The curse of ‘wellness’

‘Health’ I understand. But ’wellness’ ?

‘Wellness’ appears in the dictionary. But it is a mushy, ill-defined, nebulous word that is inherently anti-science (as it has no clear meanings or parameters). I find it to be a very irritating word. ‘Wellness’ is a word which, I have noticed, seems to increase in use in proportion to the money that one is invited to spend on trying to obtain it.

But ‘wellness’ is subjective, and, as a goal, tempts people into new dimensions of worry not just about the absence of disease but also about the depth of exuberant positivity one should bodily and mentally expect to find. It also invites lavish consideration of preventative ‘health checks’, many of which are marginal in potential benefit and most of which come with a flip side of cons. There are drinks, work outs, food, shoes, bras, chairs,  and, of course, health clinics, which come with the promise of ‘wellness’.

Thus, I have spent years trying to dissociate myself from the curse of ’wellness’ in healthcare, and now I have a moral dilemma. I have spent several months trying to find bathroom fittings that will fit into an awkwardly shaped room. I have found the perfect fit. However, the modest fittings are defined as a ‘wellness product’. The search goes on.

Margaret McCartney’s Blog

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A forum on healthcare policy and professional issues, by Glasgow-based GP and FT Weekend columnist Margaret McCartney.

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