Melissa Bunkers is a certified nurse practitioner, a functional medicine provider and the founder of Revive Functional Medicine. She also recently opened up an IV Lounge in central Sioux Falls. She sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to talk about IV therapy, what it is, who it's for, and how you can learn more.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you 'get smart' about IV therapy?

With the growth of my functional medicine practice, I was really seeing a need for a way to get nutrients into people bypassing the oral route because of digestive issues I was seeing.

  • With the amount of nutrient deficiencies I was seeing in my patients, I really just got interested in a way to get them those nutrients quickly and help them feel better quickly.

I am a conventionally trained nurse practitioner, so I'm very familiar with administering medications and fluids through the IV route and how beneficial those things can be. I just felt like there was a great need for it in the wellness space, so that people don't need to go to the hospital to get hydrated.

We're all about simplicity here. Can you describe the experience of IV therapy in 10 words or fewer?

A wholistic approach to enhancing your health by delivering essential nutrients.

How does IV therapy work?

When someone comes in to get IV therapy, I talk with them about any health issues they’re having – like fatigue, stress, headaches, or just getting sick and feeling run-down.

  • Using my functional medicine training, I’m really an expert in recognizing which vitamins and nutrients would be most beneficial based on your symptoms.

From there we can either choose one of our IV infusions that I have already put together or we can customize something to your needs.

In my IV therapy clinic, we also provide IV infusions for other things like the thyroid, inflammation, gut health and hormones – which is kind of unique to us.

What's something people misunderstand about IV therapy? And can you help set the record straight for us?

A lot of times, people are skeptical that it's not safe because we're not in a hospital setting. However if the clinic is run by a professional, it is very safe, and the risk of having an adverse reaction is very low.

The other thing I would say is that a lot of time, people think, 'Well, you’re just going to excrete the vitamins through your urine,' or, 'It's not really going to be beneficial.'

  • That is not true. We can test kind of before and after, and I do see levels come up after IV therapy.

Who stands to benefit most from IV therapy?

High achieving women, moms who are stressed out – we're constantly on the go, and that can really deplete us of the crucial vitamins we need to feel our best.

On a lighter note, if you could magically infuse one thing into an IV, what would it be?

I would magically infuse a good night's sleep.

  • People don't get enough sleep, and as a mom, I'm sleep-deprived, so that is top of mind for me right now.

Anything else the people of Sioux Falls should know about IV therapy?

While the effects are pretty instant, it's not long-lasting, so it's a good supplemental therapy to a broader overall health and wellness plan.

It's really important to still get the nutrition, stress management and good sleep, and I really take a holistic approach to all of it.