In a cozy room complete with candles, soft music, white twinkle lights and heated blankets, wellness-seekers of all kinds relax and chat while needles inject them with a variety of vitamin-infused drips. It’s an IV coffee klatch of sorts and an atmosphere that patients embrace at Hang 10 Drips.
“It’s such a community here,” says Melanie Scaggs, the director of nursing and clinical operations at the IV therapy center in Virginia Beach. “We have the Hang 10 social club. It is the most caring, supportive environment. All of the patients keep up with each other and it’s a part of what makes this so good.”
IV therapy clinics, often known as “drip bars,” are popping up throughout Coastal Virginia, making a variety of liquid vitamin concoctions—once popular only in celebrity circles—available to locals. IV advocates say they can help with a host of ailments including hangovers, jet lag, pain, aging, athletic performance, fatigue, immunity, weight loss and more.
However, some doctors believe the trend is more hype than health, citing studies published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that show limited evidence of benefits from IV fluids for most people. Depending on the end goal, treatments can also be time consuming (30 minutes up to 4 hours) and expensive (about $200-$400 per drip).
At Hang 10, Medical Director Dr. Lisa Barr says her clients find alternative solutions to many medical challenges in addition to a healthy dose of camaraderie. Her practice, open for about a year and located within the Barr Center for Innovative Pain & Regenerative Therapies, offers IV infusions as well as initial wellness testing to create a customized plan for each patient.
Signature drips—The Longboard (for COVID-19 recovery), The Drop (for immunity boost), The Billabong (for headaches and hangovers), The Swell (for mood) and The Maverick (for anti-aging), just a few options at Hang 10—can all be tailored to fit an individual’s needs. Common drip ingredients include B12, Vitamin C, B6, antioxidants and amino and mineral blends.
“This is not a quick fix or one size fits all,” explained Scaggs. “There is a lot that goes into making sure we create the right cocktail for the right person.”
Barr points out that most people at Hang 10 are not coming in for a hydration boost after a night of binge drinking. She said the average age of her patients is between 50 and 60, with many looking for pain management, surgery recovery or to manage the effects of cancer treatment.
“As a physician, my main mission is to solve problems for people, and they are aware that we have the wherewithal to guide them and how to optimize and look at each individual uniquely,” she says. “We are always trying to find a better way to solve someone’s problem, and we are going to keep working on that until we get it right every time.”
Dr. Barr said to avoid sticking points, she creates relationships with other wellness providers in the community like med spas and nutrition and fitness coaches.
“I think, for me being in practice as long as I have, you know, pain is easy for me,” she says. But solving some of these mysteries, I feel it’s so meaningful to be able to help people get answers.” For Scaggs, the proof is in the repeat visitors.
“You are doing the right thing when you see your patients coming back and they’re doing better,” she says. “You can see how wellness manifests in their life in many ways. They are getting what they need here, and it’s not just the IV.”
Want to try IV therapy?
Here are a few places around the area to check out (after consulting with your doctor).
Hang 10 Drips
933 First Colonial Road, Suite 200B, Virginia Beach (Inside Barr Center)
3376 Princess Anne Road, Suite 207, Virginia Beach
Prime IV Hydration & Wellness
2111 Princess Anne Road, Suite #104, Virginia Beach;
940 Cedar Road, Suite #110, Chesapeake
4035 East Ocean View Ave., Suite #102, Norfolk