Parizer (Bologna sausage)

Medical Spa Baloney

We thought it would be hard to top the vacuous absurdity of juice cleanses. But it turns out that the Washington Post was up for the challenge. So the paper assigned an intrepid travel reporter and even hired a model to make the medical spa baloney of intravenous infusions for hangover therapy sound and look glamorous.

The reporting sounds like breathless ad copy, not journalism:

“Once just in hospitals, IV drips have become a crossover sensation in the health, wellness and travel sphere. Travelers previously had to rely on pain killers and sunglasses (hangover), melatonin (jet lag) or copious amounts of caffeine or sleep (exhaustion) to recover from travel-related afflictions. Now, they are hooking up to IVs to erase the excesses that could derail their vacation. And you don’t have to venture far to find them. IV drips are popping up in hotel spas, resorts, casinos and shopping districts. You can even order one from the cushiness of your rental property or hotel room.”

Funny, though, the article says nothing about costs – if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Also omitted are the medical warnings from FDA about risks for infection, scaring, and long-term health complications. These are details only necessary for serious reporting.

From this realm of quackery, we also see a lot of sketchy compounded semaglutide flying out the door.

Disturbing on Many Levels

So many dimensions of this are disturbing that it’s hard to know where to start. The spectacle of a respected outlet for journalism promoting quackery is dismaying. Even the chief executive of the American Med Spa Association is more circumspect than the Post, saying:

“There is a bit of an underbelly to this industry, where you’ve got folks who should not be doing the treatment that they’re doing,”

Equally dismaying is the contrast between this fake luxury and exploitation against the harsh reality of people who cannot get access to real healthcare. On this and the absurdity of medical spa baloney, readers were more eloquent than writers at the Washington Post. Said one:

“As I think of all the health inequalities in the U.S. – people cannot afford their meds or get dropped from Medicaid – I cringe when I see this.

“Dehydrated? Drink some water. Etc.

“OF COURSE people can spend their own $$ any way they want, but this is another example of the deep deep divide in the U.S. between those with excess and those without enough.”

Perhaps the editors at the Post will wake up and feel a twinge of shame for disseminating this bunk.

Click here to see this bunk for yourself. For some serious reporting on these problematic businesses, we recommend this real reporting from Erika Edwards and Marina Kopf.

Parizer (Bologna sausage), photograph by Frank Haug, licensed under CC BY 3.0

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May 7, 2024

One Response to “Medical Spa Baloney”

  1. May 07, 2024 at 6:21 am, Alfred B Lewis said:

    Nice to see I wasn’t the only one completely offended by this.