Hydration: What is in the Cup of Water by Your Bed?

Kids drinking spring water.
These kids are getting to enjoy one of the great gifts of life. Water, fresh from the ground.

**Check out the October 2018 Revision at the bottom with Very Important Information!

Improving Hydration

For those of you how keep up with my Facebook Page, you will have already seen the Live Video : 1 Easy Tip to Improve Hydration! (If not, I’ve added it below). This is the simple tip of keeping a glass of water by your bed at night and then first thing in the morning, drinking it. An easy action helps avoid many discomforts in the body relating into mild dehydration: headaches, muscle spasms, sluggish bowels, and so on. All you have to do is keep a glass of water by the bed and then drink it before getting up.

Not All Water is Created Equal

But exactly what is it in that glass of water beside your bed?

We are very blessed in Danville and Kentucky in general, to have so much water available at the turn of a tap. Yet most of us know now that there are many chemicals, pharmaceuticals, impurities, and toxins that come through the tap. Have you ever noticed the subtle odor of bleach when you turn on the water?

Spring water from old faucet
Spring water gently running forth from the faucet.

Would you ever just add a few drops of bleach to a pitcher of water and drink it? I know I wouldn’t. Yet it comes through our tap like that.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is distilled and reverse-osmosis water. Fancy words, right? These are about as pure a water that you can get—pure H2O.

This is great right?…Wrong.

It’s not that simple. We actually need to have trace minerals in our water so that our body can absorb the H2O. In fact, drinking pure H20 can strip our body of minerals and actually mildly dehydrate us.

Does it seem like this “glass of water by the bedside” thing is getting a little complicated? Worry-not, the solution is simple.

What to do About all This?

In the ideal world we would all have access to a pristine spring which we could harvest cool water from, for immediate drinking. How good this would be for our bodies! However, that dream is for the few, nowadays.

For most of us, we have to discover a different option. I’m going to give you two options that I have found to be practical and acceptable in the pursuit of hydration:

Filter your tap water!

There are many different filters to use from a Brita to a Berkey. It makes sense to me that no matter which one you use, no matter what your price range is, you are instantly improving your tap water. And the filters (unless they are reverse-osmosis) will not strip the water of trace minerals, so you will be sufficiently hydrated by the water. This is a practical solution, and the one that I personally use at home.

Add minerals to your distilled or reverse-osmosis water!

Years back I was chatting with an elderly man who was still going strong. He confessed is secret to me was water. He distilled his own tap water with a water distiller, and then added liquid trace minerals to the water. He swore by it. 

 There are various ways to approach this—the elder was obviously a purist—but you can also buy a gallon of distilled water from the grocery store and add a pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to the water, then shake it up. Why Pink Himalayan Sea Salt? If you research the product, it has the broadest array of trace minerals (an essential component in hydration)

What’s the Next Step?

Make a choice! It’s gonna depend on how you want to approach it, your finances, and how serious you want to be about hydration…remember, any choice you make will be good for you (it’s not about being perfect). Decide if you would like to filter your tap water, or use distilled water with minerals added. Decide what filter you are going to use or if you are going to distill your own water. And if you use distilled, decide if you are going to add the Himalayan Sea Salt, or use a liquid trace mineral.

Pump faucet for well water.
Deepwell brings up good water.

I Cannot Emphasize this Enough!

Not matter what choices you make from the options I have given, you will be making a good choice. Sometimes we can get hung up on figuring out what is right. Just make the choice that works best for you and know that it will be leading you to a better place.

October 2018 Revision

Since writing this blog earlier this year, I have discovered two products that not only align with all that has been addressed in this blog, but have dramatically improved my health and well-being since beginning to use them. I cannot recommend them enough, and you will need to experience them for yourself to find out. One thing I will say, I have followed exactly what the company recommends for usage.

Click on the images to find out more information.

Click Here

Click Here

How Does Massage Benefit You?

Woman Feels the Sun
Relax into your massage like relaxing into the warmth of the sun.

First off, exactly what is massage?

Webster defines massage as “manipulation of tissues with the hand for relaxation or therapeutic purposes.” This is a good general definition, and looking at it closely will help us to understand massage more clearly.

When thinking of massage and the word “tissues”, most people think of the muscles. And yes, muscles are a very important part of massage, but there are other tissues in our bodies that can be therapeutically treated to improve our sense of well-being.

Fascia is a hugely important tissue in the body; in my opinion and experience, more pivotal when relieving pain than even the muscles. Yet, it’s still not widely known by people. To learn more, read my blog: Fascia: Stretch It! Dance It! Massage It!

What about the nerves? This too is a tissue in our body that can be influenced by massage. Nerve impingement and aggravation can occur when the muscles and fascia tighten near the nerves. This can very easily create chronic issues in the body.

Water Flowing Over Rock
Let the healing water of your massage therapy session wash away the stress and pain.

There are also the fluids of the body: the blood, lymph, and cerebral spinal fluid, which baths the central nervous system.

Can massage benefit all of these tissues? Absolutely!

How does massage benefit all these different tissues?

The word “massage” often brings to mind a candle-lit room in a spa with essential oils, relaxing music, and a gentle Swedish-style massage. This is certainly massage, but the world of massage goes far beyond just the spa experience.

There are many approaches to working with the tissues of the body. A licensed massage therapist can be trained in one or many of these modalities. Here are just some of these modalities: Deep Tissue Massage, CranioSacral Therapy, Myofascial Release, Energy Work, Lymphatic Drainage, TriggerPoint Massage, Reflexology, and the list goes on.

Massage is not simply rubbing the muscles. It’s much more than that. Depending on the training of the therapist, massage sessions can be as different as the people receiving them. There can be the massaging of muscles with oil; there can be sustained holds to help the fascia release; there can be very gentle holds that help the body to heal itself.

How can these different types of massage benefit you?

Pain in Elbow
When you feel pain in the muscles, it’s your body asking to you schedule a massage appointment.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these modalities and how they can benefit you. I’m going to primarily focus on the modalities in which I am trained. I chose to develop this tool set because I have a goal at Listening Hand Therapeutic Massage to help people live as pain free as possible. I’ve found that this “tool set” (this combination of modalities) has consistently helped people with relief from and management of chronic pain, greatly improving their sense of well-being.

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage helps the muscles to relax and the fluid (particularly the blood and lymph) to move through the body more freely. This nourishes and improves the overall functioning of the body. It also increases flexibility, decreases cortisol (which means you will feel a decrease in stress) and increases serotonin (which means you will feel relaxed and happy).

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is often thought of as the same as deep- or heavy-pressure massage. But it is not. It can involve a heavy pressure, however, a truer description of deep tissue massage is that it works through the layers of tension in the tissue to get to the deepest tissue. This can often be done with a very soft touch. It often includes working with the fascia and the muscles.

This therapy is great for relieving chronic pain, optimizing the body for people who want to improve their sense of well-being. And because the body feels better, it lends itself to improving the way we think and feel about life.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy is a type of massage that is very different than what is commonly thought of as massage. Instead of focusing on the massaging the muscles tissue, if focuses on relieving the tissue around the central nervous system. It does this by releasing restrictions in the fascia through a very soft touch and gentle tractioning.

Because it relieves tension around the central nervous system, it can have one of the profoundest healing effects on the body. It can quickly correct chronic issues that other modalities can’t address. It goes to the root of the problem.

To learn more about CranioSacral Therapy, read my two blogs: What Is CranioSacral Therapy? and What Everyone Should Know About Pain Relief and CranioSacral Therapy.

Man by beautiful mountain lake
Like the relief and peace that comes from the grand views of nature, a massage therapy can quickly change the way you view your life.

How do I know which one is for me?

Great question! I’m glad you asked ;).

A well trained and experienced massage therapist will be able to guide you to the modality that will best serve you. If the therapist is not trained in a particular type of massage, they should know a therapist that is and can refer you to where you will get the best help.

My hope as always is that this information empowers you to make choices to feel better in your body!


To benefit from massage, click here!

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Things To Make You Feel Better!

Blue-Purple Chrysanthemum Blossoming

Welcome!

As a massage therapist, I care about the whole health of my clients. I care how they feel during the massage as well as how they experience daily life when they leave the massage table.

The body, mind, and emotions are all related—there is no separation. My goal as a therapist is to help my clients feel their best, and this includes considering how the body, mind, and emotions are connected. Care in all areas can contribute to overall well being.

First of All, Why Do We Feel Pain?

Pain in knee
When your body speaks to you through pain, it’s asking for a massage.

Putting it simply, there are many contributing factors to making us feel pain in our bodies. Most of us know the common reasons for pain:

  • injuries from accidents
  • injuries from overuse (like a torn muscle)
  • soreness from intense exercise (or a new exercise routine)
  • stress tension from worrying

However, Have You Ever Considered:

  • your body can feel pain from inactivity, like sitting at the computer all day?
  • rolling your ankle could eventually lead to chronic headaches?

    Stretching at Dawn
    Feeling better is never too far away.
  • injuries you experienced as a child can still effect you today?

Even though an injury or overuse always contribute to pain, there is more to it than simply that.

What Can You Do To Make Things Better?

Most of us know many ways to improve our health and there is always more to learn. Think of the things that you already know that can help your body feel better:

Woman enjoying nature.
When massage takes away the pain, you can get back to enjoying life again.

 

  • massage
  • yoga
  • rest and relaxation
  • healthy eating

But, do you know that breathing full breaths can help your body feel better? What about the way you are thinking: Do you know positive thinking can decrease stress and improve your overall well-being?

There is a wealth of knowledge to learn that can make your experience in life better and a variety of self-care techniques to suit your personality and schedule.

There Is Always More To Learn

Child's hand in parents hand.
The healing touch makes all the difference

Since early 2000 I have been on a journey to learn about healing and whole health. I’ve tried many things that don’t work and found many more that do work to improve my over-all well-being.

In the Listening Hand Blog series, each one will offer information and suggestions that empower you to improve your health and well-being! I educate about massage as powerful healing tool. I also share techniques you can use at home to heal yourself and keep healthy.

So I invite you to look around my blog, which is available through my website. Begin or continue your journey of learning through this resource. Read on and return many times!


To get help feeling better, click here!

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Fascia: Stretch It! Dance It! Massage It!

What is Fascia?

Dancing to mobilize fascia
Dancing helps to mobilize the fascia.

Imagine one connected, continuous sheet of plastic wrap surrounding and giving form and containment to every part of your body…muscles, organs, nerves, veins. And, imagine that this plastic wrap can fluctuate between a liquid state and varying degrees of solidity. Kind of weird, huh? Well, this is a pretty good description of fascia —the soft connective tissue that holds us together.
Fascia is a tissue that surrounds every muscle in our body. Not only does it give form to the muscles, but when it is in its ideal state, it is essentially liquid and allows the muscles to glide over each other and function as they were intended. When this natural gliding happens, there is no muscular pain or restriction of mobility; basically, your body feels good.
However, when you experience stiffness in the body: aches and pains, or general discomfort, almost certainly the fascia in your body has become restricted. This restriction occurs due to repetitive motions (like typing on the computer all day), inactivity (like sitting at a computer all day), and also through traumas to the body through an accident or a surgery.

The Magic of Fascia

This connective tissue has this amazing quality of solidifying in order to actually save energy in our bodies. When we do something repeatedly, even sitting, the fascia essentially forms a mold of that position, so we don’t have to use as much muscle energy to keep us upright. The down side of this, in the case of sitting all day, is when we stand up we have to use a lot of muscle energy to reposition all the solidified fascia. It is during these times that we notice pain in our backs and tension in our shoulders.
Another amazing quality of fascia: it will solidify around injuries and traumas that have occurred to the body. This function provides support for that specific area of the bodyso that it can heal. This is a wonderful attribute. However, when the body has healed itself, the solidified connective tissue remains.

So why is it a problem to have solidified fascia?

As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems is that there is restriction in the movement in the body. This restriction can create aches and pains throughout the body. However, there is another issue that takes place. Remember the description of this connective tissue in the first paragraph? Everything in the body is connected. If there is one area of the body that has solidified fascia, then that will be influencing the rest of the body, subtly and not so subtly pulling on that continuous tissue that surrounds our anatomy. This influence, when left unaddressed, creates in the body, what massage therapists simply call, a pattern. There is a pattern of tension. So, what starts as something small can develop into something quite complexed.

Not to Fear!

 

Stretching helps to mobilize the fascia
Stretching helps to mobilize the fascia.

Introducing movement is what gets the fascia back to its liquid state. And it is movement that is an essential component in keeping things open in the body. Daily stretching, exercising, and dancing are great ways to get the body moving and softening the fascia. To have a morning routine or daily practice of movement will greatly benefit your body’s sense of well being because you will be liquifying the fascia and allowing your body to function as intended.

If the issue has gone on for too long and there is chronic restriction in the body, be it because of inactivity, extended repetitive motions, or a trauma, it requires manual therapy, like massage to actually liquify the fascia again. A skilled practitioner can easily identify where the fascial “restrictions” are, knows the appropriate techniques to soften the tissue, and can recognize clearly when the restriction is released.

Massage helps to mobilize the fascia.
Massage helps to mobilize the fascia.

To maintain both health and a good feeling in your body, stretching, dancing, and exercise are key. To correct chronic issues, massage is essential. If you have chronic pain in your body, begin with movement. And, this movement also prepares you for receiving massage because it opens up the tissue in your body. If you are in pain, or just feel restricted in your body, there is no need for it. Your fascia and be brought back into an ideal state with just a little work.


To get help relieving pain in your body, click here!

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5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Massage

How Can I Make the Most of My Massage?

So, you’ve scheduled a massage therapy appointment at Listening Hand Therapeutic Massage because your body is in pain or you have an injury that’s stopping you from doing the things you want to do. Or, perhaps you are just looking to relax and de-stress or simply take care of your body and improve your health. All of these are good reasons to get a massage, and there are some tips to help you make the most of your massage.

And so the question arises: How can I make the most of my massage? This is a good question that I often receive from my massage clients. Let’s look at 5 tips to make the most of your massage.

1. Hydration

Our bodies contain up to 60% water. That means our bodies are more than half water…no wonder hydration is so important! And when it comes to massage, it is very important in allowing you to get the most of your massage.

Glass of water
Regular hydration helps your muscles release during massage.

When we are dehydrated at any level, it is difficult for the muscles to relax. In fact, spasm in muscles can often relate tonot drinking enough water. (For a tip on how to help this, check out this Facebook Live video I made).

Now you have to ask: How do I properly hydrate myself? Well, first thing, DON’T drink a whole lot of water just before your massage because you won’t get hydrated that way, and you’ll just have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the massage.

The key to Hydration

Drink plenty of water the day before!

Drink plenty of water the day before! That’s the key. This will give your body the time it needs to properly hydrate. Then your muscles will be good and ready to receive the massage work.

2. Stretch

Woman stretching in nature
Taking time to stretch prior to your massage therapy session will help your body to better let go of tension during the session.

Another important action that you can take the morning of the day of your massage is to do some light stretching. And, if you do this light stretching before you massage, your muscles will already be partly warmed up and released so that your therapist can spend more time working out the real issues rather than preparing the tissue to be released. You’ll already be ready!

3. Arrive a few minutes early

Even though traffic in Danville Kentucky isn’t really that bad, why rush? Everyone knows that when you are rushing to get somewhere you can get a little, or a lot, stressed out. And if you are like me, when you get stressed out, it takes a little time to unwind.

Do you really want to spend the first part of your massage, unwinding from just trying to make the appointment on time?

Rose and pocket watch
Arrive to your massage therapy appointment a few minutes early. It makes a big difference when you don’t have to rush.

So, leave an extra 5 or 10 minutes early. This will make sure that when you show up, there is not rush and you can relax into the massage time that you have set aside for yourself. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. And, if you happen to be late, try not to worry. If you are already late, no sense in making it worse by worrying about it.

4. Focus on your breath

So, you are hydrated from the day before. You’ve stretched that morning. You have shown up to your massage appointment a few minutes early and are happy to be there. And now it’s time to do something that can help make the most of your massage session.

Breath

To those clients who have worked with me before, you know we will spend a little time talking before the massage so that we can get clear on your therapeutic goal for the session. And once you are on the table, it’s time to relax, breath, and let go of the tension in your body.

It is as simple as that: focus on your breath.

When we focus on our breath many good things happen: our minds tend to become quiet, our muscles relax, and we are more open to healing. All of these are necessary to make the most of your massage appointment.

5. Schedule ahead

How many times have you had pain in your body, or you are feeling stress, and you think: I need to schedule a massage…and then you forget? Or the time you have available doesn’t work with your therapist? Or you have to find a new therapist, which can be a stressful trial and error process? All of this produces stress and is not conducive to making the most of your massage.

Now consider this scenario: Your body is in pain, or you are feeling stressed, and you think to yourself, “Awesome! I have a massage scheduled for next week!” And then you take a sigh of relief and go on with your day.

Sound better?

Research shows that when people have regular massage appointments scheduled, they actually get more out of their massage because they don’t have the added life stress of having to schedule yet another appointment.

Appointment book
When you schedule your massage appointment ahead of time, you can relax knowing that pain relief is coming your way.

Whether you schedule a massage once a week, once every 2 weeks, monthly, every 3 months or even once a year, having a massage on the schedule will help you get the most from your massage. At Listening Hand Therapeutic Massage, my clients can reschedule their appointment up to 24 hrs in advance without charge…so when you schedule ahead at Listening Hand Therapeutic Massage, you are really doing something that is best for you, at no risk.

Closing thoughts

I’ve given you 5 actions that you can take to make the most of your massage appointment. Whether you use all 5 or even just one, you will be doing a service to yourself. Book Now at the link below and begin applying today what you’ve learned in this blog!


To make the most of your massage,

click here!

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What Everyone Should Know About Pain Relief and CranioSacral Therapy

Pain Relief and CranioSacral Therapy

Simply put, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) works with the tissue that surrounds the central nervous system. The central nervous system directly affects all the other systems of the body. It’s the nerves that make the muscles work. And it can be the nerves that can make the muscles hurt and get tight. Thus, CST on the tissue surrounding the nerves can help with pain relief in the muscles!

Why does this happen?

pain relief
The spine houses pair of the craniosacral system.

The tissue that surrounds the central nervous system can get tight due to traumas, repetitive motions, or degeneration. When this tissue gets tight, it can aggravate the nerves it surrounds. This causes the nerves to fire out into the muscles, creating tightness and pain. CranioSacral Therapy releases the tight tissue around the nerves, the nerves relax, and the muscles feel better. I have seen this again and again in my practice.

As a massage therapist, I work each day helping to relax people’s muscles to decrease pain in the body and increase overall health. One thing I used to see repetitively in my practice was clients coming in with muscle pain, getting a massage, feeling better, only to come back a week later with the same pain. I have learned through my experience when this happens, the muscle pain is not the problem (or massage would have taken care of it). More often than not, the issue is in the craniosacral system and can be resolved completely through CranioSacral Therapy. When I discovered the truth of this, I began my training in CranioSacral Therapy. I have since been consistently helping people resolve long standing pain issues.

pain relief
The nerves conduct the energy of life. CranioSacral Therapy helps that energy to flow better.

So if you have a reoccurring pain in your body, particularly in the muscles, and massage has not taken care of it, it is very likely that CranioSacral Therapy will.

 


To receive CranioSacral Therapy,

click here!

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The Pain is Not Where the Problem Is…

Isn’t the Pain the Problem?

Painful knee
When you feel pain in your body, remember to contact your massage therapist to get help.

When you feel the pain that comes into your neck and shoulders from sitting all day at the computer, or the sharp discomfort in the low back when you’ve been working in garden, you might want nothing more than someone to deeply massage that painful spot. That makes sense. The back or shoulders are shouting out at you and massage can help with pain relief, to make them quiet again.

However, sometimes there are chronic issues—you get a shoulder rub but the pain comes back the next day, or no matter what you do that low back pain just won’t go away.

There is a reason for this…the pain is not where the problem is.

A Shift in Perspective

Imagine for a moment, someone pulling on your arm. After time your arm would become sore because of the over stretching. Is your arm—where you feel the pain—the problem? No. The problem is the person pulling your arm. If they let go of your arm, eventually the discomfort will go away.

So it is, in our bodies.

Often the soreness that we feel is coming from those muscles being overstretched by other tighter muscles. We don’t feel the pain in the tight muscle, we feel it in the overstretched muscles, just like our arm being pulled. The way to fix the problem is to give the appropriate massage work to the tight, or shortened muscles and surrounding tissue.

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When the shortened muscles are lengthened and released, it actually brings about lasting change and relief from pain. So if you have been having chronic pain issues that heat packs and Advil only provide temporary relief from, consider finding a local massage therapist that understands the dynamics of the body and knows how to release the actual cause of the pain—the shortened muscles.


To get help with your pain, click here!

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What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy Dogs
“Just let the inner tension melt away…”

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral System
The tissue of the CranioSacral System is high-lighted in blue.

CranioSacral Therapy, also referred to as CST, is a soft touch approach to releasing deep tension within the body. It can address many issues in the body because it helps to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. When giving a treatment, the therapist uses extended holds and gentle tractioning to releases the tension in the tissue around the central nervous system. When this tissue is free of restriction it allows for the central nervous system function in a better way–thus making you feel better!

 


How does CranioSacral Therapy Help?

Nerve Map
The central nervous system influences our entire body.

Due to traumas, surgeries, or even just repetitive motions, the tissue that surrounds the central nervous system can become restricted. In addition, this restriction influences the functioning of the central nervous system and how the nerves “fire.” This restriction influences the other systems of the body creating symptoms that can range from muscle spasms, to headaches, to to digestive issues and more. Therefore, if a condition is not addressed through regular massage or other therapies, CranioSacral Therapy is advised–by releasing tension in the tissue around the central nervous system, the flow of the fluid around the spine (cerebral spinal fluid) and the tissue itself supports the correct functioning of the central nervous system. Since the central nervous system is such a foundational part of our bodies functioning, CST has a beneficial effect on a wide array of conditions (as listed in the final section).


What conditions does CST address?

  • Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Autism
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • And Many Other Conditions

(www.upledger.com–where I studied CST.)


To relieve help from a CranioSacral Therapy Session, click here!

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Simple Self Healing Energy Technique

self healing

Is Self Healing Possible?

It’s not uncommon to experience minor aches and pains throughout the day. Also, when we have injuries from life events we can experience discomfort as we heal. It’s not always possible to get in to see your massage therapist. Whether the issue is time or money, it’s always good to have a back up plan. I recommend to my clients, using an energy that is freely available to them. Self healing is possible.

In the following video, I share a simple energy technique. I teach thisto clients who have injuries that can use some TLC. It’s also a great technique for minor aches and pains. Give it a try and see for yourself!


To help relieve your pain, click here!

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Massage in Danville, KY!

massage in Danville, KY

Massage in Danville, KY! Welcome to Listening Hand! 

Welcome to my new website! I’m excited to connect with you and share about Listening Hand, massage in Danville, KY. Take some time to watch this YouTube video set in the beautiful North Rolling Fork, just outside of Danville, KY. It is an introduction to me, Clive Robinson, and my massage practice, Listening Hand. I have over a decade of experience working consistently to help people relieve and in most cases be free of pain. I know I can help you too!

To get help with relieving your pain, click here!massage danville ky