lifestyle

Tokyo’s latest health craze goes straight for the jugular

38 Comments
By Rebecca Milner

Vitamin pills are so last century. For a glimpse of the modern face of supplements, look no further than Tenteki 10, a clinic specializing in intravenous body boosts than can be completed during your lunch hour—and still leave time for lunch.

“Tenteki” is the Japanese word for IV drip, while “10” refers to the number of minutes the needle sits in your arm as it administers a cocktail of vitamins and amino acids. The potent serum enters directly into the bloodstream, meaning that nutrients are absorbed immediately. It’s not a replacement for conventional medicine, but it can give your body added strength to fend off illness and exhaustion.

Since opening at Ebisu Garden Place in April 2008, Tenteki 10 has been featured in a number of women’s magazines, including AneCam and Elle Japon. The resultant buzz has meant that it currently sees 30 to 40 customers a day, over 60% of whom return for another round; a second clinic also recently opened in the ritzy Tokyo Midtown complex.

With no appointment necessary, I stopped by at the Ebisu branch on a weekday evening to see what all the fuss was about. Tenteki 10 is attached to the Ebisu Garden Place Clinic (i.e., a legitimate medical facility), and there’s a reassuring atmosphere of professionalism. A staff of nurses, official-looking forms (in Japanese), and a number of course options greeted me on my arrival.

The ¥2,000 basic pack, which includes vitamins B and C, addresses the most commonly communicated complaints: stress, fatigue and early cold symptoms. On top of that, clients can add any number of packs from the menu, including “power up” (color-coded red), “detox & diet” (yellow), “total beauty” (pink) and so on.

As I weighed my options, two youngish men in suits entered and promptly ordered the 7,500 yen “business pack,” a promotional combo designed to restore energy (so that overwork can continue, presumably). Considering the trendy wellness aspect of Tenteki 10, I’d expected the clientele to be mostly women, but in fact the clinic sees an equal number of male and female customers, typically in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

I eventually decided to try the most popular treatment, the “recovery from exhaustion & body maintenance” (blue) pack, which includes a quick-absorbing vitamin B1 derivative and tocopherol, a vitamin E-like compound. After I’d handed over my 5,000 yen, a nurse ushered me in for a brief interview with a doctor—standard procedure for initial visits, and optional (to the tune of 3,000 yen for 15 minutes) for subsequent ones.

Having passed the screening, I was offered an immediate seat at the counter—a sleek white surface partitioned into personal spaces—or a 10-minute wait for the more private sofa room. I opted for the latter, and a few minutes later found myself settling into a chocolate-brown armchair, complete with ottoman and blanket, while a nurse tightened a pink elastic band around my bicep. As she prodded my arm to locate a vein, I realized it wasn’t a coincidence that I’d been asked to pay first. But before I could utter a word of hesitation, the needle was in, the curtain drawn, and I was left to watch an apparently soothing montage of underwater scenes on the TV screen. Smooth and efficient, as promised.

Reactions apparently depend on the person: some feel a difference right away, others not so much. I can report experiencing an immediate buzz, which gradually increased. By mid-treatment, my fingers and toes—usually overlooked by my unenthusiastic circulatory system—were positively tingling, and my mouth, as the nurse had warned, tasted oddly garlicky.

As I mentally debated where exactly on the pleasant/unpleasant spectrum this particular experience fell, I noticed that my chronically stiff shoulders were also noticeably looser. By the time the nurse came to release me, I was feeling lighter and more limber—like I’d just ingested 5,000 yen worth of "genki" drinks, in fact. And all in less time than it would take to put away a single cappuccino. Treatment effects typically last for up to one week.

With summer just around the corner, Tenteki 10 recommends the blue and red packs for fighting heat exhaustion and the “concentrated skin whitening” pack for counteracting sun exposure. Please note that some Japanese ability is necessary, especially for the first visit.

Ebisu Garden Place branch: 4F Ebisu Garden Place Tower, 4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5458-3128. Open daily 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-7 p.m. (medical exam not available Sat-Sun & hols). Nearest station: Ebisu.

Tokyo Midtown branch: 6F Midtown Tower, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5413-7913. Nearest station: Roppongi. Open daily 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. & 3-7 p.m. (medical exam not available Sat-Sun & hols).

This story originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (www.metropolis.co.jp).

© Japan Today

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.


38 Comments
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any docs on JT? whats the medical basis for this stuff? any? I only ask because I worry that my wife will go try it in the future as she works close to there.

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I bet the people that set the needle in your arm are not wearing gloves, nor have sterilized their hands before hand. Get ready for more hepatitis C folks.

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whats the medical basis for this stuff?

Placebo. Look into the history of "Airborne" for cold prevention. Not there is anything wrong with the placebo effect, mind you. Your mind is very powerful. Whatever works.

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This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. I am an amateur bodybuilder in Japan. (I don’t compete or anything, just work my ass off eating right (75% of the job) and lifting huge weights in the gym). I can tell you first hand Japan is at lealst 15-25 years behind America in terms of physical fitness awareness and especially nutrition. When it comes to exercise or food and nutrition. I don’t argue or even say a word. I just agree, even though in side I am either laughing or about to jump off a cliff in disbelief. Wear should I start. They don’t know how to stretch right. 8 glasses of water a day (you should aim for 8 letters). If they are lucky they drink 2 bottles of green tea or coffee loaded with caffeine. Just yesterday I was told they stopped school marathons because kids were dropping dead all of sudden from dehydration. You shouldn’t even bother to excessive at all if your not pumped full of water. Whole wheat? Where is it. Well my friend and I were told Japanese bowels aren’t used to whole grains, they can’t digest it. Really!?! Well I am pretty sure you ate brown rice for about 2000 years before you started eating white rice. Protein. You need 1 gram per .5 kg of body weight. They get about 50 a day if they lucky. REALLY lucky. Why are my biceps the size of most guys thighs. PROTIEN! Don’t get me wrong. The masks are a great idea Japan. Way to go. And thy have some great herbal medicine. Also some real BS herbal stuff too. Just take a vitamin. Hell. I take one the morning and a different one at night just to make sure I everything I need. And by the way, the FDA recommendations on vitamins is for 125 lb lazy people who do nothing all day. It is perfectly safe to WAY more than the recommended FDA amount except for stuff like vitamin A which is fat soluble.

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Whats wrong with taking a pill? Sure it works a few hours later but whats the big deal? I can't wait for someone to die over this, this can't be safe.

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Great idea - IV drips are really fast acting. Pity you have to have a needle stuck into you...

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Get ready for more hepatitis C folks.

To my knowledge it is transmitted directly by blood. You are more likely to get it at a dodgy tattoo parlor than from an IV. Cases of transmission in hospitals in Japan, the US and Europe have been linked to dialysis and transfusions, in the past when many aspects were still not well understood.

A handy chart of transmission methods of different kinds of hepatitis-

http://www.epidemic.org/theFacts/hepatitisC/transmission/

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" I was feeling lighter and more limber—like I’d just ingested 5,000 yen worth of “genki” drinks, in fact "

It seems to me he had. He should have done that the the next day by way of comparison.

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I have been doing IV drips for years in Los Angeles. Don't knock it until you try it.The benefits are at a substantially higher level than taking an ordinary vitamin pill.

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Im not saying it wont help. But 3 months supply of the best vitams out there are about 15-25 bucks. You want a good blend of amino acids. drink a 50 cent protien drink. thats about 75 cents a day. compared to needles and what else. Its like lipo suction. Sure it works. It works great. Or you could just put down your coke, candy bar, and take a short jog. Its a lot cheaper.

Eating right, and getting the right nutrients is a way of life, not a quick stop at a store once in a while when you are feeling down.

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**The benefits are at a substantially higher level than taking an ordinary vitamin pill. what? its costs you more money, and you just bought your self the placebo effect. something a cup of coffee, or eating right, and or getting a decent night sleep would have prevented in the first place (feeling run down)

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"I noticed that my chronically stiff shoulders were also noticeably looser"

I think you could improve your shoulders by exercising those muscles, that would help them to relax. Also sitting posture is important.

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why are the japanese always so exhausted ? its not like they do anything at work all day...this is just more BS like karoshi

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Can they put a dash of Jack Daniel's in it as an option?

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How about someone at Ebisu Garden Place starts selling apples and bananas? Ha ha, silly me.

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What a load of rubbish. Just eat what you like in moderation. No need for supplements with the healthy diet available in Japan.

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SebastianFlyte - You're assuming time exists to eat ....

... can be completed during your lunch hour—and still leave time for lunch.

Translation: Lunch Hour = Assuming you get one, 20 min. Still leave time for lunch = While you walk back to the office, stop off at KoNBiNi for a rice ball.

Ah - the life of a business person in Tokyo...

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Since when is the jugular in your arm?

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inakaRob: be careful...around 1/4 of the training supplements sold in the US have steroids in them. And many have some nasty fillers added. And that point you made about needing 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight, is also wrong. Weight lifting magazines and websites are not the places to look for accurate information. (watch a film called "bigger stronger faster") It'd be funny if we find out that the IV drips in Japan are slipping in a little EXTRA boost. :) A little THC maybe...

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@Ivan..

the japanese body is different and unique, so the jugular is in the arm...still trying to figure out where the brain is though

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Stirfry:

True, I was forgetting the unique Japanese anatomy. The jugular probably has to be extra-long to tend to the extended intestines and ten-month pregnancies.

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glad to be of assistance

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I would certainly not want to get a needle inserted in my arm in a place where IV drips are a form of consumerism commodity - specially considering Japanese businesses tendency to mislabel and the lack of awareness about HIV and AIDS rampant in Japan, where people still believe it is one of those diseases that only foreigners have. Besides, crook doctors are easy to find and a little stimulant in the drip will provide the "experience" clients are looking for without necessarily providing any health improvement.

This IV drip vitamins thing is just like diet pills and meal supplements aimed for weight loss: placebos and smoke screens. The ONLY way to health is living a healthy lifestyle. Balance your meals, bring a lunchbox to work, exercise regularly, have a regular sleep cycle with no less than 6 hours a night sleep, reduce the intake of industrial pre-made meals and do take vitamins. Patch-on remedies are just lip service.

Like some say, fools are soon parted with their money.

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Inkarob..i take it you have chosen the steroid free route to muscular perfection,you did not specify directly. Currently i have an arm that is recovering from having a nurse stick a needle in a vein,she stuck it through the vein and into the bicep tendon(elbow end) underneath which is now inflamed,the hole in the reverse of the vein continued to leak for 4 days after the test,filling the tissues with blood.All perforating treatments should be undertaken only after the risks are understood.

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Are the nurses working there real qualified nurses or are they in fact more like the girls in some bars, just wearing nurse costumes? What about the doctors? Are they qualified? If they are, they should be performing medically desirable treatment, not providing any treatment that will relieve the patient (customer might be a better term) of their money.

Most importantly, are the needles used new or properly sterilised? At this price they should certainly be new, but that doesn't mean that they are.

A tingling feeling in the toes and fingers can also be obtained, I have heard, by an overdose of fugu.

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Imagine what a persons arm would look like going for lunch daily for a month. Might have to go for the jugular!

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Wow! JT do you ever vet the stuff you post? Such quackery!

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...a few minutes later found myself settling into a chocolate-brown armchair, complete with ottoman and blanket, while a nurse tightened a pink elastic band around my bicep. As she prodded my arm to locate a vein, I realized it wasn’t a coincidence that I’d been asked to pay first. But before I could utter a word of hesitation, the needle was in, the curtain drawn, and I was left to watch an apparently soothing montage of underwater scenes on the TV screen...

In my country, we call these people smack-heads...

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Japanese work way too much, too much stress, too much BS! If you have a proper diet, proper excercise, proper sleep, avoid too much caffien and alcohol, you will have no need for these IV treatments, but these people devoting their entire lives to their companies, must see it as some kind of show of loyalty?? When will the natives here ever learn, take your time and actually enjoy life every day, not just once a year all drunk under the cherry blossoms.

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The hilarious part of this: you can get the same benefits and much more from eating the right foods!!!

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Im always impressed by how many jp travellers sleep so peacefully, apparently on their way to or from work. Im impressed, too, by any culture that creates its eating habits as the absorbtion of required fuels/medications etc, rather than stoking up the boiler with 'stuff' that tastes ok. SO it doesnt surprise me much that there are jp extremists in the arts of eating and absorbing 'right'. And the kit with which to administer it. Loyalty to company often looks tragic, to me, since it appears to encourage some of the most bitter infighting I have seen anywhere, all in the best possible taste, of course. (Worse still - appears any slavish affection from women for 'bosses')

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Quote from WilliB: "It seems to me he had. He should have done that the the next day by way of comparison."

He's a She, WilliB.

And it looks like she was had,... hahaha... about to order the 2,000 yen pack I expect, and "As I weighed my options, two youngish men in suits entered and promptly ordered the 7,500 yen business pack," so she went for the 5,000 JPY course. I bet they send the same two businessmen through each time!

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In my country, we call these people smack-heads...

That just made my morning!!! Thank you! :)

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This is just stupid.

Drink water and eat nutritional meals.

A sucker's born every minute . . .

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the scary thing is that OLS will see it as a way to diet..no need to eat! just plug in 3 times a week.....

human anatomy is carefully designed and the digestive process from the point of smelling food, muclse contaction of the jaw muscles to enzyme release ,movement of the stomach and intestines to its end is linked to many other body rhythms..brain waves, sleep etc.....

ok maybe once a month maybe...but yeah, just one slip up and some mislabelling mishap and the biz will collapse overnight!

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This society gets sicker and sicker with each passing day, and this bizarre "clinic" is yet another exammple of the wierdness of Japan.

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AVOID: a former boss of mine went to one of these and caught Hepatitis A

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Hep A comes from shellfish, many times raw oysters.

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