Contact Patricia Babin

Ellijay, Georgia


Don’t Like Wearing a Mask? Wear it Anyway!

In response to the outbreak of Coronavirus Covid-19, the CDC recommends everyone wear adequate facial covering as an effective way to minimize the transmission of and exposure to respiratory illnesses, along with hand washing and keeping your hands away from your face.

If I don’t have virus symptoms, should I wear a mask?

Yes! Wear it anyway!

If I haven’t been around anyone who has had virus symptoms, should I wear a mask?

Yes! Wear it anyway!

Wearing a mask is uncomfortable and triggers my claustrophobia.

Wear it anyway!

How does my mask protect me or the person near me?

Your mask protects the other person. Their mask protects you.


We asked Kelly Buddenhagen, CHAI instructor, bodywork professional and former paramedic, to share her insights and experiences on this topic:

“As a retired paramedic/firefighter and EMT instructor for over 2 decades, I am well versed in infection control, personal protective equipment, and the pros and cons of wearing a mask. I have also always been, and still am, prone to claustrophobia.

“We should all remember that physicians and healthcare workers have been wearing masks to protect patients for centuries. A proper mask is an effective way to decrease exposure to respiratory droplets while in close contact with another person.

“Although the masks that most people are wearing during this time do not seal completely to the face, if both the mouth and nose are covered, the material prevents respiratory droplets from passing through. This means if a virus is in the droplets, the mask limits the virus’ projection and the other person is not exposed to those droplets. Your mask protects the other person. Their mask protects you.”

What about re-breathing gases?

Wear it anyway!

“There is no need to worry about issues with re-breathing gases while wearing a common mask. Although some masks may allow a snug fit, the material they are made of is permeable which allows for gases to pass through the mask even when they are snug. Even a thick mask does not block gases in the atmosphere from traveling through the mask. When we inhale and exhale through a mask, gases pass through the material, but respiratory droplets do not.

“Science has shown that the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is 21%. After breathing in 21% oxygen, we generally breath out about 16% oxygen, along with carbon dioxide*, water, and some other trace gases. This exchange of gases while wearing a mask is safe. (*not to be confused with carbon monoxide which is poisonous).”

I feel claustrophobic when wearing a mask?

Wear it anyway!

“For many, claustrophobia – the fear of confined spaces – is often worsened or triggered by wearing masks. Because our breath is warm (around 98.6 degrees) and moist (from water), that combination contributes to why the skin under the mask feels different. It also contributes to claustrophobic feelings. This has been true for me personally. Even after decades of being required to wear masks, they still trigger my claustrophobia. I share this because I’ve learned my claustrophobia is a condition that can be managed.

“Bodywork has helped me tremendously to manage my claustrophobic tendencies. Massage Therapy, Acupressure, Reiki are types of bodywork that engage the parasympathetic nervous system and help to relax nerves, slow breathing, and release a variety of hormones that encourage relaxation and well-being. All of which helps reduce the effects of claustrophobia.”

Do I really need to wear a mask during my massage appointment?


The new Covid safety protocols at Cohutta Healing Arts require both the massage therapist and the client to wear a mask throughout the appointment.

The safety and health of our clients, students and staff are our utmost concern. Please be assured that the students and staff at Cohutta Healing Arts are adhering to the required and recommended protocols established by the CDC, the Governor of Georgia, and by Massage Therapy Professional Organizations to see clients in our clinic. In addition, we have added sanitation protocols above and beyond those required to ensure the safety of our clients, students, staff and families.

How Can I Help Stop the Spread of Viruses?

Wear a mask. Wash your hands – often. Don’t touch your face.

These simple steps will help mitigate the spread of viruses. With proper self-care and awareness, we can manage our sensitivities to having our faces covered while protecting ourselves and those around us.