What Is NAD Therapy and Why Is Everyone in Wellness Circles Buzzing on It?

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.”

Like in many spas, her treatment took place in a semi-private reclining pod with headphones to listen to podcasts or meditation tapes, but still the multi-hour procedure felt like a chore. “But immediately afterward, I felt like I was in my 20s again,” she said. “And I actually bounded out of bed the next morning.”

As for me, I started small with a NAD+ push, which is basically 100 mg of the coenzyme that is added to a saline bag and can be ingested in much less time than the multi-hour drip of a full 750 mg treatment. At Next Health in West Hollywood, the treatment only ran $159, and a nurse helpfully monitored the drip speed of me and my lunch mates who’d decided to forego cocktails for a NAD+ and a dip in the spa’s cryochamber.

While I felt next to nothing as the treatment entered my arm (and I can’t speak to the anti-aging work my push did on a cellular level), I did experience a sense of mental clarity after the infusion and a definite lightness of mood. It may have been just the hydration of the bag of saline, I thought, but there was a bit of sharpness and almost buzzing energy I experienced the next couple days that didn’t interfere with my sleep and enabled me to exercise a little more and skip that afternoon caffeine fix.

Next Health just launched its latest outpost, complete with NAD+ therapy, at the Four Seasons Resort in Maui, so that you can get over that pesky jet lag and exhaustion back home right when you check in. Let’s just say, you wouldn’t have to ask me twice to make my reservation.

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...