Contact Patricia Babin

Ellijay, Georgia

Chronicles of Student Clinic: When Everything Hurts

Massage Therapy certification requires students to practice and fine-tune their new skills by fulfilling a set number Student Clinic hours with real clients. That phase of learning often teaches us more than we expect. Here’s a Student Clinic story that was shared with us…

“The very first client I worked on in student clinic had Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a painful medical condition where the tissue that normally covers and protects the nerves erodes away. I had no knowledge of how to treat MS at the time, but this woman had visited our student clinic many times and could clearly articulate what techniques worked for her. I was afraid to hurt her, and my light touches only caused the nerves in her arms and legs to flare up, triggering severe muscle spasms. In frustration with my own lack of knowledge of how to help this person, I was ready to give up. Then she told me: “The only place on my body that doesn’t hurt is my back.”

“After asking her to turn over and lie on her stomach, I worked the muscles along her spine in the ways that I had been taught and practiced on my fellow students. But there was still a lot of time remaining, and I ran out of techniques. Without a clue of what to do next, I started a gentle rocking motion up and down her back, like a mother rocking her child to sleep. Then, I finished with several minutes of lightly sprinkled touches with just the tips of my fingers that felt like gentle raindrops.

“Suddenly, time was up. After my client dressed, I returned to the room to check on her. She was crying. She said: “I don’t remember the last time my body didn’t hurt at all. Thank you.” And hugged me. By this point, I was crying along with her, humbled by the experience of being able to truly help someone in need. She gave me the highest possible marks on my evaluation form. And I felt confident that if I listen to my intuition, I would always find a way to connect with others.”

Student Clinic provides discounted massage appointments for anyone seeking a relaxing massage or an introduction to massage therapy. Cohutta Healing Arts Institute’s (CHAI) Student Clinic appointments are available on Tuesdays, alternating Fridays, and on Saturdays. Please call 855-515-2424 or click now for Student Clinic Massage Appointments.

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Located in Ellijay, Georgia, the CHAI School of Massage provides a comprehensive massage therapy educational program that focuses on comprehension of the human body, massage theory and history, proficient massage therapy techniques, ethical business practices and client-centered care. For more details visit: