"Massage is a healing art. It is a unique way of communicating without words. Through touching another person, we may communicate the fact that we care; [we empathize], we want to share our energy [...]" - Francis M. Tappan
Massage means to knead or to handle. Massage is very therapeutic and healing, and has been used to treat illness for over 3000 years.
Massage can be a preventative form of medicine, especially in the reduction of stress; it can be used for rehabilitation in the case of physical injuries; it can be used to treat a variety of conditions as a drugless-option; it can be used to teach patients about the importance of self-care.
Benefits of massage (besides relaxation!) include increased blood circulation, increased lymph drainage, decreased pain and tension, stimulated digestion (and possible relief of constipation if this is a concern), prevention of harmful muscle spasms and hypertonicity, improved reflexes, treatment of an illness without drugs or invasive intervention, and increased parasympathetic nervous system (the one responsible for digestion and relaxation).
(The previous notes were inspired by my studying for my upcoming Massage quiz).
After a discussion last night with Min and Po, I thought I'd best clarify myself when I said that fruit should be eaten alone (I said this here). Now I recognize that some of the theories behind naturopathic medicine can seem very daunting and even depressing to many of my readers. Yes, if you want to get all technical, our diets are horrible in terms of the Anatomy and Physiology of our digestive system (in reality we should never eat grains and should almost never eat any foods together... but that's another silly story :P). So, with everything naturopathic doctors recommend, baby steps are key. In regards to eating fruit with meals, try to avoid it on a regular basis and pay attention to "juicy" fruits. Pineapple, apples, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe... these fruits should really never be eaten with other foods as in the fruit kingdom, they digest the fastest as they have a high water content. It shouldn't be too hard to eat on their own if you eat them for an afternoon snack, right when you wake up, or really late in the evening as a bedtime snack. During these times of day, it should be easier to eat them without any protein, fat, or other complex carbohydrates. As for a banana on top of your cereal or some fresh figs with your cheese platter, don't sweat it. Everything in moderation is what is key in my mind (and in my field of medicine) :)
Happy Fruit Snacking!