A captivating photo of a person standing with arms outstretched against a vivid sunset, their silhouette illuminated by a ray of light, reminiscent of the iconic pose associated with the "Jesus shot."

What Is The Jesus Shot? A Comprehensive Guide

The Jesus shot has become an increasingly popular injection that some claim can eliminate joint pain. But what exactly is in this mysterious shot, and does it really work? This comprehensive guide will reveal everything you need to know about the Jesus shot.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Jesus shot contains a mixture of substances including vitamin B12, anti-inflammatories, and homeopathic remedies that some providers claim can reduce joint inflammation and pain when injected.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the origins of the Jesus shot, its purported ingredients and effects, any scientific research behind it, provider qualifications, costs, potential risks and side effects, and alternatives for joint pain relief.

What Is the Jesus Shot?

The Jesus Shot, also known as the Michael Phelps cocktail, is an intramuscular injection containing a blend of legal and controversial substances claimed to promote rapid recovery, reduce inflammation and pain, enhance athletic performance, and improve overall wellness.

Origins and History of the Jesus Shot

The origins of the Jesus Shot can be traced back to the 1970s when Dr. Rodney Davis, an Ohio chiropractor, began experimenting with injectable supplements for his patients.

He found that combining certain vitamins, minerals, and extracts into one formula delivered fast-acting benefits.

In the late 1990s, this formula was refined by Dr. Brian DelRosario and gained popularity within the bodybuilding and sports community.

It was nicknamed the “Jesus Shot” both for the miraculous effects users claimed to experience and because one of its key ingredients was extract from the velvet antler of young deer, which some associated with the crown of thorns placed on Jesus.

Over the years, the Jesus Shot has become a phenomenon among athletes looking for a competitive edge as well as weekend warriors and regular people seeking relief from pain and inflammation. It has developed an almost cult-like following despite lacking scientific evidence or FDA approval.

Jesus Shot Ingredients and Claims

The exact formula of the Jesus Shot is a closely guarded secret, but it is known to contain the following substances:

  • B12 – For energy and cell health
  • B6 – To improve absorption
  • B5 – For adrenal and thyroid support
  • Amino acids – To reduce inflammation and boost recovery
  • Deer velvet antler extract – Said to contain insulin-like growth factor for muscle growth

Proponents of the Jesus Shot claim it can:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation rapidly
  • Speed healing of muscles and joints
  • Boost strength and stamina
  • Improve mobility and range of motion
  • Enhance mental focus and mood
  • Increase energy and vitality

However, there is no scientific evidence to back these claims and some ingredients like deer antler velvet have been banned by major sports organizations. Potential side effects and long-term safety also remain unknown.

Is There Any Research on the Jesus Shot?

The Jesus Shot has become an increasingly popular alternative therapy in recent years, but there is limited research on its effectiveness and safety. Here is an overview of what we know so far:

Small Studies on Platelet-Rich Plasma

The Jesus Shot involves injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP), so some of the relevant research has looked at PRP for pain relief. A few small studies have found benefits:

  • A 2018 study followed 28 patients who got PRP injections for chronic shoulder pain. After 6 months, they reported less pain and better range of motion.
  • A 2015 study gave PRP injections to 27 patients with elbow tendonitis. After 24 weeks, they had significantly lower pain scores.
  • However, both of these studies were small and did not include control groups for comparison.

Claims of Benefit for Specific Conditions

Providers of the Jesus Shot claim it can help treat a wide array of orthopedic conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendon tears
  • Nerve pain

However, there is currently no rigorous research demonstrating the efficacy of the Jesus Shot for these specific problems.

Lack of FDA Approval and Regulation

The Jesus Shot procedure is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, providers offering it are not required to follow government regulations or oversight.

This means there are risks such as:

  • No guarantees the blood is handled properly to avoid contamination
  • No standardization of the platelet separation process
  • Unknown long-term safety

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Possible side effects and risks of the Jesus Shot include:

  • Short-term pain, swelling, bruising at the injection site
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Allergic reaction
  • Worsening arthritis symptoms in the long run if given too frequently

Since providers are offering the Jesus Shot without sufficient regulation or scientifically-backed protocols, there may be other unforeseen risks too.

The Need for More Rigorous Studies

While a few small studies show potential benefits of PRP injections, much more research is needed to evaluate the Jesus Shot specifically. Well-designed studies should look at:

  • Effectiveness for different orthopedic conditions
  • Optimal PRP preparation and injection methods
  • Short and long-term side effects
  • Safety issues around lack of regulation
  • Cost-effectiveness compared to other therapies

Until larger, high-quality controlled studies are conducted, the benefits and risks of the Jesus Shot will remain unclear.

Who Provides the Jesus Shot?

Lack of Provider Regulation

The Jesus Shot is primarily provided by chiropractors and other alternative medicine practitioners. However, there is a concerning lack of regulation around who can administer these injections. Unlike medical doctors or nurses, chiropractors do not have stringent licensing requirements or oversight of their practices.

This means that anyone with a chiropractic license could offer the Jesus Shot, regardless of their qualifications, training background, or adherence to safety standards.

There are no checks in place to ensure providers have specialized education in injection procedures or maintaining sterile equipment.

This puts patients at heightened risk of infections and other complications.

Questions About Provider Qualifications and Training

Very little verified information is available about the background, qualifications, or training of those offering the Jesus Shot. Most claims about the shot’s effects come from the providers themselves rather than impartial medical research.

Providers often tout their ability to customize the injections based on a patient’s unique health needs. However, it is unclear how they make these assessments without traditional diagnostic testing or medical histories.

There is also no transparency around how these providers were trained to safely administer injections or handle controlled substances.

This lack of knowledge about the qualifications and competency of Jesus Shot providers is concerning. Patients are putting their health in the hands of people who may not have adequate medical expertise.

More regulation and oversight is needed to ensure public safety from these alternative treatments.

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What Does the Jesus Shot Cost?

The cost of the Jesus Shot can vary depending on the provider, ingredients used, and number of shots recommended. However, typical costs are around $300 per shot. The shot contains a proprietary blend of ingredients including vitamins, minerals, homeopathics, and amino acids.

Here is a breakdown of some common factors that influence the cost:

Provider Fees

The Jesus Shot was originally formulated and trademarked by Dr. Mike Miles, an orthopedic surgeon in Texas. However, other providers may offer their own version. Fees can vary greatly between providers and specialties:

  • Orthopedic surgeons or sports medicine specialists often charge higher consultation fees due to their specialized expertise.
  • Chiropractors, physical therapists, functional medicine providers may offer more affordable rates.
  • Concierge and anti-aging clinics focused on IV therapies often price shots on the higher end.


The specific nutritional compounds, homeopathics, and aminos used can impact the cost. Providers may source from medical grade suppliers at a premium cost. Some of the ingredients like B12 and other vitamins can be quite costly.

Number of Shots

Some conditions or goals may need a series of shots over several weeks or months. Most providers recommend between 3 to 7 shots spaced out over a certain timeframe. The total cost obviously rises the more shots that are provided.

What Are the Potential Risks and Side Effects?

While the Jesus Shot has gained popularity for its purported benefits, it is not without risks. Here are some of the potential side effects and safety concerns to consider:

Infection at the Injection Site

Like any injection, the Jesus Shot does carry a small risk of infection at the site where the needle enters the skin.

Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain, and pus. This risk can be minimized by having the injection performed in a licensed, sterile medical facility.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may experience allergic reactions to one or more ingredients in the Jesus Shot. Allergies can range from mild itching and rash to severe anaphylaxis.

This is why it’s important to disclose any known allergies to your provider beforehand.

Interactions with Medications

The various peptides and nutrients in the Jesus Shot may potentially interact with certain medications like blood thinners, insulin, thyroid hormones, and others.

Be sure to discuss all your medications with your provider to screen for any problematic interactions.

Long-Term Safety Unknown

Because the Jesus Shot is relatively new, the long-term safety profile has not yet been established.

The different peptides may have unintended effects with prolonged or repeated use over many years. It’s wise to use caution and monitor yourself closely for any unusual reactions.

Risk with Pre-Existing Conditions

Those with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer should take extra care, as the Jesus Shot’s effects are not well studied in these populations. There may be unexpected reactions. Discuss thoroughly with your physician first.

While many report excellent results with no side effects, it’s impossible to predict how any one individual may respond.

Using an experienced provider, screening for health conditions and medication interactions, and monitoring yourself carefully can help minimize any risks.

Are There Alternatives for Joint Pain Relief?

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle changes can help relieve joint pain without medication. Losing weight reduces stress on joints, while exercise keeps muscles strong and joints flexible.

Activities like yoga, tai chi, and pilates are especially helpful. Getting enough sleep and managing stress are also key.

Making lifestyle changes may seem simple, but can have a big impact on joint health.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications can temporarily reduce joint pain and inflammation. These include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.

They come in both pill and topical gel forms. OTC medications can bring fast relief and are easily accessible without a prescription.

However, they also have more risks like stomach, kidney, or liver damage with long-term use.

Prescription Medications

For moderate to severe joint pain, a doctor may prescribe stronger medications.

These include muscle relaxers, stronger anti-inflammatory drugs like celecoxib or meloxicam, duloxetine for arthritis pain, corticosteroids for inflammation, and medications like capsaicin cream.

Prescriptions must be carefully managed under a doctor’s supervision due to potential side effects.


Various therapies are proven to safely alleviate joint pain. Physical therapy uses exercises, massage, heat/cold therapy and other techniques to improve mobility and strength.

Occupational therapy helps adapt daily activities to reduce joint strain.

Acupuncture uses tiny needles placed in specific body points to relieve pain. Supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects. Therapies combine well with other treatments.


When conservative treatments fail and joint damage is severe, surgery may be an option. Procedures like arthroscopy trim damaged cartilage or fuse joints to reduce pain.

Partial or total joint replacements implant artificial joints for knees, hips, shoulders and other joints.

Surgery can provide lasting pain relief but involves risks like infection, blood clots, implant failure or the need for revision surgery later on. Patients and doctors should consider surgery very carefully after trying other options.


While some Jesus shot providers boast miraculous pain relief, scientific evidence on its safety and efficacy is lacking. Speak to your doctor to explore proven treatment options for joint pain relief. With lifestyle changes, OTC medications, therapies, prescription drugs, and surgery, there are many alternatives to discuss before trying an unproven injection.

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