Whence “wellness” ? 
Posted: 19 April 2007 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The spread of this term has bothered me for some reason since I first heard it used . Is it simply a substitute for “health” , or does it have some deeper meaning ? I think it is just a new use of a word by people who must periodically make changes for change’s sake ..

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Posted: 19 April 2007 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Good question. You must be hearing radio commercials for HMO’s. It’s a seductive word which because of the purity of its Anglo-Saxon parts gives the appearance of long-standing respectability and furthermore approximates the formerly standard “well-being” (German “Wohlsein” and Dutch “welzijn"). It has readily mixed in to the mish-mash and pablum of modern culture. But I wouldn’t be surprized if the usage goes back some years.

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Posted: 19 April 2007 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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"pablum of modern culture”

That is my take on it , too .

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Posted: 19 April 2007 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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BTW, what’s your Holy Grail among wrenches? When I make my first (and probably last) million, I’m going to invest in a complete set of Williams and original Plumb, perhaps pedestrian but pleasing nevertheless. This side topic is not intended to deflect the discussion of the OP. Off to bed.

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Posted: 19 April 2007 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The Coes company made at least 4 , maybe 5 , 72” key-lock monkey wrenches for railroad use . I would be in heaven if I had one , but that is not likely to happen . ( the possession of the wrench , not the getting into heaven , that is to be determined by fate and faith )

[ Edited: 19 April 2007 11:47 PM by papawswrench ]
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Posted: 20 April 2007 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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and furthermore approximates the formerly standard “well-being” (German “Wohlsein” and Dutch “welzijn").

In the last few years “Wellness” (like “Fitness”) has invaded the German-speaking world, not as a synonym for “Wohlsein” but with the meaning “body culture: spa-type treatments”; it’s quite common to see a Swiss or German hotel advertising itself as a Wellness-Oase, (“wellness oasis”) which is understood as meaning that it provides saunas, massage, beauty treatments, etc.

More, it seems that the very suffix –ness now conveys this meaning to German-speakers; I learn to my unspeakable dismay that the Swiss mountain village of Grindelwald, at the foot of the Eiger (with which my family has links going back 150 years, and which I love dearly), has recently decided to market itself using the gruesome concept of “Eigerness” – see here:
http://www.eigerness.ch/en/cms/front_content.php?changelang=2

[ Edited: 20 April 2007 03:37 AM by Syntinen Laulu ]
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Posted: 20 April 2007 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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foolscap - 19 April 2007 11:06 PM

But I wouldn’t be surprized if the usage goes back some years.

A few.

1654 SIR A. JOHNSTON (Ld. Wariston) Diary (S.H.S.) II. 197, I..blessed God..for my daughter’s wealnesse. c1655 D. OSBORNE Lett. xxviii. (1903) 126 You..never send me any of the new phrases of the town… Pray what is meant by wellness and unwellness?

OED
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Posted: 20 April 2007 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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But the OED3 also provides a second, more recent, definition using wellness to refer to preventative health care practices as opposed to curative ones (i.e., diet and exercise are wellness, liposuction is not). This usage dates to 1977 and seems to be the one in question here. This second definition is American in origin, but has spread to Britain and the Commonwealth. (The OED has cites from the UK and South Africa.)

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Posted: 20 April 2007 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Is exercising daily and putting effort into good nutrition preventative medicine or is it practicing wellness? Wellness is just a catchier word (right now) for a similar idea. Catchiness offends some people, but then everything offends some people. I’m all for pablum if it keeps babies alive (and lowers my insurance rates).

The good news is that Americans are eating more vegetables than ever. The bad news is that they’re McDonald’s fries.

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Posted: 25 April 2007 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I was just with my sister and brother in Phoenix this weekend and I was told that one of my sister’s workers took ill and she tried to get him treated by her doctor.  She was told that the doctor was not taking any patients who had not first had a ”well check.”

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Posted: 25 April 2007 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Oecolampadius - 25 April 2007 05:52 AM

She was told that the doctor was not taking any patients who had not first had a ”well check.”

“I’m sorry, Miss Jones, you’re too ill to see the doctor. Please come back when you’re better”.

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Posted: 25 April 2007 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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As an old retired union member and HMO carrier, the term “wellness” is nothing new to me. I disliked it when I first heard it about twenty-some years ago. It has always sounded like another way for management to pull the wool over the workers eyes. We even used to have “wellness committees” who would sit around a table and try to determine what laborers should do to live longer, healthier lives. The committees were always headed up by a management type (guess who had the last say?).

That is all well and good, but I think most laborers are too tired to worry about exercising and too hungry to eat the non-filling, skimpy diet food they recommended.

The word has the sound of elitism to me. Only someone who has the time can really think about it.

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