Prescriptions and modern medicine

I was just reading an article in the New York Times about the effects of exercise on depression, and this sentence caught my eye:

His investigation joins a growing movement among some physiologists and doctors to consider and study exercise as a formal medicine, with patients given a prescription and their progress monitored, as it would be if they were prescribed a pill.

Hallelujah. I am so glad to hear that the medical profession is broadening what it prescribes.

The word prescribe comes from the Latin pre (before) + scribere (to write). It basically means to direct in writing.

Somehow we’ve come to interpret the word prescription as synonymous with pharmaceutical drug. Glad to know it ain’t necessarily so.

Gee, before you know it, doctors may be prescribing not just exercise, but also massage, diet, and rest, changes that have improved health for millenia without corporate profit.

What a concept.

Oh, exercise was found to be helpful for depression.

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