Waiting for breakfast yesterday, outside a favorite restaurant, we wandered along the sidewalk of the strip mall. (this is Orlando, of course we were at a strip mall). I noticed a sign for a new “Wellness Center” and, since I am on a health kick, we wandered over to gaze in the window. Upon inspection, we realized the our neighborhood’s new center for health was a store designed to sell water filters. No doctor on premises, no nurse, no acupuncture, no spiritual books, no pastor, no psychologist, no healthy food. Nope. Just water filters and some signs designed to convince you that you need to be “well”.
It seemed to my wife, Teresa, and I, that someone has been trying to get us to buy some form of water softener or filter all of our lives. It used to be door to door salesmen or radio ad campaigns or direct mail: apparently; water, in its natural form, is killing us slowly. You know, the stuff that makes up 65% of our body, covers most of the earth and is scientifically filtered and purified by our local municipality is deviously murdering us from the inside. We are rusting.
What the hell is wellness anyway? If you are a consumer; they will try to convince you that wellness is about non scientifically proven supplements, fad diets, colon cleansing, spiritual mediums and lite beer. Wellness, a healthy idea, has been hijacked by every fast buck gleaning sales weasel, who, in a previous age, was known as a gypsy.
Like I said, I like the concept of Wellness. As I get older, it occurs to me that taking care of myself is a pretty good idea. I like yoga, meditation, healthy food, house plants, my blood pressure medication, high fiber and long naps. I like exercise and the counsel of a good friend with common sense. Wellness, like any other great idea, (see “Green”, “Work from Home” and “Healthy Backs”) is in danger of being hijacked by the marketing machine that is America. Play on the right emotion (fear or greed), create a slogan and charge them out the ass. Whether it is the River City Boys Band (Boy we got trouble, right here in River City) or colon cleansing, we will buy it.
Everyone, it seems, is a potential expert. Get laid off from your job at the Motor Vehicle Department and become a “life coach”, love the promised riches of multi level marketing and you are a vitamin and nutrition expert, find thirsty people who are afraid of water and you are a wellness professional. All you need is a web page, a marketing strategy and a sales pitch.
I am tired of it. I am tired of non educated, under qualified people profiting off our fear of mortality. Thanks to the internet, diploma mills, self publishing, tele seminars and advertising, we can no longer tell the difference between qualified professionals and the traveling medicine show. We are surrounded by gypsies and they are closing in.
Only: we CAN tell. Common sense, if we haven’t forgotten it, should tell us that eating a salad is better than taking a capsule, that going for a long walk is a better idea than the machine that shakes your abs, that drinking water is a good thing. We should know that a certified health professional knows more than the network marketing sales person, that the professional counselor knows more about healing than the guy who got his coaching certification on line. We recognize the gypsies, tramps and thieves.
I need a drink. Wait… has that been run through charcoal, whey and synthetic monkey shit? I wouldn’t want to drink unfiltered water.