow through your body.”