rest-cure (n.)

"treatment of nervous exhaustion by prolonged complete rest, isolation in bed, etc.," 1877, from rest (n.1) "repose" + cure (n.1) "means of healing."

To [Dr. S. Weir Mitchel] also belongs the honor of having devised the method known as the "rest cure," which has proven so beneficial in a class of cases constituting an "opprobrium medicorum." He defines this class to be "chiefly women—nervous women, who as a rule are thin and lack blood"—treated in turn for gastric, spinal or uterine troubles, but who remained at the end, as at the beginning, invalids, unable to attend to the duties of life, and sources of discomfort to themselves and anxiety to others. [Chicago Medical Gazette, Jan. 20, 1880]

updated on July 22, 2021